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Horacio N. Roque-Ramirez: In Memoriam

by Ricardo Bracho

Mi brother has died.

horacio

“What does a queer archive of the dead do to our knowledge of ourselves? At the most basic level, it reminds us to remember, challenging us not to fall into the enticing everyday practice of forgetting, of not looking back.” 

Horacio N. Roque Ramírez, 1969-2015

*brother here is pronounced in Spanish as it is vernacularly used in Latin America but especially in DF, the Caribbean, the isthmus and barrio, USA.

**brother is not meant to invoke or align with the grossly sexist and homophobic somos (pater)familia-isms of some Chic Studies discourse or pro-capital latino liberalism. Rather it is deployed here as it is in street talk between both strangers and íntimos; in organizing among the ‘US Third World left’ and in the sexual-political communion that was gay men of color orgs and communities during the 90’s AIDS pandemic. The latter is the context in which I and HRR met.

***Let me be clear: Horacio would have hated this piece of writing. “Where is the (empirical and archival) research? Why isn’t this grounded in (an historically embattled and dialogically super-complicated) community? What is the methodology?” Mind you, he thought oral history was the methodology – a line I edited out of many drafts of his diss and mss. He would have much preferred that you read his far more rigorous work, o mejor, a transcript of one or two of his over 50 interviews with SF Bay Area queer and trans Latina/o bar folk, organizers, intellectuals, artistas, sobrevivientes, estrellas.

In order to redress my wrong I’ll begin with this somewhat lengthy quote from an essay he published in the Oral History Review.  El pollón, in his own words, or as he would have preferred, con su boca abierta:

“The excitement I have felt continuously in the last six years while completing my work on queer Latino San Francisco has been intermittently at odds with the sadness, anger, and fear over the content of those memories. Queer Latino community history in San Francisco in the last four decades has been significantly about loss and disappearance: about AIDS, about gentrification, about cancer, about poverty. Yes, it has also been about political mobilization, about cultural expression and sexual liberation, about racial empowerment and international solidarity. I don’t know who, if anyone, is conducting a community oral history project of queer Latinos in Los Angeles, or in New York, or anywhere else for that matter. Because they matter— because that in the least is the most basic assumption we must make when we commit to this difficult work of historicizing life and death, while we talk with the living, and conjure through memory their relations with those gone. Community history matters, for most of the reasons we may not realize when we begin our work.”  My Community, My History, My Practice, p. 89

Horacio Nelson Roque Ramírez was an oral historian, a professor, an archivist, a central americanist, an AIDS scholar, an expert witness on political asylum and immigration and a creative writer.  His fluencies were vast: caliche, pan-Latino queerspeak, a more formal Spanish, English for the classroom and a distinct one for the bar, a French learned in LAUSD – snobbishly and gleefully retained. An important internal critic of the fields of Chicana/o Studies and queer theory, he arrived on the US academic knowledge production scene when borderlands theory tipped CS into woeful symbology and metaphysical readings of borders, migration, Latin American nation-state and US Latino community formations.  Thus his work on immigration and citizenship, or to personify as he did in borrowing from Cathy Arellano and Manolo Guzmán, homegrowns and sexiles, is aligned with and indebted to more materialist understandings of race, gender and migration; nations, sex and globalization as evidenced in the analyses of Rosa Linda Fregoso, Sonia Saldívar-Hull, Rosaura Sánchez, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Denise Da Silva, Sylvia Wynter, Jacqui Alexander, David Hernández, David Lloyd, Josie Saldaña, Justin Akers Chacón, Mike Davis, Lisa Lowe, Coco Fusco, Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, Randall Williams, Líonel Cantú and Eitne Lubhéid.   

And in that early moment of theories queer, us blacks and browns still needed 2 forms of ids to get into that white homo theoretical joint.  Cindy Patton, Ann Cvetkovich and David Román’s ACT UP-inflected writing on AIDS; Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy and Madeline D. Davis’ pathbreaking Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community and most importantly the  SF community orgs Gay Latino Alliance (GALA), Communidad Unida en Respuesta al AIDS/ SIDA (CURAS) and Proyecto ContraSIDA Por Vida (PCPV) were his models of how to do queer theory differently, nonwhitely, and in accordance with his ethics and politics, collectively. His approach took seriously the teachings of women of color feminism in highlighting rank and file movement members, not solely (male) leadership and in centering lesbian politics and participation in multigender organizing. Additionally he bequeaths essays, interviews and archives to Latina/x transfeminist historiography that highlight cultural and political luminaries such as Ookie la Tigresa, Vicki Starr and Adela Vázquez.  

His work was rooted within raced classed lgbt social-sexual-intellectual-cultural pleasure and dissent and his mentor Profa Julia Curry Rodríguez’ pedagogy and methodology of doing oral history with the historically marginalized. Along with Julia, his committee members, historian Waldo Martin and sociologist Evelyn Nakano Glenn and his UC Presidential postdoc mentor anthropologist Karen Brodkin made lasting imprints on his thinking, teaching and writing.  He had a sustained engagement with Renato Rosaldo’s notions of cultural citizenship and the meander and ramble characteristic of brown oral history narrative. As a writer and reader he admired the pelvic forthrightness of John Rechy’s novels, the balladry in Gil Cuadros’ poetry and the nuanced care and rage across Cherríe Moraga’s essays, poems, cuentos and plays.  His father and Roque Dalton’s Miguel Marmol were his intellectual progenitors.

Head of the class in the making and studying of queer and trans Latina/o/x expressive cultures and representational practices (he would be less big headed and just write, drag show and indie film/video) his work is included in Gay Latino Studies: A Critical Reader edited by Ernesto Martínez and Michael Haimes-García. In the as yet or emergent indiscipline of Queer and Trans Latina/o/x Studies, Horacio’s scholarship is most consonant with that of Ramón Rivera-Servera, Manolo Guzmán and Juana María Rodríguez on the sonic and sexual politics of the queer latina/o dancefloor; Marcia Ochoa and the House of Xtravaganza on the fierce spectacularity of Latin American and US Latino gender construction and transgression; Deb Vargas’ emphasis on the queer musicality of everyday brown life and Micaela Díaz-Sánchez reading of black and brown bodies in (forced) migration and dancing motion.

His work was focused – haunted – by three holocausts in the Americas.  First, the US-backed Hernández Martínez dictatorship y la matanza of 1932 wherein as el Profe Roque Ramírez wrote, “roughly 30,000 died in a matter of days” in El Salvador.  This massacre was later followed by a civil war in El Salvador from 1980-1992 in which over 75,000 Salvadorans died at the hands of the rightwing ruling junta.  Horacio’s third focus, and the one he wrote on the most heavily, was the AIDS pandemic in brown communities in the late 20th – early 21st century urban US, which tallies around 125,000 deaths and counting.  His most unique theoretical contributions were in his reading of Salvadoran historical (counter)memory in contestation of biopower and his conception of a queer archive of the dead that emerged from his interviews and from US queer and trans Latinas/os/xs living “everyday death.” On his people’s history, Horacio was most clear:

“History in modern El Salvador began to die in 1932, indigenous cultural expression suppressed effectively from that moment onward; for the Hernández Martínez dictatorship, indigenous wear, language, and spirituality meant communism, meant a threat to deals between U.S. companies and Salvadoran oligarchy, and of course meant further repression.” My Community, My History, My Practice, p. 90

Of equal force and precision was the analytic H formulated around latino responses to and formulations of AIDS deaths, funds, rhetorics.  In an important essay which ruminates on ten years of Latino AIDS-related obituaries in San Fran’s free gay rag, the Bay Area Reporter, Horace writes in beautiful summation:

“AIDS marked gay in 1980s and early 1990s San Francisco (and vice versa), including the city’s gay Latino population. In this conflation of disease and desire, obituaries offer historical anchors to reconsider some of that period’s historical losses, to untangle carefully that conflation but also to appreciate the routes of queer Latino desires.” Gay Latino Histories/Dying to Be Remembered: AIDS Obituaries, Public Memory, and the Queer Latino Archive, p. 123

Horacio was proudly immigrant, defiantly queer and certainly as trucho as he wanted to be.  I joked once with Randy Williams and Steve Wu that he was my only positivist friend. But, it’s true. He held on to ‘strategic essentialism’ long after everyone else, including Spivak, had laid that ism down. He could also get wrapped up in bullshit notions of meritocracy and immigrant bootstrapping achievement.  While his bacchanalian pleasure principle and search for pinga and pachanga were often in delirious overdrive he could write and self-present in a neoconservative hijo bueno manner.  He was a Scorpio who liked his meat well done, three ways and that pre-internet gay life.  An expert cook of what he called his people’s peasant foods, he was an equally fly dancer and was happiest on the dancefloor especially if it was cumbia, puro cumbia.  He absolutely adored the singing and trash-talking of the late great Teresita la Campesina, The Mission’s trans ranchera bocona. He was probably the most atheist Latino I have ever met (and I was raised among Latino immigrant scientists and communists, so that’s saying much) and his atheism reached towards an overall anti-theism. His academic interest in 70s US culture was delineated by interest in women’s and gay liberation movements, black and brown and yellow and red power struggles and manifestations. However, his personal curiosity extended past social-sexual justice undergrounds and polemics into the disco music that reached him by radio in his childhood canton of Santa Ana, El Salvador.  Once an adult and US citizen he made sure he caught up on pop cultural phenomena of the 1970s: the tv miniseries Roots, disaster films such as The Poseidon Adventure and lowdown liquor like Night Train.

An HIV positive man, he did not readily disclose his status. He received tenure in Chicano Studies at UCSB near the time his father died and when he was diagnosed with acute anxiety and clinical depression.  In the end it was a brutal battle with alcohol that done him in.  His major study of SF Bay Area Latina/o lgbt community from the 60-90s remains unpublished and his ideas for an oral history project on la matanza as well as one on translocal-transnational queer Salvadorean men of LA and El Salvador went unrealized, deepening this loss.

He was impossible, and impossibly fine.

He is survived by his sisters and mother and extended fam here in Los Angeles, as well as his gente in Canada, Guatemala and El Salvador.  Paul Cabral, Emilio Orozco, and Esteban Jimenez were his significant loves.  Santiago Bernal and Rene Lozano the best and strongest of friends. Luis Alberto de la Garza, compatriota of the archive, often provided Horacio with sweet refuge. Ofelia Ortíz Cuevas was very special to Horace, and he to her. Julia Curry Rodríguez was his mentor and so much more.  His UCLA crew, his cousins, parties at his and Esteban’s or David and Iyko’s, the Pasadena public library, Sundays at Tempo and the Faultine or the Eagle were part of his LA joy. Proyecto ContraSIDA/Futura/Bench n Bar/Hamburger Mary’s/Pan Dulce/Club Papi/The Village/his Ethnic Studies cohort at Cal sustained him in his Bay Area days.  He is loved, missed and held in deep remembrance by all these people as well as his UCSB students, colleagues, amistades and, roll call: David Hernández, Iyko Day, Randy Williams, Stephen Wu, Denise Sandoval, Kathy Blackmer Reyes, Cherríe Moraga, Celia Herrera Rodríguez, Diane Felix, María Cora, Karla Rosales, Pato Hebert, Jaime Cortez, Vero Majano, Tisa Bryant, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, Marcia Ochoa, Sarah Patterson, Katynka Martinez, Joel Villalon, Joshua Schwartz, Augie Robles, Lito Sandoval, Al Lujan, Loras Ojeda, Ruben Carrillo, Grace Chang, Julian Hernandez, Diana Almaraz, Inés Casillas, Guisela Latorre, Raúl Coronado, Luis Orozco and, me, Ricardo Bracho.

NACCS 43: Plenary Speakers

StephanieStephanie Alvarez is an associate professor of Mexican American studies at university of Texas – Rio Grande valley and faculty affiliate in literature and cultural studies. She is passionate about providing students with a culturally and linguistically affirming education and opportunities to connect their education with their lived experiences, and recover their experiences and stories and those of their familias and communities. She uses literature, art, music and comedy as tools to guide students through the process of recovery which often happens through testimonio, oral history and digital story-telling. her research is grounded in the same concepts.  In addition, this year, Dr. Alvarez was selected to receive the Outstanding Latino/a Faculty in Higher Education (Teaching Institutions) Award from the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE).

 

RustyNancy “Rusty” Barcelo has served as Northern New Mexico College’s president since July 2010. She is known nationally for her work in academics and diversity. She brings a national reputation and a 30-year career in higher education at the university level to Northern, as the College continues a transition to a high-quality four-year institution offering baccalaureate degrees in 14 disciplines, and a graduate-level program in the advanced planning stage.Dr. Barceló’s teaching experience is extensive; she has served as an affiliate faculty, affiliate assistant professor, adjunct faculty, and adjunct assistant professor. She is also currently a full professor. Prior to her appointment as President of Northern, she served as Vice President and Vice Provost for Equity and Diversity at the University of Minnesota. She has written for numerous publications, including Chicana/Latina Studies: The Journal of Mujeres Activas and a forthcoming chapter in a book by Sylvia Hurtado on diversity and institutional transformation in universities. She is recognized nationally for her excellent professional presentations. She has received many awards, including the NACCS 2012 Scholar award (National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies), and the New Mexico Hispano Round Table “Walk the Talk” award.

ClarissaClarissa Rojas Durazo grew up in the border cities Mexicali, Baja California and Calexico, California. Her family has roots in Sonora and the border cities Nogales and Douglas, Arizona, as well as Guadalajara, Jalisco. Her scholarship and activism explore the interrelatedness of myriad manifestations of violence and the possibilities for the transformation of violence.Clarissa co-founded INCITE: Women of Color Against Violence and co-edited The Color of Violence, re-released by Duke this year. She also co-edited Heteropatriarchal Institutional Violence and the Future of Chican@ Studies,” in Chicana/Latina Studies and a special issue of Social Justice Journal, “Community Accountability: Emerging Movements to Transform Violence.” Her article, “Morphing War into Magic: The Story of the Border Fence Mural, a Community Art Project in Calexico/Mexicali,” appears in Aztlán’s special issue on the 25thanniversary of Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera. Her poem, “My Love is not Perfect” appears in Sinister Wisdom’s award-winning collection Latina Lesbian. She is a long-term community organizer who teaches toward decolonial and abolitionist futures in Chican@ Studies at UC Davis. Clarissa is an internationally published poet who believes in caracoles and trusts the creative spirit.

NACCS 43: Chicana Plenary Speakers

Chicana Activism: Tools for Restorative and Transformative Justice.”

Across time and space, Chicanas have intervened and strenghtened freedom struggles by disrupting sexism, heteropatriarchy, and heteropatriarchal violence. Chicanas not only advocate for women’s rights, but also ensure that Chicana/o liberation means freedom for all members of the community. To that end, Chicanas continue to devise critical methods for addressing historical trauma and working to heal ourselves and our communities in multiple spaces. The 2016 NACCS Chicana Caucus Plenary underscores macro and micro perspectives of the many ways in which Chicanas facilitate transformative justice and provide vital tools for personal and collective restoration.

Panelists:

Elisa Facio, Eastern Washington University

Undocu-Queer Women’s Efforts in Eradicating Hetero-patriarchal Violence in Washington state.”

FacioE_08bElisa Facio is Director of the Chicana/Chicano Education Program and Professor of Chicana/Chicano Studies at Eastern Washington University. In addition, she is the Executive Director of the Race and Culture Studies major and minor. Elisa’s areas of teaching and research include Chicana Feminist Thought, Indigena Chicana spiritualities, transnational issues related to gender, race, and sexuality in Cuba, and age, aging and generations. Elisa received her B.A. with honors in sociology from Santa Clara University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. Elisa’s academic work is published in anthologies, academic journals, encyclopedias, and her book on older Chicana/Mexican women titled Understanding Older Chicanas: Sociological and Policy Perspectives was published by SAGE (1996). She co-edited anthology with Dr. Irene Lara, Fleshing the Spirit, Spiriting the Flesh was published by the University of Arizona Press (2014). And, she is also a contributing author to the collection.

Martha Raquel Gonzales,California State University, San Marcos

“Holding each other Accountable: Confronting Violence in Community Settings.”

Martha Gonzales.NACCS Pic Martha Raquel Gonzales, born and raised in Los Angeles, balances her life and time between holding a joint position as an Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies and Liberal Studies at California State University, San Marcos and as member of Mujeres de Maiz (MdM). Her current research interests include Xicana feminisms, women’s spirituality, and critical education, which are anchored in her involvement with MdM. She has worked with MdM over the years to transform spaces by hosting the Annual Live Art Shows, creating ephemeral ambiences, assisting with zine editing, and currently co-editing MdM’s book project Mujeres de Maiz: A 20 Year Retrospective.

Co-Panelists:

Audrey Silvestre, UCLA, Cesar E. Chavez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies
Nadia Zepeda, UCLA, Cesar E. Chavez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies

“Chicana Feminist Praxis: Tactics to Transform Heteropatriarchal Universities Through Community Accountability.”

A.Silvestre.BioImage1Audrey Silvestre is a queer feminist from Los Angeles, California. Her research interest includes thinking about the production of gender, racial and sexual assemblages through immigration discourse/movements in relation to the prison industrial complex. Audrey is part of the editorial collective at The Feminist Wire and currently is devoting her time and passion towards the revitalization of Third Woman Press. She is a member of the MALCS Ad-Hoc Committee on Heteropatriarchal Institutional Violence that addresses violence within the university and Chicanx Studies. She a first-year doctoral student at the Cesar E. Chavez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at UCLA.

 

 

nadia zepeda pictureNadia Zepeda is a queer Chicana feminist born and raised in Santa Ana, CA.  Her primary focus in study looks at queer feminist of color collective formations. Currently, she is doing oral histories about Chicana spiritual practices and healing collectives. Nadia is a member of the MALCS Ad Hoc Committee on Institutional Violence that addresses issues on institutional violence in the Chicanx Studies and the university. She is currently a doctoral student in the Cesar E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at UCLA.

Luis Jiménez: Artwork in Denver

Horse500[1]by Dr. Eric Castillo

Luis Jiménez was a titan in the art world; his monumental sculptures and poignant lithographs reveal his commitment for a shared humanity as well as provide a platform for his social and artistic agendas. Jiménez’s art combined European artistic practices and Chicana/o vernacular aesthetics. His innovative use of fiberglass materials and archetypal themes position his unique perspective within formalized discussions in art history. His ability to cross over into the American art scene enabled him to cross borders historically closed off to artists of color.

Jiménez’s art critically examined regional and national politics and offered an understanding about American art that is hybrid, differential, and contingent, rather than pure or monolithic. Differentiated by his style politics and motivated by his sociocultural interventions, Jiménez authored unique methods that engaged with contemporary time.

In 1991, Jiménez was offered a commission by the Denver International Airport to complete a sculpture that would reflect the life and experiences of the Southwest. Initially designed for Terminal C inside of the airport, Jiménez proposed a large-scale version of a mustang; he felt the sculpture would pay tribute to this country’s historic relationship with the horse:

What I’ve proposed for Denver is a mustang scenic overlook. I am also proposing a series of plaques tracing the history of the American mustang from the original reintroduction of the horse by the Spaniards, to the Indian pony that they developed from the mustang, then the American cow pony and quarter horse that was developed from mustangs (1994 160).

Designed to frame downtown Denver, Pike’s Peak, and the mountains, Mesteño would have signified a magnificent accomplishment for Jiménez. Completing a monumental piece at a public venue meant he would leave his mark in the art world.

As the largest public artwork of his career, the 32-foot bucking bronco titled Mesteño was designed to be free standing on its hind two legs. Mesteño’s electric blue color, fiery red light bulb eyes, and black veins would course its body, towering over the mile-high landscape while framing the electric sunset and the Colorado Rockies.

In a 1999 interview for ARTLIES magazine, Jiménez informed interviewer Susie Kalil the prospects of such a tremendous commission, stating he was experiencing burnout from the DIA project. “We all have burnout…” Jiménez stated; “And I have burnout, especially on these large pieces. I have a piece that I haven’t delivered for Denver. I keep asking myself why it’s taking so long to do it” (56). Jiménez’s older age and blindness in his left eye were of primary concern: “I’m not as strong as I used to be! And I don’t have the energy to go three days in a row without sleep like I used to!” (ibid).

On June 13th, 2006 Jiménez passed away in the midst of completing the Mesteño. Pressed for time, Jiménez attempted to complete the torso but the massive piece had little structural support without the crane. In one swift movement, the sculpture fell off the metal structure, crushing Jiménez against the reinforcement bar. Writhing in agony, he called out for help; the two assistants rushed to him, pushing the fiberglass sculpture aside. Jiménez was rushed off to Lincoln County Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead (Rancho las Voces 2006). News of his death spread quickly as his family, friends, and art community mourned the loss of one of the most significant American artists of our time. Memorial services across the country honored Jiménez, celebrating the success of a passion artist whose vision enlightened and transformed the visual iconography of U.S. culture.

On February 11, 2008 Mesteño was installed along Peña Boulevard in a private ceremony where art collectors, journalists, politicians, and Jiménez’s family gathered to celebrate the monument. Portrayed by many as Luis Jiménez’s crowing achievement, Mesteño signified a large-scale intervention in the field of Western art. But artist Luis Jiménez’s true crowning achievement was not in one single piece of art, but in the cadre of art he created that helped redefine American art and identity.

Unwelcomed and unappreciated by many Denver residents and art critics for its “apocalyptic, devilish” look and its extremely high price tag, Mesteño was also praised and celebrated by communities across Denver and the Southwest for its revisionism. Luis Jiménez saw something much greater than just a blue mustang when he created the sculpture; this monument memorialized an important actor in creating the U.S. West.

A Chicano artist who successfully crossed over into the American art world, Luis Jiménez profoundly influenced the Pop art scene, Chicana/o art, U.S. sculpture, and Western iconography. Raised in a life that was surrounded by borders–geographical, cultural, political, and social–he was able to produce images that transcended these borders and showed the intercultural, transnational history of his life and the United States. Unafraid of the consequences of transgressing these borders, Luis Jiménez made it acceptable for people to understand American identity as something hybrid and ever changing.

Eric Castillo picDr. Eric Castillo is the Assistant Dean and Campus Director for the School of Professional and Continuing Studies at Springfield College in Houston, Tejas. As a social justice educator and administrator, Dr. Castillo works on narrowing the achievement gap between historically disenfranchised populations and higher education.

NACCS Members Receive PODER Award

Angela Valenzuela and Emilio Zamora received the 2016 Cesar E. Chavez – “Si, Se Puede” Award from the People Organized in Defense of Earth and her Resources (PODER). The distinction is given to individuals who demonstrate community leadership and whose work honors the legacy of Chavez’ civil rights and labor activism.

PODER, a grassroots organization devoted to addressing environmental issues, seeks to frame those issues as matters of social and economic justice. The organization is specifically focused on increasing participation of communities of color in corporate and government decision-making.

A reception in honor of the award and its recipients will be held Saturday, March 26, at the Emma Barrientos Mexican American Culture Center in Austin.

 

NACCS Elections for 2016-17, Candidate Statements

Voting for new Board members ends  Monday, March 21, 2016 at 900 AM PST

Here are the Candidate Statements:

Chair-Elect

Tereza M. Szeghi, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Comparative Literature and Social Justice
Director of Graduate Studies, Department of English
University of Dayton
Dayton, OhioBecause my scholarship and activism are deeply interconnected, I was attracted as a young scholar of Chicano literature to NACCS—an interdisciplinary organization that makes clear in so many ways that the value of the work we do is measured by its impact on the Chicana/o community.Since attending my first NACCS conference in 2009, I have sought ways of contributing to the important work of the organization and serving the NACCS membership and the communities NACCS represents. I have been fortunate enough to have been given multiple opportunities to do so. I was the Midwest Foco Representative from 2009-2012, during which time I worked closely with our members to plan our local contributions to the 2012 conference in Chicago—which led not just to some incredible programming, such as the performance of Teatro Luna at the Noche de Cultura, but also energized our Foco and spurred future collaborations. Then as an At-Large Representative from 2012 to 2014, I was able to learn much more about the structure of the organization, develop relationships with NACCS members throughout the country, and learn about some of the best emerging scholarship and activism offered by the candidates for the Frederick A. Cervantes Premio and the Antonia I. Castañeda Prize. I continue to serve on the Castañeda Prize Committee.I would bring to the position of chair-elect not just passionate commitment to the mission of the organization but also a proven ability to work effectively and efficiently in collaboration with the NAACS board and membership, along with the ability to lead and offer new ideas while also being responsive to the concerns and recommendations of those I work with and for. I am excited about crafting new ways of thinking about how the social sciences, arts, humanities, and STEM fields can collectively advance Chicana/o activism against racism, xenophobia, institutional violence, and the continued colonization of the indigenous people of Mexico and the United States.


José Angel Hernández, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, History
University of HoustonJosé Angel Hernández has been a member of NACCS for almost 20 years, or since 1997, when he first attended a conference in Mexico City. At the annual meeting in Chicago in March of 2002, he was awarded the Cervantes Graduate Premio for a paper that eventually grew into a dissertation abstract, and then onto an award-winning monograph titled Mexican American Colonization during the Nineteenth Century: A History of the US-Mexico Borderlands (Cambridge University Press, 2012).  From 2012-2014, Professor Hernández served on the National Board of NACCS as National Secretary and hopes to continue his support of NACCS by outlining a simple yet dynamic vision if given the honor of serving as its National President.According to the official history of NACCS, “In 1972, at the annual meeting of the Southwestern Social Science Association held in San Antonio, Texas, Chicano faculty and students active in the American Sociological Association, American Anthropological Association and the American Political-Science Association came together to discuss the need for a national association of Chicana/o scholar activists. Discussions culminated in a proposal to establish the National Caucus of Chicano Social Scientists (NCCSS).”Since that time, NACCS has been renamed, reshaped, and ultimately revitalized in its own respective socio-historical context; however, in order to continue that dynamism that has so animated previous generations, my vision for the future of NACCS is to return to BOTH the “Social” and the “Science” back into our methodologies, approaches, and interrogations of the many facets of Mexican American life. If elected, my vision for the future of NACCS will be to encourage those earlier approaches back into our conference themes; but also equally important, to begin building the foundations to reach out to a new generation of scholars, intellectuals, and leaders that are properly informed about the issues that impact each and everyone of us.  To do so, I propose that these foundations include STEM.According to almost any popular definition, “STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education…STEM is an interdisciplinary and applied approach that is coupled with hands-on, problem-based learning.”  This exact same definition of interdisciplinary and applied approach is understood, applied, and practiced in EVERY Mexican American Studies Department across the nation.  In other words, our goals are the same, and my efforts will therefore be to facilitate these exchanges in cooperative and meaningful ways with like-minded organizations that are already involved in our communities.But what does it mean to promote STEM education when we are experiencing the largest mass expulsion of Mexicans and Central Americans in US history?  Any discussion of STEM should include another acronym: Stop The Expulsion of Migrants.  The Administration of Barack Obama has now deported close to 3 million migrants and another round of deportation raids were announced for the New Year. The deportation of millions of migrants under the administrations of G.W. Bush and Bill Clinton were even higher, and everyday talk of deporting another 10 million has now become common, especially during the Republican primaries. What role do Science, Technology, Engineering and Math have in ameliorating the current situation, or is STEM not concerned with the political, the social, or the human? Can STEM, therefore, stem the tide of mass deportations to include its other, multiple meanings?Thank you very much for your kind attention and I hope to have your support.

Sinceramente,

José Angel Hernández Carrillo

Secretary

Jennie Luna, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor Chicana/o Studies
California State University, Channel IslandsAs a candidate for Secretary my vision for NACCS is that it will continue to document its growth as a national organization that carries the tradition of scholar activism. My goal is to help train and mentor the next generation of Chicana/o Studies scholars and NACCSistas, as well as to continue to produce my own scholarship to share and receive feedback/mentorship with my colleagues.  I am an advocate for the incorporation of Indigenous perspectives and representation within NACCS and in our discipline as a whole.I have been a member of NACCS since 1996. I served as the NACCS National Student Representative as an undergraduate when the leadership team was differently structured. I have benefitted from  NACCS by receiving student fellowships as a graduate student.  I have been an active member and participant yearly at the conference.  I am currently an Assistant Professor in Chicana/o Studies at CSU Channel Islands and have recently become a life-time member of NACCS. I have served as the Indigenous Caucus representative for 3 years. I was the recipient the Antonia Castañeda Prize in 2014. I have been actively involved in ensuring that Indigenous perspectives are incorporated into the conference and am committed to bringing undergraduate students to the conference to carry on the legacy of NACCS.  Since having a permanent position I have organized students to go to NACCS because I believe in the benefit of NACCS to inspire students to continue their education.I seek your vote for Secretary.  In this capacity I have the opportunity to work with the executive committee of NACCS to ensure communication though minutes and reports.  I value the role of the secretary in keeping records and also in ensuring member participation in all areas of NACCS.


Aureliano Maria DeSoto, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies
Metropolitan State UniversityI currently serve as At-large representative to the NACCS Board (2014-2016). I have a long and varied history of involvement with NACCS, including participation in the Northern California Foco (1993-1995), presentations at the national conference (1996, 2010) and one regional conference (1994), as well as serving as site coordinator for the Northern California regional conference (1994). I was a plenary speaker at the 2015 conference, and as At-large representative, chaired the Cervantes Premio Award Committee (2015, 2016). I am a current member of the organization and of the Midwest Foco.I seek to continue my service to the organization in the role of Secretary. As At-large representative, I have been able to participate in and assist in the maintenance and governance of NACCS, bringing the concerns of our membership to the board as well as helping mentor undergraduate and graduate students through the Cervantes Premio, and helping the Board in its decision-making processes. As Secretary, I would continue to serve the membership and organization through assiduous attention to detail that is required of the Secretary position, and seek, through this service, to reflect the will of the membership in maintaining and disseminating resolutions at the annual conference, and maintaining an accurate record of rosters, minutes of Board meetings, and Board correspondence. My work as department chair of Ethnic and Religious Studies at Metropolitan State University, as well as my past service as co-coordinator of the Gender Studies Program at Metropolitan State, has given me the critical skills to fulfill the role of Secretary.

 

At-Large Representatives

José Flores
Ph.D. Candidate, Spanish
School of International Letters and Cultures
Arizona State UniversityI have been a member of NACCS and have consistently presented at the NACCS National Conferences since 2012. I also served as Rocky Mountain Foco Representative from 2013 to 2015.My introduction to NACCS came as a Masters student when I presented at the 2012 NACCS Tejas Foco Regional Conference in San Marcos. There, I was immediately captivated by all of the presentations in various disciplines that emphasized Chicana and Chicano topics. I felt an unexplainable familiarity and sense of community with everyone in attendance and more so, when Chicana and Chicano scholars engaged students like myself and encouraged us to continue our scholarship and become actively involved in the organization. As a result, at the concluding Business Meeting, I volunteered as a committee member of the Premio Estrella de Aztlán Lifetime Achievement Award to be presented at the following Tejas Foco Conference.This early experience allowed me to witness firsthand the power and importance of community and collaboration of our NACCS membership. I am convinced that community and collaboration are the driving factors of this organization. As RM Foco Representative, I sought to further develop these strengths in the region. I hope to continue to promote and work towards sustaining these collaborative relationships with NACCS Members, Caucus Chairs, Foco Reps, NACCS Committees, and National Board with my candidacy for At-Large Representative.


Brenda Valles, Ph.D.
Director for Research & Assessment, Office of Equity & Diversity
University of UtahI grew up in a small farming community at the southern point of the Salinas Valley in California and attended California State University of Monterey Bay, about four years after it was opened.  I learned about the importance of reciprocity and nurturing the community of which you are a product.  I realized then how important it was for me to use my skills to support my community.  Therefore all the work and projects I have participated in have focused on achieving this goal –  to serve my community  and to strengthen it.  I completed an MA in Education, Culture and Society and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership & Policy, both at the University of Utah.  My scholarly interests are Chicana/o academic access and success in relation to existing policies. Specifically, I  looked at the school-to-prison pipeline and the long-term educational implications for Chicana/o students.  Currently I work as the Director for Research & Assessment for the Office for Equity & Diversity at the University of Utah.  I am very excited and enthusiastic about being a candidate for At-Large Rep for NACCS. I want to reciprocate and offer support to an organization that has benefited me so much.Involvement in NACCS
I first learned about NACCS while I was an undergrad at California State University Monterey Bay from my Chicana/o mentors who primarily came from the  Chicana/o Latina/o Staff and Faculty Association (CLSFA). I attended the regional foco meetings with my  mentors in the early 2000’s.  Since then, I have participated in conferences as a member of NACCS and presented in the conferences throughout graduate school.  I have attended the NACCS conferences of 2006 in Guadalajara, 2011 in Pasadena, 2013 in San Antonio, and brought a group of students to present in the 2014 Salt Lake City conference.  This year I will be presenting at the Denver conference.  NACCS has been an intellectual home that I connected with in ways the academy can never fulfill.  It is for this reason that I wish to be an At-Large Rep so that I may communicate with future and current Chicana and Chicano students and scholars.Candidate Statement
I am running for At-Large Rep in an effort to support NACCS Focos and Caucuses.  As an organization NACCS has provided me much needed reinforcement and guidance as a student and emerging scholar.  I believe At-Large Reps have the important role of supporting our membership through the Focos and caucuses. The importance of these positions lies in the power of communication, transparency, and engagement.  I commit to support Foco regions and Caucuses as a strong liaison between the board and the broader NACCS community.  My vision for NACCS is that it continues to be the intellectual space it has been since 1972.  I recognize that NACCS is a space that transcends the academic and scholarly work it successfully organizes around, and that this space also serves many members with the ability to be their whole selves “entre comunidad” where we find spaces of confidence, solidarity and visibility.  In other words, I envision NACCS as an organization that we can collectively acknowledge and embrace for its importance as an academic organization that serves members in various unique ways and, as such, fosters this structure.  Understanding the value of NACCS means participating in the support of the organization.  I commit to being present for, available to, and active to ensure communication is open and our organization is supported.  I appreciate your support and vote.

At-large Representative

Alexandro Gradilla, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies
California State University, Fullerton
Candidate StatementIf elected for the At-Large Representative for the NACCS I would provide leadership and vision on key institutional levels that would serve and benefit our members and departments they belong to.  I would like to create databases and encourage the development at workshops/roundtables at the NACCS specifically to address the “battle ground” within higher education namely preparing departments and faculty to develop outcome based education and models of “student success” that align with and adhere to Chicana/o Studies. The database would consist of student learning outcomes, syllabi, assignments, exams, new program/degree proposals, examples of high impact practices, mission/vision statements, etc. as submitted by NACCS members with expertise or experience in this area.Though the NACCS would not have the role of an accreditor—the organization needs to step in as an advocate for new programs, departments, majors, or graduate degree programs.  Furthermore, I want to develop institutional support and recognition for teacher-scholars in the teaching intensive universities and community college.  Most of our students and faculty are located in these types of institutions—I propose the development of support around pedagogy and tactical types of support to help our colleagues who are attempting to make a difference at their institutions.And finally I want to develop a national strategy regarding the Ethnic Studies in the K-12 movement.  It is critical we get involved and shape the curriculum being proposed and not leave it to non-expert teachers or administrators to develop curriculum that has the potential to impact our discipline.QualificationsI have been a member of the NACCS since 1990 while I was an undergraduate.  My BA degrees were in Chicana/o Studies and Anthropology from UC Berkeley; my MA in Anthropology (medical anthropology) from the University of Michigan; and my PhD in Ethnic Studies (Chicana/o Studies and Medical Anthropology) from UC Berkeley.  My research and publication areas are rooted in many intellectual traditions of Chicana/o Studies.  I led the effort to rebuild my department at CSU Fullerton for the last 7 years and the last 5 ½ as chair of the department.  I know the amazing work this discipline can have on our students who find our classes through social networks on campus or by mere luck finding our class in the schedule of classes.  In addition to being a teacher scholar and advocate, I am most proud of my work with students.  The power of Chicana/o Studies is what Laura Rendon calls “validation theory”—where our students have a profound intellectual experience because of the pedagogy and the ways in which the faculty midwives the process of combining the student’s personal experience with their university training.

Alfredo Carlos, Ph.D.
Department of Political Science and Chicano Latino Studies
California State University, Long BeachI seek the position of At-Large Rep to build on the work of previous colleagues in communicating with the membership of NACCS activities, scholarship, and the politics that impact Chican@ Studies and Chican@ community in general. NACCS offers Chican@ scholars and activists the professional space to engage in the academic debates on issues confronting Chican@ communities.  As stated by NACCS preamble, “ideas must be translated into political action in order to foster change.” It is this philosophy rooted in action research, or research with a purpose, that I seek to continue as an At-Large Rep of NACCS. My vision for NACCS is to work with the Focos and the Caucuses to help them grow so that they can carry out the day-to-day mission of NACCS in their regional locations. In this time of growing inequality, we as Chican@ scholars must be at the forefront of engaging in scholarshipwith communities so that together we can tackle these issues in a way that helps people improve their quality of life and allows them to live with dignity.Candidate Biography
I am a faculty member in the departments of Political Science and Chicano Latino Studies at California State University, Long Beach. My interests revolve around understanding inequality in the U.S. and through praxis, organizing alternative economies that empower working communities. In particular I have a specialization in political economy with a focus in economic democracy, which consists in part of worker ownership, workplace and community democracy.  I have published in the Ethnicities Journal (2015), Latin American Perspectives (2013) and  the Publicación Oficial. Eventos Sociedad Cubana de Investigaciones Filosóficas (SCIF).  Havana, Cuba (2012).  I am a co-author with Rodolfo D. Torres and Armando Ibarra for a forthcoming book entitled The Latino Question in Neoliberal Capitalism (Pluto Press, 2017).My Ph.D.  is in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine where I specialized in American Politics (Racial and Urban Politics) and Political Theory (Political Economy). I earned an M.A. in Political Science from California State University, Long Beach with a focus in Comparative Politics and International Relations and my B.A. is in History and Chicano Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.   A key experience for me in Chicana and Chicano Studies was being a conference organizer in 1999 of “El Plan and Chicano Studies: Power, Resistance and Social Change, 30 years of Chicano/a Studies” held at UCSB.I am the founder and executive director for the Long Beach based Foundation for Economic Democracy that seeks to work towards an expansion of an economy that is rooted in people over profits, especially in Latino communities and communities of color. The Foundation’s mission is to create democratically governed community projects and worker owned businesses where workers, their families and their communities can all thrive and live with dignity. My research and community work are largely driven by my personal experience. I immigrated to Los Angeles as a young child with my parents and older sister. My father worked as clerk at Sav-On and my mother worked at a Garment factory until they retired. Having grown up in a barrio influenced me to understand the politics of power and inequality.  These experiences have driven my research and community organizing interests.NACCS Experience
I have been involved off and on with NACCS since 2003 as a conference participant while finishing up my BA at UCSB. Since then I have been a member of the association, and presenter at the national conferences 2011, 2014 and 2015.  I serve as the Southern California Foco representative (2014-2016).  I appreciate your vote.

 

 

 

Tejas FOCO holds 2016 Regional Conference at Lone Star College

tejas foco program cover The 2016 Tejas FOCO held their regional conference at Lone Star College in Kingwood, Tejas. The 2016 theme, “Preserving Traditions, Stories, Customs, and Values, of the Mexican and Mexican American Community,” brought FOCO members out in force to the three-day conference. Panels focused from Nuevas Perspectivas:Reimaging Raza Gender Perceptions to Mi Vida, Mi Voz: Multimedia Narrative from the Puente Project in Bayton. Professor Juan Tejada lead the discussion on the current state of Mexican American Studies on Pre-K-12th grade in Tejas. The conference ended with the closing plenary on the Past and Future: The Growth of NACCS Tejas FOCO Conference over the years. FOCO members from South Texas College, Northwest Vista College, Texas State University, and University of North Texas lent their expertise on the future of the Tejas FOCO conference.

Tejas FOCO 2016 Award Winners:

2016 Letras de Aztlán Community Award, Dr. Guadalupe San Miguel, University of Houston

2016 NACCS Tejas Award for Young Adult Fiction, René S. Perez II,
“Seeing Off the Johns”
published by Cinco Puntos Press

2016 NACCS Tejas Non-Fiction Book Award, George T. Díaz, “Border Contraband:
A History of Smuggling across the Rio Grande” published by UT Press

2016 NACCS Tejas Poetry Book Award, Natalie Scenters-Zapico, “The Verging Cities” published by the Center for Literary Publishing at Colorado State University

2016 NACCS Tejas Fiction Award, Robert Paul Moreira, “Scores” published by Broken River Books

2016 Tejas Foco Dissertation Award, Sandra D. Garza, “Güeras y prietas: Remembering Lived Experiences with Colorism Through History and Ethnoplática” University of Texas-San Antonio

Luis A. Torres Selected as 2016 NACCS Scholar

Luis A. Torres, Ph.DIMG_6554. has been involved in NACCS for many years, contributing to the development of this organization, serving as the NACCS national Chair for two years in 1992 and 1993, for which he helped lead the NACCS submission of an amicus brief against the anti-Gay Rights Amendment 2 in Colorado, voted upon by referendum and decided favorably by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1996. He was also instrumental in the formation of the K-12 Caucus.

Luis A. Torres, Ph.D. is an activist scholar. He has received several academic recognitions including a Ford Foundation Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships, and a California Arts Council Award.  He has received several awards including Outstanding Faculty Award from the University of Southern Colorado in 1994, Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Award at then- Metropolitan State College in 2003, the LARASA Bernie Valdez Education Award from the Latin American Research and Service Agency in 2002, and the Cesar Chavez Leadership Award in Denver in 2002, among others.  He has twice received the Ally of the Year award from the tri-institutional Auraria Higher Education Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Alliance.

Luis A. Torres, Ph.D., has served as Deputy Provost for Academic and Student Affairs at Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSUD) since 2008 and previously as Associate Dean in the School of Letters, Arts, and Sciences.  He has been Co-Chair of MSU Denver’s Hispanic Serving Institution Initiative since 2007, helping increase Hispanic student enrollment from approximately 13% in 2008 to 22% in 2015, toward the goal of 25%.  He helped lead the effort for MSU Denver, as the only institution in Colorado to do so and few if any nationally, to develop a tuition structure in 2012 to allow undocumented students to pay a reduced rate, substantially less than half of out-of-state tuition, before Colorado in 2013 passed the ASSET Bill for in-state tuition. He serves currently on the national College Board’s SAT Writing Test Development Committee.  Among other examples of community involvement, Dr. Torres has served on the Board of Denver’s Latino Education Coalition, and he chaired Denver Public School’s Hispanic Education Advisory Council, serving as Principal Investigator at MSU Denver of a partnership Goals 2000 Grant with Denver Public Schools to establish the El Alma de la Raza Curriculum and Teacher Development Project, which created more than 80 curriculum units in multicultural studies.

NACCS Immigrant Student Becas

by Armando Ibarra, At-Large Rep, NACCS Becas Committee Chair

Since 2008 NACCS has supported immigrant students by providing financial awards to help them pay their academic dreams. This year, the committee selected 6 students to receive the Immigrant Student Beca, they are: Chantiri Ramírez Resendiz, a graduate student at UCLA, Griselda Madrigal Lara, Undergraduate student, Sonoma State University, Margarita García-Villa, MAS Graduate student, San José State University, Marisela Hernández, Undergraduate student, Chico, State University, Gabriela E. Zamora-Muñoz, Undergraduate Student, University of Utah.

The Beca is supported by NACCS and through donations from our members. Consider making a donation today, go to the following LINK.

The Antonia I. Castañeda Prize Enters Its Fifth Year

by Linda Heidenreich, Chair, Antonia I. Castañeda Prize Committee

It was just five years ago when Dr. Arturo Madrid and five esteemed scholars, Emma Pérez, Deena González, Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Tomás Ybarra-Frausto and Dudley Brooks came together to honor the work of Antonia I. Castañeda by founding a scholarly award in her honor. In order to do justice to such an award it needed to do more than honor scholarly excellence. It needed to do so in such a way that supported independent scholars, pre-tenure scholars and advanced graduate students. It needed to help build the field of Chicana History, and to encourage interdisciplinary and cutting-edge gendered work.

For the past five years the award has done just that. Building on Dr. Castañeda’s legacy of “enGendering history,” editors and mentors have nominated the articles of Chicana, Latina, and Indigenous/Native women scholars whose work brings new and nuanced gendered analysis to our histories. Last year, thanks to the hard work of past recipients – especially Dr. Jenny Luna — we were able to host a roundtable at the national conference. This is something we hope to be able to do every 3-4 years in celebration of the innovative and exceptional work with which Chicana, Latina, and Indigenous/Native women scholars continue to build the fields of Chicana History and Chican@ Studies.

The 2015 roundtable highlighted the cutting-edge gendered history young scholars are producing today. Dr. Cindy Cruz shared from her work “LGBT Street Youth Talk Back,” where building upon the work of María Lugones, she focused our attention on oppositional struggle in “the smallest of spaces” arguing that when we fail to see resistance in small spaces/tight spaces, we are unable to see the resistance enacted by LGBT street youth, especially LGBT street youth of color. Dr. Vanessa Fonseca’s shared excerpts from her award winning paper, “Rosaura Sánchez, Crítica Marxista y Máxima Expresión del la Jolla Circle,” highlighting the consistency and complexity of Dr. Rosaura Sanchez’s work in linguistics and in Chicana/o literature. Throughout her talk, as throughout her article, Fonseca used the very tools for which she praised Sánchez, bringing a deep and layered historical context to her discussion of material analysis, linguistics and literature. Finally Dr. Jenny Luna discussed her work on Danza, “La Tradición Conchera,” highlighting the plurality of ways in which Danza is praxis challenging colonial culture and power, and at times, patriarchal discourse.

Those of you who attended NACCS 2015 will remember that it was Belinda Linn Rincón, with her article “Estas Son Mis Armas”: Lorna Dee Cervantes’ Poetics of Feminist Solidarity in the Era of Neoliberal Militarism,” who was last year’s recipient of the Castañeda Prize. Dr. Rincón’s article, in its historically grounded critical methodology, is a fine example of intersectional, interdisciplinary and feminist scholarship at its best. Its bold challenge to neo-liberalism also asks difficult questions of our own transfronterista feminist literature. If you have not yet had a chance to read it, don’t miss out (WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly 42: 3&4).

I encourage you to be on the look out for independent or pre-tenure faculty women (or ABD graduate students) in your departments who will publish their work this year and nominate them for the award. The prize seeks to honor innovative work, to promote the work of new and emerging Chicana, Latina, and Indigenous/Native women scholars and, equally important, to build on the legacy of Antonia I. Castañeda, who taught our generation to gender our work, to challenge disciplinary boundaries, and to publish work that matters. Go to the NACCS website to find more information about nominating a colleague’s article for the Antonia I. Castañeda Prize.

See you in Colorado.