Category Archives: Latina/o Studies

Mujeres Talk to Become Latinx Talk

About 18 months ago, we on the Editorial Board of Mujeres Talk began thinking out loud about expanding the scope of our site and signaling greater inclusivity. Aware of how necessary, vital, and attractive this site has been to countless mujeres both in and out of academia, we thought hard about giving up a woman-centered and woman-run site, yet we also recognized that when we thought about what we wanted to publish and who we are working with in our everyday lives, our queer and straight male peers, students, and community partners were often on our minds, as were partners and allies across Ethnic Studies. So we’ve decided to become Latinx Talk, beginning in September 2017.  We have created a new Editorial Board, and for the first time, an Advisory Board — with a strong mix of varied Latinidades, regions, disciplines. We’re excited to be working with wonderful new colleagues! Our new Editorial Board for Latinx Talk includes: Lauren Araiza, Denison University; Magdalena Barrera, San Jose State University; Carlos Decena, Rutgers University; Theresa Delgadillo, The Ohio State University; Kevin Escudero, Brown University; Adriana Estill, Carleton College; Felipe Hinojosa, Texas A&M; Miguel Juarez, University of Texas at El Paso; Carmen Lugo-Lugo, Washington State University; Yalidy Matos, Rutgers University; Sujey Vega, Arizona State University. Our new Advisory Board for Latinx Talk includes: Patricia Enciso, The Ohio State University Larry LaFountain-Stokes, University of Michigan; Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, Seattle University; Louis Mendoza, Arizona State University; Chon Noriega, UCLA; Mariana Ortega, Pennsylvania State University; Rafael Pérez-Torres, UCLA; Eliana Rivero, University of Arizona; Andrea Romero, University of Arizona; Alvina Quintana, University of Delaware.

Working together on Mujeres Talk has allowed us to grow our experience and expertise in online publishing while we also worked out in real time how to mesh feminist politics with feminist practice. We believe that Mujeres Talk has made a contribution to building a Latina/o online presence and to mentoring new authors.  We’ve been successful at maintaining a national editorial board that works collaboratively via video conference and email to coordinate regular online publication.  

We know from our peers that Mujeres Talk has impacted similar online academic ventures as we all explore how to do this peer-review thing online in ways that mesh with the rigor and requirements of higher education (see discussion on U.S. Intellectual History site). We’ve been pleased to see that our publications have been republished by other online venues (including Share INC/Domestic Violence, Texas Ed Equity, and Puerto Rico Report), noticed by major media (see comments of Finding Missing Latinas), included in scholarly presentations (see Mujeres Talk Slide Share), and even made it onto Pinterest. We were delighted to be featured at the 2014 Fall Reception of the College of Arts and Sciences at OSU. We are also very pleased that readers and authors have employed the site in Latina/o Studies classrooms (for one example, see Reflections from Within: Explorations of Spirituality, Identity and Social Justice).

Most of all, we are gratified that you, our readers, have found this to be an important publication and venue. We are grateful to all the authors and special contributors who have shared their amazing work on this site. Readership for each essay varies and has always been 180 and 1000 page views per post. We are proud to have built something useful, innovative, and necessary. We are taking our collective knowledge and experience and applying it to a new and expanded project which will follow in the footsteps of this site. Our new project is Latinx Talk, an online academic blog for short form research and commentary, that will be launched in September 2017 and will also be published by The Ohio State University Libraries. We hope that all of the readers of Mujeres Talk will follow us to Latinx Talk, and sign up as online subscribers. In September, we’ll post a link to the new site, and notify subscribers of new URL. Mujeres Talk will remain permanently archived and searchable at this URL, hosted by The Ohio State University Libraries. Please share your comments on our past and future directions here on our blog! We’d love to hear from you. 

We will see you in September, and meanwhile, enjoy these summer days! 

The Latina/o/x Role in the 2016 Political Race

This week we feature Latina/o Studies scholars and writers Lisa Magaña, Christina Bejarano, and Daisy Hernández on the role of Latinas/os/x in today’s political climate and how the 2016 election will affect Latina/o/x lives.

Christina Bejarano, University of Kansas

Latinos play an increasingly important role in today’s political climate, both in terms of their increasing presence in the political environment and their growing voting power in the elections.  Latinos are a key voting bloc of swing voters that are courted by both political parties and they are forecasted to play a pivotal role in upcoming elections.  This particular election has brought a heightened sense of importance to the Latino vote.  However, this increased political attention comes with both negative and positive ramifications for Latinos. 

Word "vote" painted on fence

Photo by Flickr user H2Woah! Taken August 5, 2008. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The current political climate provides several clear issues of importance for Latino communities, which can be an additional motivator for Latinos to participate this election.  Latinos are concerned about multiple issues including their top concerns on immigration reform, improving the economy, and creating more jobs, as well as providing quality education and health care.  This election has also emphasized the need to address mounting anti-Latino and anti-immigrant discrimination in the country, as well as police violence and inner city tensions.  Many Latinos acknowledge the negative repercussions of the Trump campaign, which has created a more Continue reading

Reports from July 2016 Latina/o Studies Association Conference

panelists pictured

Panelists Beatriz Tapia, Alexandro Gradilla, Anita Tijerina Revilla, and Magdalena L. Barrera. Photo by M. Barrera. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Latina/o Studies Association 2016: Nourishing the Mind and the Spirit

By Magdalena L. Barrera

The 2016 LSA conference was a wonderful experience, for many reasons. To situate myself: I am a faculty member of the Mexican American Studies department at San José State University. My primary area of research is analysis of textual representations of Mexican Americans in early twentieth century American cultural production; however, in recent years I have developed a secondary research area that explores the retention and mentoring of first-generation and underrepresented students in higher education. This second area was inspired in part by the learning curve I underwent as my environment changed from the R1 settings of my undergraduate through postdoctoral training to working in the California State University system. Although I have maintained my primary research area, it requires some effort to stay in touch with emerging trends in the field, as I am the only person at SJSU who does Humanities-based work in Chicanx Studies. Moreover, I had not attended a conference in a couple of years, and so I welcomed this year’s LSA as an opportunity to fully engage as both a presenter and participant, and to expand my professional network. Continue reading

Countering Hate with Knowledge, Fury, and Protest: Three Latina/o Studies Scholars Respond to Orlando Massacre

40 images of human heart

Detail from “Cortando hilos del corazón.” Mixed media, 54 x 34. ©Mortega

SIN PULSO/no pulse

By Mariana Ortega

Forty nine hearts beating in a space of defiant joy, being who they were or who they wanted to be, a being-with others in glorious, sonorous denunciation of homo-hate. Brutality and terror storm in—and pulses cede to straight lines. Many words uttered: sanctuary, prayers, peace, unity, sorrow, solidarity, safety, “love conquers all,” “we are all Orlando.”

But love does not conquer all, and we are not all Orlando. Even if love could conquer, pulses would still suddenly and cruelly stop as a ravenous hate finds its way around our schools, jobs, streets, homes—this hate being fed continuously, even by those who profess to love. We are not all Orlando. Not all of us are persecuted, undermined, mocked, bullied, beaten or killed for whom we love or desire or lust. If in the past we have followed the instant solidarity recipe, “We are all [those who have been victimized fiercely and ferociously],” today, not everyone adheres to the recipe. To say “We are all Orlando,” is to risk being thought a queer, a fag, a freak, unnatural. It is to lose the honorable shield of hetero-love.

So, no, this time not everyone is united. Not everyone mourns. The brutal massacre of Latinx bodies in the midst of pleasure has not happened here. Where is the outrage and non-stop news coverage? In social media, in the news that lives off tragedy and tears when good American citizens and children die senselessly of gun violence in middle class, white communities—in those towns where “nothing like that ever happens”?  Basketball and soccer scores, the meal at the fancy restaurant, the ubiquitous selfies, political chatter about an almost absurd but too real and sad election, day-to-day misfortunes about news that are supposedly worth our time—those remain. For many life will be as it has always been. Not for queer Latinxs, whose lives are too often questioned and disregarded even within queer spaces and within queer theory whose words still reveal absences of bodies of color. Continue reading