Event Archives


Job Talk: Christopher Perreira, P.h.D.


Please join the Department of Ethnic Studies

as we host Christopher Perriera, Ph.D. in a Job Talk

on May 26th at 2pm via Zoom https://ucsd.zoom.us/j/93244763515

Christopher Perriera, Ph.D

From Medical Violence to Environmental Futures

This talk examines two ends of my research and teaching interests. In the first part, I outline my forthcoming book, Making Consent: Race, Memory, and Violence in the Medical Archive. I show how a cultural analysis of medical discourse illuminates the ways that race and criminality have been central to the production of public health and public security—specifically how those are imagined in US national discourses of progress. I argue that a carceral health imaginary emerges from settler-colonial power relations, and that public health can be understood as a contested space in which race and criminality bolster racialized publics. The second half of my talk focuses on research informing my next book project, entitled Worlds Away: Speculating Environmental Justice and the Production of New Futures. In this second part, I draw lines from organizing efforts of Barrio Logan residents in the 1970s, which included creating a free clinic and multiple green spaces, to recent twenty-first century efforts to challenge and reduce environmental toxins in the neighborhood.

Race and Indigeneity in Oceania


As part of the UCSD Ethnic Studies Department's Year-long 30th Anniversary celebration, we are hosting a webinar titled, "Race and Indigeneity in Oceania" on Wednesday, May 19 from 3-5pm Pacific Time. This panel features 4 noted Pacific Islands Studies scholars - Maile Arvin (UCSD Ethn alum), Michael L. Bevacqua (UCSD Ethn alum), Fuifuilupe Niumeitolu, and Joyce Pualani Warren, who will engage in a discussion about the connected and overlapping histories of racial formations, empire, settler colonialism, and militarism within Oceania. Our moderator is UCSD Ethn alum, Olivia Quintanilla. 


From #StopAsianHate to Asian Liberation Praxis


Join us for a roundtable discussion with Asian American leaders Hyejin Shim and Eddy Zheng who will discuss anti-Asian violence in relation to histories of criminalization and incarceration and the importance of community organizing.


Incarceration and Migration Colloquium 

Date: April 21, 2021

Time: 3-5pm


Please join us for this conversation with UCSD Ethnic Studies alumni as they share their research and organizing work around issues of migration and incarceration, and decolonization and abolition. The panel will be moderated by UCSD Ethnic Studies graduate students Adriana Echeverria and Liliana Sampedro.  

Town Hall & Return to Learn in FA21 Zoom

Thursday, May 20th at 2pm


Open House & Orientation Zoom 

Thursday, May 27th at 2pm


Indigenous Environmental Justice (April 14, April 23, May 6)

Celebrate Earth month with three events centered on Indigenous environmental justice. First nations peoples are at the forefront of many contemporary environment struggles, resisting mines, pipelins, and fracking sites all over the world. We talk with two preeminent activists about their personal experiences of the movement, show a ground-breaking film about Indigenous struggle for sovereignthy from the 1970s to today, and hear from an urban Indigenous women-led land trust working to return land to Indigenous people.



The Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego recognizes, denounces, and condemns the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes that have permeated our country over the past year and that are tied to hundreds of years of similar such violence embedded in colonialism, xenophobia, racism, sexism, and homophobia among other discriminatory factors. Asian, Asian American, Pacific Islander and Native American communities (mistaken for Asian descent) have been deeply impacted by attacks that have caused physical and psychological harm. 

While reported incidents number in the thousands, recent assaults against Asian and Asian American women yesterday in Atlanta, against elderly and others include attacks on a 52-year-old woman who was shoved in Queens, an 83-year-old woman punched on public transit in San Diego, a 91-year-old man, a 60-year-old man and 55-year-old woman shoved in Oakland’s Chinatown, a 61-year-old man in Brooklyn whose face was slashed while riding the subway, a 36-year-old man stabbed in Manhattan’s Chinatown, a disabled 51-year-old elementary school teacher’s aide beaten by his own cane in LA County, a 27-year-old Air Force veteran beaten in LA’s Koreatown and the deadly assault of 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee in San Francisco. In addition, various press reports and additional evidence point to many more incidents of anti-Asian assaults, violence and harassment that have gone unreported

We support the national efforts of the Stop AAPI Hate organization and ask all students, faculty, staff, and community members to report any incidents including 

but not limited to online harassment, violent, racist, or hateful language and any threats to the health, well-being and safety of our community to the Stop AAPI Hate website, and to other community led grassroots organizations working within an abolitionist framework to act against anti-Asian violence. Additional organizations where you can report incidents or seek support include: Asian Pacific Environmental Network, CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities, Chinatown Community for Equitable Development, Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Asian American Feminist Collective, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, South Asian Americans Leading Together, National Federation of Filipino American Associations, the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Empowered Pacific Islander Communities. We also encourage everyone to be aware of their surroundings, to travel in groups, and practice community support efforts for those who might be attacked verbally and/or physically during this time and into the future. Check on one another. This is a painful time compounded by social isolation, if you need to speak with someone and need support, please reach out to the National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association or to another community-based organization that you trust.  

These incidents remind us of the need for direct actions and resources to support Asian and Asian American students, staff, faculty, and community members as well as other communities of color and groups targeted by white supremacist individuals, groups and organizations. We bring attention to the fact that those being most impacted by violence: Asian, Pacific Islander, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Arab and cis + trans women of color, have long been the most vulnerable to the intersections of state and gender-based violence. We call on the UCSD community to condemn white supremacist organizations and demand that the administration allocate financial resources dedicated to creating an equitable and safe environment for all Asian American, Pacific Islander, and BIPOC community members. We send our thoughts, support, and profound wishes for strength, wellness, safety and healing to the Asian and Asian American members of our community and across the world. We stand with you and all BIPOC as relatives seeking justice and healing.


The Ethnic Studies 30th Anniversary Committee, in collaboration with Critical Gender Studies, is excited to announce: Unknotting Transformative Justice: Race, Dis/Ability, and Care Work

Date: Wednesday March 10

Time: 3-5 p.m.

Zoom link: https://ucsd.zoom.us/j/94521876307

Chóo’onum Nonéshkinum, All My Relations - Colloquium (Wed, 2/24, 3-4:30pm)

Please join us for a conversation with Ami Amire and Dr. Stan Rodriguez as they share their Indigenous knowledge and experiences with us and guide us on how the UCSD community can best support the collective stewardship of their homelands and the self-reliance of Kumeyaay and Payomkawichum people.

Presented by the Ethnic Studies first-year graduate student cohort.

Here's the link to join the webinar: HTTPS://UCSD.ZOOM.US/J/96100259089


Ethnic Studies Alumni Mixer (past)

The Ethnic Studies department invites all current graduate students, prospective graduate program applicants, and faculty to join us for a time of connection.


Ethnic Studies Alumni-Student Mixer (past)

Meet a panel of UCSD alumni who majored in Ethnic Studies over the last 30 years. They will share insights on how their degrees shaped their professional and personal lives, as well as advice for current or propsective Ethnic Studies  majors and minors about what Ethnic Studies can offer them. All are welcome.


Changemaker Faculty Fellow (CFF) Award  

Changemaker Faculty Fellows Program awards $10,000 to faculty team of Professors Yen Espiritu, Luis Alvarez, and Simeon Man in support of the Race and Oral History project.


Academic Senate Approves Minor in Native American and Indigenous Studies

The Guardian reports that UC San Diego approves a minor  in Native American and Indigenous Studies (Read more)


San Francisco AIDS Foundation

What's Pride Got to do with it? Black and Indigenous Erasure in HIV and Public Health

Asked by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation to reflect on racism and public health, Andrew Jolivette of Ethnic Studies recalls the powerful words of a friend shortly after being diagnosed with AIDS: "Your community is your medicine." What Black, Indigenous and queer communities need today, Jolivette writes, are not allies or accomplices, but kinsfolk – brothers and sisters, family – that care always, not just "when it’s the popular time to show support."  (Read more)


2020 Ethnic Studies Zoom Graduation Video

To view the Ethnic Studies Zoom Graduation for the class of 2020, please visit our new YouTube page. 













Spring 2015

Bottomhood is Powerful

Nguyen Tan Hoang

Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 3:30 - 5:00pm
Social Sciences Building (SSB), Room 107
Reception to follow, SSB 103

The presentation examines the ways that anal erotics and bottom positioning refract the meanings of race, gender, sexuality, and nationality in Asian/American visual culture. Nguyen argues that "bottomhood" simultaneously enables and constrains Asian American men in moving-image media. Conceived as a sexual position, a social alliance, and an aesthetic form, bottomhood affirms a politics that embraces risk, receptivity, and vulnerability. Gay male video pornography and sex cruising websites constitute case studies. The talk will be supplemented by a short video screening.

Nguyen Tan Hoang is a videomaker and a scholar of queer cinema, experimental video, and Asian/American visual culture. His videos, including K.I.P, PIRATED!, and Forever Bottom!, have been screened at MoMA, The Getty Center, The Pompidou Center, and numerous film and media festivals. Hoang's writings have appeared in Porn Studies, Vectors: Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular, Resolutions 3: Global Networks of Video, and Porn Archives. His book A View from the Bottom: Asian American Masculinity and Sexual Representation was recently published by Duke University Press. He is Associate Professor of English & Film Studies at Bryn Mawr College.

This talk is co-sponsored by the Thurgood Marshall College Film Studies Minor.

The Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, Desi American (APIMEDA) Project on Militarism & Migration Studies presents:

Vietnamese in Orange County

Book Launch & Photo Exhibit
with Linda Võ , Thúy Võ Đặng, & Tram Le

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Book Talk: 12:00pm – 1:00pm
UCSD Cross-Cultural Center, Comunidad
Light refreshments to follow in the ArtSpace for exhibit

Thúy Võ Đặng is the Archivist for the Southeast Asian Archive and Regional History in UC Irvine’s Libraries. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, San Diego, where she specialized in race and ethnicity, oral history, cultural studies, immigration and refugee studies, community studies, and Asian American studies.

Linda Trinh Võ is an Associate Professor in the Department of Asian American Studies at University of California, Irvine. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego. She is author of Mobilizing an Asian American Community and co-editor of three books: Labor Versus Empire: Race, Gender, and Migration; Asian American Women: the “Frontiers” Reader; and Contemporary Asian American Communities: Intersection and Divergences.

Tram Le received her B.A. in Business Administration-Marketing from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and has an M.A. from the Department of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Her master’s thesis, “Finding Home,” investigates the journey of first-generation Vietnamese in Orange County through oral history and performance art.

A lecture series part of UC San Diego’s Ethnic Studies Department’s 25th Anniversary; a partnership with the Cross-Cultural Center’s 20th Anniversary, the Student Affirmative Action Committee’s (SAAC) 40th Anniversary, & the 9th Annual Asian & Pacific Islander American Heritage Celebration

A Project of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion’s Innovation Grant

Co-Presented By: the APIMEDA Resource & Research Center Committee, the Department of Ethnic Studies, the Cross-Cultural Center, the Pan-Asian Staff Association along with the APIMEDA Student Organizations Advisory Commitee composed of the Coalition for Critical Asian American Studies, Asian & Pacific Islander Student Alliance, Kaibigang Pilipin@, Muslim Student Alliance, Coalition of South Asian Peoples, Kamalayan Kollective, Pan-Arab Student Alliance, SouthEast Asian Collective, Students for Justice in Palestine, and the Student Affirmative Action Committee


Vora Book Talk

For more information, please contact: ethnicstudies@ucsd.edu, (858) 534-3276

Winter 2015

Militarized Refuge: Connecting the Dots of U.S Military Empire

Yến Lê Espiritu

Professor, UCSD Ethnic Studies Department

Friday, March 6, 2015, 2:00 - 3:30pm
Social Sciences Building (SSB), Room 107
Reception to follow, SSB 103

This talk views the Vietnamese refugee flight—from Vietnam to the Philippines to Guam and then to California, all of which routed the refugees through U.S. military bases—as a critical lens through which to map, both discursively and materially, the legacy of U.S. military expansion into the Asia Pacific region and the military’s heavy hand in the purportedly benevolent resettlement process. I make two related arguments: the first about military colonialism, which contends that it’s (neo)colonial dependence on the United States that turned the Philippines and Guam into the receiving centers of U.S. rescuing project; the second about militarized refuge, which emphasizes the mutually constitutive nature of the concepts “refugees” and “refuge” and shows how both emerge out of and in turn bolster U.S. militarism.

Fall 2014

Indigenizing Museums and the Move Toward Decolonization Successes and Ongoing Challenges

Amy Lonetree

December 11th, 3:00-4:30pm
Cross-Cultural Center, Comunidad Room
Followed by a reception

The relationship between Indigenous communities and mainstream museums has changed significantly in recent decades as a result of Indigenous activism and new museum theory and practice. These changes include the sharing of curatorial authority, collaborative partnerships, and efforts to decolonize museums. My research examines the current state of contemporary exhibition practices at both national and tribal museums. Central to my analysis is exploring how museums can serve as sites of decolonization through honoring Indigenous knowledge and worldview, and discussing the hard truths of colonization in exhibitions in an effort to promote healing and understanding. Several of the sites that I examine move us forward in efforts to decolonize museum representations through the privileging of Indigenous voice and perspectives, serving as educational forums for Native communities and the general public, and by challenging stereotypical displays of Indigenous people produced in the past. Through an examination of the exhibitions at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (including their newly opened exhibit, “Nation to Nation”), and the Ziibiwing Center for Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways in Michigan, my presentation will explore what a decolonizing museum practice involves and how we can extend our understanding of the potential of museums to be "sites of conscience" and decolonization

Amy Lonetree is an enrolled citizen of the Ho-Chunk Nation and an Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She received her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2002. Her scholarly research focuses on Indigenous history, visual culture studies, and museum studies, and she has received fellowships in support of this work from the School for Advanced Research, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Research Center, the Institute of American Cultures at UCLA, and the University of California, Berkeley Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. Her publications include, Decolonizing Museums: Representing Native America in National and Tribal Museums (University of North Carolina Press, 2012); a co-edited book with Amanda J. Cobb, The National Museum of the American Indian: Critical Conversations (University of Nebraska Press, 2008); and a co-authored volume, People of the Big Voice: Photographs of Ho-Chunk Families by Charles Van Schaick, 1879-1942 (Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2011). She is currently working on two new projects. The first is a visual history of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin drawing upon two historic photography collections, and the second is a historical study documenting the adoption of Indigenous children throughout the twentieth century.
Co-Sponsored by the Center for the Investigation of Health and Education Disparities (CiHED)

Ethnic Studies PhD Open House Colloquium

Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 3:00 - 4:00pm
Location: Social Sciences Building (SSB) 107
Followed by a reception in SSB 103

Ethnic Studies Faculty/Graduate Student Panel Discussion
"Why UCSD Ethnic Studies?"

Panelists: Professor Yen Espiritu, Professor Gabriel Mendes and Ethnic Studies PhD students

Faculty and graduate students share their perspective on the distinctness of our department and discuss how the department has shaped their work.

An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States

Dr. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
October 29th, 3:30-5pm
Cross Cultural Center Comunidad Room

Followed by a reception in CCC Library

Today, in the United States, there are more than five hundred federally recognized indigenous communities and nations comprising nearly three million people. These individuals are the descendants of the once fifteen million people who inhabited this land and are the subject of the latest book by noted historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz.  In An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, Dunbar-Ortiz challenges the founding myth of the United States and shows how policy against indigenous peoples was genocidal and imperialist—designed to crush the original inhabitants. Spanning more than three hundred years, this classic bottom-up history significantly reframes how we view our past. Told from the viewpoint of the indigenous, it reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the US

Co-sponsored by the African American Studies Minor, the Chicana/o~Latina/o Arts and Humanities Program, the Critical Gender Studies Program, the Cross-Cultural Center, the Latino Studies Research Initiative, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the Women's Center.

Spring 2014

Dr. Brown Talk

"Survival and the Undercommons of Terror"

Junaid Rana

Associate Professor, Asian American Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 | 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Social Sciences Building (SSB), Room 107

This talk examines the complex interplay of policing, survival, and terror in a Muslim neighborhood of New York City. Drawn from Junaid Rana’s current book project that details the outcomes of over a decade of the War on Terror in the Little Pakistan of Brooklyn, ethnographic examples come from a range of chapter topics including activism, policing, health care, and legal issues, that detail the unlikely possibilities in the gray areas of diasporic economies and neoliberal capitalism.

Junaid Rana is an Associate Professor of Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with appointments in the Department of Anthropology, the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory. His publications have appeared in Cultural Dynamics, Souls, and the edited anthologies Pakistani Diasporas (OUP, 2009) State of White Supremacy (Stanford, 2011), Reinventing Race, Reinventing Racism (Brill, 2012), Dispatches from Pakistan (Leftword, 2012; Minnesota 2014), Between the Middle East and the Americas (Michigan, 2013), and The Sun Never Sets (NYU, 2013). He is the author of the book Terrifying Muslims: Race and Labor in the South Asian Diaspora (Duke, 2011), winner of the 2013 Association of Asian American Studies Book Award in the Social Sciences. He is a member of the Critical Ethnic Studies Association Working Group and serves as the co-coordinator for 2012-14.

Register at: http://iicas.ucsd.edu
Event information: iicas-events@ucsd.edu or http://iicas.ucsd.edu or (858) 822-5297

Winter 2014

Thinking Race, Gender, and Place: A BLACK STUDIES PROJECT presents...
"Race, Politics, and Neoliberalism After 9/11"

A conversation between 
Erica R. Edwards
Associate Professor, English Department, UC-Riverside

and Sohail Daulatzai
Associate Professor, Media Studies & African American Studies, UC-Irvine

Wednesday, March 5th at 3:30pm 
Qualcomm Room, Jacobs Hall (School of Engineering)
Sponsored by the Department of Ethnic Studies

Erica R. Edwards, Associate Professor of English at UC-Riverside, received her Ph.D. in literature from Duke University. She is the author of Charisma and the Fictions of Black Leadership (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), which won the Modern Language Association's 12th annual William Sanders Scarborough prize. Her published work takes up contemporary African American literature, feminist theory and criticism, cultural studies, and critical theories of race, gender, and sexuality. She is currently working on a book on African American literature and the War on Terror. 

Sohail Daulatzai, Associate Professor of Media Studies and African American Studies at UC-Irvine, is the author of Black Star, Crescent Moon: The Muslim International and Black Freedom beyond America (University of Minnesota Press, 2012) and co-editor of Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas's Illmatic (Basic Civitas Books, 2009). His fields of interest include Muslim studies, Black radicalism and internationalism, critical race studies, U.S. imperial culture, and cultural studies

BSP is sponsored by: African American Studies Minor; African and African American Studies Research Center; Black Resource Center; Critical Gender Studies Program; Cross Cultural Center; Dean Seth Lerer, Division of Arts and Humanities; Department of Communication; Department of Education Studies; Department of Ethnic Studies; Department of History; Department of Literature; Department of Sociology; Office of Graduate Studies; Office of the Dean, Division of Social Sciences; and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Racialized Rightlessness and the Criminalization of the Unprotected

Lisa Marie Cacho, Associate Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Latina/Latino Studies and Asian American Studies.  UCSD Alum, Ph.D. Ethnic Studies and B.A. Ethnic Studies & Literature/Writing

 Friday March 7, 2014
2:00 - 3:30pm
Location: SSB 107

Reception to follow
This presentation will argue that the rightlessness of certain populations of color in the United States is foundational to U.S. law in that the absolute repudiation of certain status categories—criminals, gang members, illegal aliens, suspected terrorists, etc.—is necessary to maintain the fiction of “legal universality.” For the people whose bodies are the real world referents for these il/legal categories, the act of merely “being” is criminalized. Lisa Marie Cacho terms these groups “ineligible to personhood” because they occupy the status categories that are rendered not just rightless but unsympathetically so. She argues that these neoliberal ways of knowing and systems of value are fundamentally comparative as well as organized through and along racial, gendered, sexual, spatial, national, and classed lines. In other words, the human value of populations is not only assessed economically but articulated through and made legible in negative relation to unsympathetic and criminalized il/legal statuses that are always already racialized—the criminal alien, the gang member, the illegal alien, and the suspected terrorist. As Cacho explains, those impoverished places and criminalized populations of color are criminally suspected, economically neglected, and legally unprotected; they cannot activate discourses of innocence or injury in the law or within the US public, leaving them with few allies and even fewer legitimate avenues for socioeconomic stability or political credibility.


Professor Cacho’s book, Social Death: Racialized Rightlessness and the Criminalization of the Unprotected (NYU press, 2012) won the John Hope Franklin award in 2013 for best book in American Studies. The book interrogates the ways in which illegality, criminality, and social death are relationally constituted.    

Books will be available for purchase and signing before and after the presentation.

Lisa Marie Cacho is an Associate Professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in Latina/Latino Studies and Asian American Studies. Her work examines the ways in which different racial and ethnic groups are racialized, gendered, and sexualized in relation to one another. She has published in Latino Studies, Cultural Values, Black Scholar, GLQ and the edited collections Immigrant Rights in the Shadows of U.S. Citizenship and Strange Affinities: The Sexual and Gendered Politics of Comparative Racialization. 

Spring 2013

"Listening to Chicana Music"

Dr. Deborah Vargas

Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies

University of California at Riverside

Dr. Deborah Vargas, Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies, University of California at Riverside
Co-sponsored by: Department of Literature, Department of Critical Gender Studies, Department of Sociology, the Dean of Social Sciences, and the Director of Diversity and Equity
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 3:00- 4:50pm
Location: Social Sciences Building, room 107

Reception to Follow

Winter 2013

Race, Empire, and Revolution: A Dialogue on Ethnic Studies Archives and Visual Culture

Shelley Streeby,
Professor, Ethnic Studies
Sara E. Johnson,
Assoc. Professor, Literature & Affiliate Ethnic Studies
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 3:00- 4:30pm
Location: Social Sciences Building, room 107
(Reception to follow, SSB 103)

From Henry Roe Cloud to Henry Cloud: Ho-Chunk Strategies and Colonialism

Friday, February 15, 2013
Social Science Building 107 Reception to follow, SSB 103

Renya K. Ramirez
Associate Professor of Anthropology, UC Santa Cruz Enrolled member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

Renya K. Ramirez's talk examines the gendered settler colonial aspects of Henry Roe Cloud's relationship with his informally adoptive "mother," Mary Roe.  It argues that Cloud, my Ho-Chunk grandfather, an intellectual, activist, and policy-maker, defied colonial reality by appropriating the white notion of the self-made man, and by relying upon his Ho-Chunk masculinity, his partnership with his wife, Elizabeth, his Christian identity, and Ho-Chunk-centric hubs.  Henry Roe Cloud was a co-author of the Meriam Report of 1928, which documented socio-economic conditions of Indian country, and the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, which founded contemporary tribal governments.

Fall 2012

Curricular Objects: “Women of Color,” Feminist Anti-Racisms, and the Consolidation of Women’s Studies

Nick Mitchell
University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of African American Studies,UC Berkeley

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
3:00- 4:30pm,
Location: Social Sciences Building 107

This talk offers a genealogy of the category “women of color” as a way of thinking the institutional relationship between black studies and women’s studies that emerged in the 1970s. Drawing a (provisional) distinction between the category’s use for political organizing and coalition building, and its uses in naming and consolidating a body of knowledge for academic institutions, Mitchell argues that attention to “women of color” as the outcome of institutional machinations reveals processes often obscured when the self-consciously political connotations of the term are emphasized.

Aloha America: Hula Circuits through the U.S. Empire

Adria L. Imada, Associate Professor
UCSD Department of Ethnic Studies

Moderator: Curtis Marez, Associate Professor and Chair
UCSD Department of Ethnic Studies

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
3:00pm - 4:30pm
Location: Social Sciences Bldg., room 107
Reception to follow
Books will be available for purchase and signing before and after the presentation.

While nineteenth and twentieth-century tourist hula performers are often assumed to have been victims or beneficiaries of colonial capitalist development, Aloha America explores their unexpected relationship to Hawai‘i’s present-day self-determination movement.  Adria L. Imada traces the origins of Native Hawaiian decolonization activism in tourist hula circuits that sustained cultural reproduction and political contestation during the past century of American colonization.  Tourist dance practices, rather than being antithetical to decolonization, constitute an important archive and repertoire for Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) performers.  Politically engaged readings of colonial and neocolonial performances suggest how hula survived colonial repression and is being reconstituted as a contemporary form of redress.

Spring 2012

"Wet" Work: Ethnic Mexican Women Bootleggers and Dime Dancers in Prohibition-era Greater Los Angeles

Nick Bravo, UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History, UC San Diego
When: Wednesday, May 2, 2012, 3:00 – 4:30pm
Where: SSB 107

Alcohol presents an interesting paradox for ethnic Mexicans in Prohibition-era Los Angeles: it shaped the boundaries of belonging and exclusion—within the city's economic and social fabric, within ethnic Mexican communities, and within families—yet through it individuals also crafted alternate spaces for relative economic gain and social independence.  This presentation considers this paradox through ethnic Mexican women bootleggers and dime dancers (women paid $.10 per dance at nightclubs), two professions made economically viable and socially possible by Prohibition legislation through which admittedly exceptional historical actors balanced financial necessity and gendered identity.  Working within and expanding the family wage economy, women assumed occupations that forced them to redefine their gender identity by entering the black market and stigmatized public spaces, both seen as affronts to gender respectability.  No doubt outnumbered by women in more typical economies and more recognizable in their gendered behaviors, bootleggers and dime dancers nonetheless complicate our understanding of the economic and social options available to ethnic Mexican women in this era, the survival strategies they crafted in this context, and the ways such strategies resisted systems of racial, gender, and class marginalization.  Their labor helps locate ethnic Mexican subjectivity within Prohibition history, highlights the interplay of state drug laws, economic daily life, and social power, and produces a bevy of historical actors whose occupation and identity force us to reconsider ethnic Mexican women in the years leading to World War II.  These were not the typical or "quiet" ethnic Mexican women thought to dominate the era, and their decisions and relationships--to Los Angeles and Prohibition, to ethnic Mexican communities, to their families, and to themselves--provide glimpses of daily life and resistance in unique economic and social spaces understudied in Chicana/o historiography.

“Archivista Praxis, Digital Scholarship--Women Who Rock:  Making Scenes, Building Communities"

Michelle Habell-Pallán, Associate Professor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies and Adjunct in the School of Music and Communication at the University of Washington
When: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 3:00 – 4:30pm
Location: SSB,107

Informed by Chicana and Black feminist theory, The Women Who Rock Research Project (WWRP) is an intergenerational experiment in collective and decolonial archive building that documents women's bridging of music and activism to create music scenes that anchor social justice movements.  Developed in partnership with, and hosted by the University of Washington Libraries Digital Initiative Program, the WWRP Digital Archive brings together scholars, musicians, digital media-producers, and activists in project-based scholarship that explores the politics of performance, social identities and material access in grassroots music scenes and cultures.  As Daphne Brooks suggests, the “confluence of cultural studies, rock studies, and third wave feminist critical studies makes it possible now more than ever to continue to critique and re-interrogate the form and content of popular music histories.” WWRP reshapes conventional understandings of popular music and sound studies by initiating decolonial and collective methods of research, scholarly/community collaboration, and teaching that more complexly account for the central role of women and women of color (broadly conceived) and popular music in the creation of communal scenes and social justice movements, and in personal and collective narratives of memory and history. The form of WWRP Digital Archive is just as significant as its aim.  As a collaborative and synergistic method of conducting popular music research, the project advances a dynamic, critical, and engaged praxis that centers community-based knowledge production and builds feminist media production skills. Equally important is the archive's open access. This multimedia presentation considers the power of archiving feminist of color oral histories and experiences for the digital humanities within and beyond text-based research and classroom.


Michelle Habell-Pallán, an Associate Professor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies and Adjunct in the School of Music and Communication at the University of Washington, authored Loca Motion: The Travels of Chicana/Latina Popular Culture (NYU Press); coedited Cornbread and Cuchifritos: Ethnic Identity Politics, Transnationalization, and Transculturation in American Urban Popular Music  (WVT, Germany) and Latino/a Popular Culture (NYU Press); curated the award-winning and currently traveling exhibit American Sabor:  Latinos in U.S. Popular Music hosted by the Smithsonian Institution's Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) @ americansabor.org; co-directs the Women Who Rock Research and Digital Archive Project; and jams with the Seattle Fandango Project.  Her most recent article "Death to Racism and Punk Revisionism": Alice Bag's Vexing Voice and the Unspeakable Influence of Canción Ranchera on Hollywood Punk" appears in Pop When the World Falls Apart: Music in the Shadow of Doubt (Duke University Press, 2012) and her new manuscript Beat Migration: Translating/Transforming "American" Pop Music for the Digital Humanities is in progress.

Winter 2012

“Our Emergency, Our Happiness, Our Pain: Citizen Kids and the Unspoken Demands of Indefinite Family Separation”

Ana Elizabeth Rosas, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine
When: Wed. February 29 at 3:00pm
Where: SSB-107

This presentation will examine the current and uniquely transnational state of emergency facing undocumented immigrant Latina/o parents raising children in Los Angeles, California. Using oral life history and other forms of on the ground fieldwork, it will provide an in depth consideration of these families’ multifaceted pursuit of family preparedness. Weary of being among the estimated 46,000 undocumented immigrant parents detained, deported, and ultimately separated indefinitely from their children by U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service authorities as a result of their undocumented immigrant status, these families have become inspired to assert an expansive and informed conceptualization of their family history, once taken for granted day to day interactions and transactions, and the locations and relationships that bind them to families facing similar forms of alienation together.  It will demonstrate that indeed the likelihood of indefinite family separation is compelling children born and raised in the United States, most recently cast as citizen kids to mature into an underestimated yet intensely demanding transnational sense of who they are and need to be in relationship to their parents and fellow children of varying legal status at increasingly younger ages.

Fall 2011

A Philopoetic Performance by Dr. Jennifer Lisa Vest: "Living Intersectionality: a poetics of gender, race, sexuality, sovereignty, dis/ability and identity"

When: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 from 2:00 - 3:30pm
Where: The Community Room at the Cross Cultural Center

Dr. Jennifer Lisa Vest is a mixedblood (Black/Indian) poet and philosopher originally from Chicago, Illinois. She is an Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department at the University of Central Florida (Orlando).  Her work combines racial, gendered, and sexual analyses of identity and oppression. She has published articles on African, Indigenous, Caribbean, and feminist philosophy and has recently finished a book on Academic Native American philosophy. She obtained her Ph.D. from the Ethnic Studies Dept at U.C. Berkeley where she wrote a dissertation on Indigenous Native American and African philosophies. She has had her poetry published in a variety of anthologies and journals including the Canadian Journal of Native Studies and the African American Review, and has produced three poetry CDs of her work. More recently, she has begun to combine the two genres of philosophy and poetry into a new field she calls  “philopoetics.”

Spring 2011

Race and Science at UCSD: A Roundtable Discussion

Wednesday, May 18, 3:30pm Social Science Building, Room 107

Professors Adam Burgasser (Physics) Tara Javidi (Engineering), Tracy Johnson (Biology), Jim Lin (Math), and Shelley Streeby (Literature)

  • What is the current state of the race and gender climate in science and engineering at UCSD?
  • How do scientific thinking and practice shape thinking and practice with regard to diversity?
  • What are the similarities across disciplines when it comes to issues of inclusion and equity and what are the differences?
  • What are the existing or potential relationships between scientists of color and larger academic communities of color on campus?
  • How can we formalize some sort of collaboration between ethnic studies and science and engineering on campus?

The Story of Vacant Lots in Southeastern San Diego: A Collaborative Ethnography & Mapping Project

Wednesday, May 11, 3:00pm
Social Science Building, Room 107

Annie Lorrie Anderson-Lazo, Ph.D.
U.C. Chancellor ’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow
UCSD Center for Global California Studies

In under-resourced and high health-risk neighborhoods of Southeastern San Diego, community residents are leading a grassroots movement to improve access to healthful foods and economic opportunity through community gardens, farmers’ markets and backyard growing certification. Local institutions of higher learning have declared renewed commitments to service-learning, field schools and practicum courses connecting students and faculty to the communities around them.; These converging interests provide unique opportunities for community leaders, students, teachers and others to forge enduring partnerships for community change, confront policy obstacles to urban agriculture, and create novel community-based participatory research (CBPR), including workshops, tools for evaluation, assessment and publications.

This talk describes a budding CBPR project exploring how a university/community partnership focused on collective ethnography and community history might bring together the Engaged University’s instruction, research, and service aims, while also contributing to community change in underserved regions. By framing the presentation about “vacant lots,” which emerged in the CBPR context, within a conversation about engaged ethnography, the author expects to provoke discussion about borders and boundaries - boundaries of epistemes (what "counts" as valid knowledge?), boundaries of place and space (who is "in" and "out" of the community?"), boundaries of time ("when" are you "who" and how?), and how all of these are constituted in people's everyday practices.

Please join us for a talk about how AL Anderson-Lazo’s “Foodways & Foodscapes Project” is supporting the efforts of residents in Southeastern San Diego, who are reclaiming a healthy food system and the wealth of their community by reframing the discursive and material landscape of vacant lots.

Reception follows in SSB 103

About Annie Lorrie Anderson-Lazo

U.C. Chancellor ’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Annie Lorrie Anderson-Lazo is a cultural anthropologist, community organizer and political storyteller. She received her Ph.D. from the Culture and Power Program of Anthropology at UC Santa Cruz in 2003 and wrote a dissertation based on her fieldwork among Garifuna women organizers conducting community development work through the implementation phase of the Guatemalan National Peace Process (1996-1998). During her two years in Livingston, Guatemala, she also apprenticed with Don Beto, the octogenarian Master Storyteller of the Garinagu community. Since 2003, she has lived in San Diego working with various nonprofit organizations in the areas of social justice organizing, civic engagement and resource development. Her recent writings and research focus on the relationships among food justice organizing, stories about foodscapes and foodways, the ethical responsibilities of engaged social science researchers, and the potential of variously-situated collaborators to use community based participatory research to support social change efforts in the communities around them as well as to decolonize the traditional disciplinary orthodoxies, epistemologies and methods that have located social scientists outside the communities where they live and work. Her other interests include critical food theory, critical race studies, intersectionality, indigenous movements, and borderland theories that advance the understanding of the border as a multicultural landscape of social, political and economic relations.

Annie Lorrie joined the Center for Global California studies in late September 2010 as the UC Chancellor’s postdoctoral research fellow in Minority Health and Health Disparities. Her publications include "Introduction to Practice What You Teach: Activist Anthropology at the Sites of Cross-Talk and Cross-Fire," New Proposals: Journal of Marxism and Interdisciplinary Inquiry, 2009; "A Reflection on Political Research and Social Justice Organizing," New Proposals: Journal of Marxism and Interdisciplinary Inquiry, 2009; and her doctoral thesis, Of One Accord: Garifuna Collective Action and the Social Transformation of the Guatemalan Peace Process in Labuga (1996 – 1998), Department of Anthropology, UC Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz, CA.

Fall 2010

20th Anniversary Celebration and Open House

The Ethnic Studies department will be scheduling a day long celebration for our department's 20-year anniversary. Cosponsors: Division of Social Sciences, Council of Provosts, Center for Global California Studies, UCSD Cross Cultural Center, Critical Gender Studies Program, CILAS (Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies)

Race, Nations, Land, and Decolonization: U.S. Colonialism of a Special Type 

Dr. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
November 5, 2010, 4 pm - 5:30 pm
Weaver Center Institute of the Americas

At the Lisbon Conference of March 1977, the South African Liberation Movement issued a document titled "Colonialism of a Special Type" that is useful to conceptualizing and developing analyses of U.S. Colonialism in a quest for overcoming it:

The South National Liberation Movement, the ANC and its allies, characterise the South African social formation as a system of 'internal colonialism' or 'colonialism of a special type'. What is special' or different about the colonial system as it obtains in South Africa is that there is no spatial separation between the colonising power(the white minority state) and the colonised black people. But in every respect, the features of classic colonialism are the hallmark of the relations that obtain between the black majority and white minority. The special features of South Africa's internal colonialism are also compounded by the fact that the white South African state, parliament and government are juridically independent of any metropolitan country and have a sovereignty legally vested in them by various Acts of the British government and state.  These juridical formalities should not be allowed to cloud the colonial content of the white supremacist state. The correctness of this position is clearly borne out by the historic evolution of the South African state.

With this analogy between the U.S. state and the South African apartheid state in mind, I will address a number of questions, including the following:

  • What are the radical structural possibilities of Indigenous sovereignty in the US?
  • Why are issues of Indigenous sovereignty important to address, even for non-natives?
  • How do non-native people of color figure in the goal of Indigenous sovereignty?
  • What are the possibilities and limits of the "settler colonial" framework?
  • Is "colonial settler" the right category for Mexican and Central American migrants and their children born in the US? Is Chicana/o Indigeneity an expression of settler colonialism?
  • Do Indigenous people who can pass for white in the US have "white privilege"?  RACE, NATIONALITY
  • Are anti-Black racism and anti-Indigeneity mutually exclusive phenomenon in the US?

About Dr. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Dr. Dunbar-Ortiz graduated, majoring in History, from San Francisco State College, attended History graduate school at University of California at Berkeley, but then transferred to University of California, Los Angeles to complete her doctorate in History. Dr. Dunbar-Ortiz took a position teaching in a newly established Native American Studies program at California State University at Hayward, and helped develop the Department of Ethnic Studies, as well as Women's Studies. In 1974, she became active in the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the International Indian Treaty Council, beginning a lifelong commitment to international human rights. Her first published book, The Great Sioux Nation: An Oral History of the Sioux Nation and its Struggle for Sovereignty, was published in 1977 and was presented as the fundamental document at the first international conference on Indians of the Americas, held at United Nations' headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. That book was followed by two others in the following years: Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico, 1680-1980 and Indians of the Americas: Human Rights and Self-Determination. In 1981, she was asked to visit Sandinista Nicaragua to appraise the land tenure situation of the Miskitu Indians in the northeastern region of the country. Her two trips there that year coincided with the beginning of United States government's sponsorship of a proxy war to overthrow the Sandinistas, with the northeastern region on the border with Honduras becoming a war zone and the basis for extensive propaganda carried out by the Reagan administration against the Sandinistas. In over a hundred trips to Nicaragua and Honduras from 1981 to 1989, she monitored what was called the Contra War. Her book, Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War was published in 2005. For more information, please see Dr. Dunbar-Ortiz's official website: http://www.reddirtsite.com/

Spring 2010

Privatizing the Public - Interrogating the Private

How is it that, at this current moment of neoliberalism in crisis (the crisis of the very doctrine of private property), we're seeing an increasing turn to privatization as the resolution for social contradictions?  Whether it's the notion of a post-racial state as the re-rendering of race as a private issue, the debate around public health-care, or the continuing privatization of public education, ‘the private' increasingly encroaches on the public, while remaining largely uninterrogated.  What we're asking is: what are the dangers of turning to the private for the resolution of political problems?  How is the notion of the private being used to redefine the parameters of a local, national and global public? We're asking speakers, regardless of their specific topic, to meditate on these questions, and to consider how the move toward a privatizing of the public has affected or may affect their own work?

The Ethnic Studies Department Colloquium meets Wednesdays at 3:00pm in SSB 107 on the selected dates below. For more information, please contact the Ethnic Studies Department, 858-534-3276 or ethnicstudies@ucsd.edu

"Queer Bonds, Otherwise"

Juana Maria Rodriguez
Associate Professor
Gender and Women's Studies, UC Berkeley

Monday, April 5, 3:00pm
Deutz Room, Institute of the Americas, UCSD

Reception Follows, IOA Foyer
Co-sponsored by Critical Gender Studies Program (CGS)
and the Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies (CILAS)

Juana Maria Rodriguez considers how current debates on the relationship between sociality and the sexual are transformed through a queer of color critique. It asks how theoretical considerations of recognition and desire are complicated by the ephemeral archives of queer racialized subjects. Drawing on both José Esteban Muñoz's articulation of "utopian longings" and Judith Butler's notion of the "critical promise of fantasy," this paper explores the political contradictions lurking in our sexual imaginaries. In the process it asks us to face unruly sexual fantasies of violence, abjection and servitude that likewise trouble our psyche and sexual lives.

Juana Maria Rodriguez is Associate Professor of Gender and Women's Studies at UC Berkeley where she also directs the Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender and Sexuality. She is the author of *Queer Latinidad: Identity Practices, Discursive Spaces* (NYU 2003) and has published numerous articles related to her research interests in sexuality studies, queer activism, critical race theory, technology and media arts, and Latin@ studies. She is currently working on a new book manuscript about the uses of sex in queer politics.

Still Life: Black Radical Movement and Courtroom Drawings, 1971

Dr. Mercy Romero
UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow
UC Santa Cruz, Department of Feminist Studies

Wednesday, April 21, 3:00pm
Social Science Building, Room 107

The catalogue description of the Soledad Brothers courtroom drawings reads: "Drawings from the first trial of ‘Soledad Brothers' George Jackson, Fleeta Drumgo and John Cluchette for the murder of a prison guard at the Soledad Correctional Training Facility." In this talk Dr. Mercy Romero explores the practice and crisis of black radicalism as it is censored, governed by, or exceeds the often under-observed public "documentary" form of courtroom drawings. Choreographed by and within the scene of the courtroom, the drawings are highly fraught and regulatory forms of representation that make visible the nonalignment of drawing and history, particularly the exclusion of familial relation, and the profound communal loss engendered by this trial.

Dr. Mercy Romero received a Ph.D. from Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley and has been a President's Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Feminist Studies at UC Santa Cruz.

"Newly Discovered Countries" (1507): Sexuality, Print Culture and Colonialism in the Beginnings of the Modern World

Dr. Daphne Taylor-Garcia
UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow
UC Santa Barbara, Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies

Friday, April 23, 10:30am
Social Science Building, Room 107

Colonists traveling to the Americas, Africa, and India recorded their perceptions of women in the places they sought to exploit. These accounts were reproduced in book form-itself a new media at the time-and constitute the material from which to trace a colonial history of sexuality. This presentation explores the complex and under-examined relationship between early print culture, colonial expansion and the formation of discourses of racialized sexuality. Focusing on the first ever printed collection of travel narratives, Daphne Taylor-García will elucidate the trans-continental, early colonial dynamic of sexuality and conquest. She will further address how gendered shifts in narratives of the Other and acts of sexual violence in the colonial encounter served to consolidate an idea of European masculinity.

Dr. Taylor-Garcia completed a PhD in Comparative Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Daphne is now a President's Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at UC Santa Barbara.

Movements of Feeling: Repentant Revolutionaries and the Quest for Normative Neoliberal Selfhood

Dr. Tamara Lea Spira
UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow
UC Davis, Departments of Cultural Studies & Spanish

Monday, April 26, 11:00am
Social Science Building, Room 103

Drawn from my current manuscript, this talk centers upon El infierno The Inferno (1993), the confessional post-dictatorial testimonio of Chilean political prisoner and former revolutionary-turned-Pinochet collaborator, Luz Arce. Written shortly after the formal transition to democracy, this text is narrated as a remorseful apology, told from the perspective of a broken subject seeking restitution and redemption in the aftermath of terror and within the context of a "neoliberal peace." Thus far, critical readings have tended to spectacularize Arce's narrative, emphasizing dichotomous notions of "innocence" versus "guilt" within an "exceptional" or discrete moment of Chilean national history. Re-directing this gaze, I read The Inferno neither as a chronicle of the dictatorial past, nor as an insulated Chilean tale, but rather as a text that affords us great insights into neoliberal logics of race, gender and sexuality in the making. I argue that Arce's narrative articulates the soul-molding, affectively encrypted violence that emerges as emblematic of - rather than as an exception to - tacit constructions of legitimated selfhood under neoliberalism. Posing a reading of the repentant revolutionary as a key figure under neoliberalism, I trace how a disavowal of radical politics - coupled with a plea for inclusion within the normative national family - implicitly works to delimit the boundaries of acceptable neoliberal selfhood within the "Chilean test case," and beyond.  Such considerations inform a deeper meditation upon the logics of amnesia and un-mourned loss that underwrite current formations of empire - particularly in relation to the re-fashioning of the fields of racial and sexual politics as they are currently registered within the United States.  Finally, I theorize the reservoir of unwitting revolutionary memories that explodes at the margins of the text, offering forth the shadows of unrealized libratory projects whose completions have yet to come to fruition. The discussion thereby provoked offers a moment of critical reflection, beckoning unlikely alliances across seemingly disparate histories of de-colonial, anti-racist, queer and feminist struggle whose verdicts - despite hegemonic narrations of history - have yet to be determined.

Dr. Tamara Lea Spira received her PhD in the History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies Departments at UC Santa Cruz.  She is currently a UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Davis in the Departments of Cultural Studies and Spanish.

"Blues Imaginaries and Queer Futurity"

Grace Hong
Associate Professor, Asian American Studies and Women's Studies
University of California, Los Angeles

Social Science Building, Room 107
Reception follows

In this chapter from her current manuscript project, Hong argues that in black queer cultural production we can find a vision of futurity and sociality that does not depend upon procreative temporalities. In so doing, she revises Orlando Patterson's discussion of social death in his landmark study Slavery and Social Death. Patterson defines social death as a state of "natal alienation," that is, being severed from the ties of kinship that gave an enslaved person social meaning and that placeed him within a history (via genealogy). Instead, the enslaved being is socially mediated entirely through his master. Hong argues that queer black cultural production identifies alternative forms of sociality and futurity that do not depend upon normative kinship modes. This argument also revises Lee Edelman¹s contention in No Future that our notion of the political is so bound up with a notion of futurity based on what Michael Warner has called "reprosexuality" that a truly queer futurity is entirely impossible. While Edelman encourages queers to embrace this impossibility and engage in an anti-politics of "no future," Hong arguse through readings of Gayl Jones' novel Corrigedora (1975), Isaac Julien's film 'Looking for Langston' (1988), and Inge Blackmon's film 'B.D. Women' (1994) that these texts' use of the Jazz Era, and of blues and jazz music, enables them to articulate alternative temporalities organized not through linear reproduction but through invention and improvisation. In privileging the imaginary, these texts offer a different way of understanding futurity beyond the literalness of transmission implied by procreation and generation.

Grace Hong is associate professor of Asian American Studies and Women's Studies at UCLA and earned her doctorate from UCSD's Literature Department.

Geographies of the Virtual, Material, Intimate and the Erotic

Long Bui, Rashne Limki, Candice Rice and Stevie Ruiz
Ethnic Studies Graduate Student
Roundtable Workshop

Wednesday, May 12 at 3:00pm, SSB107
Reception follows

Decades after the critical interventions of queer theory, woman of color feminism and sexuality studies, important issues of gender and sexuality still remain marginalized in the field of Ethnic Studies.  This roundtable discussion brings together Ethnic Studies graduate students whose research focuses on the intersections of race, gender and sexuality while providing new analytics that enable a more complicated understanding of race in a global context of resurgent sexual violence, heteropatriarchy and hypermasculinity. This fascinating discussion covers a range of topics which reveal various geographies of power in their most dynamic dimensions. This workshop showcases the current work of Long Bui, Rashne Limki, Candice Rice and Stevie Ruiz who will share their interests in categories of racial, gendered and sexual difference produced from colonialism, empire, transnationalism, immigration, and neo-liberalism. The diverse range of discursive, archival and textual analyses presented in this panel seek to open up the scope and possibilities of scholarship in Ethnic Studies.

Long Bui, Rashne Limki, Candice Rice and Stevie Ruiz are graduate students in the UCSD Department of Ethnic Studies.

"Staging Citizenship: Race and the Queer History of Naturalization in the U.S."

Siobhan B. Somerville
Associate Professor of English/Gender & Women's Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Wednesday, May 26 at 3:00pm, SSB 107
Reception follows

This talk is drawn from a larger book project that offers a queer history of naturalization, a process that tends to be overshadowed by immigration in existing scholarship on citizenship. In this talk, I historicize the aesthetic and performative aspects of the naturalization ceremony itself, with particular attention to discourses of sexuality and race. Drawing on archival materials that document how the acquisition of U.S. citizenship has been staged for (non-immigrant) groups such as American Indians, I show how the history of naturalization is deeply racialized, and further, inseparable from questions of sexuality, gender, and reproduction that have been central to a history of U.S. empire-building.

Winter 2010

Indigenous Studies

Unthinking the Nation-State: An Indigenous Studies Symposium

January 15, 2010, 3:00pm
Cross Cultural Center, Comunidad Room
Reception prior to event at 2:00pm

Guest Presenters
Audra Simpson, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, Columbia University
Glen Coulthard, Ph.D., First Nations Studies Program, University of British Columbia
Andrea Smith, Ph.D., Department of Media and Cultural Studies, University of California, Riverside

"The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the ‘state of emergency' in which we live is not the exception but the rule. We must attain to a conception of history that accords with this insight. Then we will clearly see that it is our task to bring about a real state of emergency."
- Walter Benjamin, 1940

Heeding Benjamin's call, let's remember that Indigenous protest, since the 1969-1971 occupation of Alcatraz, holds a critical edge in averting the multiculturalism-diversity hinge that sustains the U.S. American national tale. This opening event raises crucial questions targeting the link between the intellectual, political, and institutional faces of Ethnic Studies. Through an engagement with Indigenous Studies, and the radical political promise that animates its intellectual project, we invite a conversation that challenges the customary demands for recognition by, and inclusion into the Nation-State. This conversation is all the more crucial now because the recent crisis in the State of California threatens the unleashing of reformist responses that risk reinforcing this recent refashioning of the public/private binary.

Leading our thinking are the University of California's students, the majority of them students of color, who are meeting this situation by protesting for continued access to and the preservation of public higher education. This is a critical moment. As the Nation-State, in its various guises, retires from the social, Indigenous Studies reminds us that its very institution in conquered territories is the inaugural violent act, which places colonial subjugation at its core. What is to be done? Which intellectual program and political agenda can guide a struggle for justice which both recognizes and denounces the settler State's destructive origin and demands that it continue to fulfill its role as the liberal ethical shield against the destructive economic drive of neoliberal capitalism?

Part of the day's events will include a roundtable meeting with Ethnic Studies faculty, graduate students and our three guest speakers to discuss Denise Ferreira da Silva's book, Toward a Global Idea of Race (University of Minnesota Press, 2007) on Friday, Jan. 15 at 12:30-2:00pm in SSB-107.

Co-Sponsors: Cross Cultural Center

The Struggle to Create a Radical Democracy in Bolivia

Nancy Postero
Associate Professor, UCSD Anthropology Department

Wednesday, February 10, 3:00pm, SSB 107
Reception follows in SSB 103

Evo Morales's MAS government is often held up as the leading edge of the "Turn to the Left" in Latin America.  Yet, this article argues that there is a profound tension within the MAS administration: a push for social justice to overcome both colonialism and neoliberalism, on the one hand, and the embrace of liberal political institutions (like elections, constitutional conventions, and direct public referenda) to do so, on the other hand.  Taking a close look at some of the conflicts that his administration has produced as it tries to balance these two frameworks may help us recognize some underlying tensions within both "actually existing democracy" and liberalism itself.  I suggest that as Morales et al push this agenda forward, they are not only trying to move beyond neoliberalism but they may also be working towards perfecting or "vernacularizing" liberalism to make it more democratic and more relevant to Bolivia's indigenous populations. So, instead of "post-neoliberalism," perhaps we are seeing efforts to transform liberalism through interactions with indigenous cultures and demands, with a goal of deepening democracy.

Nancy Postero is a socio-cultural Anthropologist, whose work focuses on the intersection of neoliberalism and multiculturalism.  She has carried out fieldwork with the Guaraní people of lowland Bolivia since1994. Formerly a human rights lawyer and a radio journalist, she received her PhD from UC Berkeley in 2001. Along with numerous articles on indigenous politics in Bolivia, she is the author of Now We Are Citizens, Indigenous Politics in Post-multicultural Bolivia (Stanford University Press 2007) and the co-editor with Leon Zamosc of The Struggle for Indigenous Rights in Latin America (Sussex Press 2003). She is currently at work on a new edited collection focusing on social change and neoliberalism in Latin America.  She is an Associate Professor in the Anthropology department at UC San Diego.

Refusing Damage, Repatriating Desire: Ethical Research on Lived Lives

Eve Tuck, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
State University of New York at New Paltz

Wednesday, February17, 3:00pm, SSB 107
Reception follows in SSB 103

In this presentation, Aleut scholar Eve Tuck will describe what it might mean (and what it will take) for tribal communities and urban communities to no longer be singularly defined as damaged in social science research.  Instead, she will insist, research can be framed by desire.  Weaving together three recent articles on ethics, theories of change, and the purposes of research, Tuck will outline a methodology of repatriation that imbibes politics of reclaiming, reframing, repurposing, and reparation.

Eve Tuck is an Assistant Professor of Educational Foundations at the State University of New York at New Paltz.  She is the author of "Suspending Damage: A Letter to Communities" in Harvard Educational Review and "Re-Visioning Action: Participatory action research and Indigenous theories of change" in Urban Review.  She is co-author of Theory and Educational Research: Toward Critical Social Explanation (Routledge, 2008).  Tuck has conducted participatory action research with New York City youth on the GED, graduation policies, and school push-out; and on mayoral control, neoliberalism, and community participation in school decision making. 

"'Death to Racism and Punk Rock Revisionism': Neo-liberal Colorblindness, Public Scholarship, and The Ineffable Influence of Estilo Bravío on 1970s Hollywood Punk Gesture and Vocalizing"

Michelle Habell-Pallán
Associate Professor, Department of Women's Studies
University of Washington, Seattle

Wednesday, February 24, 3:00pm, SSB 107
Reception follows in SSB 103

*American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music|**American Sabor*: Latinos en la Música Popular Norteamericana and *Vexing: Female Voices from East L.A. Punk*, are both recent public scholarship exhibits that highlight the influence of Chicanas (including Chicana singer Alice Bag) in the establishment of Los Angeles punk music scenes. *Vexing*, however, generated unexpected controversy provoked by its coverage in the Los Angeles Times. Tellingly, the controversy was not fueled by the centering of women's influence in punk, but instead by *Vexing'*s association of AliceBag (born Alicia Armendariz to immigrant parents from Mexico) with a scene that was located in a historic Mexican American community. The exhibit's inclusion of AliceBag (a recognized 1970s Hollywood punk pioneer), "outed" her as a brown-bodied Chicana, which created narrative crises. By allowing herself to be included in an exhibit focused on East L.A. punk, Hollywood 1970s punk pioneers publicly accused Alice Bag of betraying the Hollywood punk scene, a scene that has narrated itself as color-blind and open to all creeds, colors, and sexualities. By suggesting that East L.A. punk developed once the Hollywood scene became closed, Alice Bag was accused of "playing the race card" despite the fact that she had never mention "race" as a criteria for exclusion. The struggle to represent the early Hollywood punk scene as either a utopian space of color-blind inclusivity, or as a space of creative contradiction and messy politics that led to unexpected musical creations, implicates issues of punk aesthetics, bodies, archival evidence and narrative power. Even more disruptive to the accepted narrative of Hollywood punk, examining video/sound clips of Alice Bag's performance will allow the us to consider ways the Mexican genre of Canción Ranchera's Estilo Bravío influenced the development of punk sound/gesture thus examining its unrecognized influence on west coast punk culture generally. Discussion will consider the larger cultural implications of such analysis.

Michelle Habell-Pallán, associate professor in the Women Studies Department and adjunct in School of Music and Communication at the University of Washington (UW), is guest curator of *American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music**|**American Sabor*: Latinos en la Música Popular Norteamericana, a UW/Experience Music Project Museum award-winning traveling exhibit.  Author of *Loca Motion: The Travels of Chicana* *and* *Latina Popular Culture* and co-editor *Latina/o Popular Culture,* her new book *Beat Migration: American Pop Music* is currently in-progress. Habell-Pallán advises the Women Who Rock Research Project at UW and serves on the advisory board of AMPS, American Music Partnership, Seattle, a UW/Experience Music Project/KEXP collaboration funded by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.* *Exhibited in Seattle, Miami, and San Antonio, *American Sabor * will continue its run at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in February 2010 and will show at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix in February 2011.

Ethnic Studies Grad Student Panel

Maile Arvin, M.A. Ethnic Studies
Angela Morrill
Tere Cesena
Traci Voyles
Ethnic Studies Department Ph.D. Candidates

Wednesday, March 3, 3:00pm, SSB 107
Reception follows in SSB 103

This panel will highlight the work of graduate students in the Ethnic Studies Department working on issues related to indigeneity, settler colonialism and nation building, and environmental racism, globally and in particular sites across the Americas.

Maile Arvin: Through a juxtaposition of the discourses of genetic/genomic science and indigenous human rights, my paper seeks to re-conceptualize indigeneity as a critical analytic that can productively "un-think" the ways science continues to be deployed to variously prove and deny (equally violent moves of inclusion/exclusion) indigenous peoples' humanity. Using a multicultural logic, genomic studies purport to prove how "we are all from Africa" though heading towards a "post-racial Hawaiianization." Pointing to some shared understandings of humanity that such scientific discourse has with human rights, I also ask what role might other indigeneous and anti-colonial practices have in destroying limiting notions of humanity and what possibilities could that generate for all peoples.

Angie Morrill: The discovery of the long lost 1961 black and white neorealist film The Exiles offered the promise of a portrayal of urban Natives in the twentieth century.  The film raises questions about the subject of the Native, especially the Native mother, in the latter half of the twentieth century on the eve of the Red Power movement. The discourse around the film and its subjects reinforces ideologies of vanishing and discovery, yet I argue for a reading of the film that discloses the emergence of the Native mother, in the character of Yvonne. Rather than a naturalized, spiritual mother figure, in Yvonne I glimpse an ontological subject whose complex desires betray a possible future quite different from the film's overall text, thus radically reconfiguring ideas of a Native mother.

Traci Brynne Voyles: This paper explores questions of indigenous spatial politics in the borderlands of the Navajo Nation arising from contestations over the environmental racism of the uranium industry. In the face of ongoing refusals by the federal government to clean up the detritus of past uranium mining and milling, and in the face of renewed mining claims during the current "new uranium  boom," Dine organizations and their allies have engaged in multiple efforts to extend Dine sovereignty to particularly threatened non-reservation parts of their land. In this paper, I present one case of Dine organizers' work to re-map this land as Native, and thereby unsettle colonial maps that sacrifice the land to industrial resource extraction and erase, elide, and disappear Dine life and presence in "the uranium landscape.

Tere Cesena: I will be presenting from my dissertation, "Encased Encounters." This particular section lays out the historical background of the Mexican project of nation-building from Independence to Modernization. Focusing on how Mexico makes use of "its" Indigenous peoples, both discursively and materially, to shape the national imaginary as well as construct the sociopolitical and economic infrastructure.

Fall 2009

Black Diaspora Studies

Ethnic Studies and Black/African Diaspora Studies: Shared Histories and New Formations -- a discussion

Discussion led by Gabriel Mendes, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, UCSD Ethnic Studies and Urban Studies & Planning

As this year marks the 40th Anniversary of the formal establishment of both Black Studies and Ethnic Studies within the U.S. academy, the Ethnic Studies Department will devote its first colloquium of the year to a community-wide exploration of the relationship between the two fields.  The point of departure will be Nikhil Pal Singh's Black is a Country: Race and the Unfinished Struggle for Democracy (2005).  An important work in intellectual history and political thought, Black is a Country is a text that transcends disciplinary and categorical boundaries, while being rooted in critical frameworks that are hallmarks of both Black/African Diaspora Studies and Ethnic Studies. The colloquium will consider such questions as: What does it mean to participate in the interdisciplinary fields of Black/African Diaspora Studies and Ethnic Studies in a society whose idealized self-image is that of being "Post-Racial"? How do these fields negotiate the relationship between radical politics and the production of knowledge? Do these fields conceive of race, racialization, and the meaning of racism in the same or in different ways?

Readings: The readings for this colloquium are readings for two ethnic studies courses, ETHN 230, Departmental Colloquium (Chapter 1) and ETHN 289, African American Intellectual History (Chapter 4).  These readings are available through UCSD Library Course Reserves (on e-reserve): http://libraries.ucsd.edu/resources/course-reserves/index.html. Click on "Students-Find your course reserve materials", then do a search by department and you will see a list of department course reserves. 

Reception Follows

Spectacles, Spectres and Monstrosities: From Don Imus to the New Jersey Four

Wednesday, October 28, 3:00pm

Sara Clarke Kaplan, PhD
Assistant Professor
UCSD Ethnic Studies

In April of 2007, radio and TV shock-jock Don Imus instigated a national ideological storm when he referred to the largely Black members of the Rutgers University women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos." In the end, not only Imus and the Scarlet Knights, but hip-hop artists and producers, queer political pundits, and homophobic-slur-spouting Black actor Isaiah Washington had become part of the ensuing debate. This talk situates the Imus/Scarlet Knight controversy in the context of two contemporaneous sociopolitical events: the dropping of all charges against members of the Duke University lacrosse team accused of sexual assault, and the conviction and sentencing of four young black lesbians - the so-called ‘New  Jersey Four' - for assault and attempted murder. By tracing the coetaneous production and disavowal of Black monstrosity from the airwaves to the newsrooms and the basketball court to the courtroom, it asks how both the ostensibly queer-positive, anti-racist, and feminist popular and scholarly declamations of Imus and the widespread sexual-racial panics surrounding the two legal cases relied upon revised popular discourses of Black sexual and domestic deviance to delineate proper political subjects such as ‘chaste Black women' or ‘harmless homosexuals,' while maintaining (Black) sexual deviance as an appropriate target for and criminal object of state and extralegal violence.

Reception Follows in SSB 103

Race and the New Biocitizen

Dorothy Roberts
Professor, Northwestern University School of Law,
Northwestern University Departments of African American Studies and Sociology, and
The Institute for Policy Research

Some writers have celebrated a new biological citizenship arising from individuals' unprecedented ability to manage their health at the molecular level.  My lecture will examine the role of race in the construction of the new biocitizen in light of the recent expansion of race-based biotechnologies and neoliberal reliance on private resources for people's welfare.  I will critique how science, big business, and politics are converging to support a molecularized understanding of race, health, and citizenship that helps to preserve social inequities.

Reception Follows, Cross Cultural Center

This event is co-sponsored by UCSD Cross Cultural Center

You are cordially invited to meet Dorothy Roberts and members of the UCSD Ethnic Studies Department faculty at a special brown bag lunch before the colloquium in Social Science Building, Room 103 from 12:00noon-1:30pm.

Dorothy Roberts is the Kirkland & Ellis Professor at Northwestern University School of Law, with joint appointments in African American Studies, Sociology, and the Institute for Policy Research. She has written and lectured extensively on the interplay of race, gender, and class on legal issues concerning reproduction, bioethics, and child welfare. She is author of the award-winning books Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty; and Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare, as well as co-editor of six books on constitutional law and gender and law.  She has also published more than 70 articles in books and scholarly journals, including The Harvard Law Review, The Stanford Law Review, and The Yale Law Journal.  Professor Roberts serves on the boards of directors of The Black Women's Health Imperative, The National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, and Generations Ahead.  She is also a member of the executive committee of Cells to Society: The Center on Social Disparities and Health, the Braam Foster Care Oversight Panel in Washington State, and the Standards Working Group of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.  She recently received awards from the National Science Foundation and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for a book project on race consciousness in biotechnology, law, and social policy.

Spring 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 3:00pm

Campus-Based Community Centers: Havens, Harbors, and Hope for Student Success

Edwina Welch, Ed.D.
Director, UCSD Cross Cultural Center
Cross Cultural Center Comunidad Room

Out of a legacy of campus activism new programs emerged to address needs and concerns for universities to be more inclusive of women, LGBT, and people of color communities. The UC San Diego Cross-Cultural, Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT), and Women Centers are products of this historical legacy. But many questions have been left unanswered concerning center's effectiveness and campus impact. This talk will highlight a dissertation project meant to investigate these questions. The development of a new organizing construct, the UC Sam Diego Campus Community Centers proved important to student success. Students are able to find places of personal validation and at the same time connect across historical group boundaries. Research shows that participants engaged with the Campus Community Centers felt a keen sense of belonging and validation from interactions with the sites. Emergent data on engagement, physical setting, relationship building, and meaning making proved salient. Ultimately, understanding how organizational linkages create student success can align organizational mission and structure to empirical research in the field of retention and student success.

Reception follows 

Wednesday, April 15, 3:00pm

Black Literature in Anthropology's Wake

Gina Dent, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Feminist Studies, History of Consciousness and Legal Studies
UC Santa Cruz
Social Science Building, Room 107

This talk will

focus on the traffic between academic and literary ideas of black culture. The larger work from which it is drawn narrates the recursive movement from race to culture in nineteenth and twentieth-century African-American fiction, arguing for the role of anthropology in that movement and evaluating its political legacy. A second layer of the analysis troubles the current polarities between ethnic and cultural studies and attends to the gendering and aesthetics of the forms of cultural representation.

Reception Follows

Wednesday, April 22, 3:00pm

Ancient Hatreds, Postmodern Violence: American Liberalism and the Depiction of Gender, Ethnicity, and Religion during the 1990s Balkan Conflict

Neda Atanasoski, Ph.D
Assistant Professor
Feminist Studies
UC Santa Cruz

This talk addresses the impact of the 1990s Yugoslav wars of secession on U.S. political and cultural discourses. It suggests that these discourses produced a gendered perspective on ethnic and religious violence that has been constitutive of post-Cold War American liberalism, humanitarianism, and militarism. Contending with several prominent explanations about the origins of the conflict that contrasted ethnic and religious formations in the Balkans to an idealized vision of American secular tolerance, the talk explores how conceptions of Balkan difference structured western feminist writings about rape warfare and shaped the prosecution of rape as a war crime for the first time.

Wednesday, April 29, 3:00pm

Song and Sentiment: Imelda Marcos and Musical Kinship Politics

Christine Bacareza Balance, Ph.D.
UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Music
UC Riverside

Imelda Marcos is most famously known as a former dictator's wife, fashion icon, the "original Material Girl", and owner of those 1,200 pairs of shoes. Yet, as David Byrne's 2005 song cycle, "Here Lies Love", reminds us it was namely through music and the particular form of the kundiman, or love song, that Imelda was able to charm audiences -- voters in the Philippine countryside, international heads of state, and even Hollywood and New York elite. By singing, the former First Lady performed a type of affective labor within a larger network of gendered political acts that political scientist Mina Roces designates as the Filipina's field of informal power. Working with the rubric of palabas, a Filipino cultural trait of both "spectacle and appearance" that translates into a politics of affect, Balance considers the ways in which Imelda Marcos-themusical-performer enacted political power through performances of emotion and created an alternative kinship politics.

Wednesday, May 6, 3:00pm

"Indigenous Studies Engages Ethnic Studies"

Discussion led by graduate students: Maile Arvin, Michael Bevacqua, Rashné Limki, Angie Morrill and Ma Vang

This colloquium will follow a different format from the usual speaker presentation.Kick-starting the discussion set for the "Indigenous Studies Engages Ethnic Studies"symposium on Friday, May 8th, we will use the colloquium time to pose and solicit questions regardinghow and whyindigeneityis a productive,though underused,analytic in Ethnic Studies.

In this proposed mini-seminar format, we ask that attendees read at least two of the articles suggested on the symposium website: http://iss0509.blogspot.com/2009/02/suggested-readings.html. For the first article, we would like everyone to read Andrea Smith's "American Studies Without America." This will bea common starting point to our discussion, as we questionhow we as critical race and ethnic studies scholars can study not only legacies of oppression but traces of radicaltransformation that may not be fully realized or understood yet. For Andrea Smith, the transformative analytic is to begin with the assumption that America should not,and will not, always exist. How does this echo and/or change the conceptual starting points that we alluseas critical race and ethnic studies scholars?

For the second article, we'd like you to choose. We encourage you to look over the list and choosearticles related to your own work (for example, ethnographers may find Audra Simpson's "Ethnographic Refusal" particularly provocative; cultural studies scholarsmay relate mostto Noenoe Silva's "The Importance of Hawaiian Language Sources," etc.).

Wednesday, May 13, 3:00pm

California Cultures in Comparative Perspective: Summer Graduate Student Fellows Roundtable

Myrna García - Creating and Contesting "Sin Fronteras" Imaginings: Rights, Politics, and Community in Mexican Chicago, 1968-1986

In 1974, Rudy Lozano co-founded the Chicago chapter of El Centro de Acción Social y Autonomo- Hermandad General de Trabajadores (CASA), a Los Angeles-based, Marxist-Leninist organization for immigrant rights. Lozano was a key CASA activist for immigrant and labor rights, who was killed in 1983. This paper examines the strategies that Lozano used to fight for the rights of undocumented workers. Drawing on extensive interview and archival material, I argue that Chicago's mexicano community created and relied on mexicanidad as a key strategy in claiming social citizenship in the United States. Mexicanidad, a collective identity that included U.S. citizens and non-citizens alike, challenged the newly devised civil rights framework, marking the 1970s a critical historical moment in Mexican Chicago.

Michelle R. Gutiérrez - Unlikely Strategies of Resistance: The Role of Veterans' Organizations for Mexican Americans in Post World War II San Diego

This paper analyzes the formation of a Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) and Ladies Auxiliary by Mexican Americans in San Diego, California in 1955 and 1958 respectively as a strategy to expand their social and cultural space and fight discrimination in post World War II San Diego. Among the thousands of veterans and military personnel working at North Island Naval Station in California, Mexican-American World War II veterans formed this military-based community in the context of workplace discrimination and hostility within predominantly white veteran's organizations. I argue that more than an effort to be included and represented in a city built on white dominance and militarism, Mexican-Americans employed the VFW as a network to combat workplace discrimination and as a tool to negotiate and rearticulate their positionality within the greater San Diego.

Angela Morrill - Terrains of Sovereignty

In this paper I briefly outline the arguments of both Western concepts of sovereignty and the ways sovereignty is used in Indian Country to express modes of self-determination. Within the separate definitions lies a larger disruption, one that once recognized may lead to articulations of sovereignty outside of the nation-state model for indigenous peoples.

Ma Vang - Hmong Statelessness: The Un-rescuable Refugee Figure

This paper explores the current event of Hmong refugees in Thailand and their repatriation back to Laos as a paradigmatic case that shows how the statelessness of refugees calls attention to the precariousness of sovereignty and state borders. It examines how the event in Thailand unravels the relationships between the US, Thailand and Laos that continues to produce the Hmong condition of statelessness. I contend that nation-states reconstitute themselves in moments of uncertainty to re-affirm their hegemonies, which makes vulnerable the status of non-citizens. In addition, this paper traces the "secret" path of the US back to the war in Laos through Thailand to illustrate how these three nation-states constitute the systematic dispersal of refugees with the US as a privileged site of providing rights and refuge.

Wednesday, May 20, 3:00pm

"We Were Family Once": Constructing National Identity at the Periphery of Nation-States

Barbara Reyes, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor, Department of History,
University of New Mexico

This work in progress examines traditional conceptualizations of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands that reduce its study to the interrelationships and conflicts between colonial European empires, or simply underscores movement and/or processes across the modern international border. Reyes highlights the commonalities, links, and relational dynamics of two historiographic entities, the Mexican North and the American Southwest, as both the U.S. and Mexico nation-states engaged in concerted efforts to consolidate control of their respective frontier and border spaces, and developed particular strategies to construct notions of national identity and loyalty among their frontera/border populations. This paper explores the role of public education in the construction of these notions, particularly the enduring impact of the U.S.-Mexico War, as the historical links between the Spanish speaking communities north of the international border and the communities of the northern states of Mexico are discursively embedded or, alternately, obscured in the twentieth century public school historiography of both nation-states.

Wednesday, May 27, 3:00pm

Immigrants and the U.S. Labor Movement

Justin Akers-Chacon
Ph.D. Candidate
Professor, Chicano Studies
San Diego City College

As the debate over immigration continues unabated into the first year of the Obama Administration, U.S. labor unions have positioned themselves as a prominent national advocate for the legalization of the nation's undocumented workforce. Not only have the organizations pledged to support and lobby for legislative action, rank and file unionists and key locals across the country played a role in organizing the mass marches of May 1st, 2006, where an estimated three million undocumented workers stayed home from work and marched in cities across the country for legalization. Labor's active support for the integration of the nation's undocumented workforce is a recent phenomenon, and represents a gradual demographic and political shift taking place within labor, as it adapts to survive and grow in an increasingly globalized economy.

Wednesday, June 3, 2:00-5:00pm: Ethnic Studies Honors Symposium, Location: UCSD Cross Cultural Center

Winter 2009

Ethnic Studies Alumni Lecture

(Re) Framing the Nation: The Afro-Cuban Challenge to Black and Latino Struggles for American Identity

Monika Gosin, Ph.D. Alumna
UCSD Ethnic Studies Department

This talk will present work from my dissertation, which focuses on conflicts among Cuban Americans and African Americans in Miami and the complexity of Afro-Cubans' experiences of race and racialization in the United States. The dissertation analyzes the Miami African American and Cuban exile communities' reactions to the two most controversial immigration waves from Cuba, the 1980 Mariel exodus and 1994 Balsero crisis as reported on in the African American Miami Times and the Spanish language El Nuevo Herald . Reports found in the Miami Times , predominantly painted Cuban immigrants as an economic threat, and discourses in the Herald affirmed the presumed inferiority of blackness. However, the dissertation argues the newspaper discourses and their connection to dominant notions of race and the racial order, represents an indictment of U.S. exclusionary practices that require complicity from minority and immigrant groups. Using analysis from this case and from relevant literature, the study theorizes about the broader issue of African American/Latino conflict and the centrality of ideologies of exclusivity and white supremacy in the construction of the U.S. nation. In addition, through interviews with Afro-Cubans, who are often ignored in scholarship on African American/Cuban conflict, the study challenges the idea of bounded African American and Latino communities, revealing overlaps that can allow possibilities for interethnic understanding and alliances.

Reception follows in SSB 103

California Cultures in Comparative Perspective Summer Graduate Student Fellows Roundtable

"Raza Sí, Migra No": Herman Baca and the Chicano Movement Debate on Immigration in the California Borderlands

Jimmy Patino, Ph.D. Candidate, History Department

This paper traces the emergence of the Chicano movement of the 1960s and 70s in the San Diego borderlands to assess how activists addressed the increasingly pressing issue of Mexican immigration. I argue that the activism led by local activist Herman Baca was a significant departure from the ambivalence most movement activists exhibited toward immigration. Baca combined the movement ideology of chicanismo with mentorship by ethnic Mexican activists of the previous generation to address the increasing Border Patrol harassment occurring in his borderlands community. This local occurrence indicated an important attempt to deal with the human consequences of political-economic globalization.

Bawdy Amusements and the Undergarments of "Progress" at San Diego's Panama-California Exposition (1915-1916)

L. Chase Smith, Graduate Student, Literature Department

This paper looks at the 1915-1916 Panama-California Exposition held in San Diego as exemplifying how industries of vice played a constitutive rather than antithetical role in the  period's self-proclaimed dedication to social and scientific "progress." The management of respectability, morality, and decency obviated by the often legal regulation of displays on the Isthmus - an area of mechanical thrill rides, vaudeville, and dancing - points to the nation's struggle to mark the outer limit of racial, sexual, and class norms in the context of its shifting geopolitical boundaries and immigration laws. I situate California, Mexico, Hawaii, and Panama as territories that not only comprised the primary foundations of the Exposition's deviant attractions but also as part of a larger cartography of what I call a transpacific borderlands, in order to demonstrate how ideas of vice, race, and sexuality circulated along continental and oceanic pathways in the Pacific Rim both at the time of the Exposition and the decades preceding it.

Campus Based Community Centers: Haven's, Harbors, and Hope for Underrepresented Student Success

Edwina Welch, Ed.D., Director of Cross-Cultural Center

My study explores the relationship between underrepresented and marginalized student college experience and UC San Diego Campus Community Center organizational practice. The UC San Diego Cross-Cultural, LGBT, and Women Centers emerged out of historical legacies that left unanswered questions concerning program effectiveness and campus impact. Findings show that participants engaged with the Campus Community Centers felt a keen sense of belonging and validation from interactions with the sites. Emergent data on engagement, physical setting, relationship building and meaning making proved salient across all participants and increased belonging and personal effectiveness. Research shows that institutional belonging is a key marker for retention particularly for under-represented and marginalized students. Ultimately, understanding how organizational linkages create student success can align organizational mission and structure to empirical research in the field of retention and student success.

Reception Follows

Wednesday, February 18, 3:00pm

The Insolence of the Filipina: Sons and Lovers (and Mothers) in the Heart of American Darkness

Harrod J. Suarez
Ph.D. Candidate in American Studies
University of Minnesota
Lecturer, UCSD Ethnic Studies Department

Of what use is representation? Does it deliver on the promise of racial justice, as identity politics, liberal multiculturalism, and various nationalisms allege? Is it a necessary fiction, beyond which lies the threat of meaninglessness? For this talk, I examine two texts (Carlos Bulosan's America Is in the Heart and Brian Ascalon Roley's American Son) to develop a twofold critique. On one hand, the critique aims at representations of masculinist nationalism that depend on excluding women in both novels. On the other hand, it aims at representations that seek to counter these exclusions, as they appear in American Son. In contrast to this unending cycle, the Filipina mother of Roley's novel refuses the terms of representation. Whereas the masculine characters of both texts struggle in the attempt to speak for themselves, she recognizes the dilemmas representational strategies pose. Many characters try to speak for her as well, but she renders their attempts futile and does not aspire to represent herself. For her, no representation is safe. Such a move does not mean she accepts invisibility and erasure; to the contrary, her presence persistently disrupts the text and stymies its efforts at resolution. Drawing on the work of feminist, queer, and Asian American studies, this paper questions the efficacy of the representational strategies that often preoccupy our critical, epistemological, and political engagements.

Wednesday, February 25, 3:00pm

The Threshold of Extreme Private Eros: Militarized Occupations
and the Spectacle of Asian-Black Feminist Transgression

Setsu Shigematsu
Assistant Professor
Media & Cultural Studies, UC Riverside

Shigematsu analyzes the cross-racial sexual politics of Japanese radical feminists and African-American GIs stationed in Okinawa during the Vietnam War in the early 1970s through a discussion of the film Extreme Private Eros. This avant-garde text presents a set of vexed relations that exposes the limitations of "progressive-transgressive" cross-racial encounters and a portal to reconsider existing approaches to Asian-Black relations. Through examining the cross-racial relations that take place in the outposts of U.S. empire in military colonies such as Okinawa, I demonstrate the imperative to theorize through and beyond national and racial identity formation, to consider the contradictory intersections of liberation movements inthe contact zones of militarized neo-colonial occupations. Through a consideration of subjects, bodies and territories which do not properly belong to existing paradigms of African American or Asian American studies, I wish to engage in a broader discussion about disciplinary method, academic production, and the limits of current modes of critical inquiry.

Wednesday, March 4, 3:00pm

Which Way Watts? Popular Memory vs. the Archive Description

Danny Widener
Assistant Professor, UCSD History Department

The Watts Writers Workshop was arguably the best known of the community-based cultural projects begun in South Los Angeles after the 1965 Watts riots. Under the guidance of founder and prominent screenwriter Budd Schulberg, the WWW comprised an integral part of a community-wide "black arts renaissance" today remembered as a signal moment of black creativity, local autonomy, and multiethnic struggle against the forces of racist indifference and federal malfeasance. Yet in the case of the WWW, the archives and popular memory tell two distinct stories. This talk will discuss the disjuncture between the two visions, and invite participants to explain which they find to be the most compelling.

Fall 2008

Ethnic Studies Graduate Students Work-in Progress Panel

October 8, 2008

Redefining Boundaries: Projects of Indian Inclusion within the Nations of the U.S. and Mexico

María Teresa Ceseña, Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Ethnic Studies
UC San Diego

Social Science Building, Room 107
Reception Follows in SSB 103

This project examines parallel programs in the United States and Mexico relating to land holding, self-determination, and cultural recognition as part of the Indian New Deal carried out by Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Ejido program carried out by Lázaro Cárdenas during the 1930-1940s, a period that was key in (re)defining relationships between indigenous peoples and the modern nation-state. Next, it locates Mexico's Museo Nacional de Antropología and the United States' National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) as contemporary examples of institutions that continue to discursively shape perceptions of native peoples, and their relationship with/in the nation-state. This work is an attempt to understand how Native American and Mexican relations have been influenced over the years by public discourses about racial and national identities, and through legal and cultural programs that put these discourses into practice.

Detainment and Imprisonment of Immigrant Women and the Policing of Borders

Martha Escobar, Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Ethnic Studies
UC San Diego

Escobar ‘s dissertation, Incarceration of Immigrant Women and the Border Politics of Motherhood, considers the experiences of migrant women that were imprisoned or jailed in California and later deported. She explores the ways that national borders and boundaries defined along racial and ethnic lines are negotiated and policed through the gendered criminalization of immigrants. Escobar highlights how the dominant framework used to discuss immigration centers on the binary between "good" and "bad" immigrants and shows how this debate re-criminalizes people that deviate from "American-ness." She maintains that the mainstream immigrant rights discourse negotiates between the racial boundaries of whiteness and blackness, privileging whiteness and ultimately maintaining that "immigrants are not going to be another Black problem." Escobar explores how a patriarchal relationship between interpersonal and state violence develops to discipline migrant women. She argues that both the U.S. and Mexico participate in maintaining the constructed disposability of bodies that "fail" to perform "American-ness" by collaborating in institutionalizing violence against migrants.

October 15, 2008

The bees who gave me the sweetness of the k'ahoolal Maya knowledge)

Julio López-Maldonado, Ph. D.
Native American Studies
University of California, Davis

Social Science Building, Room 107
Reception Follows in Social Sciences Building, Room 103

As part of my research I conducted a systematic review of the Maya linguistic and writing system and its interpretation from a broad and multidisciplinary framework. As a bee biologist I reviewed and studied the beekeeping section in the ancient Maya book ‘ Madrid Codex' which contains the most extensive descriptions of the sociobiological development of the stingless bees Melipona beecheii . I applied a bio-cultural approach and entomological empirical testing within an emic perspective of the theory of knowledge or "indigenous epistemology" in order to understand the complex morphology of their glyphical compounds.

By applying the comparative and analogical mode used in systematics for the insects classification, I discovered that the phonetic and the meanings of the glyphical compounds revealed their correct identity as iconical referents, not only when analyzed through syntagmatic relations and context within the narrative, but also by following some phonetic laws from their geometric rearrangement.

It was only after I translated/decoded the entire beekeeping narratives when I started to understand that the Maya writing system is in fact highly sophisticated, rich in literary and philosophical concepts. One of the most amazing outcomes of my research was to confirm that the scribe who painted the beekeeping section observed, analyzed and wrote similar observations with the same species of bees, which I was able to film, record and study more than 2000 years later. This bio-cultural phenomenon demonstrated that the Maya certainly developed and reached an astonishing level of knowledge within all its complexity.

Suturing the Mother: Fixing Identity by the Dark of Camera Lucida

October 29

Ruby C. Tapia, Ph. D.
Department of Comparative Studies
The Ohio State University

Social Science Building, Room 107
Reception Follows in SSB 103

Taking a cue from Roland Barthes' declaration in Camera Lucida that "[he] decided to derive [his] theory from the only photograph which existed for [him]" (a photograph of his mother as a child), this discussion puts forth a theory of maternal visualities buttressed by evidence of a pattern, evidence of a tropic trinity that appears, again and again, to mediate U.S. American visual encounters with threats of physical, cultural, and spiritual annihilation: race, death, and the maternal. This trinity has historically appeared via a variety of imaging technologies, including, but by no means limited to, photography. Yet it is Barthes' reflections on photography that illumine the "fixing" logics of racial and maternal ideologies, as well as the fixing relationships between race, death, and the maternal that appear in all mediums of visual culture in moments of identificatory crises, both large and small.

November 5, 2008

Touching Histories: Personality, Race, and Disability in Sex Studies of the 1930s

David Serlin, Associate Professor
&Science Studies
UC San Diego

Social Science Building, Room 107
Reception Follows in Social Science Building, Room 103

"Touching Histories" investigates a set of psychological and anatomical studies of young disabled women conducted during the late 1930s by Dr. Carney Landis, a Columbia University psychologist and colleague of Alfred Kinsey. The results of Landis's research, The Personality and Sexuality of the Physically Handicapped Woman (1942), deployed racially and sexually marked categories to demonstrate how physically and developmentally non-normative women were both socially and sexually deficient. This presentation examines the psychic and social properties of touch in Landis's studies in order to historicize the linkages between disability, racial identity, and sexual subjectivity in the early decades of the twentieth century.

Faculty Workshop Panel

Social Science Building, Room 107
Reception Follows in Social Science Building, Room 103

Aural Miscegenation: Brokering the Sounds of Desire
and Pleasure at a World Beat Record Company

Roshanak Kheshti, Ph.D.
Department of Ethnic Studies
University of California, San Diego

This work-in-progress talk traces the social life of sounds by interpreting the production and distribution practices at San Francisco-based Kinship Records, a company that promotes world-beat music through a multicultural ethos that imagines the world interconnected as one global family. Notions like hybridity, syncretism, mixing and blending, which have long been used both popularly and academically in describing the musical afterlife of cross-cultural interaction, are rejected here. Instead, I employ the language of miscegenation in the analysis of musical exchange so as to keep the discursive genealogy of this process-gendered and racialized cross-fertilization and eroticism-in the foreground.

'Under the Strain of Color':
Antiblack Racism and Black American Mental Health in the Early Post-WWII Era

Gabriel N. Mendes, Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Ethnic Studies
University of California, San Diego

Using a March 1947, Negro Digest article titled, "Brown Breakdown" as a point of departure, this paper charts the development of a new discourse on the nature and meaning of mental health and illness among black Americans in the early post-World War II period. And, it examines the emergence of a small movement to challenge mainstream psychiatry on matters of race, as well as establish new institutions for the care and treatment of the black mentally ill.

Wednesday, November 19, 3:00pm:

Death Worlds Where Bad Things Happen:
Contemporary Settler Violence Against Aboriginal Peoples

Sherene Razack, Ph.D.
Sociology and Equity Studies in Education
University of Toronto

Social Science Building, Room 107
Reception Follows in SSB 103

One way in which the now popularized concept ‘space of exception' may be described is ‘natural disaster' or even more accurately, ‘naturalized disaster.' In spaces of exception, bad things happen - naturally, inevitably. Violence can take place with impunity. To recall Agamben, nothing committed against those in spaces of exception can be considered a crime. If not a crime, then surely a natural or naturalized disaster? I explore the deaths of Aboriginal peoples in custody in the Canadian context considering whether the spaces they inhabit operate as spaces of exception.

For more information about the Ethnic Studies Colloquium, please contact the UCSD Ethnic Studies Department, 858-534-3276 or ethnicstudies@ucsd.edu