Performing Latina/o/x Futurity

April 30 – May 2, 2020; Iowa City Public Library

In this closing conference for the Mellon Foundation-funded Sawyer Seminar, six invited scholars of Latina/o/x studies help wrap-up the yearlong conversation about “Imagining Latinidades.” We make the turn to practices of performing and imaging Latinidades now and into the future by inviting leading scholars in the fields of Performance Studies, Queer Studies, Cultural Studies, and Latina/o/x Studies to participate in a closing conference. One set of speakers will discuss Latina/o/x cultural production that complicates and rejects homogenizing tendencies of Latino identity formation for alternative and/or queer community formations.

Leticia Alvarado is Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnic Studies at Brown University whose interdisciplinary research is situated at the nexus of Latina/o/x, visual culture, and gender and sexuality studies.

Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes is Professor of American Culture, Romance Languages and Literatures, and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and the former director of the Latina/o Studies Program. His research interests are queer/LGBT Hispanic Caribbean studies, and U.S. Latina/o and Latin American literary, cultural, and performance studies.

Ramón Rivera-Servera is Professor of Performance Studies and Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University. Rivera-Servera’s research focuses on 20th and 21st Century performance in North America and the Caribbean with special emphasis on the way experiences of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality are negotiated across national borders through migratory circuits of circulation and exchange. 

Cathryn Merla-Watson is an advanced Assistant Professor in the Department of Literatures and Cultural Studies; affiliate faculty in Mexican American Studies; and Co-Director of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Texas-Río Grande Valley. Her research interests broadly include Latinx studies, Latinx speculative aesthetics, queer theory, performance studies; Chicana and Latina feminisms, and social justice research methodologies.

Catherine S. Ramírez is Associate Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is a scholar of migration, citizenship, and race, Mexican-American history, Latinx literary and cultural studies, feminist and gender studies, and speculative fiction.

Richard T. Rodríguez is Associate Professor of Media & Cultural Studies at the University of California, Riverside. He specializes in Latina/o/x literary and cultural studies, film and visual culture, and queer studies with additional interests in transnational cultural studies, popular music studies, and comparative ethnic studies. 

Similar to the opening conference, the closing conference will be built around the invited scholars’ lectures and interspersed with round table discussions featuring the invited guests in conversation with Iowa faculty. All events will be at the Iowa City Public Library. The opening keynote will be on Thursday 4/30 at 6:30pm; sessions on Friday 5/1 will run from 9:30am to 4:30pm; Saturday 5/2 will run from 10:30am to 4:30pm.

The Iowa City Public Library is conveniently located in downtown Iowa City, with nearby parking and bus stops. Please visit the ICPL’s site for more information about how to get there.