CfP: The Latina/o/x Literature & Culture Society of the American Literature Association 29th Annual Conference

Call for Papers:
The Latina/o/x Literature & Culture Society of the American Literature Association
29th Annual Conference: May 24-27, 2018
Hyatt Regency, San Francisco, CA

Deadline: January 8, 2018

In the past, the Latina/o/x Literature and Culture Society has organized panels that focus on literary genre, single authors, children’s literature, speculative fiction, comparative analyses, as well as cultural studies approaches. This year, we welcome a variety of theoretical and interdisciplinary approaches, as well as a variety of panel types, including traditional paper sessions, roundtable discussions, and sessions dedicated to the teaching of Latina/o/x literature. Given the location of the Conference in San Francisco, we solicit proposals focused on Latina/o/x experiences in San Francisco and the West Coast more broadly.

Topics for proposed sessions are open. In the spirit of community building, the Latina/o/x Literature and Culture Society attempts to build sessions that bring together participants at various stages of their careers.

Please submit proposals for individual papers as well as full panel and roundtable sessions.

For individual papers, send a short abstract (150 words) with title, along with institutional affiliation, academic title, and contact information.
For panel proposals, send paper titles, short abstracts for each paper, (150 words), along with institutional affiliation, academic title, and contact information for each panelist and the panel chair.

We will also organize a Roundtable Discussion about Teaching Latina/o/x Literature, which seeks to bring together a wide range of approaches from: Latina/o/x literary studies, comparative Ethnic Studies, and American literature, among many other possible areas. If you are interested in participating in the roundtable, please send a short (less than one page) description of what you’d like to discuss, along with your name, position, affiliation, and contact information to Cristina Herrera at and Marci McMahon at


Please submit proposals and inquiries to:
Cristina Herrera
Marci McMahon

Rare Book School Diversity Program

Any librarians out there? Check out this wonderful opportunity from the Rare Book School…

Rare Book School at the University of Virginia is now accepting applications for new NEH-GBHI Scholarships!  Funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities matching grant, these scholarships form part of the School’s Global Book Histories Initiative (GBHI), an effort to increase course offerings relating to non-western book history and bibliography over the next several years. Scholarships will provide full Rare Book School course tuition as well as a travel stipend of $2,000. Up to twenty-four (24) awards will be made this year.

Eligible applicants from any allied field will come from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups, or will work with organizations primarily serving such groups.  Successful applicants will demonstrate how they intend to share what they learn from RBS course content with colleagues in their own communities.

Scholarship recipients will have two years to use their awards, contingent upon acceptance into any particular RBS course.


More information about the program, including scholarship applications, may be found here:

Rare Book School is also currently accepting applications for various additional scholarships and fellowships open to new and returning RBS students. Among other fellowships of immediate relevance are the RBS-RBMS Diversity Fellowships, which provides RBS tuition as well as attendance at the annual conference of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. See for information about the application process and the types of scholarships currently available.

Applications will be accepted until November 1.

Al Hurricane, Influential New Mexico Balladeer, Dies at 81

I’m a little late with this, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the passing of Al Hurricane, one of New Mexico’s finest musicians…

Original article by Simon Romero here

ALBUQUERQUE — Al Hurricane, an eye-patch-wearing balladeer who forged a pioneering musical style by playfully blending New Mexico folk music with the rhythms of rock, jazz and country, died on Sunday at his home here. He was 81.

His granddaughter Samantha Sánchez said the cause was complications of prostate cancer.

Mr. Hurricane, who was born Alberto Nelson Sánchez, was widely known as the “godfather” of the New Mexico musical styles he helped develop, performing at times with his younger brothers, the musicians Tiny Morrie(Amador Sánchez) and Baby Gaby (Gabriel Sánchez).

In the 1970s and ’80s, a period when Hispanic cultural figures were rising to prominence in New Mexico and other parts of the Southwest, Mr. Hurricane gained fame singing in both Spanish and English, and often in Spanglish, as the Sánchez clan’s most eminent sibling.

As a traveling musician, he performed in nightclubs, at municipal fiestas, in concert halls and on television shows, like the nationally syndicated “Val de la O Show,” produced in Albuquerque.

His original songs included “(El Corrido de) La Prisión de Santa Fe,” about one of the nation’s deadliest prison riots, in which 33 inmates were killedover 36 hours on Feb. 2, 1980, at the now-shuttered Penitentiary of New Mexico.

Mr. Hurricane nurtured longstanding ties with Latin American musical traditions. He put his own twist on genres like the corrido, the borderland ballad of four-line stanzas, and the cumbia, which is thought to have originated on Colombia’s Caribbean coast.

Al Hurricane La Mucura Video by 505newmexico1

He was born on July 10, 1936, in the village of Dixon in northern New Mexico, the eldest of four children of parents who moved around New Mexico, the family in tow, in search of opportunity.

His father, José, was a miner who took the family to the town of Silver City; his mother, Bennie, worked as a department store clerk, seamstress, photographer’s assistant and nurse before focusing on promoting the musical talents of her children.

Mr. Hurricane said he had gotten his stage name when he was a child, an affectionate reference to his habit of running around and knocking things over.

His family moved to Albuquerque when he was 9, and he graduated from Albuquerque High School. He became a troubadour as a teenager, performing at restaurants in Old Town.

While on his way to perform in Denver in 1969, the vehicle he was traveling in flipped over five times. He was thrown out of a window, and a shard of glass embedded in his right eye. With the loss of the eye he took to wearing an eye patch.

He continued to tour and recorded dozens of albums. When not on the road, he often headlined shows at the Far West, the Sánchez family’s own nightclub in Albuquerque.

In 1986 his 2-year-old daughter, Lynnea, died from internal bleeding, and his estranged wife, Angela Sanchez, and her boyfriend, Ruben Lopez, were found guilty of child abuse and sentenced to several years in prison.

Afterward Mr. Hurricane suffered a heart attack, which he attributed, in an interview with the newspaper The New Mexican in 1998, to the stress of losing his daughter.

His marriage to Ms. Sánchez ended in divorce, as did his previous marriage, to Nettie Fleming. In addition to his granddaughter Samantha Sánchez, he is survived by seven children, 14 other grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.


Mr. Hurricane, center, in 2011 with former Senator Pete V. Domenici of New Mexico and former Representative Heather Wilson. CreditPat Vasquez-Cunningham/The Albuquerque Journal, via Associated Press

After recovering from the heart attack, Mr. Hurricane returned to writing songs and touring. As he grew older he wore a jet-black toupee. He also campaigned for politicians, including Susana Martinez, the conservative Republican who is serving her second term as New Mexico’s governor.

His last major performance was in May, at a concert in his honor in Albuquerque.

A raconteur who regaled visitors with tales of his childhood and the music business, Mr. Hurricane reveled in his fame. Sometimes he meditated on cultural and economic shifts.

“I am very disappointed, not in the music, but in the fact that the internet’s taking over everything,” he told The New Mexican in 2015. He lamented how challenging it had become for musicians to sell their music.

But he showed an appreciation for newer genres, like reggaeton, which originated in Puerto Rico in the 1990s. “As for the music,” he said, “some of it’s beautiful.”

New Book: The Book of Archives and Other Stories from the Mora Valley, New Mexico by A. Gabriel Meléndez

In the shadow of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, New Mexico’s Mora Valley harbors the ghosts of history: troubadours and soldiers, Plains Indians and settlers, families fleeing and finding home. There, more than a century ago, villagers collect scraps of paper documenting the valley’s history and their identity—military records, travelers’ diaries, newspaper articles, poetry, and more—and bind them into a leather portfolio known as “The Book of Archives.” When a bomb blast during the Mexican-American War scatters the book’s contents to the wind, the memory of the accounts lives on instead in the minds of Mora residents. Poets and storytellers pass down the valley’s traditions into the twentieth century, from one generation to the next. In this pathbreaking dual-language volume, author A. Gabriel Meléndez joins their ranks, continuing the retelling of Mora Valley’s tales for our time.

A native of Mora with el don de la palabra, the divine gift of words, Meléndez mines historical sources and his own imagination to reconstruct the valley’s story, first in English and then in Spanish. He strings together humorous, tragic, and quotidian vignettes about historical events and unlikely occurrences, creating a vivid portrait of Mora, both in cultural memory and present reality. Local gossip and family legend intertwine with Spanish-language ballads and the poetry of New Mexico’s most famous dueling troubadours, Old Man Vilmas and the poet García. Drawing on New Mexican storytelling tradition, Meléndez weaves a colorful dual-language representation of a place whose irresistible characters and unforgettable events, and the inescapable truths they embody, still resonate today.

Citizens but Not Americans Nilda Flores-González

An exploration of how race shapes Latino millennials’ notions of national belonging

Latino millennials constitute the second largest segment of the millennial population. By sheer numbers they will inevitably have a significant social, economic, and political impact on U.S. society. Beyond basic demographics, however, not much is known about how they make sense of themselves as Americans.

In Citizens but Not Americans,Nilda Flores-González examines how Latino millennials understand race, experience race, and develop notions of belonging. Based on nearly one hundred interviews, Flores-González argues that though these young Latina/os are U.S. citizens by birth, they do not feel they are part of the “American project,” and are forever at the margins looking in. The book provides an inside look at how characteristics such as ancestry, skin color, social class, gender, language and culture converge and shape these youths’ feelings of belonging as they navigate everyday racialization.

The voices of Latino millennials reveal their understanding of racialization along three dimensions—as an ethno-race, as a racial middle and as ‘real’ Americans. Using familiar tropes, these youths contest the othering that negates their Americanness while constructing notions of belonging that allow them to locate themselves as authentic members of the American national community.

Challenging current thinking about race and national belonging, Citizens but Not Americans significantly contributes to our understanding of the Latino millennial generation and makes a powerful argument about the nature of race and belonging in the U.S.

New Book: The Healing Power of the Santuario de Chimayó by Brett Hendrickson

I’ll be putting this on my holiday list!

The remarkable history of the Santuario de Chimayó, the church whose world-renowned healing powers have drawn visitors to its steps for centuries.

Nestled in a valley at the feet of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico, the Santuario de Chimayó has been called the most important Catholic pilgrimage site in America. To experience the Santuario’s miraculous healing dirt, pilgrims and visitors first walk into the cool, adobe church, proceeding up an aisle to the altar with its magnificent crucifix. They then turn left to enter a low-slung room filled with cast-off crutches, a statue of the Santo Niño de Atocha, and photos of thousands of people who have been prayed for in the exact spot they are standing. An adjacent room, stark by contrast, contains little but a hole in the floor, known as the pocito. From this well in the earth, the Santuario’s half a million annual visitors gather handfuls of holy dirt, celebrated for two hundred years for its purported healing properties.

The book tells the fascinating stories of the Pueblo and Nuevomexicano Catholic origins of the site and the building of the church, the eventual transfer of the property to the Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe, and the modern pilgrimage of believers alongside thousands of tourists.

Drawing on extensive archival research as well as fieldwork in Chimayó, Brett Hendrickson examines the claims that various constituencies have made on the Santuario, its stories, dirt, ritual life, commercial value, and aesthetic character. The importance of the story of the Santuario de Chimayó goes well beyond its sacred dirt, to illuminate the role of Southwestern Hispanics and Catholics in American religious history and identity.

The healing powers and marvel of the Santuario shine through the pages of Hendrickson’s book, allowing readers of all kinds to feel like they have stepped inside an institution in American and religious history.

Google Launches Massive Collection of Latino Art And History

Original post by Hazel Cills found here:

Google’s Cultural Institute, which specializes in accessible digital preservation for art, just launched a huge online archive of Latino art and cultural history.

The effort, formally titled Google Arts & Culture: Latino Cultures in the US, includes several different categories that highlight Latino history including dance, film, music, style, sports and more. Google has also partnered with several institutions like the Smithsonian Latino Center and UCLA Chicano Research Studies Center to display and contextualize art from their collections, as well as including a mural section where you can look at Digeo Rivera and Eloy Torrez works in detail.

The project also includes an interview with Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez and another with Orange Is The New Black star Diane Guerrero, who speaks for the project about the day her family was deported. “For so many years, I hid the truth about my parents. But then I started seeing DREAMers standing up and demanding rights for immigrants,” she says. “They came out and risked deportation to demand legislative and executive action for immigrants’ rights. I thought, ‘Why am I so afraid to speak up? How is my story not an American story?’”

The project, will be online all year, is massive and Remezcla has assembled some historical highlights to start with. I’d recommend reading about Asco, the Los Angeles art collective from the 1970s and ’80s co-founded by artist Gronk. They created a great conceptual performance piece called “No Movies,” in which the group circulated great fake film stills for movies they invented as a response to the ways Hollywood discriminated against Chicano actors and artists.

New Book: Rudolfo Anaya’s Owl in a Straw Hat/El Tecolote del sombrero de paja

Kudos to Rudolfo Anaya, who keeps coming out with new books even in the twilight of his career.

Text from publisher:

This masterfully written children’s book by New Mexico’s favorite storyteller is a delightful tale about a young owl named Ollie who lives in an orchard with his parents in northern New Mexico. Ollie is supposed to attend school but prefers to hang out with his friends Raven and Crow instead. Ollie’s parents discover he cannot read and they send Ollie off to see his grandmother, Nana, a teacher and farmer in Chimayó. Along the way, Ollie’s illiteracy causes mischief as he meets up with some shady characters on the path including Gloria La Zorra (a fox), Trickster Coyote, and a hungry wolf named Luis Lobo who has sold some bad house plans to the Three Little Pigs. When Ollie finally arrives at Nana’s, his cousin Randy Roadrunner drives up in his lowrider and asks Ollie why he’s so blue. “I’m starting school, and there’s too much to learn, and I can’t read,” Ollie says. “I can’t do it.” Randy explains that he didn’t think he could learn to read either, but he persevered, earned a business degree, and now owns the best lowrider shop in Española! Ollie finally decides he is ready to learn to read. The characters and the northern New Mexico landscape in Owl in a Straw Hat come to life wonderfully in original illustrations by New Mexico artist El Moisés.

  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 3
  • Hardcover: 44 pages
  • Publisher: Museum of New Mexico Press; Bilingual edition (October 1, 2017)
  • Language: English, Spanish

New in Children’s Literature: Los Gatos Black on Halloween

Original post by Rene Colato Lainez found here:

  • Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes, illustrated by Yuyi Morales
  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250079454
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250079459


Follow los monstruos and los esqueletos to the Halloween party in this bilingual poem written by Marisa Montes, with illustrations by award-winning author and illustrator Yuyi Morales

Under October’s luna, full and bright, the monsters are throwing a ball in the Haunted Hall. Las brujas come on their broomsticks. Los muertos rise from their coffins to join in the fun. Los esqueletos rattle their bones as they dance through the door. And the scariest creatures of all aren’t even there yet!

This lively bilingual Halloween poem introduces young readers to a spooky array of Spanish words that will open their ojos to the chilling delights of the season.

Los Gatos Black on Halloween is a 2007 Bank Street – Best Children’s Book of the Year, the winner of the 2008 Pura Belpré Medal for Illustration and a Pura Belpré Honor Book for Narrative.

Marisa Montes practiced family law and worked in legal publishing before she began writing full-time. Marissa has written several picture books, novels, and chapter books for children. She was born in Puerto Rico.

Award-winning author and illustrator Yuyi Morales is the author of Caldecott Honor and Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Medal-winning Viva Frida, Pura Belpré (Illustration) Medal and Pura Belpré (Narrative) Honor book Los Gatos Black on Halloween, stunning bilingual bedtime story Little Night/Nochecita,Rudas: Niño’s Horrendous Hermanitas, and other picture books for young readers. She also illustrated Thunder Boy Jr., written by Sherman Alexie.

New Book: Palm Frond with its Throat Cut by Vickie Vértiz

University of Arizona Press
 [from the publisher]
Palm Frond with Its Throat Cut uses both humor and sincerity to capture moments in time with a sense of compassion for the hard choices we must make to survive. Vértiz’s poetry shows how history, oppression, and resistance don’t just refer to big events or movements; they play out in our everyday lives, in the intimate spaces of family, sex, and neighborhood. Vértiz’s poems ask us to see Los Angeles—and all cities like it—as they have always been: an America of code-switching and reinvention, of lyric and fight.
Vickie Vértiz earned her MFA from the University of California, Riverside. A Macondo and VONA fellow, she is a Los Angeles–based poet writer and social justice advocate who teaches creative writing to adults and young people across the country.