Imagining Latinidades: Articulations of National Belonging — Performing Latina/o/x Futurity

Friday, March 26, 2021 (All day) to Saturday, March 27, 2021 (All day)

When COVID-19 interrupted the late spring events and culmination of the yearlong Mellon Sawyer Seminar Imagining Latinidades: Articulations of National Belonging, we didn't know that the events would eventually end up online and across institutions. In 2019-20, seminar co-directors Darrel Wanzer-Serrano, Ariana Ruiz, and Rene Rocha worked across disciplines to organize six symposia, a film series, and a podcast. With Wanzer-Serrano now in the Communications Department at the University of Texas A&M and Ruiz in the Department of Literature at the University of California-San Diego, the final events are being co-sponsored across institutions. 

On March 26-27, 2021, the three scholars will host the following guests, some of whom will also join them on their podcast of the same name.

  • Gaye Theresa Johnson, César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o and Central American Studies, UCLA
  • Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes, Spanish and Women's and Gender Studies, University of Michigan
  • John Mckiernan-González, History, Texas State University
  • Cathryn Merla Watson, Literatures and Cultural Studies, University of Texas-Río Grande Valley
  • Catherine S. Ramírez, Latin American and Latino Studies, University of California-Santa Cruz
  • Ramón H. Rivera-Servera, School of Communication, Northwestern University
  • Richard T. Rodríguez, Media and Cultural Studies, University of California-Riverside

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This virtual event is free and open to all, but registration is required. (See registration links below.)


Friday, March 26, 2021 (all times listed are U.S. Central Standard Time):

  • 10-10:50 am: John Mckiernan-González, "Essential/Disposable: A Medical History" (10:30-10:50 am: Q&A)
  • 10:50-11 am: BREAK
  • 11-11:50 am: Gaye Theresa Johnson, "Refusing Dehumanization, Insisting on Our Humanity: Freedom-Making Under a 'New' Security Establishment" (11:30-11:50am — Q&A)
  • 12:00-1:00 pm: LUNCH BREAK
  • 1-1:50 pm: Ramón Rivera-Servera, "Living Lakes: Performing Latinx and Black History" (1:30-1:50 pm: Q&A)
  • 1:50-2:00 pm: BREAK
  • 2-2:50 pm: Catherine S. Ramírez, "Toward a Post-Undocumented Future" (2:30-2:50pm Q&A)
  • 2:50-3 pm: BREAK
  • 3-4 pm: Roundtable


Saturday, March 27, 2021:

  • 10-10:50 am Cathryn Merla-Watson, "The Apocalyptic and Spiritual Activism in Queer Chicana Performance" (10:30-10:50am Q&A)
  • 10:50-11 am: BREAK
  • 11-11:50 am: Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes, "Transloca(l) Poetics: Que(e)ring Mucho, Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado" (11:30-11:50 am: Q&A)
  • 12:00-1:00 pm: LUNCH BREAK
  • 1-1:50 pm: Richard T. Rodríguez, "Latin/o American Party: Latin Freestyle's Transatlantic Touch" (1:30-1:50 pm Q&A)
  • 1:50-2 pm: BREAK
  • 2-3 pm: Roundtable


More details: 


Cosponsored by the UI Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, the Institute of Arts and Humanities at the University of California–San Diego, the Glasscock Center for Humanities Research at Texas A&M University, the Iowa City Public Library, and the UI Latina/o Studies Program.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Erin Hackathorn in advance at or (319) 335-4034.