Co-Directors (from left to right) Ariana Ruiz, Darrel Wanzer-Serrano, and Rene Rocha

The Imagining Latinidades Co-Directors all began as faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa and taught courses in the Latina/o Studies Program as well as their home departments of Spanish & Portuguese, Communication Studies, and Political Science. Together, they shared a deep commitment with advancing Latina/o Studies at the University of Iowa and beyond — a commitment that informed their idea for proposing the Seminar in the first place. 

Darrel Wanzer-Serrano

Dr. Darrel Wanzer-Serrano is Associate Professor of Communication and Core Faculty of Latino/a and Mexican American Studies at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. He was formerly Associate Professor of Latina/ox Studies and Communication Studies, and Director of the Latina/ox Studies Program at the University of Iowa. He is a critical rhetorician whose research is focused on the intersections of race, ethnicity, and public discourse, particularly as they relate to formations of coloniality and decoloniality in the United States and within Latina/o/x contexts. He is author of the critically acclaimed, award-winning book The New York Young Lords and the Struggle for Liberation (Temple University Press, 2015); and he is editor of a collection of primary texts titled The Young Lords: A Reader (New York University Press, 2010). Both books were scholarly firsts. He has also published in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Advances in the History of Rhetoric, as well as other scholarly journals, book chapters, etc.

Rene Rocha

Rene Rocha is Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa and a leading scholar of immigration politics and policy. He has published in The Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, Social Science Quarterly, Policy Studies Journal, American Politics Research, State Politics & Policy Quarterly, Urban Affairs Review, and Review of Policy Research. His research on immigration and welfare policy received the 2014 Phi Sigma Alpha award from the Western Political Science Association. His research on racial and ethnic inequality across the US states, published in 2011, received the Lucius Barker Award from the Midwest Political Science Association.

Ariana Ruiz

Ariana Ruiz is Assistant Professor of Chicanx Studies at the University of California San Diego. She was formerly Assistant Professor of Latino/a Literature and Culture in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Iowa. She received her Ph.D. in English with a graduate minor in Latino/a Studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is currently completing a book manuscript, “In Transit: Travel and Mobility in Latina Art and Literature” that examines Latina engagement with the promise of American travel and mobility in novels, art, and film. Dr. Ruiz has presented at national and international conferences on Latino/a writers and artists that incorporate the trope of national and transnational travel into their work.