Skip to main content

Professor María DeGuzmán started The Latina/o Cultures Speakers’ Series in the spring of 1999: “I conceived of and requested funding for The UNC Latina/o Cultures Speakers’ Series as part of my hire at UNC Chapel Hill. I wanted to have some means to create a community of scholars, creative writers, artists, performers, students, both undergraduate and graduate, and community members beyond the boundaries of individual class offerings in the field. Both the Dean’s Office of the College of Arts and Sciences and what was then ‘The Department of English and the Curriculum in Comparative Literature’ (before the merger of English & Comparative Literature in 2006) agreed to this idea and provided financial support for The Latina/o Cultures Speakers’ Series. Later on, so did UNC’s Institute for the Arts & Humanities. More recently, so have private donors.”

“This speakers’ series has been and continues to be fundamental to the creation, cultivation, and growth of a vital intellectual community in Latina/o Studies at UNC, inter-institutionally, and between our university and communities across our region, across the nation, beyond the continental United States, and transnationally.”

Professor Ylce Irizarry became involved with the speaker series as part of her appointment at the university: “My appointment here at UNC is specifically designed to support the scholarly and pedagogical work of The UNC Latina/o Studies Program, of which The UNC Latina/o Cultures Speakers’ Series is one part. So, as soon as I joined the faculty, I started learning how Professor María DeGuzmán organizes and delivers programming through inviting scholars, creative writers, and performers to engage with our UNC community.”

Collaboratively, Dr. DeGuzmán, Dr. Irizarry, and the LSP Crew—graduate assistants Ryan Carroll, Meleena Gil, René Marzuk, Victoria Valle, and Cody Ward—have lined up several exciting speakers for this Spring 2024, “including University Distinguished Professor Marta Caminero-Santangelo, who offered a workshop in her capacity as Editor-in-Chief of the top journal in our field, Latino Studies; Professor Frances Aparicio [who] was the inaugural presenter of The UNC Latina/o Cultures Speakers’ Series and is returning in celebration of Professor DeGuzmán’s 20th anniversary as Founder and Director of The UNC Latina/o Studies Program and the 25th anniversary of the speakers’ series; and Professor Adela Licona, a specialist in decolonial pedagogy and the founder and lead consultant at The Art of Change Agency. Scheduled last—but definitely not least in importance—is our annual LSP Research Symposium, ‘Morphology: Knowledge Circulation in LatinX Production.’ This workshop is conceptualized and organized by the LSP graduate assistants.”

Prof. DeGuzmán writes: “This semester’s speakers were chosen with at least three overlapping and mutually enhancing goals in mind: to offer opportunities for scholarly professionalization of graduate students and faculty with at least one speaker addressing publishing opportunities and another one conducting a pedagogy workshop; to continue our tradition of commitment to both academic scholars and creative writers and performers; and to commence our celebration of the quarter of a century that The UNC Latina/o Cultures Speakers’ Series has been in existence.”

The Latina/o Cultures Speakers’ Series has brought hundreds of speakers to UNC during its twenty-five-year history at the university. A partial list of speakers is available on their webpage, and you can read more about past speakers here.

Comments are closed.