Tuesday, September 15, 2009

LATINO STUDIES: Past, Present, Future: An Academic Symposium: September 16, 2009

 The "context" from which I carry out my work as director of Letras Latinas is the Institute for Latino Studies (ILS) at the University of Notre Dame. The ILS was founded in 1999. I'm on campus this week because we are celebrating our ten year anniversary. I've been on board since the summer of 2003---a time when Letras Latinas and its various programs and initiatives did not yet exist. Even so, the field of Latino Studies was still a relatively young one, which continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Tomorrow we are holding a day-long symposium. What follows is the schedules, and the bios of the key visiting players.

September 16, 2009
9:00 AM -- 4:30 PM
Institute for Latino Studies
McKenna Hall
University of Notre Dame

9:00 AM   Welcome -- Gilberto Cárdneas, Director ILS

Moderator for the day: Rev. Daniel Groody, CSC

9:15 AM  Session I -- Historical View of Latino Studies
Ramona Hernández -- The City College CUNY
José Limón -- University of Texas at Austin
Gilberto Cárdenas -- University of Notre Dame (discussant)

10:15   Break

10:30 AM Session II Where are we now in Latino Studies?
María Cristina García -- Cornell University
Alicia Gaspar de Alba - University of California Los Angeles
Silvio Torres-Salliant -- Syracuse University

11:45 AM  Lunch -- Keynote Speaker Rev. Virgilio Elizondo, Morris Inn Courtyard

1:30 PM  Session II -- Where to now?
Arlene Davila -- New York University
Roberto Goizueta -- Boston College
Allert Brown-Gort -- University of Notre Dame (discussant)

2:30 PM   Break

2:45 PM   Session IV -- Synthesis of Presentations -- Timothy Matovina

3:00 PM   Conversation -- Response Presentations
Fr. Virgil Elizondo
Augustin Fuentes
Marisel Moreno-Anderson

4:30 PM   Reception, McKenna Hall Atrium

Visting Participants:

Arlene Dávila is a professor of anthropology and social and cultural analysis at New York University. Her works include Barrio Dreams: Puerto Ricans, Latinos and the Neoliberal City (University of California Press, 2004); Latinos Inc.: Marketing and the Making of a People (University of California Press, 2001); and Mambo Montage: The Latinization of New York, coedited with Agustín Lao (Columbia University Press, 2001). Her research focuses on Puerto Ricans in the eastern United States and Latinos nationwide. She is currently working on a collection of essays on the production and circulation of contemporary representation of Latinidad, examining current debates about the so-called “mainstreaming” and “republicanization” of US Latinos.

María Cristina García is professor of history and Latino studies and acting director of the American Studies Program at Cornell University. Her research and teaching interests revolve around the study of refugees and immigrants. Her first book, Havana USA, examines the migration of Cubans to south Florida after Fidel Castro took power in 1959. In 2006 she published Seeking Refuge, which examines Central American migration to Mexico, the United States, and Canada during the political upheaval of the 1980s and 1990s. She is currently working on a study of refugee policy in the United States since the end of the Cold War.

Alicia Gaspar de Alba is a writer/scholar/activist who uses prose, poetry, and theory for social change. She is a professor of Chicana/o studies and English at UCLA, where she also serves as chair of the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies. She has published eight books, among them the award-winning novels Sor Juana’s Second Dream (University of New Mexico Press, 1999), which was named Best Historical Fiction by the Latino Literary Hall of Fame in 2001, and Desert Blood: The Juárez Murders (Arte Público Press, 2005), which received both the Lambda Literary Foundation Award for Best Lesbian Mystery and the Latino Book Award for Best English-Language Mystery in 2005. Her most recent historical novel, Calligraphy of the Witch, was released by St. Martin’s Press in fall 2007.

Roberto S. Goizueta is the Margaret O’Brien Flatley Professor of Catholic Theology at Boston College. He is a former president of both the Catholic Theological Society of America and the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States and holds honorary degrees from the University of San Francisco and Elms College. The National Catholic Reporter has named him one of the ten most influential Hispanic-American educators, pastors, and theologians. His most recent book, Christ Our Companion: Toward a Theological Aesthetics of Liberation, will be published in October by Orbis Books.

Ramona Hernández is director of the Dominican Studies Institute and professor of sociology at the City College of the City University of New York. Her research and publication interests include the mobility of workers from Latin America and the Caribbean; the socioeconomic conditions of Dominicans in the diaspora, particularly in the United States; and the restructuring of the world economy and its effects on working and poor people. She is the author of The Mobility fo Workers Under Advanced Capitalism: Domincan Migration to the United States (Columbia University Press, 2002), which received the title of Outstanding Academic Title from Choice in 2003, and coauthor of Dominican Americans (Greenwood Press, 1998).

Jose Limón serves as the Mody C. Boatright Professor of American and English Literature and professor of Mexican-American studies, American studies, and anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. He is also  the director of the Center for Mexican-American Studies, which he co-founded in 1970. His academic interests include cultural relations, and folklore and popular culture. In addition to some thirty scholarly articles, he has authored three books. Mexican Ballads and Chicano Poems: History and Influence in Mexican-American Social Poetry (University of California Press, 1992) received an “Honorable Mention” award for the University of Chicago Folklore Prize for “distinguished contribution to folklore scholarship.”

Silvio Torres-Saillant is a professor in the English Department of Syracuse University. He completed two terms as director of the Latino-Latin American Studies Program and currently holds the William P. Tolley Distinguished Teaching Professorship in the Humanities. He is editor of the New World Studies Series at the University of Virginia Press as well as associate editor of Latino Studies, the quarterly journal published by Palgrave Macmillan. He formed part of the team of senior editors who worked on The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States (2005). Among his many publications are An Intellectual History of the Caribbean (Palgrave Macmillan/Macmillan Caribbean, 2006) and Introduction to Dominican Blackness (CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, 1999).

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