CfP: Latina Outsiders: Remaking Latina Identity

Latina Outsiders: Remaking Latina Identity
(CFP for edited anthology)
Deadline for submissions:
December 1, 2017

Description of the project:
We are currently seeking finished, previously unpublished articles, testimonios, essays, creative non-fiction, and poetry, for an edited anthology tentatively entitled Latina Outsiders: Remaking Latina Identity.

Latina Outsiders explores Latina identities on the periphery of Latinx culture. Specifically, we are looking at what structures and practices create a Latina outsider, how Latina outsider identity is experienced, and what intelligences and wisdoms are realized via the Latina outsider experience. We are especially interested in how gender, race, and cultural identity intersect, argue, and converge in the space of Latina outsider identity. Other areas under consideration are how do—or can—aspects of cultural identity such as religion, geographic location, and/or ability impact the definition of “authentic” identities, and how do outsider Latinas challenge and/or disrupt the very boundaries of who controls and determines “insider”-maintenance. These themes can be explored in literature, film, music, visual art, performance art, and in other outsider spaces. We encourage analyses of texts but also explorations of spaces that are interdisciplinary in nature, such as the punk scene, the hip hop scene, or other underground spaces Latina outsiders find themselves in. We also encourage personal accounts of being a Latina outsider.

Possible explorations include (but are not limited to):
Latina skate culture/roller derby
shunned Latina intellectualism
Latina hipsters/emos/rockabilly/punk/rockers
Politically radical Latinas
Independent Latina film
Latinas of Rock en Español
Latina hippies
Latina comic book artists
Latina spray can artists
Spoken word poetry, slam, and hip hop
Alice Bag
outsider art

The deadline for completed works is December 1, 2017. The work, along with a 250-word abstract and a 100 word author bio, can be sent to:

Creative works can include poetry, creative non-fiction, testimonios, and short-fiction. Poetry should be limited to two pages (3-5 poem limit); prose should be limited to 1500 words; visual art should be submitted in high-resolution .jpeg format.

Articles should be limited to 5000 words or less including Works Cited and notes, and should follow MLA format; authors should retain any required permissions, if applicable. Hybrid genre critiques or essays do not need to be in MLA format but should still incorporate academic style in terms of research, required permissions, if applicable.

Co-editors: Dr. Grisel Y. Acosta and Dr. Roberta Hurtado

Dr. Grisel Y. Acosta is an associate professor who teaches creative writing and Latinx literature at CUNY—BCC; Dr. Roberta Huerta is an assistant professor who teaches Latinx literature, with a focus on Puerto Rican and Chicana studies, and Latina Decolonial Feminist theory, at SUNY—Oswego.

On the Streets of El Paso and Juarez, “Sister Cities” Art Project Pays Tribute to Border Communities

Original post by Freddy Martínez found here:

The river that runs between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez is a river that once ran wild. In late summer, after a deluge of monsoon rains, it used to flood the low neighborhoods of each city with around a foot of water, shifting its course and taking the border between the two countries along for the ride. Now since lined with cement, the waters of this river stay put, and the border between the US and Mexico lies as still as stone.

But before any cement was poured, the line between the US and Mexico was more fluid. Neighborhoods like Segundo Barrio, in El Paso, were places where migrant farmworkers from Mexico could buy from Mexican-American street vendors, and where a spiritual healer named Teresa Urrea, fleeing from revolutionary Mexico and shadowed by the US government, could attract crowds of indios, Mexicans, and even journalists from the major US newspapers. It wasn’t pretty (crime and poverty were rampant), but before the Chamizal Treaty was signed, it was certainly more fluid.

It’s here in the “heart of Mexican diaspora” on E. Father Rahm Ave., in Segundo Barrio, that Los Dos, a collaboration between the artists Ramon and Christian Cardenas, have wheat-pasted their tribute to the everyday people who live near the border. Titled “Sister Cities/Ciudades Hermanas,” the piece depicts two women with eyes the color of clay floating above a desert horizon, their abdomen a latticework of cactus, portrait, and flower. It’s one part of the husband and wife’s Make Shift project, a series of collaborative, community-supported street artworks that dot both cities.

Los Dos model their characters in this series after people they know: street vendors and musicians, or other artists, journalists, and friends. The influence of pre-Hispanic culture is just as prominent as Mexico’s Taller Gráfica Popular, and the end results are larger than life. Each character stands as a relief against a congested cityscape where advertising and pollution cloud the eyes. Many wear the mask of the jaguar, a mask worn by warriors in pre-Hispanic cultures, to update an ancient symbol of power. They are uplifting visions, even though apocalyptic, coming after much loss, destruction, and migratory floods that once moved rivers and shifted the culture of two cities.

We talked to the couple in El Paso, where they are based, about Make Shift. The interview has been edited and condensed.

Additional reporting and photos by Itzel Alejandra Martinez.

los dos_culture_itzel-6

How did each of you first get into the art world?
Christian: Since I was in kindergarten, I was painting. My mom pushed me toward art history to learn what various artists did, and I now have B.S. in Graphic Design and a minor in Drawing. I also went to school in Puebla and studied a couple of years in Textile Design. And at a community college here in El Paso, I studied Fashion Design.

Ramon: I’m not formally trained in art. I didn’t go to art school.

C: When I met him, he was deejaying.

R: Yeah, I was into a lot of art-oriented things. I would never called myself a good artist when I was young. It wasn’t until I got older —when street art came into the picture — that I found a voice and a place. I’m more self-taught and hands-on.

Christian, you started tagging when you were a kid.
C: Yes, all the kids around me were tagging in Juarez. The curious thing is that when I tried to do what they were doing — when I tried to put my name alongside all the other boys — I would get ratted out. Looking back, I know it was because I was a woman doing something that I wasn’t supposed to do. It suddenly became wrong when I did it even though all the other kids were doing it too.

What makes street art interesting to both of you? Why focus on the streets rather than a gallery or museum?
R: It’s a way to make art available to poor neighborhoods or people who don’t have the opportunity to go to the city museum.

C: Being exposed to art is a luxury. I think that’s where our street art bent comes from.

los dos_culture_itzel-7

Talk to me about the Make Shift project and the process of launching it. 
R: It’s the main project that we’ve been working on for the past year or so. We got a grant from El Paso Museum and Cultural Affairs Department.

C: It’s going through a process of applications, and it has pushed us to see how far we could go with it, see how the community can get involved. We’re working with Amor Por Juarez and trying to figure out what we have in the community. We’ve talked to downtown business owners who have buildings that we’d like to use and presented them with proposals and our ideas. We’ve shown them our art. And we’ve received support.

What about the content and vision behind the murals? 
R: Make Shift is work about normal people: workers, photographers, journalists, migrants, musicians, street vendors. It’s for people of the community. When they see these bigger than life works, it’s our hope they feel empowered. A lot of the murals that they’re used to seeing aren’t relatable to them.

C: Or they have religious undertones. We wanted to push what could be said. For example, “Sister Cities” is a straight-up political comment on the borderland. It’s about how these two cities have had to back each other up. And it’s important to have them be women, have symbols that are feminine because Juarez has been suffering for years. I mean, as a woman who grew up in Juarez, it’s been really hard to see how a political boundary can change how women are treated or how safe you are when walking down a street.

R: It’s also an homage. An homage to artisans and farmworkers, and it’s what we’re trying to do with Make Shift. The term itself is a play on words. People making do with what they have. Being ingenious. And also making a shift toward sustainability, for the person to be self-sustainable because a lot of their jobs — street vendors and musicians — are not going to be available in the next… how many years? What are they going to do? You can’t expect them to do whatever the government thinks the new jobs will be. They have the right to do whatever they want. To be sustainable by making art or playing music or being a farmer.

C: It’s important because it preserves our cultural heritage, preserves our music and art that developed slowly after Spanish conquest. It’s artwork about cultural identity. You use it to survive, to carry it wherever you go.

los dos_culture_itzel-5

There’s still not a lot of women in El Paso’s art scene, it’s still predominately male. How do you see yourself in that scene, Christian? How would encourage other women to get involved?
C: It is hard when I see male artists take each other more seriously. Bjork said it best when she said, “As a woman you’re going to have to say things five times in order for guys to hear you out once.” It’s true. It’s completely true. You’re trying to get your ideas across, and it always feels as though you’re bumping into a wall. You’re not taken seriously until they realize you actually know what you’re saying. It really takes a thick skin and a strong voice. And you can’t back down from your stance just because you’re in a macho environment, which street art is. Here, you’re going to get your comments. But you can’t be scared of voicing what you have inside you. You’ve got to tell people they’re wrong. You have to say, I’m a feminist, and they’re not going to get away with treating me like that.

Ramon, can you talk about being Filipino in the borderland?
R: I mean, it’s been hard for me because I’m a minority both in the US as a whole and also here in the borderland since I’m not Mexicano. Still, I relate to Mexico because it has a lot in common with the Philippines. You know, the Spanish influence. And also the little things: the cities themselves, the hand-painted signs. When you go to Juarez you get the feel of the Philippines. It feels like home. I definitely relate more to Mexico and its culture than I do to the US and El Paso, and Mexico is where we get a lot of our inspiration. We also tried to get in touch with the Philippines. My family are also migrants. The whole similarity between migrants, between those from Mexico and those from the Philippines. That’s a lot of what we’re trying to focus on.

You’re a collaborative. You work on both sides of the border. Why do it this way? Why not focus just on El Paso or Juarez?
C: It was out of necessity.

R: Exactly. We wanted do something in Juarez because we wanted to put work in the streets. And that’s exactly what Juarez and El Paso needs.

C: It’s also based on how the two cities rely on each other. And that’s important for us to show. For example, in our work the coyote becomes a symbol of an erasing border. If we were to do work solely on one side, it won’t be accessible to both sides because some people can’t move freely between the cities. You need a passport. So instead we’ll just do work on both sides. It’s the logical way for us to react as artists: to find a way to solve the problem creatively.

New Books

Original post by Manuel Ramos found here:
University of Arizona Press – September
[from the publisher]

A literary illumination of the City of Angels

Wanderers and writers, gangbangers and lawyers, dreamers and devils. The King of Lighting Fixtures paints an idiosyncratic but honest portrait of Los Angeles, depicting how the city both entrances and confounds. Each story serves as a reflection of Daniel A. Olivas’s grand City of Angels, a “magical metropolis where dreams come true.” The characters here represent all walks of L.A. life—from Satan’s reluctant Craigslist roommate to a young girl coping with trauma at her brother’s wake—and their tales ebb and flow among various styles, including magical realism, social realism, and speculative fiction. Like a jazz album, they glide and bop, tease and illuminate, sadden and hearten as they navigate effortlessly from meta to fabulist, from flash fiction to longer, more complex narratives.

These are literary sketches of a Los Angeles that will surprise, connect, and disrupt readers wherever they may live.

Daniel A. Olivas is the author of seven books, including The Book of Want: A Novel and Things We Do Not Talk About: Exploring Latino/a Literature through Essays and Interviews. He earned his degree in English literature from Stanford University, and law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. Since 1990, Olivas has practiced law with the California Department of Justice. A second-generation Angeleno, he makes his home in Los Angeles with his wife.

The Champions’ Game
Saul Ramirez as told to John Seidlitz
Canter Press – May, 2017[from the publisher]

In April of 2015, a team of 12 middle schoolers—border kids—from South-Central El Paso surprised the country by taking first place in the national chess championships.

The 11, 12 and 13-year-old chess players at El Paso ISD’s Henderson Middle School largely credit their success to one man: Saul Ramirez, a 30-year-old dad and husband who teaches art at Henderson during the day and coaches the chess team after school. The story of Ramirez and his students is chronicled in The Champions’ Game, a testament to the resilience and spirit of children who dare to dream.

Many of the 700-plus students at Henderson Middle School come and go from across the border in Juárez, where they live. A third of the students are English Language Learners, and over 96 percent are from low-income families, with all of the students at the school qualifying for the free lunch program.

For these kids, dreams of beating highly privileged students from “fancy” schools in upper-crust neighborhoods aren’t on the radar. They have bigger issues to deal with in life. Which is why it borders on the miraculous that they choose to voluntarily—even enthusiastically—commit countless hours every week to the practice of a game that they had known virtually nothing about until two years ago when Ramirez started a chess club at Henderson.

Ramirez’s genius is not so much the chess that he teaches (even though he’s a former Texas state chess champion), but in his ability to intertwine life principles with chess rules to expand the minds, the insight and even the future possibilities of the students he teaches. The book’s 14 chapters lay out Ramirez’s rules for life—and chess, introducing concepts like guard your queen, control your center and protect your king.

Ramirez grew up in El Paso’s Segundo Barrio, a neighborhood that might bring to mind Compton, or South Central, or 8 Mile, often noted as the poorest zip code in the United States. Ramirez seems to possess a singular ability to draw out the talents of his students, perhaps because chess is much more than just a game to him. In The Champions’ Game, he writes,

“I want to start a revolution. A revolution of the mind. I want to do what was done for me by [the people] who were always there for me when I was a child, guiding me, teaching me, showing me how to be a man, an artist, a teacher. I want to build children anew, from the mind up. That does not take genius. It takes love.”

Saul Ramirez is the chess coach and art teacher at Henderson Middle School in El Paso, Texas, where he coached his students to win the national chess championships in 2015 and 2016.  When he discovered chess as a child, it created a pathway out of misfortune. Ramirez, like his current students, competed and became a champion in various tournaments. Ramirez graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) in May 2010 and started teaching at Henderson Middle School in August of that same year, where he continues to create new paths for the dreams of his students. He was recently named 2017 Secondary Teacher of the Year by the El Paso Independent School District. He lives in El Paso with his wife, Edna, and two children, Saul Jr. and Frida.

Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics
Frederick Luis Aldama

University of Arizona Press – October

[from the Publisher]

Toward a history and theory of Latinx heroes and their stories

Whether good or evil, beautiful or ugly, smart or downright silly, able-bodied or differently abled, gay or straight, male or female, young or old, Latinx superheroes in mainstream comic book stories are few and far between. It is as if finding the Latinx presence in the DC and Marvel worlds requires activation of superheroic powers.

Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics blasts open barriers with a swift kick. It explores deeply and systematically the storyworld spaces inhabited by brown superheroes in mainstream comic book storyworlds: print comic books, animation, TV, and film. It makes visible and lets loose the otherwise occluded and shackled. Leaving nothing to chance, it sheds light on how creators (authors, artists, animators, and directors) make storyworlds that feature Latinos/as, distinguishing between those that we can and should evaluate as well done and those we can and should evaluate as not well done.

The foremost expert on Latinx comics, Frederick Luis Aldama guides us through the full archive of all the Latinx superheros in comics since the 1940s. Aldama takes us where the superheroes live—the barrios, the hospitals, the school rooms, the farm fields—and he not only shows us a view to the Latinx content, sometimes deeply embedded, but also provokes critical inquiry into the way storytelling formats distill and reconstruct real Latinos/as.
Thoroughly entertaining but seriously undertaken, Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics allows us to truly see how superhero comic book storyworlds are willfully created in ways that make new our perception, thoughts, and feelings.

Frederick Luis Aldama is the Arts and Humanities Distinguished Professor of English and University Distinguished Scholar at the Ohio State University. An expert on Latinx popular culture, Aldama is the author, co-author, and editor of twenty-nine books, including Long Stories Cut Short: Fictions from the Borderlands, Your Brain on Latino Comics: From Gus Arriola to Los Bros Hernandez, and The Cinema of Robert Rodriguez.

Chicano Popular Culture, Second Edition: Que Hable el Pueblo
Charles M. Tatum
University of Arizona Press – September

Updated and expanded to offer critical understandings relevant to today’s students

Since 2001, Charles M. Tatum’s Chicano Popular Culture has offered a window into popular culture among Americans of Mexican descent. Chicano Popular Culture, Second Edition provides a fascinating, timely, and accessible introduction to Chicano cultural expression and representation.

New sections discuss music, with an emphasis on hip-hop and rap; cinema and filmmakers; media, including the contributions of Jorge Ramos and María Hinojosa; and celebrations and other popular traditions, including quinceañeras, cincuentañeras, and César Chávez Day.

In addition, Tatum has updated and expanded each chapter, with significant revisions in the following areas:

• “Suggested Readings” for each chapter
• Chicanas in the Chicano Movement and Chicanos since the Chicano Movement
• Popular literature, including new material on Denise Chávez, Luis J. Rodríguez, Alfredo Vea, Luis Alberto Urrea, Richard Rodríguez, and Juan Felipe Herrera
• Theoretical approaches to popular culture, including the perspectives of Norma Cantú, Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Pancho McFarland, Michelle Habell-Pallán, and Víctor Sorell

Featuring clear examples, an engaging writing style, and helpful discussion questions, Chicano Popular Culture, Second Edition invites readers to discover and enjoy Mexican American popular culture.

Charles M. Tatum is a dean emeritus of the College of Humanities at the University of Arizona. He is the author or editor of many books, including Lowriders in Chicano Culture: From Low to Slow to Show and Chicano and Chicana Literature: Otra voz del pueblo.

Interview with Renee Goust

Original post found here:

Renee Goust is a Brooklyn-based, bicultural singer and songwriter who has recently tackled social issues through her songs such as violence towards women as well as other social issues in the U.S. and Mexico. Her current single La Cumbia Feminazi has recently become a big hit on social media and is now available for pre-sale on 
iTunes in both acoustic and full band versions.

GERALD PADILLA: Renee, thank you for being on Latino Book Review.

RENEE GOUST: It’s a pleasure! Thanks a lot for having me, Gerald.

PADILLA: You currently live in Brooklyn. Can you tell us about your bicultural experience? How long have you lived in Brooklyn and can you tell us a little about your Mexican roots?

GOUST: My parents are from the Northern Mexican state of Sonora, which shares a long border with Arizona. I was raised in a border town, so my bicultural experience pretty much dates back to the day I was born.  Back then, before U.S. immigration policy was as strict as it is today, it was more common for pregnant Mexican women to cross into the United States a few days before they were due so their baby could have dual citizenship.  I was lucky that my parents thought ahead.  They wanted me to have the possibility of choosing whether to live in Mexico or in the States.

I was born in Tucson, Arizona and just two days later, when I was released from the hospital, I was brought home to Nogales, Sonora, which is just eighty miles south of Tucson.  I was raised in what we call “Ambos Nogales”, which means “both Nogales” (Nogales, Sonora borders Nogales, Arizona).  I spent the first seventeen years of my life there- crossing the border back and forth five days a week – going to private school in Nogales, Arizona every morning, then back home to Nogales, Sonora every afternoon.  All my classes were in English, but at home we spoke Spanish.  That made me bilingual and bicultural by default.

The High School I attended had the motto: “bilingual, bicultural, by choice”.  Everyone I grew up around spoke English and Spanish equally well, so I never truly realized how special and particular this was, until I moved south to Guadalajara, Mexico to go to music school.  My friends there called me “la gringa” or “la pocha” because I would pronounce certain words (such as “e-mail” or “hard rock”) with an American accent.  The funny part is: now that I live in Brooklyn, I’m the “Mexican friend.”

I’ve lived in New York City for ten years.  I’ve rented apartments in Manhattan, Queens, Jersey City and Brooklyn- I’ve been all over!  I definitely feel like a New Yorker- I run around like one, I complain like one, I curse like one, but most importantly: I embrace diversity like one!  I’m also very Mexican, though.  I don’t celebrate Cinco de Mayo, I cried when Juan Gabriel died, I love grasshopper tacos. My Mexican friends don’t understand how I can love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, my American friends think letting children eat pickled jalapenos is plain evil.  I grew up eating both!  That’s what being bicultural has meant to me: being Mexican and American at once, being half of each, and perhaps being neither fully.  Only bicultural people can understand what that feels like.  For me, it’s brought joy and confusion and pride and a lifetime search for a sense of belonging and true identity.  Being bicultural means my answer to the question “Where are you from?” is longer than most peoples’.

PADILLA: How did your music journey begin? Is there a tradition of music in your family or is it something you started on your own?

GOUST: There’s a tradition of enjoying music in my family, but I’m definitely the first musician.  My mom loves Top 40’s pop music and my dad loves older Mexican music in general.  My brothers and I grew up listening to both these things at home.  I remember dad would blast Los Panchos or Cuco Sanchez early on Sunday mornings!  It was our alarm clock, it drove us crazy!  

My mother’s mom, who I grew up very close to, has always been a huge music fan and recently joined a local choir back home in Nogales.  I often come to their rehearsals when I’m visiting.  We share that passion and it really brings us together.  She loves it when I come in and sing romantic oldies for them.  I guess that’s as much of a music tradition as I can think of being in my family. 

My journey as a musician began when I started piano lessons at 7 or 8 years old.  I learned to read music and played simple pieces by Bach and Beethoven.  I had a love-hate relationship with it but kept taking lessons because my parents had gone all the way and bought me an upright piano, which was an expense well out of their comfort zone.  They bought it used from a friend whose daughter had grown up and wasn’t interested in piano anymore.  The purchase included a piano teacher recommendation and so I just kind of rode the wave.

I started writing little variations to my piano exercises and improvising on my own a few years later.  Then eventually I wrote a couple love songs and wanted to play them for my friends in school, which made me realize that the piano isn’t a portable instrument and awakened my interest in learning to play guitar.  I took a month-long primer course in Hermosillo, Mexico using a cheap Mexican acoustic “Paracho” guitar my dad had bought me.  Learning a second instrument felt very natural to me because I already knew all the music theory.  That got me really pumped, so I saved up my allowances and bought a guitar chord chart and taught myself my favorite pop-rock tunes.  I remember the first song I ever learned to cover was Shakira’s “Pies Descalzos, Sueños Blancos” from her 1995 record “Pies Descalzos”.  It’s funny to look back on it now, because that record came out more than twenty years ago, but I think it’s safe to say she’s the reason I decided to learn guitar.  I first heard her music in summer camp 1996 – I must have been 9 years old- and I just fell in love with her lyrics.  I started writing my little piano songs shortly thereafter.  I remember getting in trouble when my mom found the lyrics to my song “I Hate School” inside my 6th grade notebook!  I think I was trying to play the “cool rebel” kid to impress my friends, but in fact I was quite the class nerd.

During my last year in high school I decided I wanted to pursue music more seriously and went to the Universidad de Guadalajara for classical singing.  I ended up not enjoying the rigidity of operatic technique and the competitive atmosphere in classical music in general, so I dropped out after my third year.  My parents were pretty upset but decided to give me another chance under the condition that I choose a different career path.  That’s when I moved to New York.  I came here for cooking school but in reality, I had chosen the city strategically for its lively music scene and cultural diversity.  I couldn’t be happier with my choice!

PADILLA: Your song La Cumbia Feminazi has received wide international attention for its powerful and relevant lyrics in response to today’s machismo and anti-feminism. What inspired you to write such passionate lyrics? Did the event occur the way you describe it in the song?

GOUST: There’s usually an element of fiction and an element of reality in my lyrics.  I think that’s what makes songwriting such a compelling art form for me.  I love that you can tell the whole gut-spilling truth about a situation and still have the luxury of adding a magical or dramatic touch to make it more memorable. I think Angel Olsen calls this “augmented reality”.

La Cumbia Feminazi is a chronicle of me being trolled by an unknown online macho!  It’s certainly a memoir that was inspired by a particular incident (on Youtube, actually) but I wanted to broaden the scope of the song and take the opportunity to condemn machismo in general.  I aimed to do so with the use of sarcasm, by changing voices between me and the aggressor in hopes of pointing out how ridiculous and distasteful the use of the word “Feminazi” is.  The song went viral as soon as I uploaded it on Facebook.  It got the wildest responses ranging from personal thank yous to people in Spain and Latin America writing to share their stories with me, to hurtful insults and rape threats on Twitter.  The hate was a little scary, but in the end it only proved my point and further evidenced the terrible problem that is misogyny today.

I have self-identified as a feminist ever since I found out the actual meaning of the word, which is that feminism seeks equality of rights, opportunities and responsibilities between men and women.  Where I come from, feminist is still a bad word and nobody wants to be associated with it.  There’s a lot of misinformation around “the F word”.  There’s a lot of hate towards it, which is funny because Northern Mexican women are regarded by the rest of the country as being super tough and dominant, but in reality we’re still expected to dress, think and act a certain way in order to be considered objects of desire.  I had a teacher in high school who very proudly called herself a feminist, and she was widely criticized for it.  Students perceived her as being a radical, when in reality she was a brave progressive thinker trying to enlighten her small town students.  I keep in touch with her still.  She was really proud of me for writing La Cumbia Feminazi. 

PADILLA: In today’s music industry where there is a tendency for commercial music to be two-dimensional and superficial, how has the community responded to your bold, socially introspective, artistic initiative?

GOUST: I’ve certainly lost more than a couple friendships since writing La Cumbia Feminazi.  People expect you to just write love songs and be satisfied, or to be cute and quirky and hipstery and call it a day.  Some musicians want to appeal to the broadest market possible and achieve commercial success at all costs. While that is a respectable choice, I feel like it’s such a waste to have a special talent and use it to put forth the same trite old messages.  


Cass McCombs has a really great song called “Bum, Bum, Bum” which critiques the breeding of white supremacy.  In this song he says “And white bread artists won’t even look at you when they know it’s true, what you gonna do?”  I have certainly felt this way since writing La Cumbia Feminazi.  The parameters of what’s acceptable or cool or edgy when writing a protest song include criticizing the government or addressing the unfair distribution of wealth, maybe.  But as soon as you touch on feminism or LGBTQIA issues, it becomes a problem and people aren’t afraid to be vocal about it.
I was very lucky to be a sit-in guest in my wife’s PhD-level class about gender and otherness a couple years ago, and it completely changed my life.  La Cumbia Feminazi is definitely a result of that newly-gained feminist theory knowledge and hyper-awareness of gender inequality in our times.  I used to write a lot of sad music.  I struggled with depression for many years and songwriting had always been my catharsis.  I think people who knew my music from way back learned to expect that darkness, so it’s natural that they were confused when all of a sudden I released this feminist tune that showed me as an empowered woman and no longer a helpless girl.  It was definitely an uncomfortable artistic transition for me, but part of my duty to myself as an artist and as a person is to never stop growing and challenging myself.  I feel like more of a grown-up now and I want to be singing about things that happen on the outside as well as on the inside.

PADILLA: Socially speaking, we are living in a very difficult time in many aspects. Do you think these times will create or are creating more artists like you who are willing to stand up for socially relevant issues?

GOUST: Absolutely.  I think the advent of social media and the internet in general make information travel faster and bring us closer to places in the world we would have never been able to see before.  Syria comes to mind immediately.  There’s a lot to be said about hard times bringing positive change.  Think of the flower children, for example.  The late 60’s and early 70’s were a time of massive evolution in social thinking and women’s rights and human rights in general.  All of this amidst a terrible Nixon presidency and the last years of the Vietnam War, or as the Vietnamese call it the “Resistance War Against America”.

I do believe hard times tend to shake us up and make us more aware and vigilant.  Artists are intelligent free thinkers.  We’re influenced by the times.  We’re part of a society and when that society is under attack, I think as creative creatures we’re particularly vulnerable to those changes.  I personally feed off of the vibes that surround me a lot for my writing.  When freedom of speech is threatened, it’s a direct threat to my existence and it only makes me want to fight back stronger, speak up louder.   I’ve noticed it on the big galas such as the Grammys this year.  A Tribe Called Quest had an amazing protest performance against the current administration.  Katy Perry also put forth her “Resist” message.  Lots of actors and visual artists have been doing the same.  We are standing up and will continue to stand up against the oppressive patriarchal status quo of our times.  Our future depends on it.

PADILLA: In your song, Tratado de Paz, you say, “Hagamos un tratado de paz. Yo te prometo ya no hablar de más. Deshazte del chaleco anti-balas. Ya tienes quien te cuide la espalda.” Can you tell us about the background and context of these lyrics? Is there a specific event that led to this song?

Tratado de Paz is a very personal song and a very global one at once.  It’s about making up after an argument with my loved one, but it’s also about world peace and more specifically peace on the streets.  I wrote it to help me heal after a heated discussion, and in the process of writing it I came to the realization that peace is a very fragile thing that must be taken care of at all times or else it slips away easily.

A long time ago I read a phrase somewhere that said that fear, not hate, is love’s worst enemy.  I thought of this as I wrote my song and resolved my feelings.  I thought of how the world’s major problems stem from the fact that our countries’ leaders very often act out of fear, spite, ego, and hate, but very rarely out of love.  As I wrote down some lyrics ideas, I realized that the only way to ever achieve peace is to start from within, at the micro level.  It’s silly to criticize wars and bombings and then turn around and pick a fight with your neighbor or your lover.

Tratado de Paz is a proposal from me to my partner to sign a peace treaty where the clauses are:  I’ll watch my missile mouth and you’ll take off your bulletproof vest and we’ll have each others’ backs.  I come from a town that became notorious for its drug-trafficking-related violence in the past couple of decades, so the bulletproof vest metaphor came to me very naturally.


PADILLA: In your song, El Patriota Suicida, you speak of a Mexican patriot who wants to commit suicide. Is this a reflection of the violence occurring in Mexico and other countries in Latin America or does it reflect the longing of your homeland?

GOUST: El Patriota Suicida is the oldest song I’ve written that’s still in rotation.  I wrote it in 2007 during a particularly dark period in my life, just two or three months after dropping out of college.  I had no idea where I was headed.  I was far from home, alone, and feeling quite anxious and disappointed in myself.  I remember writing it while sitting on a twin bed in my tiny studio apartment where there was only enough room for the bed, a mini fridge and a desk.  My life had changed so quickly and I was now on this new path that I wasn’t very excited about but I also knew I had a chance to save myself.  

I was feeling very homesick.  I remember thinking:  “Wow!  I feel so depressed right now, but what about the people who don’t have a chance to go back home and visit?  What kind of thoughts go through their heads in times of longing?  Is there hope for them?  I would probably kill myself.”  So I started jotting down some lines on a little composition book.  I was on the fifth floor of a walk-up, and there was an open window with a small white curtain waving in the wind.  The sky was dense with dark clouds.  It was very dramatic.  So I just imagined that I was an immigrant who was stuck in this faraway country, had lost all hope and was ready to finish it.  And to my surprise, a couple hours later El Patriota Suicida was born!  I ended up liking the song a lot, which cheered me up.

PADILLA: Can you tell us about your upcoming concerts and projects?

GOUST: Yes! I’m really excited that La Cumbia Feminazi is now available for pre-order on iTunes!  The single will be on all major streaming services as well as on my Youtube, Bandcamp, and Soundcloud pages starting June 23rd.  It will include the full band version and the acoustic (guitar and vocals) version of the song.  I’ll be playing a single release show at Piano’s in Manhattan on June 24th to celebrate.

My full EP “Septiembre”, which includes La Cumbia Feminazi, Tratado de Paz, El Patriota Suicida, and two never-before-released songs in Spanish is coming out on my birthday, September 1st.  I’ll be playing an EP Release show at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2 in Manhattan on September 8th at 7 pm to promote it.  I’m also scheduling some shows in the Northeastern US, and I’ll be touring major cities in Mexico during the second part of September to spread the word about the record.  I have music in English coming out in 2018 but it’s too soon to spill the beans!

PADILLA: Renee, thank you once more for being with us. It was a pleasure to have you on Latino Book Review. We wish you the best and hope to hear more of your music. 

GOUST: Thanks again for having me, Gerald, and for the amazing work you do at Latin Book Review.

CfP: La Casita Grande Editores

Original post found here:

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS! The LCG Lounge seeks Southwest poets and storytellers for our summer series. Writers from Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and Colorado are invited to submit poems and short stories revolving around intense emotions: lust, anger, obsession, solitude, joy. The pieces can be abstract or direct, comedic or dramatic. The key quality is innovation and rawness, we want entries that jump off the page and don’t hold back. Entries cannot be over 10 pages. Send your submission to by June 15.

CfP: The Bancroft Seminar on Interdisciplinary Latina/o History

The Bancroft Seminar on Interdisciplinary Latina/o History 2017-2018 Call for Book Manuscripts Selection process begins September 15, 2017
The Bancroft Library Seminar on Interdisciplinary Latina/o History is accepting proposals for its 2017-2018 book manuscript seminar. The seminar is comprised of a collective of northern California faculty dedicated to the interdisciplinary flourishing of Latina/o historiography — from the traditional subfields of social and political history to literary, intellectual, art, film, and beyond. Our primary aim is to provide critical, constructive feedback on book manuscripts with the goal of assisting junior faculty produce cutting-edge work.
In order to ensure that candidates have sufficient time to incorporate the feedback from the seminar into their manuscript, the seminar seeks applications from candidates who have completed a solid draft of a manuscript but whose work will not be published for another year after the seminar meets. The seminar meets twice a year and focuses on one manuscript per session. The seminar begins with the candidate providing brief remarks on the project followed by a faculty member serving as a respondent to the manuscript after which discussion is open to everyone. The seminar concludes with a
sponsored reception and dinner. Under the auspices of the Ethnic Studies Department, candidates are offered lodging during their visit.
The Bancroft Seminar is inspired by the well-known Newberry Seminar in Borderlands and Latino/a Studies, but builds on the strength of Bay Area historians in order to both advance the field of Latina/o studies and raise conceptual questions related to historiography. The seminar meets twice a year, and has met since 2014.
To apply, please email the following information as a single PDF file to
1) a cover page that includes: i) name; ii) email address; iii) academic rank; iv) institutional affiliation; v) where your project is in terms of publication (e.g., Do you
have a book contract? When will you submit your manuscript to publishers?); and vi) when you would be able to present or any restrictions on when you can not present.
Seminars meet once in the fall and once in the spring semester on a Friday afternoon. Flexibility will be greatly appreciated.
2) CV
3) one page proposal explaining the main questions you would like the seminar to consider as we read your manuscript. Please also address your project’s disciplinary and interdisciplinary interventions; and
4) a two page dissertation or book manuscript abstract.
For more information on the seminar, please contact the seminar coordinator Raúl Coronado at

My Ultimate Feminist Latinx Reading List

Original post by Prisca Dorcas Monica Rodríguez found here:

Academia has a reputation of being highly inaccessible.

Expecting people to reach these racist and structurally oppressive places in order to gain access to naming their own oppression is wrong. The bulk of my work is to take the veil off and make academia accessible to anyone who can pick up a book and read; to give people access to resources that will give them their freedom instead of keeping these resources for the few elites.

I travel a lot and often times I am asked to recommend books. While I have done a few lists of book recommendations, they’ve been relatively short. Here is an extensive list of books I cherish and value in my own research and in my own work.

Each book has been specially picked out for those of you interested in the intersection of race, religion, class, and gender as it relates to Latina-specific issues. Quotes from certain books are provided along with page numbers for those quotes. Also, some of these are chapters in anthologies, so I am writing this list in traditional bibliography citations, ranked from most readable to harder/theory-based literature.


1. Molina Gúzman, Isabel “Disorderly Bodies and Discourses of Latinidad in the Elían González Story”, pages 217-241 in From Bananas to Buttocks: The Latina Body in Popular Film and Culture (Austin, University of Texas Press, 2007)

2. Myra Mendible “Embodying Latinidad”, pages 1-27 in From Bananas to Buttocks: The Latina Body in Popular Film and Culture (Austin, University of Texas Press, 2007)

“The term ‘Latinidad’ […] has understandably met resistance from many Chicano and Latino critics. They have questioned the usefulness and effect of such labeling, for example, its tendency to homogenize peoples whose histories, language usage, and circumstances may differ significantly or to alienate U.S.-born Latinos, who may not speak Spanish or share other identifying criteria.” – page 4

“President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration turned what had been a dysfunctional relationship at best and a hostile one at worst into a love affair between compatible partners. During this period the United States romanticized its relationship with Latin America through the Latina star body. Both hoover and Roosevelt sought to improve Latin American relations, both Roosevelt’s Pan-American day speech in April of 1933 openly ‘repudiated the ‘erroneous interpretation’ of the Monroe Doctrine that justified US intervention, and extolled ‘the principle of consultation’ and the ‘promotion of commerce’ as the bases for improved hemispheric relations’ (Roorda, 1998, 88). Latin America emerged as an accommodating, inviting movie set, and the ‘South American girls’ Dolores del Río, Maria Móntez, Lupe Vélez, and Carmen Miranda enticed American audiences with their exoticism, eroticism, and impish charm. Thus by April 1945, eighty-four films featuring Latin American stars or locales had been produced.” – page 9

3. Molina Gúzman, Isabel “Salma Hayek’s Frida”, pages 115-128 in From Bananas to Buttocks: The Latina Body in Popular Film and Culture (Austin, University of Texas Press, 2007)

“Within the U.S. popular culture, Latinas are marginalized through the racializing construction of their sexuality as hyper and as a result transgressed of the dominant social order (Molina Guzmán 2005; Ruiz 2002).” – page 118


4. Elizondo, Virgilio, Guadalupe: Mother of the New Creation (New York: Orbis Books, 1997)


5. Cisneros, Sandra, “Guadalupe the Sex Goddess,” pages in 46-51 in Goddess of the Americas: La Diosa de Las Americas (New York: Riverhead Books, 1996)

“You could always tell us Latinas […] we were the ones who still used bulky sanitary pads instead of tampons, thinking ourselves morally superior to our white classmates.” – page 46

“In the guise of modesty, my culture locked me in a double chastity belt of ignorance and verguenza, shame.” – page 46

“Guadalupe’s pre-Colombian antecedents, before the Church desexed her, I found Tonantzin, and inside Tonantzin a pantheon of other mother goddesses. I discovered Tlazolteotl, the goddess of fertility and sex, also referred to as a Totzon. Our Beginnings, or Tzinteotl, goddess of the rump. Putas, nymphos, and other loose women were known as ‘women of the sex goddess.’ Tlazolteotl was the patron of sexual passion, and though she had the power to stir you to sin, she could also forgive you and cleanse you of your sexual transgressions via her priests who heard confession. In this aspect of confessor, Tlazolteotl was known as Tlaelcuani, the filth eater. Maybe you’ve seen her, she’s the one sold in the tourist market even now, a status of a woman squatting in childbirth, her grace grimacing in pain. Tlazolteotl, then, is a duality of maternity and sexuality. In other words, she is a sexy mama.” –page 49

6. Randall, Margaret “Guadalupe, Subversive Virginin Goddess of the Americas: La Diosa de Las Americas (New York: Riverhead Books, 1996)

“In Nicaragua, during the decade of the Sandinista government, the Virgin also took on trappings of struggle and working-class identification.  She became a warrior like no other.  Nicaragua, just like Mexico and most of the Latin American nations, has a rich Marianist culture.  Doña Violeta de Chamorro took full and deliberate advantage of this during her 1990 electoral campaign.  She frequently dressed in light blue and white, the traditional colors of the Virgin.  In a society seeped in Marianistic culture, her stance, body language, gestures, and discourse were all calculated to simulate that of the Holy Mother of a suffering people.” – page 121

7. Anzaldua, Gloria, “Coatlalopeuh: She Who Has Dominion Over Serpent,” pages 52-55 in Goddess of the Americas: La Diosa de Las Americas (New York: Riverhead Books, 1996)

“In 1660 the Roman Catholic Church named Guadalupe Mother of God, considering her synonymous with la Virgen María, she became la Santa Patrona de Los Mexicanos.” – page 53

“Today, in Texas and Mexico, she is more venerated than Jesus or God the Father.” –page 53

“Today, la Virgen de Guadalupe is the single most potent religious political and cultural image of the Chicano/Mexicano.” – page 53

La Cultura Chicana identifies with the mother (Indian) rather than with the father (Spanish).” – page 54

Guadalupe is the symbol of our rebellion against the rich upper and middle class; against their subjugation of the poor and the indio.” – page 54


8. bell hooks and Amalia Mesa-Bains, Homegrown: Engaged Cultural Criticism (Cambridge: South End Press, 2006)

“we must be careful when we critique another person of color” – page 56


9. Campese, Gioacchino “¿Cuanto Mas? The Crucified People of the U.S. Mexico Border” pages 271-298 in A Promised Land a Perilous Journey: Theological Perspective on Migration(Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2008)


10. Aquino, María Pilar Our Cry for Life: Feminist Theology from Latin America (New York: Orbis Books, 1993)

“Discrimination against women has a long tradition in society and the church, for women in Latin America and the Caribbean it reached violent dimensions through the conquest.” – page 13

“Women’s sexual identity becomes the object of repression, guilt, and sacrifice rather than a source of human fulfillment.” – page 97


11. Davila, Arlene, Latinos Inc: The Marketing and the Making of a People. (Berkley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2001)




12. Bettie, Julie, Women without Class: Girls, Race, and Identity. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004)

“Nonetheless, cholas/os, like pachucas and pachucos a generation before them, are – often wrongly – assumed to be engaged in criminal behavior.” – page 14

“There are two groupings of cholas/os, which represented two gangs affiliations: sureños and norteños. The sureños tended to be immigrant students who primarily spoke Spanish, while the norteños tended to be second-generation Mexican-Americans whose primary language at school was English. Consequently, there was a pattern of class difference” – page 14

“historic and contemporary race and class meanings associated with active sexuality among girls and women and how the label ‘bad girl’ is applied differentially across race and class lines and with varying effects.” – page 37

“’girl culture’ among working-class girls – focused on fashion, beauty, and heterosexual romance – and patterns of ‘quite non-cooperation,’ ‘gentle undermining,’ ‘subtle redefinition,’ ‘immersion in private concerns,’ ‘tactics of silence,’ and expressions of ‘unambiguous boredom’ in the classroom all work as forms of resistance that girls employ to reject official school activities and, by association, middle-class cultural norms” – page 47

“The association of light with prep girls and dark with non-prep girls may be arbitrary, but the association of pastels with ‘youth, innocence, and gaiety’ and darker colors with ‘somberness, age, and sophistication’ does happen to coincide with middle- and working-class life stage trajectories (Eckert 1989, 50)” – page 62


13. Hernandez, Jillian “Miss You Look Like a Bratz Doll: On Chonga Girls and Sexual Aesthetic Excess” in New Directions in Latina Sexualities Studies Volume 21, Number 3, Fall (The John Hopkins University Press, 2009).


14. Gaspar de Alba, Velvet Barrios: Popular Culture and Chicana/o Sexualities. (New York: Palgrave Macmillian, 2003).


15. Enloe, Cynthia, Bananas, Beaches, and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics. (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2000).

“Carmen Miranda […] a Brazilian grocer’s daughter who became a Hollywood star and the symbol of an American president’s Latin American policy.” – xvii

“In the 1930s Hollywood moguls turned Brazilian singer Carmen Miranda into an American movie star. They were trying to aid President Franklin Roosevelt’s efforts to promote friendlier relations between the US and Latin America.” – page 2

“Miranda personified a culture full of zest and charm, unclouded by intense emotion or political ambivalence.” – page 127


16. Valdivia, A.N. “A Latina in the Land of Hollywood” and other Essays on Media Culture (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2000)


17. Rodriguez, Clara E. Latin Looks: Images of Latinas and Latinos in the US Media. (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1997)


18. Stepick, A. G. Grenier, M. Castro, and M. Dunn, This Land is Our Land: Immigrants and Power in Miami (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2003)

“Miami […] the northern capital of Latin America.” – page 10

“White American business leaders expressed frustration and confusion that Cubans and other Latinos could succeed without really learning English or joining mainstream American business and civic organizations.” – page 10

“The fact that immigrants succeed economically does not mean that Americans will accept them.” – page 19


19. Pineda-Madrid, Nancy “Latina Theologies” page 60-85 in Liberation Theologies in the United States (New York: New York University Press, 2010)


20. Althaus-Reid, Marcell, From Feminist Theology to Indecent Theology. (London: SCM Press, 2004)

“what has sexuality to do with Feminist Liberation Theology? The answer is simple: everything.” – page 4

“(an Indecent Theology) as a positive theology which aims to uncover, unmask, and unclothe that false hermeneutics which considers itself as decent and, as such, proper and befitting for women especially in sexual matters.” – page 83

“Theologically decent women of my generation have been ignorant of sexual matters, including menstruation and lack of knowledge of their own bodies’ physiology. That ignorance was considered ‘decent.’ Perhaps putas masturbate and know their bodies, but not decent women. The discovery of a woman’s own body is a lengthy and difficult process, full of guilt and religious pressures.” – page 91


21. Foucault, Michel, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (New York: Vintage, 1977)


22. Bordo, Susan “The Body and the Reproduction of Femininity” pages 90-110 in Writing on the Body: Female Embodiment and Feminist Theory, ed. Katie Conboy, Nadia Media, and Sarah Stanbury (New York: Colombia University Press, 1997)

“woman is not born, but made.” – page 2

“by the eighteenth century, the sexuality of the black, both male and female become an icon for deviant sexuality” – page 4


23. Hebdige, Dick Subculture: Meaning of Style (Florence: Routledge, 1979)


24. Isasi-Díaz, Ada María, En La Lucha: Elaborating a Mujerista Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004)

“Survival for middle-class Hispanic Women is related to the difficult task of living in a culture that is not our own it comes down to repeatedly to choosing between faithfulness to self or, at the risk of losing cultural values and identify, adopting the values and behavior of the dominant culture in order to maintain our status, to survive” – page 43


25. Isasi-Díaz, Ada María, Mujerista Theology (New York: Orbis Books, 1996)

“the goals of mujerista theology have always been these: to provide a platform for the voices of Latina grassroots women; to develop a theological method that takes seriously the religious understandings and practices of Latinas as a source for doing theology; to challenge the theological understand, church teachings, and religious practices that oppress Latina women, that are not life-giving, and, therefore, cannot be theologically correct” – page 1


26. Williams, Delores S. Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk. (New York: Orbis Books, 1993)

“Subduing [the Native Americans] fed the Englishmen’s sense of national superiority since they perceived Native Americans as grouped in “nations” occupying and controlling specific land masses in America. To take their land and diminish their numbers illustrated to Christian men from the nation of England that they were superior to what they viewed as savage nations in the American wilderness. Furthermore, in subduing the Native American nations they saw a challenge to subduing nature, which the Bible reported that God gave man – that is, Christian man – dominion over.” – page 89

New Book: Give Me Life: Iconography and Identity in East LA Murals


Holly Barnet-Sanchez

Tim Drescher

Chicanismo, the idea of what it means to be Chicano, was born in the 1970s, when grassroots activists, academics, and artists joined forces in the civil rights movimiento that spread new ideas about Mexican American history and identity. The community murals those artists painted in the barrios of East Los Angeles were a powerful part of that cultural vitality, and these artworks have been an important feature of LA culture ever since. This book offers detailed analyses of individual East LA murals, sets them in social context, and explains how they were produced. Leading experts on mural art, the authors use a distinctive methodology, analyzing the art from aesthetic, political, and cultural perspectives to show how murals and graffiti reflected and influenced the Chicano civil rights movement.

This publication is made possible in part by a generous contribution from Furthermore, a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund.


Holly Barnet-Sanchez is an associate professor emerita of art history at the University of New Mexico. She is the coeditor of Signs from the Heart: California Chicano Murals, also available from UNM Press, and a contributor to Mexican Muralism: A Critical History.

Tim Drescher is an independent scholar in Berkeley, California. He is the coauthor of Agitate! Educate! Organize! American Labor Posters and a contributor to Toward a People’s Art: The Contemporary Mural Movement (UNM Press).

Sisters in Blue/Hermanas de azul: Sor María de Ágreda Comes to New Mexico/ Sor María de Ágreda viene a Nuevo México

Original post found here:

Authors: Anna M. Nogar

Enrique R. Lamadrid

Illustrated by Amy Córdova

Sisters in Blue tells the story of two young women—one Spanish, one Puebloan—meeting across space and time. Sor María de Jesús de Ágreda, New Mexico’s famous Lady in Blue, is said to have traveled to New Mexico in the seventeenth century. Here Anna M. Nogar and Enrique R. Lamadrid bring her to life, imagining an encounter between a Pueblo woman and Sor María during the nun’s mystical spiritual journeys. Tales of Sor María, who described traveling across the earth and the heavens, have traditionally presented her as an evangelist who helped bring Catholicism to the Pueblos. Instead this book, which includes an essay providing historical context, shows a connection between Sor María and her friend Paf Sheuri. The two women find more similarities than differences in their shared experiences, and what they learn from each other has an impact for centuries to come.


Anna M. Nogar is an associate professor of Spanish at the University of New Mexico. She is the coeditor of A History of Mexican Literature and Colonial Itineraries of Contemporary Mexico: Literary and Cultural Inquiries.

Enrique R. Lamadrid is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Spanish at the University of New Mexico. Winner of numerous teaching and writing awards, he is the author of many books for a wide variety of audiences. His most recent book for young readers is Amadito and the Hero Children / Amadito y los Niños Heroes.

Amy Córdova is an artist, author, educator, and two-time ALA Pura Belpré Honors Award winner for children’s book illustration. She lives in La Cíenega, New Mexico.

New Book: Volver: A Persistence of Memory

Order here:

Author: Antonio C. Márquez,  professor emeritus of English Language and Literature at the University of New Mexico

Born on the eve of World War II into a family of Mexican immigrants in El Paso, Antonio C. Márquez remains a child of the border, his life partaking of multiple cultures, countries, and classes. Here he recounts his life story, from childhood memories of movies and baseball and friendship with his Chinese Mexican American neighbor, Manuel Wong, to the turbulent events of his manhood. Márquez recalls the impact of immigration and war on his family; his experiences of gang conflict in El Paso and Los Angeles in the 1960s; enlisting in the Marine Corps; his activism in the civil rights movement, the antiwar movement of the Vietnam era, and the Crusade for Justice; and his travels to crisis-ridden Latin American countries. From a family where no one had the luxury of higher education, Márquez became a professor when universities hired few Chicanos. His is a story of survival and courage.