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Chican@ & Latin@ Studies Today Speaker Series

The Chican@ & Latin@ Studies Program is proud to announce the 2022-2023 Chican@ & Latin@ Studies Today speaker series.  Join us for three panels featuring scholars engaged in significant new research on issues of concern for both Chican@ and Latin@ populations and wider audiences.  There will be ample opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and members of the community to exchange ideas with our presenters.  The series is made possible by the Anonymous Fund and several campus partners.  Each panel will be followed by a brief reception. Download Series Poster

Saving Children from Lead Poisoning Through Policy and Community Organizing

Tuesday, April 11, 1:00pm-3:00pm, Social Science 8417

Richard Diaz HeadshotIn the final installment of the “CLS Today” speaker series, Richard Diaz, the chair of the Milwaukee Coalition on Lead Emergency will speak about his organization’s fight to create a sustainable lead-safe environment in Milwaukee.  Being from Milwaukee, WI, Diaz strives to fight for racial and economic justice for black, brown, and working-class people everywhere. Within his 10-years as a community organizer, Diaz has helped create the Milwaukee neighborhood association Amani United, increased member participation, helped to achieve a worker-oriented contract in 2014 for members of the Amalgamated Transit Union local 998, helped thousands of voters register and get out to vote, and also co-founded the Coalition on Lead Emergency (COLE). His experience in building relationships, increasing civic participation, and advocacy efforts amongst marginalized groups, has resulted in numerous policy changes, newly elected officials, and partnerships between advocacy based and serviced based non-profits.  As with the other events in the series, this speech is free and open to the campus community.

Image credit:  Blue Green Alliance.

Immigration in the New South: Latinxs, Asian Americans, and African Americans

Thursday March 23, 2023. 4:00 pm, Social Science 8417

The “new” Latin American and Asian migration to the southeastern United States is not so new anymore. Our panelists will examine the ways that immigrants from Latin America and Asia have changed southern life over the last thirty years and discuss relations between long-standing African American communities and their new(ish) neighbors.  Co-sponsors include the Department of African American Studies, the Asian American Studies Program; the Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies (LACIS); and the Department of Sociology.

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Perla Guerrero

Position title: Associate Professor of American Studies, University of Maryland

Perla Guerrero's website

Dr, Guerrero’s publications include the monograph Nuevo South: Asians, Latinas/os, and the Remaking of Place (University of Texas Press, 2017); “Yellow Peril in Arkansas: War, Christianity, and the Regional Racialization of Vietnamese Refugees,” Kalfou: A Journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies Vol.3, No. 2, Fall 2016; “Chicana/o History as Southern History: Race, Place, and the U.S. South,” in A Promising Problem: The New Chicana/o History edited by Carlos Kevin Blanton (University of Texas Press, 2016): 83-110; “A Tenuous Welcome for Latinas/os and Asians: States‚ Rights Discourse in Late 20th Century Arkansas,” in Race and Ethnicity in Arkansas: Perspectives on the African American and Latino/a Experience edited by John Kirk (University of Arkansas Press, 2014): 141-151. Guerrero is the Director of Latina/o Studies at the University of Maryland and an affiliate of the Asian American Studies Program, the Center for Global Migration Studies, and the Latin American Studies Center.

Jennifer Jones

Position title: Assistant Professor of Sociology and Latin American & Latino Studies

Jennifer Jones's website

Specializing in race and ethnicity, immigration, political sociology, Latinx studies, Afro-Latinx studies, and Latin America and the Caribbean, Dr. Jones has published in such journals as Contexts, International Migration Review, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Ethnic and Racial Studies, and Latino Studies. She recently completed her first book entitled: The Browning of the New South (University of Chicago Press in 2019), which examines a case study of shifting race relations and the experiences of Mexican immigrants who have settled in the Winston-Salem area of North Carolina to explore regional racial change. In the book, Dr. Jones argues that in many locations throughout Southeast, Latinos are being situated alongside blacks as excluded minorities, who see African-Americans as allies rather than adversaries. Moreover, she posits that such changes have enormous implications for local, state, and national politics.

Sustainability and Placemaking in Latinx Communities

Thursday September 22, 2022. 4:00 pm, Social Science 8417

Contributors to the new volume Building Sustainable Worlds: Latinx Placemaking in the Midwest, just out from the University of Illinois Press, will share their thoughts on the ways that people of Latin American descent in the Midwest use forms of cultural expression to build livable communities, create cohesion and self-support, and renew environments.  Co-sponsors include the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology; the Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies (LACIS); and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.

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Delia Fernandez-Jones

Position title: Assistant Professor of History, Michigan State University

Delia Fernandez-Jones's website

Dr. Fernández-Jones is a historian of Latinx life whose work focuses on intra-ethnic Latinx communities and pan-ethnic subjectivities among Latinx in search of greater political, social, and economic rights in the twentieth century. Her publications include “Finding MexiRican Placemaking in Michigan,” in Building Sustainable Worlds: Latinx Placemaking in the Midwest (University of Illinois Press, 2022), 86-108.  Her own book Making the MexiRican City: Migration, Placemaking, and Activism in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is forthcoming in 2023.

J. Gibran Villalobos

Position title: School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Institute for Museum and Library Service

J. Gibran Villalobos's website

J. Gibran Villalobos has recently accepted a new role at IMLS to support of the forthcoming Latino National Museum. He was formerly an assistant curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and has also worked for the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Chicago Park District, and the Chicago Cultural Center. He chairs the Chicago Artists Coalition Board of Directors. He will discuss practices of artmaking that recycle and renew urban environments.

Claire Fox

Position title: M.F. Carpenter Professor of English, University of Iowa

Claire Fox's website

Fox is the author of Making Art Panamerican: Cultural Policy and the Cold War (Minnesota, 2013) and The Fence and the River: Culture and Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border (Minnesota, 1999). With Omar Valerio-Jiménez and Santiago Vaquera-Vásquez, she edited The Latina/o Midwest Reader (Illinois, 2017). Her current research focuses on art and performance at heritage sites in the Americas. She will discuss small-town Iowa Latinx communities and social networks of survival.


Latinx Feminisms: Then and Now

Thursday November 10, 2022.  4:00 pm, Ingraham Hall 206

Panelists will discuss their research on Latinx feminisms in contemporary and historical periods, including a consideration of early twentieth century feminist Caribbean thinkers and contemporary Latinx feminist movements for inclusion and equality. Co-sponsors include the Department of Gender & Women’s Studies; the Department of Philosophy; and the Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies (LACIS).

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Mariana Ortega

Position title: Associate Professor of Philosophy and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Penn State University

Mariana Ortega's website

Dr. Ortega’s research focuses on Women of Color Feminisms, in particular Latina Feminisms, 20th Continental Philosophy, Phenomenology (Heidegger), Philosophy of Race, and Aesthetics. She investigates questions of self, identity, as well as visual representations of race, gender, and sexuality. She has published in various journals including The Journal of Speculative PhilosophyInternational Philosophical QuarterlyCritical Philosophy of RaceHypatiaRadical Philosophy Review, and philoSOPHIA. She is author of In-Between:  Latina Feminist Phenomenology, Multiplicity, and the Self (SUNY, 2016) in which she presents a theory of multiplicitous selfhood informed by women of color theorizing, in particular Latina feminisms, and Heideggerian phenomenology. She is co-editor with Andrea Pitts and José Medina of Theories of the Flesh, Latinx and Latin American Feminisms, Transformation and Resistance (Oxford University Press 2019); she is also co-editor with Linda Martín-Alcoff of the anthology Constructing the Nation:  A Race and Nationalism Reader (SUNY, 2009). Her current research is at the nexus of aesthetics, photographic theory, race, and the epistemology of ignorance.  She is the founder and director of the Latina/x Feminisms Roundtable (formerly the Roundtable on Latina feminism), a forum dedicated to discussions of Latina/x and Latin American feminisms.

Stephanie Rivera-Berruz

Position title: Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Marquette University

Stephanie Rivera-Berruz's website

Dr. Rivera-Berruz’s main research interests lie in Latin American Philosophy and Latinx feminisms as well philosophy of race, gender, and sexuality. She recently co-edited an anthology: Comparative Studies in Latin American and Asian Philosophies (Bloomsbury 2018), and her publications appear in Hypatia, Inter-American Journal of Philosophy, and Essays in Philosophy. Originally from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Dr. Rivera-Berruz has lived both inside and outside of the continental United States. She credits her migrations as inspirations for her interests in philosophies that explore myriad dimensions of identity. Her current research examines the philosophical thought of three lettered women in the Hispanophone Caribbean at the turn of the twentieth century.