Saturday, March 17, 2012

National Association for Chicana & Chicano Studies in Chicago by Amelia M.L. Montes (

(standing): Dr. Norma Cantú
(sitting left to right): Dr. Elvia Niebla, Dr. Nancy "Rusty" Barcelo

NACCS 2012 Scholar Lifetime Achievement Honoree:
Dr. Nancy "Rusty" Barcelo
NACCS Antonia Castañeda Prize: Dr. Cindy Cruz

NACCS undergraduate/graduate academic awardees & activist awardees

(left to right): Dr. Antonia Castañeda, Dr. Nancy "Rusty" Barcelo,
Dr. Norma Cantú, Dr. Arturo Madrid

Dr. Karen Mary Davalos and Dr. Amelia M.L. Montes

The Chicana Caucus Plenary, Saturday, March 17, 2012

Dr. Nancy "Rusty" Barcelo and Dr. Rita Urquijo-Ruiz

The 2012 NACCS Awards Luncheon

The National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies 2012 Program

Saludos everyone—reporting from Chicago where I am at The National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS). We are celebrating 40 years of the NACCS Conference while also keeping in mind that further south—in the Texas area, the LibroTraficante caravan has arrived in Tucson, Arizona, meeting with students, giving them the books that had been taken away from them!! NACCS (and 26 education and civil rights organizations) has filed an Amicus Curiae “Friend of the Court” brief in U.S. District Court in Tucson declaring Arizona’s ban on Mexican American Studies unconstitional. (click HERE to read about it)
Also involved with Libro Traficante is our own La Bloga Em Sedano who has been reporting from the road this week (check out his last blog HERE) and my friend, colega, novelist and journalist, Belinda Acosta has also been on the caravan reporting for the Texas Observer and Latino USA (check out her latest blog HERE).

At NACCS in Chicago, we have experienced a record year of attendees. Over 700 Chicanas and Chicanos are at the Palmer House Hotel downtown. Dr. Julia Curry Rodriguez reported (at the Opening Plenary) that this is the largest NACCS Conference yet! This year’s theme: “Celebrating 40 Years of Scholarship and Activism.” It is also the first year of the Antonia I. Castañeda Prize.

Assistant Professor, Cindy Cruz (UCSanta Cruz) is the first year recipient. Her article in the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 2011, 24:5, 547-558 entitled, “LGBTQ Street Youth Talk Back: A Meditation on Resistance and Witnessing” reflects her work with LGBTQ transgendered and queer youth. Dr. Cruz says her work is an epistemology of brown bodies that questions the position of the ethnographer—she sees herself as a “social witness”—and questions the assignment of gender foisted upon communities often invisible to the mainstream. Professor Cruz situates her argument within “certain intersections of oppression, where race fuses with poverty and homophobia, where oppression is intermeshed and bound together by the social relations of domination and capitalism . . .” Felicidades Profesora Cindy Cruz!

Other highlights at the NACCS Conference: Hearing Dr. Edén Torres’ (author of Chicana Without Apology) opening plenary talk on Thursday. Dr. Torres speech was an important reminder of the importance of education for everyone. NACCS also honored Dr. Rusty Barceló, currently President of Northern New Mexico College. Dr. Barceló is one of the nation’s most highly respected authorities on equality and diversity in higher education. She gave a most moving and invigorating speech. “Our concerns must be everyone’s concerns,” she said.
Also at NACCS was Chicana writer and Professor, Karleen Pendleton Jiménez (University of Toronto) who gave a reading of her recently published memoir, how to get a girl pregnant. Our own La Bloga writer, Tatiana de la Tierra interviewed Dr. Pendleton Jiménez last fall (click HERE to read interview).

Thank you to my fellow plenary speakers, filmmaker Linda Garcia Merchant (click here to see a YouTube interview with Garcia Merchant), and Professor Karen Mary Davalos (Loyola Marymount University). And thanks to our afternoon panel, “Tortilleras in the Middle: Performing, Filming, Historicizing, and Writing the Midwest.” I was honored to speak with two DePaul University academics, Kimberlee A. Pérez and Dr. Lourdes María Torres. Filmmaker Linda Garcia Merchant was also speaking and showing two of her short films. It was quite a gift to be able to hear Linda Garcia Merchant twice!

Throughout the four-day conference, so many participants were saying it indeed was one of the best NACCS conferences ever! Congratulations to every participant y nos vemos next year en San Antonio, Tejas!

1 comment:

msedano said...

I love how small our world grows through connections past. Karen Mary Davalos visited my home when Magu and I hosted a Mental Menudo at the pad. I enjoyed conversations with Belinda Acosta at various stops along the road!

Antonia Castañeda's anthology with Ybarra-Frausto and Sommers stands with the most important records of US literature.

Congratulations and felicidades to Prof. Cindy Cruz on being the first named to this significant honor.