• April 23, 2021 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.


    Alejandro de la Fuente is Robert Woods Bliss Professor of Latin American History and Economics; Professor of African and African American Studies and of History; Director of Graduate Studies; Director, Afro-Latin American Research Institute, Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University.


    José Luis Cruz, Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost, CUNY The symposium will also feature three panels organized by LaGuardia faculty and moderated by colleagues from CUNY focusing on New and Future Directions in Latinx Studies, Afro-Latin American Visual Arts and Aesthetics and Afro-Latin America and the Atlantic World, Past and Present: New Narratives, New Methodologies.

  • Program


    • Hugo Fernández, Humanities Department / Art / Photography and WLGR, LaGuardia Community College


    • Jaime Riccio, with support from Maritza Acero and Joseph Taveras Entrance Music by William Fulton, Humanities Department/Music


    • Kenneth Adams, President of LaGuardia Community College

    9:30-10:30 KEYNOTE ADDRESS: On the Development of Afro-Latin American Studies Today, followed by Q & A

    • Alejandro de la Fuente, Robert Woods Bliss Professor of Latin American History and Economics Professor of African and African American Studies and of History; Director of Graduate Studies Director, Afro-Latin American Research Institute, Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University
    • Introduced by Ana María Hernández, LaGuardia Community College

    10:30-12 PANEL I: New and Future Directions in Latinx Studies


    • Joy Sanchez-Taylor (English Department, LaGuardia Community College)


    • Jillian Báez (Department of Africana, Puerto Rican and Latinx Studies, Hunter College)


    • Gabriela Spears-Rico (Department of Chicanx/Latinx Studies and American Indian Studies, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities), “The Colonial Nostalgia of Mestizaje and the Indigenous Critique of Latinidad”
    • Omaris Z. Zamora (Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies, Rutgers University), “Ciguapa Unbound: Afro Latina Feminist Fugitivities”
    • Sonia Alejandra Rodríguez (English Department, LaGuardia Community College),“ (Un)documented Resistance: Immigration and Latinx's Children's and Young Adult Literature”

    12-1:30 LUNCH BREAK


    • by William Fulton, Humanities Department/Music, LaGuardia Community College

    "Making the Impossible Possible" screening

    • Lunchtime screening of "Making the Impossible Possible: The Story of Puerto Rican Studies at Brooklyn College." "Making the Impossible Possible" is a timely look at the Puerto Rican and Black student led movement to diversify public higher education. The film is more important now than ever due to the attack on ethnic studies. "Making the Impossible Possible" is a production of APREE (Alliance for Puerto Rican Education and Empowerment) and distributed by Third World Newsreel. A study guide is available.


    • by William Fulton, Humanities Department/Music, LaGuardia Community College

    1:30-2 BLACK, RACE AND ETHNIC STUDIES: the Mellon Project at CUNY

    • José Luis Cruz, Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost, The City University of New York Introduced by Paul Arcario, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, LaGuardia Community College

    2-3:30 PANEL II: Afro-Latin American Visual Arts and Aesthetics


    • Ana María Hernández (Modern Languages and Literatures, LaGuardia Community College)


    • Shelly Eversley, Faculty Fellow and Interim Chair of Black and Latino Studies at Baruch College; Co-Director, Transformational Learning in the Humanities, CUNY + The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation


    • Bárbaro Martínez Ruiz (Leverhulme Distinguished Professor and Senior Fellow at Saint Anthony's College, University of Oxford; Tanner-Opperman Chair or Art History in Honor of Roy Sieber at Indiana University), “Kongo Graphic Writing”
    • Iliana Cepero Amador (Department of Visual Arts, Eugene Lang, The New School), “Jean Baptiste Debret: Depicting the Colonial Subject in 19th Century Brazil"
    • Rojo Robles Mejías (Department of Black and Latino Studies, Baruch College), “One Size Fits All: Cinegraphic Poetics in Pedro Pietri’s Condoms Poems 4 Sale”. 

    3:30-4 COFFEE BREAK with music by William Fulton, Humanities Department/Music, LaGuardia Community College


    4-5:30 PANEL III: Afro-Latin America and the Atlantic World, Past and Present: New Narratives, New Methodologies


    • Rebecca Tally (Department of Social Sciences/History, LaGuardia Community College)


    • Raquel Otheguy (Department of History, Bronx Community College).


    • Ernesto Bassi Arévalo (History Department, Cornell University), “The Plight of the San Antonio and the Viceroy’s Shattered Dreams for Economic Development in 1780s New Granada”
    • Danielle Clealand (Department of Mexican American & Latina/o Studies, UTexas, Austin), "Black Migration in a White City: Power, Privilege, and Exclusion in Cuban America."
    • Lara Putnam (Department of History, University of Pittsburgh), “Borderlands and Border-crossers: Afro-Latin Communities in Place and in Motion”
    • Yuko Miki (Associate Director of Latin American and Latinx Studies, Fordham University), "African Lives in Slavery's Archives: Stories from Brazil and the Atlantic World"


    • Paul Arcario, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, LaGuardia Community College

  • Presenters

    Kenneth Adams
    Kenneth Adams assumed the role of president of LaGuardia Community College on August 17, 2020, appointed by the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York. He joined LaGuardia from Bronx Community College where he was dean of Workforce and Economic Development. In this role he created career pathways to lead students into high-growth sectors of the city’s economy— establishing robust partnerships with employers and securing more than $1.7 million in grants and contracts to facilitate this work. As a result, he and his team increased enrollment in their programs by 45%. Previously, Mr. Adams served as president and CEO of Empire State Development and commissioner of the New York State Department of Economic Development. Before joining state government, Mr. Adams led The Business Council of New York State and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and was Executive Director of New York Cares where he created the Annual New York Cares Coat Drive. Mr. Adams currently serves as chairman of the Boards of Directors of New York State’s affordable housing agencies. He is a director of Opportunity America, the NYC Employment and Training Coalition, the Queens Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and the Bronx Charter School for Excellence. Mr. Adams earned his BA and MA degrees from Middlebury College.

    Paul Arcario
    Paul Arcario (Ed.D.) is Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs at LaGuardia Community College. From August 2019–August 2020, Dr. Arcario served as LaGuardia’s Interim President. He was appointed as Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs in 2012. In this role, he manages the Academic Division’s $40 million annual budget, leads faculty recruitment and development, and provides guidance and oversight for the College’s academic programs. Dr. Arcario has advocated for more professional development for college faculty as a means of improving student outcomes. To this end, he helped secure a major grant from the U.S. Department of Education to establish the college’s faculty development program, the Center for Teaching and Learning, which today is among the largest and most robust CTLs at New York metropolitan area colleges. Additional major grants secured to date under his leadership include funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education. He previously served as a consultant for a national Gates Foundation-funded project to improve pedagogy and outcomes in developmental education.

    Jillian Baez
    Jillian Báez is an associate professor in the Africana and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies Department at Hunter College, City University of New York. She is also an affiliated faculty member at the CUNY Mexican Studies Institute and on the doctoral faculty in Women’s and Gender Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her research expertise lies in Latina/o/x media and popular culture, transnational feminisms, and issues of belonging and citizenship. She is the author of In Search of Belonging: Latinas, Media and Citizenship (University of Illinois Press, 2018), recipient of the 2019 Bonnie Ritter Award for Outstanding Feminist Book at the National Communication Association. Dr. Báez’s research has also been in published in numerous peer-reviewed journals including Critical Studies in Media Communication; Communication, Culture & Critique; Women’s Studies Quarterly; Latino Studies; Centro: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, and Chicana/Latina Studies

    Ernesto Bassi
    Ernesto Bassi Arévalo is an Associate Professor of History at Cornell University. His research interests coalesce around two significant questions: How do people develop geographic and cultural identifications? How do geographic regions come into being? In particular, he is interested in the role circulation (of goods, people, news, and ideas) plays in the configuration of geographic spaces, collective identities, geopolitical projects, and political allegiances. He explores these themes from a Latin American and Caribbean perspective, especially by looking out to the world from the Caribbean coast of Colombia. His first book, An Aqueous Territory, examines the configuration of a transimperial Greater Caribbean and its inhabitants’ geopolitical imagination through a study of the role of sailors in the creation of a regional space and the multiple ways in which less mobile (but by no means static) subjects, including autonomous indigenous groups, sugar planters, military adventurers, and nation makers, experienced the region sailors created. His broader interests include the emergence of globalization during the early modern period, hemispheric connections and mobilities, the history of late colonial and early national Latin American countries (especially Colombia and its Caribbean region), indigenous-European encounters in the Caribbean Basin, the rise of capitalism, the development of plantation societies in the Caribbean, the flow of ideas, people, and commodities across the Atlantic Ocean, and the role of oceans in world history.

    Iliana Cepero Amador
    Iliana Cepero Amador (PhD Art History, Stanford University) is an art historian, curator, and art critic. Cepero is Assistant Professor of Visual Studies at the New School and teaches courses on Latin American art and visual culture; histories and theories of photography; postcolonial studies. She recently curated the exhibition Cuba Is, at the Annenberg Space for Photography as part of the Getty’s initiative Pacific Standard Time LA/LA (September 2017), and ¡Cuba, Cuba! 65 years of Photography, organized by the International Center of Photography at the Southampton Arts Center, Long Island, NY (August 2015). Among her publications are “Photographic Propaganda under Peronism (1946-1955). Selections from the Archivo General de la Nación Argentina,” in History of Photography (May 2016), “Reading Tatlin’s Tower in Socialist Cuba,” Art Journal, (Summer 2018), “Luc Chessex, Robert Frank, and the Representation of Labour in the Magazine Cuba/Cuba Internacional, 1968 and 1971,” Art History (November 2018), and “Martín Fierro, Argentine Nationalism and the Return to Order,” MODERNISM/modernity (January 2019). She is currently working on a book manuscript on post-war Argentinean art under Peronismo.

    Danielle Pilar Clealand
    Danielle Pilar Clealand is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mexican American and Latino Studies at the University of Texas in Austin. Her research examines comparative racial politics, group consciousness, black public opinion, and racial inequality with a focus on the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and the United States using interdisciplinary approaches with mixed methods. Her first book, The Power of Race in Cuba: Racial Ideology and Black Consciousness During the Revolution, examines racial ideology and the institutional mechanisms that support racial inequality in Cuba. The book outlines structural racism the island and the experiences of discrimination that create a foundation for black solidarity. Through survey, ethnographic, and interview data, the book draws from the many black spaces on the island, both formal and informal, to highlight what constitutes black consciousness in Cuba. The Power of Race in Cuba won both the Best Book Award from the Race, Ethnicity and Politics section of the American Political Science Association and the W.E.B. Du Bois Distinguished Book Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. Dr. Clealand is currently working on two new projects focusing on blackness within Latino communities. The first, Black Migration into a “White” City (co-authored with Devyn Spence Benson), is an oral and political history of black Cubans in the U.S. that uncovers black experience to fill gaps in the existing literature about Cubans and Cuban-Americans in the United States. The second project will examine political attitudes, experiences with racism, and identity among Afro-Latinos in the United States.

    Jose Luis Cruz
    José Luis Cruz began his tenure as Executive Vice Chancellor (EVC) and University Provost (UP) at The City University of New York on July 1, 2019. Dr. Cruz oversees the Offices of Academic Affairs, Enrollment Management, Student Affairs, and Research. Widely regarded as one of the nation’s leading advocates for policies to expand opportunities and improve educational outcomes for all students – especially those who have historically been underserved – Dr. Cruz is a frequent keynote speaker and writer on higher education issues. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, and many media news outlets, including The Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Times and Univision have reported his work. Previously, EVC Cruz served as president of Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York (2016-2019), where he enhanced Lehman’s national reputation as an engine of opportunity and made great strides toward becoming the top contributor to educational attainment in the Bronx. His former service also includes provost of California State University, Fullerton, vice president of Higher Education Policy and Practice at the Education Trust in Washington, D.C. and vice president of Student Affairs for the University of Puerto Rico system. EVC Cruz earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering (magna cum laude) from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez and his doctorate from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Born in Puerto Rico, EVC Cruz spent his formative years on the island and in various cities in California, Florida, and Hondura.

    Alexander of the Fountain
    Alejandro de la Fuente is Robert Woods Bliss Professor of Latin American History and Economics; Professor of African and African American Studies and of History; Director of Graduate Studies; Director, Afro-Latin American Research Institute, Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. A historian of Latin America and the Caribbean who specializes in the study of comparative slavery and race relations, Professor de la Fuente’s works on race, slavery, law, art, and Atlantic history have been published in Spanish, English, Portuguese, Italian, German, and French. His latest publication is Becoming Free, Becoming Black: Race, Freedom, and Law in Cuba, Virginia, and Louisiana (Cambridge University Press, 2020, coauthored with Ariela J. Gross). He is the coeditor, with George Reid Andrews, of Afro-Latin American Studies: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2018). Professor de la Fuente is also the curator of three art exhibits dealing with issues of race and the author or editor of their corresponding volumes: Queloides: Race and Racism in Cuban Contemporary Art (Havana-Pittsburgh-New York City-Cambridge, Ma, 2010-12); Drapetomania: Grupo Antillano and the Art of Afro-Cuba (Santiago de Cuba-Havana-New York City- Cambridge, Ma-San Francisco-Philadelphia-Chicago, 2013-16) and Diago: The Pasts of this Afro- Cuban Present (Cambridge-Miami, ongoing). Professor de la Fuente is the founding Director of the Afro-Latin American Research Institute at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research and the faculty Chair of the Cuba Studies Progra. He is also the Senior Editor of the journal Cuban Studies.

    Shelly Eversley
    Shelly Eversley is Provost Faculty Fellow and Interim Chair of the Black and Latinx Studies department at Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY), where she teaches literature, feminism, and Black studies. She is also Faculty Co-Director of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Transformative Learning in the Humanities initiative at CUNY. She was Academic Director of CUNY’s Faculty Fellowship Publication Program and is Founder of equalityarchive.com She is the author of The “Real” Negro: The Question of Authenticity in Twentieth Century African American Literature as well as several essays on literature, race, and culture. Her editorial work includes The Sexual Body and The 1970s, both special issues of WSQ, a journal by the Feminist Press, as well as the forthcoming book Black Art, Politics, and Aesthetics in 1960s African American Literature and Culture (Cambridge). She is currently revising a new book titled The Practice of Blackness: Cold War Surveillance, Censorship, and African American Literary Survival. She earned her undergraduate degree at Columbia University, and her graduate degrees at The Johns Hopkins University.

    Hugo Fernandez
    Hugo Fernández is Professor of fine art and photography at LaGuardia Community College, where he has taught for more than twenty five years. He was born in Miami, Florida, the son of Cuban exiles. He began taking photographs in the early 1980’s, graduating from Miami Dade Community College in 1985 with an Associates degree in Communication and in 1989 from Florida International University with a Bachelors degree in Fine Art Photography. In 1989 he traveled to the Chilean Atacama desert, where he worked on an archeological dig with the R.P. Gustavo Le Paige Archaeological Museum and worked with an archive of the late German photographer Robert Mann Gerstmann. In 1993 he graduated from the Yale School of Art with a Masters degree in Fine Art Photography. In New York he has continued working in photography with the panorama format, which he began working with at Yale. In 2013, as part of a the LaGuardia/Chile Study Abroad Program he helped create, he returned to Chile, photographing in the south (Valparaiso/Santiago) and the Chilean/Argentine areas of Patagonia. He has also been working on a long-term project documenting the stories and life of his father. In 2015 and 2016 he traveled to Cuba, photographing his family, Havana, Pinar del Rio, Matanzas and the surrounding communities, including the Hemingway House Museum. His photographs have been exhibited in New York City and Miami galleries, as well as Florida International University, Dowling College and at LaGuardia Community College.

    Will Fulton
    Will Fulton is an Associate Professor of Music and Co-Director of the Music Recording Technology program at LaGuardia Community College. He is a musicologist, record producer, and DJ, and is the co-author with Dr. Patrick Rivers of the book 33 1/3: Camp Lo’s Uptown Saturday Night (Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2017). He has contributed chapters to Beyoncé: At Work, On Screen, and Online (Indiana UP, 2021), The Oxford Handbook of Hip Hop Music (Oxford UP, 2018), The Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies (Oxford UP, 2016), The Grove Dictionary of American Music 2nd Edition (Oxford UP, 2013), and articles to American Music Review. He has lectured at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum, and at conferences for the Society of American Music, American Musicological Society, International Musicological Society, and the American Studies Association. Before he began teaching, Will served as A&R Director for Profile Records and Slash/Warner Music. His musical compositions and productions have appeared in numerous feature films and television broadcasts, and he has produced and remixed music for Run-D.M.C., Camp Lo, and Tupac Shakur. He holds a Master’s Degree in Musicology from Brooklyn College, and a PhD in Musicology from the City University of New York.

    Will Fulton
    TAMI GOLD has created more than 15 highly visible and critically acclaimed documentary films on topics at the center of public debate in the US and internationally, including women's rights, public health, conditions for workers and labor organizing, violence and discrimination against LGBT people, police accountability and community relations, and the US relationship with South Africa. Her films have been in the most prestigious film festivals, including the Sundance, Tribeca and New York Film Festival, and have won many awards including the Audience Award at Tribeca. Her work has screened on PBS, World Channel and HBO. Tami is a Full Professor at Hunter College, where she developed the video production curriculum in the 1990s, has led student exchanges to Cuba and South Africa, and has been a leader on many fronts including directing the James Aronson Awards for Social Justice Journalism. Tami Gold is recipient of Rockefeller, Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships.

    Ana Maria Hernandez
    Ana María Hernández (Ph.D. Comparative Literature, NYU) specializes in Caribbean and River Plate studies, fantastic literature, and interdisciplinary studies (art/music/literature and film). She is Professor of Latin American Literature and Culture at LaGuardia Community College, The City University of New York. Since 2005 she has been a Fellow of the Cuba Project at the Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center, where she helps organize activities about Cuban art, music, film and dance, as well as periodic conferences about cultural developments in Cuba. Her publications have focused on Julio Cortázar, Horacio Quiroga, Julio Herrera y Reissig, Felisberto Hernández, Antonio Benítez Rojo, Nicolás Guillén and filmmaker Arturo Infante. Her recent publications include an annotated edition of Fantoches 1926: Folletín moderno por once escritores cubanos; an annotated anthology of tales by Felisberto Hernández, Las Hortensias y otros cuentos; a critical edition of Cirilo Villaverde's monumental anti-slavery novel from 1882, Cecilia Valdés, o la Loma del Ångel; Circe la Maga: La hechicera en la obra de Cortázar; "'Utopia' de Arturo Infante: entre Ariel y Calibán" in América: Tierra de Utopías eds. Balázs-Piri and Santosné-Blastik (Budapest: Eötvös University Press, 2017); "La armonía oculta: la poesía de Magali Alabau y Lourdes Gil" in Entre Islas eds. Martínez and Soto (Valencia: Aduana Vieja, 2018). She's a frequent contributor to Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas at The City College of New York, and a participant in events at the Cervantes Institute of New York.

    Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz
    Bárbaro Martínez-Ruiz shares appointments at Indiana, Harvard and Oxford Universities. He earned his B.A from the University of Havana in 1994 and his Ph.D. from Yale University in 2004. He is an Art Historian with expertise in African and Caribbean artistic, visual and religious practices, whose work challenges traditional disciplinary boundaries and examines the varied understandings of – and engagement with – ‘art’ and ‘visual culture’. His books include Kongo Graphic Writing and Other Narratives of the Sign, Temple University Press, 2013. He is currently working on Unwrapping the Universe: Art and Cosmology Among the Bakongo, a project that takes the Kongo concept of the universe as a packet or bundle and aims to “unwrap” the conceptual layers of specific works of art to gain a better understanding of their cosmological complexities and interrelated meanings, and to describe the conceptual and functional associations of these objects within their cultural context. Art forms explored include figurative sculpture, masks, divination implements, basketry, textiles, and ceramics and the book will disentangle the cross-cultural relationships these pieces both express and create while also tracing their historical evolution and present-day usage. In addition to his research and teaching, Martinez-Ruiz is an active curator, whose shows have explored issues of visual communication, dislocation and hybridity in the work of contemporary artists across the African diaspora. He also serves as an editor for the Cuban Studies Magazine and Harvard's Transition Magazine and was a researcher for Pacific Standard Time AL at the Getty Foundation and the Museum of Latin American Art, Los Angeles, from 2014-16.

    Yuko Miki
    Yuko Miki is Associate Professor of History at Fordham University, specializing in slavery in Brazil and the nineteenth-century Atlantic World. She is the author of Frontiers of Citizenship: A Black and Indigenous History of Postcolonial Brazil (Cambridge, 2018), in which she demonstrates how intersecting histories of the African diaspora and the indigenous Americas were foundational to the formation of race, citizenship, and nation in nineteenth-century Brazil. Frontiers of Citizenship received numerous awards, including the Wesley-Logan Prize for African Diaspora History from the American Historical Association and the Warren Dean Memorial Prize for Brazilian History from the Conference on Latin American History (CLAH). She is currently working on her new book, Emancipation’s Shadow: Stories of Illegal Slavery (tentative title), for which she has received fellowships from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment of the Humanities, among others. She is also authoring a piece on a Kongo-based society in mid nineteenth-century Brazil, in which she interrogates the possibilities and limitations of documentary archives in writing about African people’s lives under slavery. A native of Japan, she lives in Brooklyn, New York.

    Raquel Alicia Otheguy
    Raquel Alicia Otheguy is Assistant Professor of History at Bronx Community College of the City University of New York, specializing in the history of Latin America, the Caribbean, and the African Diaspora. Otheguy is a National Academy of Education/Spencer 2020 Post-Doctoral Fellow. She received her Ph.D. in History from Stony Brook University (SUNY) in 2016. Her doctoral dissertation received the 2017 Honorable Mention from the New England Council on Latin American Studies. Her research is based on material gathered in archives in the Cuban cities of Cienfuegos, Santiago, and Havana, as well as in archives in Tuskegee, New York City, and Washington, D.C. She has presented her research at conferences in the U.S. and abroad, including meetings of the Association of Caribbean Historians, the American Educational Research Association, and the American Historical Association. Otheguy, a U.S.-born bilingual Latina, received her B.A. in History from Columbia University.

    Lara Putman
    Lara Putnam (Ph.D. University of Michigan) is UCIS Research Professor in the Department of History at the University of Pittsburgh. She writes on Latin American and Caribbean history, theories and methods of transnational history, and issues of migration, kinship, and gender. Publications include The Company They Kept: Migrants and the Politics of Gender in Caribbean Costa Rica, 1870- 1960 (UNC Press, 2002), Radical Moves: Caribbean Migrants and the Politics of Race in the Jazz Age (UNC Press, 2013), and more than two dozen other chapters and articles. Her article “The Transnational and the Text-Searchable: Digitized Sources and the Shadows They Cast,” published in the American Historical Review (2016) sparked significant conversation about the ways that mass source digitization and web-based search are changing the research practice of even (or especially) those historians who do not consider their work to be “digital.” Putnam has served as President of the Conference on Latin American History (2016-2018) and as a member of the Board of Editors of the American Historical Review (2016-2019). She also writes about women-led grassroots political organizing in the age of Trump, drawing on participant observation in southwest Pennsylvania.

    Sonia Alejandra Rodriguez
    Sonia Alejandra Rodríguez is an Associate Professor in the English Department at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY, where she teaches composition, literature, and creative writing. She is the recipient of a 2020 Mellon Emerging Faculty Leaders Award presented by the Institute of Citizens and Scholars (formerly knowns as the Woodrow Wilson Foundation). Dr. Rodríguez received her Ph.D. in English from the Department of English at the University of California, Riverside. Her research introduces “conocimiento narratives” as a way to read healing practices within Latinx children’s and young adult literature. Dr. Rodríguez’s research has been published in the following journals: Children’s Literature and Children’s Literature in Education. And in the following collections: Mexicana Fashions: Self-Adornment, Identity Construction, and Political Self-Presentations and Voices of Resistance: Essays on Chican@ Children’s Literature

    Red Robles Mejias
    Rojo Robles Mejías, Ph.D. is a Puerto Rican professor, writer, playwright, and filmmaker. Robles graduated from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras with a B.A. in Theater and a M.A. in Comparative Literature. He holds an M. Phil and Ph.D. from the Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures Department at the Graduate Center, CUNY. His research interests are located at the intersection between Latin American and Caribbean Literature and Film and Afro-Latinx Cultural Studies. He has published articles on Afro-Puerto Rican, Cuban and Latin American film in SX Salon| Small Axe Project, The Puerto Rico Review, Revista Cruce, Revista Iberoamericana and Transmodernity: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso-Hispanic World and has been a cultural critic at 80grados.net for more than a decade. He is the editor of Pedro Pietri’s posthumous chapbook Condom Poems 4 Sale One Size Fits All (Lost and Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative, 2019). Along with teaching, researching, and academic writing, Dr. Robles has substantial work as a fiction writer, playwright, and filmmaker. Since 2004 he is the artistic director of the independent group, El kibutz del deseo, dedicated to producing plays, films, and publishing fiction and poetry. He is the author of Los desajustados/The Maladjusted (2015) and Escapistas (2017) and the writer, director, and producer of the experimental film The Sound of ILL Days (2017). Dr. Robles is currently a lecturer at the Black and Latino Studies Department at Baruch College, CUNY and is at work on a book project about Nuyorican cinegraphic works and audiovisual archives.

    Joy Sanchez-Taylor
    Joy Sanchez-Taylor is an Associate Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY) whose research specialty is intersections between science fiction, fantasy, and critical race theory. She has served as a CUNY Futures Initiative Fellow. Her forthcoming book Diverse Futures: Science Fiction and Authors of Color (The Ohio State University Press, August 2021) examines the contributions of late twentieth and twenty-first century U.S. and Canadian science fiction authors of color to the genre. By exploring science fiction tropes such as genetic manipulation, post-apocalyptic settings, first contact narratives, and Indigenous sciences, Diverse Futures demonstrates how Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian American science fiction authors employ these tropes to critique the colonization and alienation of peoples of color. Dr. Sanchez-Taylor’s research has also been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals including Science Fiction Studies, Extrapolation, and The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. Look for her forthcoming contributions to the Routledge Handbook of Alternative Futurisms and Companion to the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States. Dr. SanchezTaylor regularly teaches courses with themes of science fiction, alienation and immigration, the Latinx fantastic, and media literacy.

    Nireata Seals
    Dr. Nireata Seals has led a distinguished career as a transformational leader serving students for over 25 years. She is currently the Vice President of Student Affairs and Associate Provost at LaGuardia Community College, for The City University of New York. She has dedicated her career in service to students, removing barriers that hinder their success and upward mobility during and beyond college.She joined LaGuardia in 2015 as Assistant Dean for Enrollment Services and became the Vice President of Student Affairs in 2017. In Fall 2019 she was asked to serve as the Interim Provost & Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, as the college transitioned to a new President. She is an advocate for education and serves on the Comprehensive Youth Development Board, offering youth a second chance obtaining their high school education. Additionally, she has served as an executive mentor to doctoral, masters, and bachelor’s degree students.Dr. Seals earned her Doctor of Education in Executive Leadership from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY; her Master’s degree in Student Personnel Administration from New York University; and her Bachelor’s in Behavioral Science/Social Work from Concordia University in Irvine, Calif.

    Gabriela Spears-Rico
    Dr. Gabriela Spears-Rico is a Pirinda-P’urhepecha Indigenous feminist poet and scholar who serves as an Assistant Professor of Chicano Latino Studies and American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Her research explores how representations of indigeneity in Mexican popular culture inform understandings of race and ethnicity among people of Mexican descent. Dr. Spears-Rico is currently working on her first book, Mestizo Melancholia and the Legacy of Conquest in Michoacan, which offers an ethnographic analysis of the Days of the Dead to examine how ‘going native’ functions in Mexico. Through her concept of ‘mestizo melancholia,’ she is interested in unraveling how acts of mourning and cultural appropriation reveal the technologies of mestizaje. She authored “Decolonial P’urhepecha Maternalista Motherwork as Pedagogy,” in The Chicana Motherwork Anthology and “In the Time of War and Hashtags: Rehumanizing Indigeneity in the Digital Landscape” in Indigenous Interfaces, both published in 2019 by the University of Arizona Press. Her scholarship has been featured on Native America Calling and Indigeniety Rising as well as in Latinx Talk. She is a Mellon Mays fellow and a Woodrow Wilson fellow and was recently awarded a fellowship from the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota.

    Pam Sporn
    Pam Sporn is a Bronx documentary filmmaker, educator, and activist. MAKING THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE: THE STORY OF PUERTO RICAN STUDIES IN BROOKLYN COLLEGE is Sporn’s most recent documentary, which she co-directed with Tami Gold and co-produced with Gisely Colón López. Her previous work includes the award-winning film DETROIT 48202: CONVERSATIONS ALONG A POSTAL ROUTE, broadcast nationally on America ReFramed, PBS/World Channel's non-fiction showcase; CUBAN ROOTS/BRONX STORIES; WITH A STROKE OF THE CHAVETA; and RECORDANDO EL MAMONCILLO.Pam has received funding and awards from JustFilms/Ford Foundation, Latino Public Broadcasting, NYSCA, and the Puffin Foundation. She holds a MFA in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College, CUNY, and is a 4-time winner of the BRIO – Bronx Recognizes Its Own – award from the Bronx Council on the Arts.

    Rebecca Tally
    Rebecca Tally is an Associate Professor of History at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY), specializing in Latin American history, critical development studies, and nation-state formation. Her research interests center on the relationship between the market, the nation-state, and discourses of development in mid twentieth-century Colombia. Her work examining popular conceptions of the state and the role that it should play in protecting the welfare and interests of poor and working-class artisanal bakers in Colombia has appeared in State Formations: Global Histories and Cultures of Statehood (Cambridge, 2018). She is currently working on a book tentatively titled The Politics of Wheat, which explores the interplay between economic nationalism, development aid, and agricultural self-sufficiency in Colombia. Using previously unexamined archival materials from a variety of state and non-state actors in Colombia, as well as representatives of U.S.-based development organizations (both governmental and non-governmental), she opens new avenues for examining forms of nationstate formation in Colombia that have been overlooked by traditional narratives that center institutions and political parties. She also uncovers the roots of certain forms of food insecurity in Colombia today.

    Omaris Z. Zamora
    Omaris Z. Zamora is an Assistant Professor of AfroLatinx Studies at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. She is jointly appointed in the Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies and the Africana Studies Department. Zamora is a transnational Black Dominican Studies scholar and spokenword poet. Her research interests include: theorizing AfroLatinidad in the context of race, gender, sexuality through Afro-diasporic approaches. Her current book project tentatively titled, Ciguapa Unbound: AfroLatina Feminist Epistemologies of Tranceformation examines the transnational Black Dominican narratives put forth in the work of Firelei Baez, Elizabeth Acevedo, Nelly Rosario, Ana Lara, Loida Maritza Pérez, Josefina Baez, Cardi B, and La Bella Chanel. Zamora pays close attention to how they embody their blackness, produce knowledge, and shift the geographies of black feminism in ways that recognize the legacies of Chicana/Latina and Black American feminist theory in the United States, but tends to the specific experiences of AfroLatina women and their multiple genealogies. She fuses her poetry with her scholarly work as a way of contributing to a black poetic approach to literature and cultural studies. Her work has been published in Post45, Latinx Talk, Label Me Latina/o, among others and has been featured on NPR’s Alt.Latino podcast. Zamora is the 2020- 2021 Miriam Jiménez-Román Afro-Latinx Fellow at the Latinx Project at New York University.

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