Statement from the Past Chair

By Maria Gonzalez, University of Houston

It was exciting to see everyone again in Denver this past spring of 2023.  The ability to once again gather was a great gift.

The 2023 NACCS conference was the first conference we had an opportunity to get together again since Covid-19 shut down our 2020 conference.  After 3 years, it was wonderful to see so many NACCS members again.  I had missed the informal gatherings in the hotel lounge, the conversations in the book exhibit area, the shared experience of the plenaries and the presentations.  The diverse and sometimes what felt like endless meetings in the hotel conference rooms were actually a welcome difference from our endless zoom meetings.  I am hopeful that many of you felt the same way, glad to be in person again.

Our conference theme, “Work, Sustainability, and Resilience in the Post-Pandemic,” provided us with the beginning discussions of our field now that the pandemic maybe be behind us.  With our return to an in-person conference, focusing on how we do our work and sustain our existence represented a good place to start what feels like a new era.  The plenary panel provided excellent insights on resilience and bridging our activist work in our diverse communities.  The challenges of sustaining our work as scholar/activists as described by the plenary speakers spoke to many of us in the audience as we try to balance all the endless demands with only limited time and limited support.  But it was the real sense of joy and hope that the plenary brought to us all that will sustain us.

Many of our panels at the conference once again provided a place for our broad and diverse fields of study.  As an interdisciplinary field, crossing and including our intersectional studies, Chicana/o/x studies seems to be as vibrant and as complex as ever.  From the historical, to the sociological, to the postmodern, our panels covered the theoretical, the practical, and the metaphysical.

Many of our Caucuses and Focos finally had the opportunity to meet in person again and get organized for the following year.  I do encourage all our members to stay connected with their Focos and their Caucuses.  We continue to need leadership in all aspects of our organization.  The Foco Representatives and the Caucus Chairs have been the driving and energetic force that has kept this organization active and up to date on current issues in Chicana/o/x Studies.  If you are invited to seek a board position or other leadership in NACCS, please realize we cannot do our work without everyone making some sort of contribution.  In order to be seriously considered for board leadership in NACCS, it is the Focos and the Caucuses that have always provided those leaders.

And speaking of contributions, please let me encourage you to donate to NACCS.  As most academic organizations, we continue to make every effort to seek contributions towards the economic sustainability of hosting a conference and providing resources to Chicana/o/s scholars.  By your contribution, we can attempt to keep this a fairly reasonably priced organization to belong to and help subsidize our student members.  So, as you read this newsletter, please consider making a donation to NACCS.The next conference theme is “Chicana and Chicano Studies in the 21st Century: The Continuities and Ruptures Within the Field,” taking place in San Francisco, April 24-27, 2024.  I look forward to seeing everyone there and continuing our discussions.

Fall 2023, Vol. 49 No. 1

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