Teaching the Latino Midwest

The 2013 Summer Seminar will bring a group of distinguished scholars in Latin@ Studies to the University of Iowa. Together, they will develop a wide-ranging collection of essays on the unique cultures of the Latino Midwest. The group will also lay the groundwork for inter-institutional collaboration through shared curricula, events, digital media, and the formation of a CIC working group in Latin@ Studies. The Seminar will run from June 10-15 at the Obermann Center.


Participants' Biographies

Aidé Acosta is visiting assistant professor of American Studies and Latino Studies at Indiana University.  Her research and teaching areas include Latina/o migration and diaspora; labor, race and citizenship; social movements; immigrant rights; Latino cultural production; and gender and Chicana feminism. She is currently at work on a book titled Migrant Home Making, Reshaping the Heartland: Latino Diasporic Settlement and Cultural Practice in Rural America.

Frances Aparicio is professor of Spanish and Portuguese and director of the Latina and Latino Studies Program at Northwestern University.  A founding editor of the Latinos in Chicago and Midwest Book Series at the University of Illinois Press, she has facilitated and fostered book publications and new research on Latinos in the Midwest.  She is co-editor of the forthcoming Routledge Companion to Latina/o Literatures (with Suzanne Bost) and is also writing on “intralatino/a subjects,” individuals who are of two or more national Latin American origins. 

Carolyn Colvin is associate professor in the Language, Literacy, and Culture (LLC) program in the University of Iowa College of Education Department of Teaching and Learning.  Since January 1993 Colvin has been involved in a community-based research project where the focus is a literacy tutoring program for immigrant adults.  A second strand of this work involves children of the immigrant adults who have attended the literacy program.  Her community partner in these endeavors is the West Liberty, Iowa community school district where high school faculty members serve as collaborative partners to support and education of local immigrant families. Current themes in her scholarship include literacy for immigrant adults, parent-teacher communication, literacy and the US Citizenship test, and exploring the connections between local rural economies and the arts. Her work has appeared in prominent educational journals including Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Journal of Educational Psychology, Journal of Multicultural Education, and various conference proceedings. 

María Cotera is associate professor of American Culture and Women’s Studies, and former director of the Latina/o Studies Program at the University of Michigan.  She recently completed a monograph, Native Speakers: Ella Deloria, Zora Neale Hurston, Jovita González and the Poetics of Culture (Texas, 2010), about the ethnographic fiction of Ella Deloria, Zora Neale Hurston, and Jovita González.  Her research now centers on recovering the theoretical writing and cultural productions of Chicana Feminists from 1965-1985.

Theresa Delgadillo is assistant professor in the Department of Comparative Studies at The Ohio State University. She recently publishedSpiritual Mestizaje: Religion, Gender, Race, and Nation in Contemporary Chicana Narrative (Duke, 2011).  Delgadillo works on spirituality and religion, African diaspora and Latinidad, and Latinas/os in the Midwest.  Her objects of study include novels, autobiographies, memoirs, photography, cinema, poetry, and music.

Lilia Fernández is assistant professor of History and an affiliate of the Latino Studies Program and the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at The Ohio State University.  She teaches courses on Modern U.S. History, Immigration and Migration in the U.S., and Latino/a History among others.  She specializes in twentieth century Latino/a history in Chicago and has published articles, book chapters, and essays on Mexican American community formation, Mexican and Puerto Rican labor migration, and nativism and xenophobia throughout the world. Her book, Brown in the Windy City: Mexicans and Puerto Ricans in Postwar Chicago, appeared in the University of Chicago Press Urban History series in fall 2012.

Felipe Hinojosa is assistant professor of History at Texas A&M University. His teaching and research interests include Latino and Chicano history, American Religion, Social Movements, Gender, and Race/Ethnicity. His essay, “Pool Tables Are the Devil’s Playground: Forging an Evangélico-Anabautista Identity in South Texas,” was recently published in The Activist Impulse: Essays on the Intersection of Evangelicalism and Anabaptism. His book manuscript, “Quiet Riots: Faith, Activism, and Identity Among Latino Mennonites, 1932-1982,” is currently under review at Johns Hopkins University Press.

Michael D. Innis-Jiménez is assistant professor of History at the University of Alabama.  He recently completed a book manuscript, titled Persisting in the Shadow of Steel: an Environmental History of Mexican South Chicago, and is currently at work on a project about late twentieth‐century and early twenty‐first century Mexican and Guatemalan immigration to Alabama and how immigrants have changed physical and cultural landscape in various communities.

Marta María Maldonado is associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Iowa State University.  Her research interests include political economy, the sociology of inequality--in particular, the dynamics of race, gender and class; communities; environmental sociology and the sociology of technology. Her current research examines dynamics within Latino/a populations in rural Iowa, and Latino/a perspectives and experiences regarding community integration.

Amelia María de la Luz Montes is associate professor of English and Ethnic Studies and Director of the Institute of Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.  She works on North American and Latin American narratives that complicate and contradict national, social, and personal identities. She has published several articles on the nineteenth-century Mexican American author, María Amparo Ruiz de Burton, and has recently edited and introduced a new edition of Ruiz de Burton’s first novel, Who Would Have Thought It? (Penguin Classics, 2009). Currently, she is working on a book entitled, Corazón y Tierra:  Latinas Writing on the Great Plains and Midwest.

Louis G. Mendoza is associate professor and chair of Chicano and Latino Studies and associate vice provost in the Office for Equity and Diversity at the University of Minnesota.  He is the author of numerous books and articles on Latino literature and culture, including two recent volumes,Voices Across Our America: Conversations on the Front Lines and fronteras of Latinoization in the U.S. (Texas, 2012), and A Journey Around Our America: A Memoir on Cycling, Immigration, and the Latinoization of the U.S. (Texas, 2012).

Rebecca Schreiber is associate professor in the American Studies Department at University of New Mexico. She is the author of Cold War Exiles in Mexico: U.S. Dissidents and the Culture of Critical Resistance (University of Minnesota Press, 2008). Her current book project “Migrant Lives and the Promise of Documentation” examines contemporary immigration issues in the United States through forms of visual representation. Specifically she explores how Mexican and Central American migrants have depicted themselves and their communities through documentary photography, film, and video since 9/11.

Ramón H. Rivera-Servera is associate professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University. His research focuses on contemporary performance in the United States with special emphasis on the ways categories of race, gender, and sexuality are negotiated in the process of migration. His work documents U.S. Latina/o, Mexican, and Caribbean performance practices ranging from theatre and concert dance to social dance, fashion, and speech. He is author of Performing Queer Latinidad: Dance, Sexuality, Politics (University of Michigan Press, 2012), a study of the role performance played in the development of Latina/o queer publics in the United States from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s. He is co-editor of Performance in the Borderlands (Palgrave, 2011), “solo/black/woman: Performing Black Feminisms” (Northwestern University Press, forthcoming), and “Festival Latino: Six Plays from the Goodman Theatre’s Latino Theatre Festival” (Northwestern University Press, forthcoming). He is currently conducting research for his next book project, “Exhibiting Performance: Race, Museum Cultures, and the Live Event,” which looks at the ways race has been collected and exhibited in North America and the Caribbean since the mid-1990s.

Santiago Vaquera-Vásquez is assistant professor of Hispanic Southwest Studies in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of New Mexico. His literary work has been published in anthologies in Spain, Italy, Latin America and the United States, includingMalos elementos. Relatos sobre la corrupción social (2012); En la frontera: i migliori raconti della letteratura chicana (2008); Pequeñas resistencias 4 (2005); Se habla español (2000); and Líneas aéreas (1998).  His stories have also appeared in journals including Etiqueta Negra, Los noveles, Paralelo Sur, Revista 0, Camino Real, and Ventana abierta. He recently published a small chapbook with a selection of already published stories,Algún día te cuento las cosas que he visto. He has been invited to give readings from his work at universities and conferences in Spain, Mexico, Colombia, and the United States. His academic work on US/Mexico border cultures has been published in journals and anthologies in Mexico and the United States. He has also presented this work at international conferences.

Monday, July 15, 2013 (All day)
Obermann Center
111 Church St.
Iowa City, IA 52242
Co-director , The University of Iowa , English and Spanish & Portuguese
Claire F. Fox joined the English Department in 2001. Her teaching and research interests include inter-American cultural studies, Mexican and U.S.-Mexican border arts and culture, visual culture studies, and cultural policy studies.
Co-director , The University of Iowa , History
Omar Valerio-Jiménez is an Associate Professor in the History Department. His first book, River of Hope: Forging Identity and Nation in the Rio Grande Borderlands (Duke University Press, forthcoming in February 2013), combines his research interests in the histories of Chicana/os, the American West, and borderlands. The book explores state formation and cultural change along the Mexico-United States border during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.