Thursday, April 23, 2015




Conference on Américo Paredes
Music Hall
California State University, Los Angeles
May 6-7, 2016

Sponsored by Cal State L.A.'s 
Office of the President, the Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Conference Series, the College of Arts and Letters, the College of Natural and Social Sciences, the Department of Chicano Studies, the Department of English, and the Emeriti Association, in conjunction with the University of California, Santa Barbara, the University of Texas at Austin, and the Américo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies at UT-Austin. 



This conference is free and open to the public.









Américo Paredes (September 3, 1915-May 5, 1999) distinguished himself as a journalist, novelist, short story writer, folklorist and as Professor of English and Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. He also knew how to strum the guitar and sing, Homer-like, the folk corridos (ballads) of legendary Mexicans who rode and battled on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Admired by many and held as one of the inspiring founders of Mexican American Studies in colleges and universities across the United States, Paredes was an active advocate of civil rights, educational reform, and improved social and economic opportunities for Mexican Americans and members of other ethnic communities in the United States. Born in Brownsville, Texas, Paredes was elected President of the Texas Folklore Society and Vice-President of the American Folklore Society. His life-long interest in Mexican American history and culture motivated him during his early years to collect corridos from farmers and villagers living on the Lower Rio Grande and on both sides of the Mexico-U.S. border, resulting in his pioneering book “With His Pistol in His Hand”: A Border Ballad and Its Hero (1958), and other influential books on folklore, poetry, and narrative fiction, such as Folk Music of Mexico (1966); A Texas-Mexican Cancionero: Folksongs of the Lower Border (1976); George Washington Gόmez (1990); Between Two Worlds (1991); Folklore and Culture of the Texas-American Border (1993); The Hammon and the Beans and Other Stories (1994), and The Shadow (1998). In 1991 Paredes was honored by the government of Mexico with the Order of the Aztec Eagle Award in recognition of his contributions to Mexican culture.

The 2016 Conference on Américo Paredes includes ten keynote and featured speakers, two plenary sessions, and four theatrical performances of plays by Chicano dramatist Carlos Morton. To view the biographies and lecture abstracts of speakers, panelists and actors, scroll down to the end of the online conference program. The 2016 Conference on Américo Paredes is the result of the planning and close collaboration between Mexican and Chicano faculty at California State University, Los Angeles, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the University of Texas at Austin. For questions on the conference, contact rcantu@calstatela.edu




Friday, May 6, 2016



Saturday, May 7, 2016



Conference Program
 Friday, May 6

Registration (free admission):
8:30-9:00 A.M.
Music Hall
California State University, Los Angeles


Words of Welcome:
President William A. Covino
9:00-9:05 A.M.
Music Hall


President William A. Covino (Cal State L.A.)




Introduction and Opening of Conference
Roberto Cantú, John Cleman, 
María Herrera-Sobek, and José E. Limón
9:05-9:30 a.m.



Dr. María Herrera-Sobek (UC, Santa Barbara)


Dr. José E. Limón (University of Texas at Austin)







Dr. John Cleman (Cal State L.A.)


Juan Carlos Parrilla (Cal State L.A. Alumnus, English)


Richard Pérez and Cristóbal Palma (Cal State L.A. Alumni, Chicano Studies)



Michael Cervantes, Conference Photographer
 (Cal State L.A. Alumnus, Chicano Studies)


Keynote Speaker


Friday, May 6, 9:30-10:45 a.m.
Music Hall
Richard Flores
Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the College of Liberal Arts,
Professor of Anthropology and Mexican American Studies,
C. B. Smith, Sr. Centennial Chair in U. S.-Mexico Relations,
University of Texas at Austin


Title of Lecture:


“Américo Paredes, Walter Prescott Webb,
and the Antinomies of Theory”


Moderator:  

José E. Limόn
University of Texas at Austin
  


Dr. José E. Limón and Dr. Richard Flores (University of Texas at Austin)










Dr. Alfredo Morales (Cal State L.A.)



Plenary Session #1
AMÉRICO PAREDES:
Folklore, Literature, and the History of
Greater Mexico

Friday, May 6, 11:00 A.M.-12:30 p.m.
Music Hall


Moderator: Iliana Alcántar, California State University, Los Angeles

Panelists:

1. “Rethinking Américo Paredes' notion of 'Greater Mexico'
Rosaura Sánchez, University of California, San Diego

2. “Afterlives of the Border Corrido and the Corrido Hero: Narcocorrido and Narconovela
Monika Kaup, University of Washington

3“The Politics of Ethnography: Américo Paredes and Insider/Outsider Research”
Alfredo MirandéUniversity of California, Riverside

4.  Stirring Echoes: Critical Folklorism and Américo Paredes' Cancionero
Elena V. Valdez, Rice University






Dr. Monika Kaup







Dr. Elena V. Valdez and Dr. Alfredo Mirandé



Dr. Iliana Alcántar



Dr. Rosaura Sánchez








 Dr. Alfredo Mirandé






Elena V. Valdez (doctoral candidate) 






















Dr. José E. Limón and Dr. Teresa McKenna







Luncheon Break
12:30-1:30 P.M.




Featured Speaker


Friday, May 6, 1:30-2:45 p.m.
Music Hall


Oscar J. Martínez
Regents’ Professor of History
University of Arizona

Title of Lecture:

The U.S.-Mexico Borderlands:
From Alienation to Integration”


Moderator: 


Provost Lynn Mahoney
California State University, Los Angeles


Dr. Oscar J. Martínez












      Plenary Session #2

AMÉRICO PAREDES:
Narrative, Poetry, and His Generation

Friday, May 6, 3:00-4:45 p.m.
Music Hall


Moderator: Pablo Baler, California State University, Los Angeles

Panelists:

1“Paradises Lost and Found: Américo Paredes’ Literary South Texas/Mexico Border”
Susana de la Peña, New Mexico State University

2. “In Defense of Francisco I. Madero: Felix Sommerfeld and U.S.-Mexican Cooperation on the Border
Heribert von Feilitzsch, Historian, Mexican-German Relations

3“Usos y abusos del español en Generaciones y semblanzas de Rolando Hinojosa”
Julio Puente García, University of California, Los Angeles

4.  “Mexican Lives (Don’t) Matter: George Washington Gómez as Timely Discourse on Police Violence and Its Protection of Anglo Economic Interests”
Diana Noreen Rivera, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

5.  “El alma adolescente en Cantos de Adolescencia de Américo Paredes”
María Cecilia Ruiz, University of San Diego





Dr. Pablo Baler




Heribert von Feilitzsch, Julio Puente García, and Diana Noreen Rivera




Dr. Susana de la Peña










Heribert von Feilitzsch



Julio Puente García









Friday, May 6, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Music Hall

Robert M. Young
Film Director and Producer

And

Edward James Olmos
Actor, Producer, Director


Title of Presentation:

The Making of the Film The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez


Moderator:

María Herrera-Sobek
University of California, Santa Barbara




Edward James Olmos and fans







Trying to screen a two-minute clip of the film 
"The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez"







Edward James Olmos, Robert Young, and María Herrera-Sobek



















Conclusion of the first day of the conference






Michael Cervantes and Edward James Olmos, Cal State L.A. alumni


Edward James Olmos and Pablo Baler



Edward James Olmos and Richard Pérez, Cal State L.A. alumni

Saturday, May 7
Music Hall



Featured Speaker

Saturday, May 7, 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Music Hall

Omar Valerio-Jiménez
Univesity of Texas at San Antonio


Title of Lecture:

“Contesting Citizenship: Border Corridos,
Transnational Ties, and Intercultural Conflict”


Moderator:  

José Anguiano
California State University, Los Angeles



Dr. Omar Valerio-Jiménez



















Dr. José Anguiano (Cal State L.A.)













Featured Speaker

Saturday, May 7, 10:15-11:30 a. m.
Music Hall

José E. Limόn
Mody C. Boatright Regents Emeritus Professor of American Literature
Univesity of Texas at Austin


Title of Lecture:

“Américo Paredes and the Latin American
Critical Tradition: The Road Not Fully Taken”



Moderator:


John Cleman
California State University, Los Angeles





Dr. José E. Limón and Dr. John Cleman








Dr. Francisco Lomelí (UC Santa Barbara)







Luncheon Break
11:30 a. m.-12:30  p.m.





Saturday, May 7, 12:30-1:00 p.m.
Music Hall

Featured Chicano Playwright 
Carlos Morton
University of California, Santa Barbara



Title of Lecture:

“Américo Paredes and the Beginning
of the Chicano Consciousness: 
Scenes from Four Plays”

Moderator: 


Roberto Cantú
California State University, Los Angeles






Dr. Carlos Morton




Saturday, May 7, 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Music Hall




Featured Theater Director
Guillermo Avilés-Rodríguez
California State University, Northridge


Four Theatrical Performances, 
written by Carlos Morton:

1. “It Was a Silvery Night"

2. "The Autobiography of Oscar Z. Acosta"

3. "Esperanza"

4. "Américo Paredes: In His Own Words"



Featured Actors:


Raúl Cardona 




Marita De La Torre






Eric J. Marq





Will Rian






















Featured Speaker
Saturday, May 7, 2:15-3:15 p.m.
Music Hall

María Herrera-Sobek
Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity,
and Academic Policy
University of California, Santa Barbara





Title of Lecture:

Uncle Remus con Chile:
Critical Race Theories in the Hermeneutics
of Américo Paredes’s Jokelore Collection


Moderator:

Roberto Cantú
California State University, Los Angeles



Dr. María Herrera-Sobek

























Featured Speaker

Saturday, May 7, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Music Hall

Claudia Sadowski-Smith
Arizona State University


Title of Lecture:

Américo Paredes 
and the Work of Border Writing”



Moderator: 


Iliana Alcántar
Califona State University, Los Angeles 


Dr. Iliana Alcántar



Dr. Claudia Sadowski-Smith






Keynote Speaker


Saturday, May 7, 4:45-6:00 p.m.
Music Hall

John Holmes McDowell
Indiana University



Title of Lecture:

“Transitionality: 
The Border as Barrier and Bridge



Moderator:

John Cleman
California State University, Los Angeles




Dr. John Cleman


Dr. John Holmes McDowell






End of Conference Group Photos









--Conclusion of Conference-- 




Keynote and Featured Speakers:
Biographical Information and Abstracts



Keynote Speaker
Keynote Speaker
Richard Flores
Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the College of Liberal Arts,
Professor of Anthropology and Mexican American Studies,
C. B. Smith, Sr. Centennial Chair in U. S.-Mexico Relations,
University of Texas at Austin


Abstract

The works of Américo Paredes continue to reveal important critical perspectives and scholarly interventions for intellectuals working in the present. I will expand on this key intellectual tradition by contrasting the work of Paredes, which is rooted and wed to his South Texas sensibilities and experiences, with that of the frontier historian, Walter Prescott Webb. Those familiar with Parades’ work will recognize Webb as the recipient of Parades’ ironic and pointed jabs for his disparaging remarks about Mexicans. And who can forget Paredes’ critical musing on what Webb’s remarks might have looked like if not buffered by their academic context?

This presentation explores the relationship between Paredes and Webb, tracing their own intellectual perspectives as a way of deepening our understanding of two formidable scholars of the Southwest. This exploration has led me to understand their bodies of work, while critically disjunctive on a number of key issues, as deeply intertwined with, if not embedded inside, the early currents of modernity. In fact, I have come to see Paredes and Webb as emblematic of the larger tensions and transitions occurring in wider society at the time.

I will present, in part, an argument for reconsidering the relationship between Paredes and Webb, moving from one shaped primarily by ethnic and racial conflict to one founded on different understandings of, and as a result, responses to, the forces of modernity. It is my suggestion, therefore, and the thesis of this essay, that we cannot understand the relationship between Paredes and Webb without fully engaging the implications and limitations of the intellectual and social milieu that underlies their work.

Finally, a more relevant issue emerges. Along with rethinking the work of Paredes and Webb, I want also to suggest a secondary, if not more critical, agenda: the current production of knowledge. A task of intellectual recuperation like this requires that our findings not exist as part of the project of the past, but stand as a resource for the production and evaluation of work in the present. As such, what is the relationship between the legacy of Paredes and Webb in modernity and our work today? If, as I will demonstrate, the work of Paredes and Webb represents two distinct, even oppositional, moments in the production of knowledge in modernity, what might those of us working in today’s global world learn about our own intellectual practice?

Biographical background

I am currently Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the College of Liberal Arts and Professor of Anthropology and Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin where I hold the C. B. Smith, Sr. Centennial Chair in U. S.—Mexico Relations. I work in the areas of critical theory, performance studies, semiotics, and historical and cultural anthropology. I am a native of San Antonio, Texas, and received my B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1989. I am the author of Remembering the Alamo: Memory, Modernity, and the Master Symbol (University of Texas Press, 2002), Los Pastores: History and Performance in the Mexican Shepherd’s Play of South Texas (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995), editor of Adina De Zavala’s, History and Legends of the Alamo (Arte Público Press, 1996). In addition, I have published essays in American Ethnologist, Cultural Anthropology, American Literary History, Radical History Review, and in the edited volume, Latino Cultural Citizenship, published by Beacon Press.

In addition to my scholarly work, I have extensive experience in the area of curriculum development and international studies, particularly in Latin America and the Middle East. I oversee UTeach-Liberal Arts, the college's secondary teacher preparation program in social studies, English, and foreign languages. More recently, I have developed the college’s new effort in international affairs, The Global Initiative for Education and Leadership. UT Global delivers high-quality educational training and consulting to governments, higher education institutions, schools, businesses, and nonprofits worldwide.
  







Keynote Speaker

John Holmes McDowell
Indiana University


Abstract

The life and work of Américo Paredes centered on the border separating and linking Mexico and the United States, extending the political boundary into a rich metaphor of peoples and cultures in recurring cycles of contact and conflict. I propose “transitionality” to capture the positioning of Paredes and to think through the complex semiotic properties of the border as a cultural phenomenon, beginning with Paredes’s influential formulation of the Texas-Mexican border as a zone of cultural production and continuing with a dash of my own research into the bicultural heritage of Chicano children and into the narcocorrido as yet another cultural form that simultaneously accentuates and erases this border. What transitionality points to is a paradoxical reading of the border as both barrier and bridge, as terminus and connector, and indeed, I’d nominate paradox as the trope of the border.

Biographical background

John Holmes McDowell, professor and chair of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University, specializes in the study of traditional and emerging vernacular performances as they participate in processes of play, commemoration, and heritage formation. He is the author of Poetry and Violence: The Ballad Tradition of Mexico's Costa Chica (University of Illinois Press, 2000) and the forthcoming ¡Corrido! The Living Ballad of Mexico’s Western Coast (University of New Mexico Press), as well as numerous articles, including “‘Surfing the Tube for Latin American Song: The Blessings (and Curses) of YouTube,” Journal of American Folklore 128 (2015): 260-272.






Featured Speaker
María Herrera-Sobek
Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Academic Policy
University of California, Santa Barbara


Abstract

            Within Américo Paredes’ wide-range of interests in viewing and comprehending the world surrounding us is the concept of humor.  Humor, encapsulated in jokelore texts collected by Paredes via extensive fieldwork sessions, provides us with an opportunity to explore his profound insights and his perceptive identification of the importance of this folklore genre as a unique epistemological tool for communities living under oppressive conditions. In this presentation, I explore issues of humor as transnational and transethnic/transracial constructs manifested in the jokelore collection titled Uncle Remus con Chile (1993). Using critical race theories, I underscore how humorous short narratives are effectively deployed as a form of resistance and self-preservation in dealing with the hostile environment that surrounds the marginalized Mexican American community in the Rio Grande Valley in the state of Texas but can be applied to other communities under siege. Consider for example the recent barrage of racist invectives the powerful and wealthy Republican candidate running for the presidency of the United States, Donald Trump, uttered against Mexican immigrants characterizing them as “criminals and rapists.” The Mexican/Mexican American community in different states (and in Mexico) immediately resorted to their cultural heritage and created a caricature of Trump as a piñata with the implication that people could beat the piñata and shred it to pieces.  At the same time, one can read the Trump piñata as a humorous, satirical, visual text.
          Freud’s seminal psychological studies on the human condition include theories on humor.  However, Freud seldom, if ever, included race within his publications on jokes. Paredes, on the other hand, is keenly aware of humor and, more specifically, humor that function as a weapon against racial discrimination and the adverse social, economic, educational, and political conditions in which Mexicans and Mexican Americans found themselves after the Mexico – United States War of 1848. In my analysis and hermeneutics of the English, Spanish and bilingual jokelore texts encompassed in Paredes’ collection, contemporary critical race theories confirm the Tejano scholar’s prescient vision regarding his understanding of how humorous texts encapsulate a community’s creativity in their quest to unmask discriminatory and oppressive social orders.


Biographical background

María Herrera-Sobek is Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Academic Policy and a Professor in the Chicana and Chicano Studies Department at UC, Santa Barbara. She holds the Luis Leal Endowed Chair in Chicano Studies. She taught at UC, Irvine for several years and has been a Visiting Professor at Stanford and Harvard Universities. She is the author of numerous books including The Bracero Experience: Elitelore versus Folklore (1979); The Mexican Corrido: A Feminist Analysis (1990); and Northward Bound: The Mexican Immigrant Experience in Ballad and Song (1993); Chicano Renaissance: Contemporary Trends in Chicano Culture (with Maciel and Ortiz, 2000); and Santa Barraza: The Life and work of a Mexica/Tejana Artist (2001). Santa Barraza: Artist of the Borderlands (2001) and Chicano Folklore: A Handbook (2006). She has edited or co-edited several books including: Violence and Transgression in World Minority Literatures (with Ahrens Rüdiger, Karin Ikas, and Francisco A. Lomelí, Germany, 2005) and Perpectivas Transatlánticas en la Literatura Chicana: Ensayos y Creatividad (with Francisco Lomelí and Juan Antonio Perles Rochel, Spain 2005). 








Featured Speaker

Oscar J. Martínez
Regents’ Professor of History
University of Arizona


Abstract

This presentation provides long-term historical context for the social, ethnic, and cultural conflict evident in many of the works of Américo Paredes. The relationship between Mexicans and European Americans has oscillated between alienation at one extreme and integration at the other.  Similarly, the relationship between Mexico and the United States, especially in the borderlands, reveals high levels of both conflict and harmony.  Four simultaneous and, at the same time, evolutionary tendencies stand out in that relationship: alienation, coexistence, interdependence, and integration.

Biographical background

Oscar J. Martínez is Regents’ Professor of History at the University of Arizona. He has authored and edited many books and articles, book chapters, and reviews.  His most recent works include Mexico’s Uneven Development (Routldege, 2015), Troublesome Border (2nd edition, University of Arizona Press, 2006), and Mexican Origin People in the United States (University of Arizona Press, 2001).  Presently Martínez is preparing a second edition of his book Border Boom Town:  Ciudad Juárez since 1848 (first published by UT Press in 1978).  Another book manuscript entitled, “Rich Lands, Poor Lands:  Why Some Nations Are Rich and Others Poor,” is at the advanced research and writing stage. Martínez has served on the boards of several journals and professional associations. He is a former president of the Association of Borderlands Scholars and a founder of the Journal of Borderlands Studies. Martínez is a Cal State L.A. alumnus.






Featured Speaker

Robert M. Young
Film Director, Producer

Robert M. Young, one of our foremost independent filmmakers, has an award-winning body of work that includes classic documentaries and acclaimed feature films, such as Nothing But A Man, Alambrista!, Short Eyes, Rich Kids, One Trick Pony, The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez, Extremities, Dominick and Eugene, Triumph of the Spirit, and Caught.

Mr.Young’s numerous awards include: Cannes’ Camera d’Or, San Sebastian’s Golden Concha for Best Film, Cuba’s Golden Coral for Best Film, Venice’s Primo San Georgio and The City of Venice Prize, an Emmy, three Peabody Awards, two George Polk Memorial Awards for Journalism and an Academy Award Nomination for Children of Fate: Life and Death in a Sicilian Family which also won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. Mr. Young has also been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.

One of his earliest documentaries, Secrets of the Reef was named by Time Magazine “one of the ten best films of the year.” And his film for CBS: Eskimo: Fight for Life, won an Emmy as Best Documentary of the year. As a writer/director/cameraman and associate producer for the acclaimed NBC White Paper series, he made Sit-In and Angola: Journey to a War. For the latter, he walked 400 miles behind Portuguese lines with Angolan rebels to film the first encounters of their war. Both films received the George Polk Memorial Award as well as being cited in a Peabody Award to NBC. The Angola film also received the Overseas Press Club Citation for Best Foreign Reporting of the year. Young’s next film, The Inferno portrayed slum life in Palermo, Sicily so powerfully that NBC declined to air it. In 1993, Young’s son Andrew and his daughter-in-law Susan Todd, incorporated the NBC film into their film Children of Fate: Life and Death in a Sicilian Family, for which they received an Academy Award Nomination. Father and son together received the Best Cinematography Award at the Sundance Film Festival.

Young has made numerous other prize-winning documentaries. Among them are The Maze, In the World of Sharks and the National Geographic Specials, Man of the Serengeti, Bushmen of the Kalahari and The Great Apes. In 1964 Young lived in an igloo above the Arctic Circle to capture the winter life of the Netsilik Eskimos. The project was sponsored by the National Science foundation and the Ford Foundation. It is the most accurate record of their traditional life. A one-hour version was shown on CBS and received an Emmy for best documentary of the year. His first dramatic film for television, JT received a Peabody Award. For his first narrative feature, Young co-wrote, co-produced and photographed Nothing But a Man, winning two major prizes at the Venice Film Festival, as well as making numerous ten best lists. Nothing But a Man, also distinguished by being Malcolm X’s favorite film, was elected to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1994. Young’s first fictional feature film as writer/director and cinematographer, Alambrista! about a young Mexican who illegally crosses into the United States, won the coveted Camera d’Or for Best First Feature at the Cannes Film Festival and Best Feature at the San Sebastian Film Festival. A Director’s cut of Alambrista! is currently being released through the sponsorship of the Ford Foundation.
Some of Young’s theatrical feature films are:

Rich Kids, staring John Lithgow, Katherine Walker
Extremities, staring Farah Fawcett
One Trick Pony,  staring Paul Simon
The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez, staring Edward James Olmos
Short Eyes, staring Miguel Pinero
Triumph of the Spirit, staring Willem Dafoe, Robert Logia, Edward Olmos
Dominick and Eugene, staring Tom Hulce, Ray Liotta, Jamie Lee Curtis
Caught, staring Maria Conchita Alonso, Edward James Olmos
Human Error, staring Xander Berkeley, Robert Knott, Tom Bower

Young also produced American Me with Edward James Olmos. He also produced and photographed The Plot Against Harry for which he received an Indie Spirit nomination for Best Picture as well as Best Cinematographer. Young’s other features include: Talent for the Game, Saving Grace, We Are The Children, Roosters, and Showtime’s Slave of Dreams and Solomon and Sheba, both filmed on location in Morocco. He also directed several episodes of ABC’s Nothing Sacred. His theatrical feature film Caught received an Indie Spirit Nomination for Best Director. He also directed a dramatic Imax film that is now in release: Panda: The China Adventure, set in China in 1936. He has directed for ITVS a fictional film True to the Game, written by a young African-American woman about life in Harlem. He also directed La Estrella, an hour episode for the program American Family, and two episodes of Nothing Sacred, starring Kevin Anderson.

He co-directed Walkout, a feature film for HBO. His latest directed films are five episodes of the TV series Battlestar Galactica, for which he was awarded a Peabody. He studied at MIT before serving in the Navy during WW II as a photographer’s mate. He graduated in 1949 from Harvard. He is married to Lili Young and has five children and five grand-children.





Robert M. Young and Edward James Olmos





Featured Speaker

Edward James Olmos
Actor, Director, Producer

Edward James Olmos has achieved extraordinary success as an actor, producer and humanitarian. The Tony, Emmy and Academy Award® Nominated actor is probably best known to young audiences for his work on the SYFY television series “Battlestar Galactica” (2003-2009) as Admiral William Adama. He also directed the HBO movie “Walkout” in 2007, for which he earned a DGA Nomination in the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television category.

Olmos’ career in entertainment spans over 30 years. In that time he created a signature style and aesthetic that he applies to every artist endeavor, often grounding his characters in reality and gravitas. His dedication to his craft has brought him attention across the industry and with audiences worldwide.

Originally a musician, Olmos branched out into acting, appearing in many small theatre productions until portraying the iconic El Pachuco in “Zoot Suit.” The play moved to Broadway and Olmos earned a Tony nomination for the role, which he played again in the 1981 film version. Olmos went on to appear in the films Wolfen, Blade Runner, and The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez before starring in his biggest role to date, that of Lieutenant Martin Castillo in the iconic 80’s television series “Miami Vice” opposite Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas. During his time on the Michael Mann series, Olmos earned two Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominations, resulting in a win from each. In 1988, Olmos was nominated for an Academy Award® and won the Golden Globe for his portrayal of Jaime Escalante in Stand and Deliver. He directed and starred in his first motion picture, American Me (1992).

Other credits as an actor include the motion pictures My Family/Mi Familia; Selena, which was a breakout film for Jennifer Lόpez; and In the Time of Butterflies, in which he played Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. In television he enjoyed a recurring role as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Roberto Mendoza in the NBC drama “The West Wing,” portrayed a widowed father in the PBS drama American Family: Journey of Dreams, and recently directed the YouTube program “The Short Film BP Doesn’t Want You To See,” featured on Larry King/CNN.

Edward James Olmos is an international advocate, spokesman, and humanitarian working with organizations such as Thank You Ocean, Project Hope Foundation, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, The Boy’s and Girl’s Club of America, The River Keepers, Dr. Andros’ Diabetic Foot Global Conference, and he speaks up to 150 times a year in schools, universities, and corporations. Olmos has been a longtime advocate of diversified roles and images of Mexican Americans and Latinos in the U.S. media, and is a major pioneer of literacy in the Latino community. Olmos is a Cal State L.A. alumnus.





Featured Speaker

José E. Limόn
Mody C. Boatright Regents' Emeritus Professor of American Literature
Univesity of Texas at Austin


Abstract

This paper explores the relationship of Américo Paredes to what in 2004, Alicia Ríos defined as the Latin American critical tradition, a tradition deploying multiple genres but centered on the essay. For her this tradition begins roughly with Simón Rodríguez and Andrés Bello in the earlier 19th century, reaches a kind of high point with José Martí and José Enrique Rodó in the later 19th, and continues through the twentieth century and into our own time in figures such as Roberto Fernández Retamar and Carlos Monsiváis. In 1997 José Saldívar positioned Paredes within this critical tradition by way of his fiction, poetry but mostly the always germane, “With His Pistol in His Hand…”, the latter reading keyed to some degree on my earlier 1992 analysis of its critical essayistic character. In this 2016 paper, I argue that while there is considerable validity in Saldivar’s positioning, it also has its limitations. As an alternative and departing from the final chapter, “Valor Civil,” of my 2012 book, Américo Paredes: Culture and Critique, I argue that Paredes’ relationship to the Latin American critical tradition might also be described as a road not fully taken, a missed opportunity to fully live out this tradition for the “nuestra América” on this side of the US-Mexico border. The argument centers on Paredes’ wholly overlooked 1963 essay, “Texas’s Third Man: The Texas-Mexican” first published in the liberal political journal, The Texas Observer, but also takes into account the specific socio-historical moment from 1945 to 1965.


Biographical background

José E. Limón is the Mody C. Boatright Regents Professor of American Literature (Emeritus) at the University of Texas at Austin. Limón has published in major scholarly journals and authored four books: Mexican Ballads and Chicano Poems: History and Influence in Mexican-American Social Poetry (University of California Press, 1992); Dancing with the Devil: Society and Cultural Poetics in Mexican-American South Texas (University of Wisconsin Press, 1994); American Encounters: Greater Mexico, the United States, and the Erotics of Culture (Beacon Press, 1998); and, Américo Paredes: Culture and Critique (University of Texas Press, 2012). A new book, Neither Friends, Nor Strangers: Mexicans and Anglos in the Literary Making of Texas, is in progress. In his former position as Professor of English and Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin, he directed thirty PhDs to completion with twenty-eight of these currently in tenure-track positions across the country from Brown University to UC-Santa Cruz.








Featured Playwright

Carlos Morton
University of California, Santa Barbara



The work of Américo Paredes has been known for its critical representations of the daily life of the “Mexico-Texan” who has been a victim of an injustice, dispossessed of ancestral lands, and denied the rights of citizenship and economic opportunities enjoyed by most Americans. Questions of social justice and border conflict are thus central themes in Paredes’s work, frequently written in the modes of irony and satire. As a tribute to Paredes, I will show scenes from four plays dealing with la vida cotidiana of the Mexican American people during the 1940’s and 50’s in the U.S.A. The first selection, “It Was a Silvery Night,” is based on a short story by Tomás Rivera about a young boy who goes out into the night for an encounter with the devil. Along the way he stumbles upon an old man who played the character of the devil in a Pastorela.

 The second piece is based on the writings of Oscar Z. Acosta (The Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo, The Revolt of the Cockroach People) and describes his sexual encounters with “all the little blonde girls named Alice” that he met in the course of his life, including his first wife, Betty. A third piece is taken from a libretto for the opera “Esperanza” based on the film Salt of the Earth that details the marriage of Ramόn Quintero and his wife Esperanza. In this piece the couple, working together, are able to successfully defeat a powerful mining corporation in Silver City, New Mexico during the height of the McCarthy era. 

 The fourth and last piece is about an incident in the life of Américo Paredes which dramatizes his “border thinking,” defined by Paredes as a “checkerboard of consciousness” that shapes the lives of Mexican Americans who must live with a composite of identities, with a sense of not belonging, and always being on the wrong side of the divide. 



Biographical background

 Carlos Morton has over one hundred theatrical productions, both in the U.S. and abroad.  His professional credits include the San Francisco Mime Troupe, the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Denver Center Theatre, La Compañía Nacional de México, the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, and the Arizona Theatre Company. He is the author of The Many Deaths of Danny Rosales and Other Plays (1983),Johnny Tenorio and Other Plays (1992),The Fickle Finger of Lady Death (1996), Rancho Hollywood y otras obras del teatro chicano,(1999), Dreaming on a Sunday in the Alameda (2004), and Children of the Sun: Scenes for Latino Youth (2008).

A former Mina Shaughnessy Scholar and Fulbright Lecturer to Mexico and Poland, Morton holds an M.F.A. in Drama from the University of California, San Diego, and a Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of Texas at Austin. Morton has lived on the border between Mexico and the United States since 1981, teaching at universities in Texas, California and Mexico. He is currently Professor of Theater at the University of California, Santa Barbara.






Featured Theatre Director

Guillermo Avilés-Rodríguez
California State University, Northridge


Guillermo Avilés-Rodríguez is a Lecturer in the Chicana/o Studies department at Cal State University, Northridge and a PhD student in the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television where he is a Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellow. He holds a BFA from the University of Utah and an MFA from the Masters program at UCSD Theater and Dance department. He has collaborated with Cuban theater collectives such as Teatro márgenes del río in Havana, Cuba, and with Spanish-language theater groups in Los Angeles, including Grupo malayerba from Ecuador, Yuyachkani from Perú, and Teatro de los Andes from Bolivia. He has translated La Razón Blindada by Argentinian author, actor and director Arístides Vargas, El Deseo by Mexican playwright Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda, and many other portions of American operas and plays such as Hopscotch an Opera for 24 Cars, and Ochre and Onyx: The Langston Hughes Project by Lynn Manning. Guillermo has directed many original, traditional, and experimental plays in both academic and community settings. He is the proud creator of Meet Me @Metro, a site-specific transit oriented theatrical extravaganza performed along the L.A. Metro rail line. Some of Guillermo’s directorial and literary highlights include directing A Bicycle Country by Nilo Cruz at Cal. State University, Long Beach for the META Student Organization, writing two Student Discovery Guides commissioned by Center Theatre Group: En un sol Amarillo, and Culture Clash's Palestine, New Mexico. His latest published article “Theatre and Transit: A Transit-Oriented Site-Specific Triptych” is featured in the latest issue of Theatre Forum. 



Cast of Actors




Raúl Cardona originated the role of Oscar Zeta Acosta in the 2015 Company of Angels production of Brown Buffalo. Other Theatrical credits: “El Pachuco” in Zoot Suit, “Bandido,” The American Melodrama of Tiburcio Vásquez; Fame; Selena Forever; Lalo Guerrero y Las Ardillitas; La Pastorela; Veteranos, A Legacy of Valor; Mummufied Deer; Mundo Mata; Corridos Remix; Restless Spirits; Romeo & Juliet; Meet Me @ Metro; and 26 Miles.






Marita De La Torre is a filmmaker and actress who has concentrated on acting and producing since graduating from the Theater programs of Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, and TX A&M- Kingsville.  In 2013 she embarked on producing “Lodo” after teaming up with her fellow filmmakers from the award-winning short film, “Botes Al Amanecer.” Now living in Los Angeles and a member of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, Marita has also begun work on writing and producing a feature-length film.





Eric J. Marq is a proud Chicano artist who currently lives in Palm Springs, California, where he is an active member of the arts scene. His film credits include a recent appearance in Disney's "McFarland, USA" starring Kevin Costner. He is always excited to get back on the stage doing work that gets him back to his roots. Socially focused art is how he keeps sharp when he is away from film. Through his community work he has discovered a new love and appreciation for the arts. 





Will Rian is an Actor, Writer, and Director. His most recent film credits include Abstraction, an action heist film and winner of multiple local film awards; The Custodian, and Ub(w)er Stories. He recently wrote and directed Valor, a Vietnam coming of age piece for the Arena Theater. Will has an MFA in Screenwriting from the University of California, Riverside, and is currently working on a second MFA in Acting here at California State University, Los Angeles.







Featured Speaker

Claudia Sadowski-Smith
Arizona State University



Abstract


Américo Paredes’s groundbreaking work in folklore and Chicano studies has made significant contributions to the tradition of Chicana/o border writing. This work’s setting in the US-Mexico borderlands is so closely interlinked with its subject matter that it cannot be easily moved to another place without distortion or loss of significance.  At the turn of the twenty-first century, the tradition of border writing has expanded to include a variety of new literary titles and authors. This presentation will examine Paredes’s place in the evolution of border writing and then focus on its more contemporary expressions, such as work by Richard Yáñez, Ana Castillo, Reyna Grande, Graciela Limόn, and Luis Alberto Urrea.


Biographical background

Claudia Sadowski-Smith is Associate Professor of English ar Arizona State University. She is the author of Border Fictions: Globalization, Empire, and Writing at the Boundaries of the United States (University of Virginia Press, 2008), and the editor of a special Comparative American Studies issue on comparative border studies (2011), as well as of Globalization on the Line: Culture, Capital, and Citizenship at U.S. Borders (Palgrave, 2002). In addition, Sadowski-Smith has published in American Quarterly, South Atlantic Quarterly, Comparative American Studies, Arizona Quarterly, Diaspora, Population, Space, and Place, and the European Journal of Cultural Studies.







Featured Speaker

Omar Valerio-Jiménez
Univesity of Texas at San Antonio



Abstract

Nineteenth-century corridos from the U.S.-Mexico border are wonderfully rich sources for the exploration of cultural change, identity, and regionalism. In particular, the folksongs from the South Texas-Northern Mexico border contain expressions of residents’ transnational ties, intercultural conflict, and citizenship claims. These corridos are critical primary sources for scholars interested in studying communities that did not leave many written documents containing their views on ideology and citizenship. My presentation will analyze songs about Ignacio Zaragoza, Ulysses S. Grant, and Juan N. Cortina, which were recovered and first analyzed by Américo Paredes. It will demonstrate that Tejanos in the nineteenth century embodied  multiple identities, demonstrated regional pride, and expressed nationalist sympathies. Although outsiders viewed border residents’ identities as contradictory, the local residents’ self-perception as Mexican nationals, Americans, and Tejanos all at the same time appeared unambiguous to them. Mexican Texans expressed a political affinity with the United States, but also felt connected to Mexico, just as Mexican nationals had links to the United States. My analysis will also show that Tejanos were influenced by and understood the ideological issues involved in the U.S. Civli War and Mexico’s war against French intervention. In addition to the corridos’ international and local influences, the settings of the songs demonstrated transnational bonds, as the songs were performed at various cross-cultural events, including at Cinco de Mayo festivities in which American citizens (Mexican Texans) celebrated Mexican nationalism in an American border town. Ultimately, the songs served as reminders that the processes of state formation of both nations influenced, but did not completely shape, the identities of Mexicans in the political and cultural borderland of south Texas.


Biographical background

Omar S. Valerio-Jiménez was born in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, and grew up in Taft, Corpus Christi, and Edinburg, Texas. After graduating from MIT, he worked as an engineer for five years before returning to graduate school at UCLA, where he obtained his master’s and doctorate degrees. He has taught at universities in California, New York, Texas, and Iowa. Currently, he is an Associate Professor in the History Department at the University of Texas at San Antonio..

In River of Hope, Omar S. Valerio-Jiménez examines state formation, cultural change, and the construction of identity in the lower Rio Grande region during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He chronicles a history of violence resulting from multiple conquests, of resistance and accommodation to state power, and of changing ethnic and political identities.

His family’s history along the United States–Mexico border partly explains the origins of River of Hope. Valerio-Jiménez’s ancestors hail from the borderlands of Coahuila, Tamaulipas, and Texas.

Valerio-Jiménez is also a co-editor of Major Problems in Latina/o History (Cengage Learning, 2014), an anthology of essays and primary documents on Latina/o History. His articles have appeared in the Journal of Women’s History, Estudios Mexicanos/Mexican Studies, and the Journal of American Ethnic History. He has also contributed chapters on Latinos, the American West, and the Spanish borderlands to various anthology collections including Migrants and Migration in Modern North America, A Companion to California History, America on the World Stage, Latinas in the United States, and The Atlas of the U.S. and Canadian Environmental History. He is also a co-editor of the Latina/o Midwest Reader (University of Illinois Press, forthcoming in 2016), a collection of articles on the history, politics, and culture of Latinas/os in the Midwest. Finally, he has a forthcoming article on Latinos in early twentieth-century Iowa that explores acculturation, labor, and gender relations. His longer-term project is a transnational study of the U.S.-Mexican War that examines memory, identity, and civil rights.






Conference Panelists, Titles of Presentations, 
and Abstracts


“Paradises Lost and Found: Américo Paredes’ Literary South Texas/Mexico Border”
Susana de la Peña, New Mexico State University

          Although much has been written about Américo Paredes as an eminent borderlands scholar, little if any attention has been given to a border of a different kind in his literary works: the convergence—in the psyche and world of his characters coming of age and growing in consciousness—of elements of the supernatural, uncanny, and everyday/“real.” The neo-Gothic literary genre  proves useful, for example, in the reconstruction of the colonized identity of the young protagonist struggling to create an alternative self within the patriarchal system of the border town in “Over the Waves is Out.” Paredes situates his narratives among characters that straddle the margins of geographical and spiritual borderlands while negotiating journeys across the terrain of socially constructed roles in a quest for self-determination and agency. The protagonist in The Shadow encounters multiple ghosts and hauntings from an historical past amidst the ruins and losses of the post-1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and even later during the 1910 Mexican Revolution. In the betwixt and between realms characteristic of being on the borderlands lies the liminal space of ambiguity as well as opportunity for metamorphoses of the child/adult, otherworldly/real, past/present, present/future, and prescribed/invented that gives voice to what Wendy Faris has defined as the “defocalized” narratives often associated with magical realism and with Latin America's Boom generation. It is these flowerings of identity, consciousness, and re-visioned history, amidst the losses of childhood and innocence, in the short stories and novels of Américo Paredes that I explore in my presentation.


“Afterlives of the Border Corrido and the Corrido Hero: Narcocorrido and Narconovela
Monika Kaup, University of Washington

This paper explores Paredes’s theories of Greater Mexico and the folk tradition of the border corrido by investigating its latest contemporary offshoots—the narcocorrido and the emerging genre of the narconovela. Narconovelas are fiction about themes of drug business and drug trafficking, and the culture flourishing in this environment—forces that have become ever more prominent in countries such as Mexico or Colombia in the past decades. The narcocorrido is a popular musical genre that arose with norteño bands such as Los Tigres del Norte and Los Tucanes de Tijuana in the 1970s. An adaptation of the classic Mexican border corrido, the narcocorrido glorifies the drug trafficker as a latter-day incarnation of the corrido hero.
Taking as my examples two recent narconovelas from northern Mexico, Yuri Herrera’s Trabajos del reino (2010) and Carlos Velásquez’s La biblia vaquero: un triunfo del corrido sobre la lógica (2008), I will explore 21st-century updates of the continuities between the traditional border corrido, the narcocorrido, and modern fiction from the Greater Mexico borderlands. In his pathbreaking studies on the border corrido, Paredes defined the corrido hero as a social rebel against racist and class oppression—the Mexican common man fighting against Anglo injustice “with his pistol in his hand.” Further, in both With His Pistol in His Hand and subsequently in A Texas-Mexican Cancionero, Paredes clarifies that “in the traditional scale of values, the smuggler was seen as an extension of the hero of intercultural conflict.” In addition, Paredes also forged continuities between Chicano fiction and the border corrido as “the folk base of Chicano literature” (Ramón Saldívar): in his twin border novels of the Lower Border, respectively set in Brownsville and near Matamoros during the early 20th century, George Washington Gómez and The Shadow, Paredes employs the ethos of the corrido hero “with his pistol in his hand” to construct a psychology of modern mexicano identity in the borderlands.
As Mark Cameron Edberg has argued, the narcocorrido is both a corrido and a cynical simulacra of the corrido in that it is both a truly popular phenomenon as well as a construct of the music business. The narcocorrido has co-opted the cultural persona of the corrido hero—his bravery, and the collective meaning of his struggle as a popular hero—in part because of the popular appeal of narco culture in Mexico, which offers a rare escape from poverty to wealth and access to social mobility that is otherwise foreclosed. My paper will focus on the way that—to adapt Saldívar—the narcocorrido figures as the “folk base” of the contemporary narconovela from northern Mexico. Velázquez’ La biblia vaquera, subtitled Un triunfo del corrido sobre la lógica, concludes with a fictional analogue of the corrido’s stock despedida, two epilogues constructed from references to the iconic narcocorrido about drug trafficking and betrayal, “Contrabando y traición.” The bulk of the narrative is a metafictional and fragmentary collection of seven short stories, some of whose protagonists are adapted from corrido stock characters, including a story that refashions the assassination of Burrough’s wife in Mexico as a corrido, “El Corrido de Guillermo Tell.”  For its part, Yuri Herrera’s Trabajos del reino features the rise and downfall of a poor narcocorridista summoned to serve as court poet of sorts among the entourage of a drug kingpin, who is disgraced over a corrido he composes in solidarity for his boss’s betrayal.


“The Politics of Ethnography: Américo Paredes and Insider/Outsider Research”
Alfredo Mirandé, University of California, Riverside

This essay examines the impact of Américo Paredes (1977) on ethnographic field research and the role of insiders and outsiders in conducting research in minority communities.  While Paredes was critical of anthropological, distorted depictions of Chicana/o culture, he also humorously chided Chicana/os for being “overly sensitive” and rejected the charge of racism leveled against Anglo ethnographers.  Paredes also cautioned ethnographers to be leery of the native “trickster” and aware of the informant as a potential performer of folklore.
The paper addresses problems, issues, and dilemmas that arose when a Mexican national, ostensibly fluent in Spanish and English, undertook research on the muxes of Juchitán, a third gender, in an indigenous Zapoteco community in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.  More broadly it speaks to the problems and issues that surface when well intentioned but colonizing outsiders seek to carry out ethnographic research in subordinated communities and inadvertently establish unequal, hierarchical, and potentially exploitative relationships with the people they are studying. 
Although a bilingual, bicultural Mexican national, my research was limited by the fact that I was a colonizing outsider who was neither muxe, Zapoteco nor fluent in the local language and culture.  In the end, my relationship with respondents proved to be unequal and hierarchical when I unwittingly imposed a Western conception of time, punctuality, and reciprocity on indigenous respondents and in the process discovered that the most significant insights were obtained, not in scheduled formal interviews, but in informal spontaneous interactions.


“Usos y abusos del español en Generaciones y semblanzas de Rolando Hinojosa”
Julio Puente García, University of California, Los Angeles

A partir de la publicación de su libro With His Pistol in His Hand (1958), Américo Paredes comienza a desarrollar su teoría sobre “Greater Mexico”, concepto empleado en ese momento histórico para definir la zona fronteriza del suroeste de los Estados Unidos habitada históricamente por grupos identificados con la cultura mexicana. Paredes concibe Greater Mexico “[as] a historically determined geopolical zone of military, cultural and linguistic conflict [between Mexicans and Anglos]” (Calderón 22). 
Dicha zona de conflicto es recreada por Rolando Hinojosa en Generaciones y semblanzas (1977), la segunda entrega de su Cronicón del Condado de Belken. En esta obra, el idioma español aparece como elemento principal en la construcción de un espacio único, que a su vez expresa una identidad méxico-tejana. No por coincidencia, Hinojosa ha comentado que sus “narraciones no se mantienen unidas por la trama sino más bien por lo que los personajes dicen y cómo lo dicen” (“A Sense of Place” 21). A través de la creación del Condado de Belken, poblado por mexicanos bien consientes de la importancia del español, Hinojosa recupera simbólicamente una pequeña pero significativa parte de los territorios mexicanos arrebatados por Estados Unidos durante el siglo XIX. Y a la misma vez, reinserta en la historia de este país a la población mexicana al manifestar explícitamente su antiguo arraigo en tierras hoy en día estadounidenses.
Tomando en cuenta la importancia del idioma español en Generaciones y semblanzas, en la presente ponencia se exponen los usos y abusos que hacen de él tanto mexicanos como anglosajones. En primera instancia, me interesa mostrar cómo para los anglosajones el uso del español significa una estrategia que por un lado enmascara una realidad violenta ejercida sobre los mexicanos, y por el otro, les permite mantener su hegemonía política, judicial y económica por medio del engaño. Por otro lado, me propongo exponer cómo para los chicanos del “South Ward”, la pérdida del español muestra su falta de voluntad que a mediano plazo provoca una desconexión cultural con la tradición mexicana del Condado de Belken. Así mismo, para concluir, analizo la función con la cual cumple el personaje Tomás Imás, chicano que “recupera” el español en la novela.


“Mexican Lives (Don’t) Matter: George Washington Gómez as Timely Discourse on Police Violence and Its Protection of Anglo Economic Interests”
Diana Noreen RiveraUniversity of Texas Rio Grande Valley

The heightened national awareness of police violence against the Black community can, in part, be accredited to several factors. Organizations like Black Lives Matter utilize the Internet and social media to maintain a continual discourse on the subject of police violence. News outlets like CNN simultaneously see a cultural responsibility and commercial value to reporting on police violence against Black communities. And, most recently, at Democratic Primary Debates, Presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton cite police violence against Black communities as reason for police reform. While the aforementioned factors sustain a necessary and critical dialogue on the failure of law enforcement and democracy to protect and serve Black communities, once again, the discourse adheres to a White/Black racial binary that omits police violence committed against Latino communities.In my presentation, I assert Paredes’s George Washington Gómez corrects this national myopia as it opens up a narrative space that critically documents historic acts of police violence against the Mexican body politic of south Texas. As part of the novel’s critical documentation, I consider the intersections of State sanctioned police violence, capitalist economy, and the social conditions of working class Mexicans in the novel. To this end, I contend that Paredes engages in a discourse that implicates police violence (or more broadly speaking, "the Law," to account for the actions of vigilante rinches, Jonesville police, national law enforcement agencies and the legal system) as a form of systemic violence against Mexicans that historically protects Anglo economic interests. Anglo capitalists in south Texas desired a fearful, suppressed body of working class Mexicans to be used and discarded at the whim of economic necessity. Therefore, I read Paredes’s novel George Washington Gómez’s many instances of policing as Paredes’s commentary on how “the Law” enforced and maintained these social, racial, and even gendered conditions among the Mexican community. Moreover, my presentation considers the detrimental affects and effects police violence has on titular character Gualinto/George Gómez’s subjective identity. While literary critics have largely attributed Gualinto’s unsettled psyche and anti-heroic assimilation to his educational experiences, I assert Gualinto’s run-ins with police, from his childhood to young adulthood, also underscore his mono-cultural assimilation into White society. I trace Gualinto’s encounters with police as he witnesses and becomes cognizant of the fact that Mexican lives don’t matter to law enforcement out to serve Anglo interests. Ultimately, these factors, plus a significant section in the novel where Gualinto is literally in the manner of Althusserian “interpellation” hailed by a Jonesville policeman, contribute to why he polices his own people at the novel’s end.


“El alma adolescente en Cantos de Adolescencia de Américo Paredes”
María Cecilia Ruiz, University of San Diego

En este trabajo me acerco al primer libro de poemas de Americo Paredes, Cantos de Adolescencia, que el escribió entre los 17 y los 21 años. El libro fue publicado en 2007 por Arte Público Press. La edición fue preparada con una introducción excelente por B.V. Olguín y Omar Vásquez Barbosa, quienes también se encargaron de traducir los poemas al inglés. Me acerco a los poema para indagar en la adolescencia del poeta, más precisamente en el alma adolescente del poeta, puesto que es su alma la que el poeta adolescente se esfuerza por captar, describir y compartir.
Paredes describe en el prólogo su adolescencia como una etapa de transición, de “metamórfosis”, caracterizada por ceguera y desequilibrio. A la vez fue una etapa, dice, de primeras experiencias hacia la adultez: primeras pasiones, primeros sentimientos patrióticos, primeros ideales, primeros amores, primeras luchas de ideas, etc. Escribe, “Es el tiempo en que el pensamiento se entabla una lucha entre la horda de ideas en embrión que allí habitan – lucha por conseguir un lugar definido y permanente en la conciencia del individuo.” A continuación lo que resalta es precisamente su biculturalismo, ser ambos mexicano y americano. Explica, hablando de si mismo en tercera persona,  “se sintió un momento mexicano y al otro puro yanqui. Pero con la adolescencia llega el tiempo de las decisiones.” Es decir, sabemos por lo que sigue y por el contenido de los poemas, que decidió explorar y amar su identidad mexicana, y de allí el patriotismo ya referido.


Rethinking Américo Paredes's notion of 'Greater Mexico'
Rosaura Sánchez, University of California, San Diego

I want to take up Américo Paredes' notion of Greater Mexico: its trajectory within Chicano/a critical discourses, its limitations, and ultimately to see how the construct of Greater Mexico, bound up  as it is with unstable identities and social location, is represented and plays out in Paredes' own work, George Washington Gόmez, particularly in the character Gualinto. Paredes' notion of Greater Mexico is at its origins a cultural nationalist construct that Ramón Saldívar has taken further and analyzed as a transnational imaginary. For Saldívar it is an imaginary social space consisting in transnational communities of shared fates (59). It is undoubtedly a cultural time-space construct, born out of proximity to Mexico and recent immigration from Mexico.  This imaginary space of an imagined community historically linked to a territory called Mexico after 1821 is of a much more ephemeral nature for those of Mexican origin born in the U.S., miles from the border. This transnational space does not always have the cultural nostalgic pull that it has for recent immigrants or border residents, as Paredes himself signaled in his novel George Washington Gómez. Gualinto might have grown up as a child fully conscious of this cultural transnational space but when he grows up and moves away, for him the border is a site of danger, of menacing Mexicans allied to fascist forces, and of ignorant Chicanos. In a sense, in the novel George Washington Gómez, Paredes ultimately deconstructs his own notion of a  Greater Mexico.


“Stirring Echoes: Critical Folklorism and Américo Paredes' Cancionero
Elena V. Valdez, Rice University 

In my paper, I read Américo Paredes' A Texas-Mexican Cancionero: Folksongs of the Lower Border (1976) through the analytic lens I call critical folklorism, which sheds light on just how central folklore has been to the making and re-making of Chicana/o studies since before the Chicano Movement. I argue Paredes's Cancionero exemplifies one way in which people of Mexican descent have written from the place of colonial difference, a concept I borrow from Walter Mignolo, Nelson Maldonado-Torres and other Latin American theorists. For evidence, I unpack the theory of folklore Paredes expresses in his Cancionero and compare it to Chicana/o Movement activists' reconfiguration of folkloric material for their nationalist project. Scholars often overlook Paredes' Cancionero, and I hope to reinvigorate interest in this work and others like it by introducing the concept of critical folklorism. This paper stems from my dissertation project, which traces the ebb and flow of folklore as an analytic in the field of Chicana/o studies and proposes we make a return to it as a valuable site of inquiry because it remains central to Chicana/o cultural productions and political motivations to this day. 


In Defense of Francisco I. Madero: Felix Sommerfeld and U.S.-Mexican Cooperation on the Border
Heribert von Feilitzsch, Historian, Mexican-German Relations 

Felix Sommerfeld, a German native, military veteran, mining engineer, and highly sophisticated naval intelligence officer aptly studied and manipulated local people along the Mexican-American border during the Mexican Revolution for his ends. He successfully recruited agents on both sides of the border and thwarted the efforts of Pascual Orozco and his Científico backers to overthrow the government of Francisco I. Madero in 1912. Amazingly, the German secret agent did this with the help of the U.S. Justice Department and local law enforcement, American business interests in New York, and lobbyists in Washington D.C. Thousands of actual and potential revolutionary recruits ended incarcerated for years. Sommerfeld's organization along the border in 1912 is the largest foreign secret service operation ever mounted on U.S. soil. Sommerfeld made this possible because of his cunning organizational skills and his intimate knowledge of the unique culture along the Mexican-American border, one of the central topics of Américo Paredes' scholarly work. I will outline the layers of cooperation between Sommerfeld's organization, local residents, and U.S. agencies in this critical fight for survival of the democratically-elected government of Francisco I. Madero.  









"Ashes on the Rio Bravo"
A Tribute to Américo Paredes






Songs by Flaco Jiménez

"El mojado sin licencia" 



"La mojadita"




Conjunto Acordeones de Tejas













Dr. Jeanine “Gigi” Gaucher-Morales

     The Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Lecture Series has been established by the Morales Family Lecture Series Endowment in memory of the late Dr. Jeanine (Gigi) Gaucher-Morales, who passed away on May 20, 2007. Born in Paris, France, Dr. Gaucher-Morales was a professor emerita of French and Spanish at Cal State L.A. She taught from 1965 to 2005, thus devoting four decades of her academic life to Cal State L.A., where her friends, students, and colleagues knew her as Gigi.
     During her long and productive tenure at this campus, Gigi taught generations of students the literature and culture of France, of the Anglophone world, and of Latin America, including the Caribbean. With her husband, Dr. Alfredo O. Morales, also professor emeritus of Spanish, she co-founded, directed, and served as advisor of Teatro Universitario en Español for almost 25 years, bringing to Cal State L.A. annual theater productions based on plays stemming from different traditions and languages, such as the Maya (“Los enemigos”), Colonial Mexico (“Aguila Real”), Spanish (“Bodas de sangre”), French (“The Little Prince”), and English (“Under the Bridge”). In addition, Gigi was the founder at Cal State L.A. of Pi Delta Phi, the national French honor society. She was recognized and honored by the French government for her contributions to the knowledge of French civilization in Latin America and the United States. Gigi was also honored by her peers at Cal State L.A. with the 1991-1992 Outstanding Professor Award.
     On March 7, 1997, Gigi was recognized by the Council of the City of Los Angeles, State of California, with a resolution that in part reads as follows: “Be it resolved that by the adoption of this resolution, the Los Angeles City Council does hereby commend Dr. Jeanine ‘Gigi’ Gaucher-Morales valued Professor of Spanish and French at California State University, Los Angeles for her vision and her gift to the people of Los Angeles and for contributing to the richness of multi-cultural arts in Los Angeles.”
     Every spring quarter, the Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Lectures will honor Gigi’s academic ideals as a teacher, colleague, and mentor. The lectures will respond to Gigi’s diverse yet interconnected interests in civilizations of the world, such as Mesoamerica and those of the Andes, Latin America, Asia, and Francophone America, from Canada to Haiti. Gigi embodied the highest academic standards in a range of academic fields that were truly global and interdisciplinary. The Memorial Lectures shall serve as a forum for distinguished guest speakers who engage vital topics of our age in a world setting, thus offering students, staff, and faculty at Cal State L.A. an opportunity to be critically exposed to different areas of study and artistic traditions that constitute the highest cultural aspirations of humanity. On May 5-6, 2017, the Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Conference Series will sponsor a conference on Mexican writer Alfonso Reyes (Monterrey, Nuevo León, 1889-1959). For more information, visit: http://alfonsoreyesatcalstatela.blogspot.com/






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