LLS Homepage Spotlight

Chair’s Welcome

9/9/2015  8:00 am

On behalf of the Department of Latina/Latino Studies, I would like to welcome you to the 2015-16 academic school year. We have a lot of exciting news to share.

First, we are thrilled to welcome two new post-doctoral fellows to LLS: Dr. Natalie Lira and Dr. Marla Ramírez. Dr. Lira earned a Ph.D. in American Culture from the University of Michigan. Her doctoral research uncovers the largely neglected racial aspects of California’s eugenic sterilization program by providing statistical evidence of the high rates of sterilization experienced by Mexican-origin women and men in institutions for the feebleminded during the first half of the 20th century. Dr. Ramírez holds a Ph.D. in Chicana and Chicano Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research examines early twentieth-century immigration policies, focusing on the experiences of “repatriation” that tore apart Mexican and Mexican American families throughout the United States. Drs. Lira and Ramírez will be at Illinois for the year. They are each teaching a class for the Department in the fall.

We would also like to welcome two new faculty affiliates to Latina/o Studies: Prof. Patrick Smith and Prof. Luz Murillo, both from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education. Prof. Smith’s research focuses on the literacies of Mexican-origin, (im)migrant, and Spanish/English emergent bilingual learners. Prof. Murillo is an educational anthropologist who studies the literacies of linguistically and culturally diverse children, families, and communities.

Three of our faculty recently received important honors. Prof. Lisa Cacho has been named a Conrad Humanities Scholar in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences for 2015-2020. The award recognizes mid-career scholars with the highest potential for continued achievement in humanities fields. Prof. Julie Dowling was awarded an Honorable Mention for the Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award at the American Sociological Association (ASA) meetings in August 2015 for her recent book Mexican Americans and the Question of Race. The award is given by ASA’s Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities to the most outstanding book in the area of race and ethnicity. Finally, Prof. Gilberto Rosas has been named a Senior Research Fellow in the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory for 2015-17. Prof. Rosas is also the winner of the 2012-2014 Association of Latina and Latino Anthropologists Book Award for his 2012 book Barrio Libre: Criminalizing States and Delinquent Refusals of the New Frontier.

We have a number of events planned for the fall. Our open house is scheduled for Sept 23, 4:00-6:00 pm in the LLS Building (1207 W. Oregon St, Urbana). Students, staff, and faculty are welcome. Food (not sure from where yet) will be provided. We also have three speakers scheduled as part of our Fall Colloquium Series. Dr. Marla Ramírez will deliver a talk titled “Transgenerational Illegality: The Mexican Repatriation Program & Banishment of U.S. Citizens” on September 30; Dr. David Glisch-Sanchez will give a lecture titled “Racial Utterances: Microaggressions, Algorithms of Pain, and Queer Latin@s” on October 7; and Dr. Natalie Lira will deliver at talk titled “Allies, Resisters, and Runaways: Locating Agency and Defiance in Mexican-Origin Patient’s Reactions to Eugenic Sterilization in California, 1920-1950” on November 4. All the colloquia are from 3:30-5:00.

Again, welcome to the new academic year. We look forward to seeing you in the Department and at our events.

Jonathan Inda

Professor and Chair