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Migration and Ethnic Studies

April 13, 2012 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm  |  Stevenson Fireside Lounge


Borders Bodies ViolenceThe Borders, Bodies and Violence Research Cluster presents:

Migration and Ethnic Studies

This symposium brings together scholars roused by recent legislation targeting migrants and ethnic studies, such as Arizona’s SB 1070, one of the most draconian anti-immigration measures in the United States, and HB 2281, the 2010 prohibition on ethnic studies in public schools. Topics to be addressed include language, labor, indigeneity, nativist populism, state surveillance, violence, trauma, displacement, culture wars, and education. Taken together, the works presented will shed light on the nexus of migration and Latino studies, assess the state of this field, and explore the possibilities for its future.

Thursday, April 12

4:00-5:30pm: Keynote
“Politics, Process, and Human Folly: Life among the Arizona Lilliputians of Cultural and Linguistic Suppression”
Carlos Vélez-Ibáñez, Director of the School of Transborder Studies at Arizona State University

Friday, April 13

9:00-9:30am: Welcome

9:30-11:00am: Panel 1: Ethnographies

  • Ruben Espinoza (Sociology): “Bodies, Border Thinking, and the Labor Process”
  • Tania Cruz Salazar (LALS): “Maya Migrant Youth in California”
  • Mary Virginia Watson (Politics): “‘Taking America Back’: Arizona Nativists and the
    Emergence of Nativist Populism”
  • Carlos Vélez-Ibáñez, respondent

11:00am-12:30pm: Lunch Break

12:30-2:00pm Panel 2: Archival Research and Textual Analysis

  • Cecilia Rivas (LALS): “The Bodies in the Television: Salvadoran Gardeners, Memory, and Representation”
  • Felicity Schaeffer-Grabiel (Feminist Studies): “Tracking Migrants: Sexual Surveillance and Securing Communities”
  • Catherine Ramírez (LALS): “Bad Subjects: Chicana/o Studies in the Wake of HB 2281”
  • Sandra K. Soto, respondent

2:00-2:30pm: Break

2:30-4:00pm: Closing remarks
“Thinking While Brown: Ethnic Studies and Arizona’s Culture Wars”
Sandra K. Soto, Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Arizona:

4:00-5:00pm: Reception
Carlos Vélez-IbáñezDr. Carlos Velez-Ibanez’ intellectual interests are broadly comparative and interdisciplinary and span specific interests in migration, economic stratification, political ecology, transnational community and household formation, and applied social science. His academic fields include applied anthropology, complex social organizations, culture and education, ethno-class relations in complex social systems, migration and adaptation of human populations, political ecology, qualitative methodology and urban anthropology.

Dr. Velez-Ibanez concentrates his work on the Southwestern United States, Mexico and the Caribbean. His publications are numerous including eleven books, four of which are based on original field research and his grants are many from NSF, NEH, and private foundations. He is presently conducting transnational field research in two rural valleys in California and New Mexico and their sending communities in Mexico. He received a Ph.D. in Anthropology, University of California, San Diego (1975). Later he became Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology, University of California, Riverside, 1994-2005. Additionally, he was Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at the University of California, Riverside from 1994-1999.

Previously he had been appointed Professor of Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona, Tucson, 1984-1994 and Director of the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona, Tucson, 1982-1994. Prior to this appointment, he was a tenured associate professor at UCLA. His honors include the 2004 Robert B. Textor and Family Prize for Excellence in Anticipatory Anthropology awarded by the American Anthropology Association, and in 2003 the Bronislaw Malinowski Medal presented by the Society for Applied Anthropology in addition to a number of other awards and fellowships including a Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, California, 1993-94 and elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1999.

He is presently Regents Professor and Motorola Presidential Professor of Neighborhood Revitalization, Professor of School of Transborder Studies and and Human Evolution and Social Change, Director of the School of Transborder Studies at Arizona State University, and Emeritus Professor of Anthropology of the University of California, Riverside.

Sandra K. SotoSandra K. Soto is Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Arizona. She holds a PhD in English, with a focus in Ethnic and Third World Literature, from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research and teaching interests are in Chicana/o and Latina/o Literary and Cultural Studies. She is co-editor of the journal Feminist Formations and the author of the book, Reading Chican@ Like a Queer: The De-Mastery of Desire. In 2010 she and Miranda Joseph received the National Education Association Excellence in the Academy Award in Democracy in Higher Education for their essay “Neoliberalism and the Battle over Ethnic Studies in Arizona.” When she is not writing about the politics of Arizona, she works on her book in progress which draws from queer theories of affect to think about the production, circulation, and consumption of cultural production in Greater Mexico, focusing especially on the internationally-renown Mexican photographer, Graciela Iturbide.
The Borders, Bodies and Violence Research Cluster is a research cluster of the Institute for Humanities Research which has provided staff support for this event. Sponsored by the UC Humanities Network with support from the UCSC Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Chicano Latino Research Center, and El Centro: Chicano Latino Resource Center.

For more information, contact Shann Ritchie at the Institute for Humanities Research,, (831) 459-5655.


April 13, 2012
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
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Stevenson Fireside Lounge
Humanites 1 University of California, Santa Cruz Cowell College
Santa Cruz, CA 95064 United States
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