Winter 2012 Latina/o Studies Calendar of Events

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


Thursday, January 5. The Zell Visiting Writers Series presents a Roundtable Discussion with Bahamian/Trinidadian author Christian Campbell (see full biography below). Contact: Megan Levad <>. 2:00pm, Hopwood Room, 1176 Angell Hall.


Thursday, January 5. Talk by Associate Professor Victor Ríos (Department of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara): "Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys: Striving for Dignity, Embodying Social Incapacitation, and Resisting the Punitive State." Sponsored by the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS) and the Residential College. 4:00pm, 4701 Haven Hall.


Thursday, January 5. Reading by Christian Campbell. Christian Campbell is a writer of Bahamian and Trinidadian heritage and the author of Running the Dusk (Peepal Tree Press, 2010).  An Assistant Professor of English at the University of Toronto, he studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and received a PhD at Duke.  His work has been published widely in journals and anthologies in the Caribbean, the UK, the US and Canada.  Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa calls Running the Dusk "the gutsy work of a long-distance runner who possesses the wit and endurance, the staying power of authentic genius."  Running the Dusk was shortlisted for the Cave Canem Prize (US), the Forward Poetry Prize for the Best First Book (UK) and the inaugural Guyana Prize for Literature Caribbean Award (Caribbean), and won the 2010 Aldeburgh First Collection Prize (UK) and a Lannan Residency Fellowship (US). Website:  Contact: Megan Levad <>. 5:10pm, UMMA Helmut Stern Auditorium.


Thursday, January 19. The Latina/o Studies Program invites you to a performance by Puerto Rican artist Aravind Enrique Adyanthaya: "TRANSLATION/TRADUCCIÓN" with post-performance discussion. "TRANSLATION/TRADUCCIÓN" is an episode from Adyanthaya's piece "Prometheus Bound," a re-envisioning of Aeschylus' work. In this episode, Prometheus meets Io, a "cow-vaca woman".  The performance resembles a song, its lyrics ramifying through verbal and written scores, the rhythm of phonetics and the typing carrying it through. Body movements are often drawn from Latino popular singers and dancers, trying to explore the iconographic context of translation specific to the artist (a Puerto Rican living between the island and the mainland). What begins as Spanglish transforms into yet another idiosyncratic sign system.  The episode questions cultural images and specificity.  It dramatizes different registers of language precisely through this encounter with, Io, a maiden with the horns of an ox, a monster ("monstrua"), the other (foreign, creature, mutant, paradoxically the self) and in the untranslatable in it. The performance will be followed by a discussion about "escritura acto" and about Adyanthaya's work with Casa Cruz de la Luna, a grass roots experimental company based in the historical town of San Germán, Puerto Rico.  A short clip from "The Marquis de Sade is Afraid of the Sea", a project expanding escritura acto to a group/ensemble practice will be shown.  This presentation, which took place at a public square in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico will also serve as a springboard to talk about the different dynamics and politics involved in the occupation of public spaces. Cosponsored by Arts at Michigan/Course Connections, the Center for World Performance Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Romance Languages and Literatures, and the School of Art and Design. Free and open to the public. 6pm, G634 Haven Hall.


Friday, January 20. "Escritura Acto" Workshop with Puerto Rican artist Aravind Enrique Adyanthaya. (4 hours, limited capacity, please contact Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes to pre-register.) "Escritura acto" is a form of theatrical poetics that explores the staging of the act of writing. Its setting is based on letting the spectators view the contents of what is written through a video projection of the document as it is being produced in the computer.  This mode of representation examines relationships between the writer and the written, the medium and the message, the audience/spectators and oral and written perceptions.  It also works to performatively explore notions of language hybridization and belonging in different cultural contexts. Automatic writing and contact improvisation principles will also be presented in the context of escritura acto. Some of the exercises will take the form of brief unipersonal and group pieces performed by the participants.  Participants can work in any language they choose. To register please contact Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes <>. 1:00-5:00pm, G634 Haven Hall.


Week of January 23rd. Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority Inc. ( will be celebrating their 12th anniversary at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and will have a series of events focused on their theme: "LTA... Redefining what it means to be a Lady." The week will be a celebration of women in general, consisting of events that seek to challenge and explore gender roles in our society. For more information contact Lizette Ramirez <> and Nancy Torres <>.


Thursday January 26th. Interested in Latino migration issues, anthropology, or archaeology? Come to an information session with Prof. de León! The Undocumented Migration Project is a long-term anthropological study of clandestine migration between Northern Mexico and Southern Arizona. This project was conceived in an effort to better understand various elements of border crossing, deportation, and the human smuggling industry in Latin America, as well as to demonstrate the effectiveness of using an archaeological approach to understand an ongoing and clandestine social process. Since the mid-1990’s, hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants from Mexico and beyond have been entering the United States on foot through Arizona.  Migrants will often walk for several days across the harsh Sonora Desert to reach places such as Tucson. People typically carry backpacks loaded with food, clothing, and other provisions and along the way they rest (and often discard these goods) at temporary campsites known as “migrant stations”. Hundreds of migrant stations have been identified in southern Arizona. Using traditional archaeological field methods and ethnography, this project examines migrant material culture to understand many aspects of this clandestine cultural phenomenon. As part of this research, Jason De León (Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology) will direct a anthropological field school in southern Arizona this summer from June 17th through July 22nd. Students will earn 8 college credits and be trained in archaeological and ethnographic field methods. Students will live and work in the Southern Arizona desert for five weeks while simultaneously being exposed to the many complex social, political, and economic issues surrounding undocumented migration. In addition to conducting field work and independent research, students will go on a variety of field trips including visits to federal deportation court and migrant shelters in Northern Mexico. Additional online information can be found at 7pm, 221 West Hall.


Friday, January 27. Today is the DEADLINE for proposal submissions for the 3rd Annual La Academia del Pueblo Regional Undergraduate & Graduate Latino/a & Latin American Research Conference. The conference will be held on Monday, April 23, 2012, at Wayne State University, in Detroit, MI. This year's theme is: "Urban Revival and the Latino/a and Latin American Community: Challenges and Opportunities." For more information please contact Ethriam Cash Brammer <> or visit the following website:


Friday, January 27. The Michigan Public Health Training Center and the Office of Public Health in the University of Michigan-School of Public Health present a Public Health Grand Rounds Series talk: "Health Disparities and Inequalities Along the U.S.-Mexico Border: Challenges and Opportunities" with Suad Ghaddar, PhD (Associate Director, South Texas Border Health Disparities Center, University of Texas-Pan American). Save a Seat: All are welcome! Border health involves a complex array of issues that range from the local to the international. The U.S.-Mexico border population possesses unique characteristics relative to the national population. These characteristics contribute to health disparities and represent key public health challenges. Binational health is additionally challenged because it involves two separate public health systems that have different perspectives on protocols, treatment, and prevention. The U.S. Mexico border is a heavily crossed border that includes crossings for day trips to longer term stays. Migration between countries suggests that infectious diseases can be easily transported from one country to another. People from each side of the border utilize health care services on the other side of the border. How do these factors affect the health of a community? What are the rising health issues on the Texas-Mexico border? What disparities in health exist in the region? How are they being addressed? What are the public health challenges facing border communities? What does health in border communities mean for the nation? Suad Ghaddar is currently Associate Director at the South Texas Border Health Disparities Center at The University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA). She holds degrees from the American University of Beirut (BBA, MBA) and The University of Texas-Pan American (PhD). In her current position, Dr. Ghaddar focuses on advancing the center's mission of promoting health disparities research by encouraging faculty involvement through center-sponsored grants and training opportunities. Her research interests include U.S.-Mexico border economic and health issues, chronic disease prevention programs, and the use of community health workers (promotores de salud) in health promotion and education. Dr. Ghaddar's current research focuses on understanding and improving health literacy to address health disparities, targeting the school system and the workplace as potential intervention points. Her publications have appeared in the Journal of School Health and the Pan American Journal of Public Health, among others. Who should attend? Students, faculty and others on campus interested in Latino policy issues. School of Public Health graduate students, especially those in PHAST (Public Health Action Support Team). For further information: | | 734/615-9439. 1:00 - 2:00pm, 1655, U-M School of Public Health, 1415 Washington Heights.


Friday, February 3. The Department of Musicology Distinguished Lecture Series presents Professor Susan Thomas (University of Georgia): "Transnational Ventriloquism:  Hearing Voices in Contemporary Cuban Popular Song." A new style of hybrid Cuban music has developed since the 1990s, drawing not only on Cuban and international instrumental styles but also on vocal techniques, timbres, and articulations drawn from non-Cuban artists and, increasingly, iconic Cuban voices.  This talk explores how such ventriloquisms have become central to the "voluptuousness of meaning" (Barthes 1997) of contemporary Cuban popular song. 5:00pm, 506 Burton Memorial Tower.


Thursday-Saturday, February 16-18. Meanings and Makings of Queer Dance: CORD Special Topics Conference. Sponsored by the Department of Dance, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Cosponsored by the Latina/o Studies Program. With performances and presentations by Latina/o dancers and scholars Cindy García (University of Minnesota), Joel Martínez (Northwestern University), Ramón Rivera-Servera (Northwestern University), and others. Contact: Clare Croft <>.


Wednesday, February 22. The U-M Coalition for Tuition presents Filipino-American journalist and advocate for undocumented immigrant students Jose Antonio Vargas. For more information contact Daniel A Morales <>.


Thursday, February 23. The Zell Visiting Writers Series presents a Roundtable Discussion with Suzanne Buffam and Robert Fernández (Canarium Books Poetry Reading). Contact: Megan Levad <>. 2:00pm, Hopwood Room, 1176 Angell Hall.


Thursday, February 23. Reading by Suzanne Buffam and Robert Fernandez (Canarium Books Poetry Reading). Suzanne Buffam is the author of two collections of poetry, The Irrationalist (Canarium Books and House of Anansi), which was shortlisted for the 2011 Griffin Poetry Prize, and Past Imperfect (House of Anansi), which won the Gerald Lampert Award for the best first book of poetry published in Canada in 2005. She teaches creative writing at the University of Chicago. Robert Fernandez is the author of We Are Pharaoh (Canarium Books 2011) and Pink Reef (forthcoming Canarium 2013). He is the recipient of awards from the Andrew W. Mellon foundation, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry. He was recently named a New American Poet by the Poetry Society of America. Contact: Megan Levad <>. 5:10pm, UMMA Helmut Stern Auditorium.


Thursday, March 8. Talk by Nicole Guidotti-Hernandez (University of Texas, Austin): "A Tale of Two Sisters: Feminist Interventions in Borderlands History." This presentation takes the lives of two Tucsonense Mexicana sisters Atanacia Santa Cruz de Hughes and Petra Santa Cruz Stevens as an important site for thinking about the practice of borderlands history. Specifically, the ways in which gender, sexuality and race played themselves out differently in each of their distinct but connected lives shows that we cannot take such categories for granted. Scholars know very little of Petra Santa Cruz Stevens in the historical record beyond the fact that she was the wife of a congressman. Her sister, Atanacia Santa Cruz de Hughes, is one of the most often cited Tucsonense Spanish Mexican women from the era of Territorial Arizona. In addition, Atanacia had 15 children; Petra had none. Atanacia was literally a productive/reproductive citizen, birthing children to populate the sparsely inhabited AT, while her sister was childless. This in part explains why Atanacia Santa Cruz de Hughes became the mouthpiece of Tucson history and thus a permanent fixture of borderlands history while Petra Santa Cruz remains at the historical periphery. Petra became further marginalized because of the odd and violent set of circumstances of her husband's botched double suicide in 1893 where he tried to kill her and then turned the gun on himself and died a few hours later. This paper takes seriously the role of gendered, sexual and racialized shame in shaping subjectivities of women who once occupied the upper rungs of society before the arrival of the railroad and how their falls from grace was linked to the local economic ruin brought thereafter. Contact: Ruby Tapia <>. Event sponsored by Latina/o Studies, English, History, Women's Studies and IRWG. 4pm, 3222 Angell Hall.


Tuesday, March 13. The Program in American Culture will be hosting a conversation with Estevan Rael-Gálvez (Vice President of Historic Sites, National Trust for Historic Preservation) on alternative careers for PhD students. Contact: Anthony Mora <>.


Tuesday, April 3. The Program in American Culture invites you to the Goldring Symposium on Media and American Popular Culture: "New Trends in Popular Culture:  From Reality Television to Hip Hop and ‘Jerkin,’" with Laurie Ouellette (University of Minnesota), Wayne Marshall (, and the reality television producer Joel Zimmer, head of "Current Productions" and Executive Producer of Jersey Shore. Panelists will discuss hip hop, reality television, and contemporary popular culture. Reception to follow. Contact: Yeidy Rivero <>. 4-6:00 pm, Palmer Commons, Forum Hall Auditorium.


Friday, April 13. The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Department of History, the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, the Department of Anthropology, and the Anthro-History Program at the University of Michigan will commemorate the life of Fernando Coronil today.  There will be both a roundtable discussion of his work (probably between 12 noon and 3 pm) and a personal commemoration in the evening, probably at 6 PM in the Vandenberg room on the second floor of the Michigan League.  Additional information, including confirmed times and venues, will follow.  Please save the date and feel free to forward this announcement. Contact: Lenny Ureña <>.


Monday, April 23. Third Annual La Academia del Pueblo Regional Undergraduate & Graduate Latino/a & Latin American Research Conference, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. This year's theme is: "Urban Revival and the Latino/a and Latin American Community: Challenges and Opportunities." Thanks to the generosity and support of the WSU GRADUATE SCHOOL, this is a FREE conference, which will include a CAREER FAIR for students, as well as panels on graduate and professional school preparation, in addition to plenary speakers during breakfast and lunch. For more information, please contact Ethriam Cash Brammer <> or visit the following website:


Friday, April 27. La Celebración Latina 2012 Latina/o Graduation Ceremony. Contact Marilyn Somoza-Williams <>. 5pm, Lydia Mendelssohn Theater.