Two Exciting Panels for Chicago

For many of us the fall semester, or quarter, has just commenced.  Within a few short weeks we will be weighed down with our teaching, research and administrative responsibilities.  Students will be hard at work, as will faculty. As the 112th AAA Annual Meeting approaches we want to remind the ALLA membership of the upcoming opportunity to reunite at the ALLA sponsored events, including our annual business meeting.  This year ALLA offers two exciting panels that we would like to highlight in this month’s news column. Both panels signal at the exciting and promising past, present and future of Latina/o anthropology.

The first panel is a volunteered session co-organized by Nancy Rios (U Texas-Austin) and Santiago Guerra (Colorado C). The panel, Transnational Engagement: Bridging Latina/o And Latin American Anthropology, brings together many young scholars working within the realm of Latina/o and Latin American anthropology. The panel engages the state of Latina/o anthropology and Latin American anthropology as an important and necessary point of engagement in “our efforts to transform our disciplinary identity and capacity in terms of knowledge production and relevance in a world of radical change” (AAA 112th Annual Meeting Call for Papers).  This panel also attempts to chart a path towards dialogue by bridging the work of Latina/o Anthropology and Latin American Anthropology to explore how Latina/o communities and communities in Latin America contend with the material and cultural realities of transnational life. Scholars working in the areas of Latina/o and Latin American anthropology are invited to participate in this discussion.

The second panel is an invited session organized by Patricia Zavella (UC Santa Cruz) dedicated to highlighting the influence of Carlos Vélez-Ibáñez’s on the work of many scholars working on transborder ethnography.  Vélez-Ibáñez currently serves as the Director of the School of Transborder Studies at Arizona State University. He has been an instrumental figure in pushing forward the field of border studies and Latin@/Chican@ Studies through his scholarly work, including Border Visions: Mexican Cultures of the Southwest (1996), and most recently An Impossible Living in a Transborder World: Culture, Confianza and Economy of Mexican-Origin Populations (2010).  Demonstrating the immense influence of Vélez-Ibáñez’s scholarship, the panel will engage the critical topics of applied anthropology, border theory, public anthropology, slantwise scholarship, migration, and transborder ethnography. More importantly, the panel will engage with (and bridge) the Latin@ spaces of the Southwest and the Midwest. This panel will offer ALLA members a wonderful opportunity to honor and recognize the work and influence of Vélez-Ibáñez, and it will also serve as a time to think about, reflect on and engage with the issues affecting Latin@s in the Chicagoland area and the greater Midwest.

We look forward to seeing all of our ALLA members in Chicago. Be sure to check the conference program for updated information on these panels, as well as our other ALLA sponsored panels and events. We would also like to thank Pablo Gonzalez, 2013 Program Chair, for his hard work for this year’s meetings.

Alex Chavez (U Illinois at Chicago) and Santiago Ivan Guerra (Colorado C) are the contributing editors for ALLA’s column in AN.

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