Latino Studies

A Section of the Latin American Studies Association

Section Annual Reports

The LASA Sections Annual Report, 2019-2020 Latino Studies Section

Submitted by, Melissa Castillo Planas and Thania Muñoz Davaslioglu, Co-Chairs.

COVID-19 greatly affected our section and its plans for 2019-2020. There was no business meeting as it got cancelled due to the pandemic and no sponsored panels were presented at LASA 2020 due to participant withdrawals. Likewise, there were no awards last year due to these unprecedented circumstances. We hope we can hold a virtual business meeting for LASA 2021.

Moving forward, these are areas we hope to address virtually. We have three virtual panels planned for LASA 2021, one on Afro-Latinidades, one on the term Latinx, and one on scholarship across the Americas in COVID times. We have submitted these panels for the upcoming conference.

We also plan to award all four prizes for the Latino Studies Section this year: LASA-Latino Section Outstanding Book Award, Frank Bonilla Public Intellectual Award, Best Article Award, and Best Dissertation Award.

Lastly, we held elections in September 2020. Each position entails a two-year commitment, but is structured to allow for a first year of apprenticeship with current leaders and a second year of active service in the section. Candidates for the positions were invited to nominate a candidate and/or self-nominate. These are the names of the incoming board:

Co-chairs

Jessica Retis, PhD. Associate Professor. University of Arizona, School of Journalism. Maia Gil'Adí, PhD (she/her/ella) Assistant Professor of English and Latinx Literature University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Secretary / Treasurer

Gretchen Selcke, Ph.D.Vanderbilt University. Latino and Latina Studies Program, Director

Graduate Student Representative

Eric Macias (he/his). PhD Candidate Department of Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies. University at Albany (SUNY)

The members of the current board are:

Co-chairs

Melissa Castillo Planas (English, Lehman College of the City University of New York)

Thania Muñoz D. (Spanish, Latin American literature and Latinx studies, The University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

Secretary/Treasurer:

Inmaculada Lara-Bonilla (Latin American/Caribbean Studies Unit in the Humanities Department, Hostos Community College, The City University of New York)

Graduate Student:

Ramón Luciano Capellán (Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, State University of New York at Albany) October, 2020.

The LASA-Latina/o Studies 2018-2019, Section Annual Report

1. A summary of the business meeting including the number of people that attended, topics discussed and conclusions.

About 18 people attended the Section meeting. The agenda included: announcing and celebrating the award winners, collecting suggestions for next year’s section-sponsored panels/roundtables, and whether to change the name of the section to the Latinx Studies Section or the Latina/o/x Studies Section or keep it as the Latina/o Studies Section. In terms of the name change, we decided this was a decision that needed to be voted on by all the section’s members.

2. The results of the Section’s elections, including the names, position, email, affiliation, and term. The officers who continue must also be listed with their corresponding email and term.

Outgoing Positions (2017-2019)

Co-Chairs: Johana Londoño (Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies, SUNY Albany)

Jennifer Harford Vargas (English, Bryn Mawr College)  

Secretary/Treasurer: Rebeca Hey-Colon (Spanish, Temple University)  

Graduate Student: None  

Incoming Positions (2019-2021)

Co-Chairs: Veronica Montes (Sociology, Bryn Mawr College)

Sarah Margarita Quesada (English, Notre Dame University)  

Secretary/Treasurer: Sharina Maillo-Pozo (Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program, SUNY New Paltz)

  Graduate Student: Wilfredo Burgos Matos (Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures, The Graduate Center CUNY)  

Newly Elected Positions (2020-2022)  

Co-Chairs: Melissa Castillo Planas (English, Lehman College of the City University of New York)

Thania Muñoz D. (Spanish, Latin American literature and Latinx studies, The University of Maryland, Baltimore County)  

Secretary/Treasurer: Inmaculada Lara-Bonilla (Latin American/Caribbean Studies Unit in the Humanities Department, Hostos Community College, The City University of New York)  

Graduate Student: Ramón Luciano Capellán (Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, State University of New York at Albany)  

3. A review of the activities and plans for the coming term.

This year we sponsored 4 roundtables at the annual conference. We opted for roundtables so that more scholars could share their work and so that we could have a more robust set of conversations since the roundtable format allowed more time for dialogue. The titles of these roundtables were: “Anzaldúa and the Latinx World: 32 Years After Borderlands,” “‘Illegal’ and Not Undocumented: Life under the Trump Administration,” “Latina/o/x New England,” and “The Latinx ‘Other’.” Next year we will be sponsoring 3 panels or roundtables at the national conference. We also created a table for newly published books in the field of Latina/o studies at our reception, and we hope to continue that tradition next year. 

4. The names of the Section’s grantees. The names of the selection committee members and a description of the selection process. The following information should be included for the awardees:

• Section name

• Prize name 

• Prize category 

• Awardee

• Institution 

• Awarded paper/Book title  

The Latina/o Studies Section has four awards and each year grants two awards. This year we granted the outstanding book award and the Frank Bonilla public intellectual award.   

Outstanding Book Award:

We selected one winner and two honorable mentions. They are as follows:

• Forms of Dictatorship: Power, Narrative, and Authoritarianism in the Latina/o Novel (winner) by Jennifer Harford Vargas (Associate Professor of English, Bryn Mawr College)

• Abject Performances: Aesthetic Strategies in Latino Cultural Production (honorable mention) by Leticia Alvarado (Assistant Professor of American Studies, Brown University)

• Diversión: Play and Popular Culture in Cuban America (honorable mention) by Albert Sergio Laguna (Assistant Professor of American Studies, Yale University)

The committee consisted of three external members who read all of the books submitted for the prize and was overseen by in-coming co-chair Verónica Montes. Veronica collected the votes of the three external readers and drafted the award letter. The prize consisted of $250. The three external readers were:

• Dara Goldman, Associate Professor of Spanish, University of Illinois, Urbana, Champaign

• Erika Busse, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Macalester College

• Maia Gil'Adi, Assistant Professor of English, George Washington University  

Frank Bonilla Public Intellectual Award:

We selected one winner: Frances Negrón-Muntaner, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University.

The committee consisted of three external readers who read all of the nomination materials submitted for the prize and was overseen by in-coming co-chair Sarah Quesada. Sarah collected the votes of the three external readers and drafted the award letter. The prize consisted of $250. The three external readers were: 

• Inés Hernández-Avila, Professor, Department of Native American Studies University of California, Davis

• Nadia Flores, Associate Professor of Sociology, Texas Technical University 

• Inmaculada Lara Bonilla, Assistant Professor of U.S. Latina/o Studies, Hostos Community College  

Graduate Student Travel Award:  

We provided a $250 travel award to two graduate students. Johana Londoño, Jennifer Harford Vargas, and Rebeca Hey-Colón read the applications and made the award decision.  The awardees were:

• Tamara Lee Mitchell, Indiana University

• Arinka Arline Abad, SUNY Albany