Transnational Exchanges: Participation in Academic Conferences and Symposiums
The Chicana/o studies department and CESPA employ a multidisciplinary approach to the understanding of Chicana/o and Latina/o histories, culture, language and education. Essential to this framework of analysis are the continuous critical hemispheric dialogues and exchanges between scholars, students and community members. We find that any project, which aims at building stronger lazos (links) between the U.S. and Cuba, must include multiple perspectives and spaces. Thus, these exchanges should take place in home institutions, communities and at conferences that serve as a space of contact for scholars in different disciplines. The following conferences have contributed and promise to provide an important site for the construction of stronger relations between CSUN and Cuban scholars.
Latitudes de Latinidades
The conference “Latitudes de Latinidades en América” (July 5-9, 2015) was held in Havana, Cuba at Casa de Las Américas. It was organized by Casa de Las Americas and California State University at Dominguez Hills. The conference focused on conceptualizing and interrogating notions of Latinidad, especially its shifting meaning across space. Dr. Alicia Ivonne Estrada, Dr. Francisco Tamayo, Dr. Gabriel Gutiérrez and Dr. Martha Escobar made individual presentations related to their work. On October 14, 2015, conference participants held an event on campus, “CESPA Roundtable Discussion on Cuba,” where they addressed their experiences in Cuba and reflected on issues such as solidarity, race relations, and the Cuban economy.
California LULAC State Convention and Policy Summit
Roundtable, "Critical Issues in Transnational Migrations, Indigeneities, Latinidades, and Quality of Life," 69th Annual California LULAC State Convention and Policy Summit, April 29-May 1, 2016.
Moderator: Jorge García, Ph.D., "Latinamerica? Is that Where They Speak Latin?"
Panelists: Alicia Ivonne Estrada, Ph.D., "Indigenous Migrations: The Maya Diaspora in Los Angeles"; Francisco Tamayo, Ph.D., "Changing Demographics and Assimilation Performances of Nationalism, Patriotism and Citizenship: Teaching with Tension-Race and Resistance"; Martha Escobar, Ph.D., "Understanding the Roots of Latina (Im)migrants' Captivity"; Gabriel Gutiérrez, Ph.D., "Las Tres Habanas: Chicano/a Studies Reflections on US-Cuba Relations through the Periodo Especial, Bush Doctrine, and Re-Established Relations."
Latina/o Studies Association
"Racial Violence, its Disciplinary Power, and Struggle Over the Right to Exist," Latina/o Studies Association, Pasadena, CA, June 7-9, 2016.
Similar to other communities of color in the U.S., Latinas/os are confronted by racialized violences that attempt to discipline them into whiteness, and if undisciplined, dispose of them. The panelists examined a number of Latinas/os’ struggles to exist, including the use of language as a proxy for race, migration and death, and incarceration.
In “English is White: Transnational Students and Struggles over Language,” Francisco Tamayo examined how language serves as a proxy for race. He focused on the experiences of transnational students, the majority of whom are students of color and multilingual, and the ways that English-only promoters portrayed them as linguistically difficult to assimilate and Americanize. These groups use language as an index of national unity and promote racialized language policies. The presenter discussed how this reflects hegemonic white supremacist ideologies that construct transnational students as threats to American national and cultural identity because they refuse to be disciplined into a monolingual English-speaking model.
In “Guat Hunting”: Framing Racialized Violence and Death of Maya Migrants in the U.S.,” Alicia Ivonne Estrada maintained that while a racist militarized Guatemalan state has forced thousands to migrate to the U.S., once here, they continue to encounter varied forms of violence, disposability and erasure. This is particularly evident in the ways mainstream media represents official national narratives that eclipse the violence confronted by Maya migrants. She explored the links between the legacies of the Guatemalan genocide, contemporary violence against Mayas and the upsurge of Maya migration to the U.S. In particular, she examined the ways the death of Maya migrants is discursively represented in newspaper articles published in the U.S.
Martha Escobar concluded the panel with “Prison Abolition, and why it’s Necessary.” In this paper, Escobar linked the movement to abolish U.S. slavery to the contemporary criminalization of Latina/o migrants and maintains that the unfinished project of ending slavery has ramifications on the lives of Latina/o migrants, who are now the largest racial group in federal prisons and who are being detained in unprecedented rates.
Coloquio sobre Culturas Originarias
The “Coloquio sobre culturas y saberes de los pueblos originarios” was held from October 11-15, 2016 in Havana, Cuba at Casa de Las Américas. Dr. Alicia Ivonne Estrada and Dr. Xóchitl Flores-Marcial presented on contemporary Maya and Zapotec cultural productions. Their papers contributed to critical hemispheric dialogues and exchanges on indigenous studies.
Coloquio sobre Latina/os en Estados Unidos
CESPA will participate at the “Fourth International Colloquium on the theme Socialization of Latinos in the United States: education, religion and mass media” will be held from October 16-18, 2017. The colloquium will focus on the socialization processes that influence the relationship between migrants and their children in U.S. society.