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Previous Events

Spring 2018 Events

Wednesday, March 14 and Thursday, March 15: "Hermanas in Crime" Symposium

Wednesday, March 14

7:00 pm         Central Library Community Room, reading and book signing

Thursday, March 15

1:10 pm         Central Library Community Room, panel discussion 

7:00 pm         Commons Multipurpose Room, reading and book signing

Featured Authors: Joy Castro, Terea Dovalpage, Alicia Gaspar de Alba, and Lucha Corpi

Hermanas in Crime Symposium

Thursday, January 25: Joy Castro Reading

7:00 pm         Buttrick 101 

Tuesday, January 30: Daniel Alarcón

7:00 pm         Central Library Community Room

Daniel Alarcon

Thursday, January 18: Afro-Cuban Artist Erik Olivera Rubio, Opening Reception

4:10 pm         Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center

Erik Olivera Rubio Opening

Fall 2017 Events

Monday, December 4: Afro-Cuban Artist Erik Olivera Rubio

4:10 pm          Kissam Multipurpose Room

Erik Olivera Rubio

Wednesday, November 8: Jerry Flores, "Caught Up: Girls, Surveillance, and Wraparound Incarceration"

4:10 pm         Kissam Multipurpose Room

Jerry Flores Poster

From home, to school, to juvenile detention center, and back again. Follow the lives of fifty Latina girls living forty miles outside of Los Angeles, California, as they are inadvertently caught up in the school-to-prison pipeline. Their experiences in the connected programs between “El Valle” Juvenile Detention Center and “Legacy” Community School reveal the accelerated fusion of California schools and institutions of confinement. The girls participate in well-intentioned wraparound services designed to provide them with support at home, at school, and in the detention center. But these services may more closely resemble the phenomenon of wraparound incarceration, in which students, despite leaving the actual detention center, cannot escape the surveillance of formal detention, and are thereby slowly pushed away from traditional schooling and a productive life course. 

This event is sponsored by the Latino and Latina Studies Program, the Afro-Hispanic Review, the Department of English, The Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Inclusion Initiatives and Cultural Competence.

Friday, September 1: Bievenida for First-year and Transfer Students

4:30 pm         Sutherland House Lobby

Bienvenida 2017

Thursday, September 14: iLENS Film: Sleep Dealer

7:30 pm      Sarratt Cinema 

Presented by Haerin Shin, Assistant Professor of English/Cinema and Media Arts, and Marzia Milazzo, Assistant Professor of English/Latino and Latina Studies

Sleep Dealer

Set in a dystopian near-future where the US-Mexico border is walled off by a militarized government, with corporate bodies sourcing their labor from a virtual plug-in network of undocumented workers and even monetizing personal memories through a global digital platform, Sleep Dealer follows the story of Memo Cruz as he struggles to reclaim his humanity in a system that runs on technologically induced alienation and disenfranchisement. Mexico/USA (2008). Dir: Alex Rivera.

Presented in collaboration with Latino and Latina Studies. Spanish with English subtitles. 90 min. DVD.

INTERNATIONAL LENS, a film series with a global perspective, provides a forum to promote conversation among Vanderbilt’s diverse community of students, faculty, and staff. International Lens endeavors to transcend geographic, ethnic, religious, linguistic, and political boundaries by encouraging conversation and greater cross-cultural understanding through cinema. The series is a collaboration among Dean of Students of offices, and, departments, centers, and programs across the University.

Monday, September 25: Carlos Andrés Gómez

5:00-6:00 pm         Workshop, Rand 308

7:00 pm                  Presentation, Sarratt Cinema

 Carlos Andres Gomez

Monday, October 9: Día de la Raza

4:10 pm         Sarratt Multicultural Student Lounge


Spring 2017 Events

Friday, April 21, 2017: Mayra Santos Febres

3:30 pm         112  Wilson Hall

Mayra Santos Febres

Friday, March 31, 2017: Sara Castro-Klarén

3:30 pm         209  Furman Hall

 Sara Castro Klaren

Professor Castro-Klarén’s fields of specialization are the modern Latin American novel, literary and cultural theory, and colonial studies. Her publications include El mundo magico de Jose Maria Arguedas (1973), Understanding Mario Vargas Llosa (1990) and Escritura, Sujeto y transgresion en la Literature latinoamericana (l989), along with Latin American Women Writers (1991), ed. with Sylvia Molloy and Beatriz Sarlo; Beyond Imagined Communities: Reading and Writing in the Nation in Nineteenth-Century Latin America (2003), ed. with John Chasteen. She is the editor of the Blackwell Companion to Latin American Literature and Culture (2008). Professor Castro-Klarén has published many chapters in collections dealing with her current book project on subaltern subjects, especially the cultural projects of Guaman Poma, Garcilaso de la Vega Inca, and Jose Carlos Mariategui. These collected essays will soon appear in book form. She is also finishing another book on the representation of cannibalism within the coordinates of empire. She is one of the editors of Modern Language Notes. Professor Castro-Klarén’s most recent book is The Narrow Pass of Our Nerves: Writing, Coloniality and Postcolonial Theory (Vervuert, 2011).

Sponsored by The Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Latino and Latina Studies Program                 

Thursday, February 2, 2017, 4:10 pm: Quiara Alegría Hudes, Pulitzer Prize-winning Playwright

"A Writer's Many Selves"

2016-2017 Harry C. Howard Jr. Lecture

Quiara Alegria Hudes

Community Room, Jean & Alexander Heard Libraries

Quiara Alegría Hudes is most recently the author of The Elliot Trilogy, three standalone plays that trace the coming of age of a bright, charismatic, and haunted young man who escapes “el barrio” in Philadelphia, becomes a Marine, and in the aftermath of his service in Iraq must find his way to adulthood. Each play explores a different kind of music—Bach, Coltrane, and Puerto Rican folk music—to structure its narrative. Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue premiered at Page 73 Productions in 2006 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2007. Water by the Spoonful premiered at Hartford Stage Company in 2011 and won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The Happiest Song Plays Last premiered at the Goodman Theatre in 2013. The plays have been produced around the country and internationally, including at Off-Broadway’s Second Stage Theatre.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017: Lupe Under the Sun (iLens Film Series)

7:30 pm             Sarratt Cinema

Lupe Under the Sun

Monday, February 27 and Tuesday, February 28, 2017: Ivor Miller

 Ivor Miller

Monday, February 27 at 12:00 pm: Lunch Conversation at the Black Cultural Center Conference Room

Tuesday, February 28 at 4:10 pm: “Cuban Lukumí Bàtá: Ajúbà to Oba Ilu,” or “The History of the Bata Drum

from West Africa to Cuba to the Global Stage,”  Lecture at the Black Cultural Center Auditorium

Wednesday, March 15, 2017: Richard Blanco

Richard Blanco


Photo © Craig Dilger

Richard Blanco is the fifth inaugural poet in U.S. history—the youngest,first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban exiled parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity and place characterize his body of work. He is the author of the memoirs The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood and For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey; the poetry chapbooks Matters of the Sea, One Today, and Boston Strong; the poetry collections Looking for the Gulf Motel, Directions to the Beach of the Dead, and City of a Hundred Fires; and a children’s book of his inaugural poem, “One Today,” illustrated by Dav Pilkey. With Ruth Behar, he recently co-created Bridges to/from Cuba: Lifting the Emotional Embargo, a blog providing a cultural and artistic platform for sharing the real lives and complex emotional histories of thousands of Cubans across the globe. Blanco’s many honors include the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press, the Beyond Margins Award from the PEN American Center, the Paterson Poetry Prize, a Lambda Literary Award, and two Maine Literary Awards. The Academy of American Poets named him its first Education Ambassador in 2015. He has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and NPR’s Fresh Air. He has been a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow and received honorary doctorates from Macalester College, Colby College, and the University of Rhode Island. He has continued to write occasional poems for organizations and events such as the re-opening of the U.S. embassy in Havana. Blanco shares his time between Bethel, ME and Boston, MA.

Blanco Poster

Schedule of Events:

12:00-1:15 pm   Lunch with Latino and Latina Studies Program students

3:45 pm             Tea with MFA Students

                           The Curb Center Gallery 

7:00 pm             Reading by Richard Blanco in Wilson 126; reception and book signing to follow at the Robert
                           Penn Warren Center for the Humanities

Fall 2016 Events

November 9-12, 2016: Regina José Galindo

Regina 2016

October 10-11, 2016: "Bridges, Not Walls" Fall 2016 Latino and Latina Studies Symposium

Featuring poets Natalie Díaz, Rigoberto González, and Laurie Ann Guerrero

Bridges, Not Walls


Monday, October 10:

4:00-5:30 pm     Día de la Raza Celebration, Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center

7:30 pm              Reading by Rigoberto González and Laurie Ann Guerrero; reception and book signing to follow

                             Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center


Tuesday, October 11:

1:30-3:30 pm     Panel presentation with all three poets

                             Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center

3:45 pm              Tea with MFA Students

                             The Curb Center Gallery 

7:00 pm              Reading by Natalie Díaz; reception and book signing to follow

                             Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center

October 10, 2016: Día de la Raza Celebration Dia de la raza

 Dia de la Raza Salsa Lesson

Día de la Raza Salsa Lessons with Elsa Mercado

Past Events

Spring 2016 opportunities for LATS students:

MOSAIC (Multicultural Student Recruitment) weekend, March 17-19

Café con Leche, March 26, "Cafe con Leche is Vanderbilt Association of Hispanic Students' cultural showcase of all different types of Hispanic culture through dance, music and performance. There will be a dinner beforehand at the SLC and the show will be at Langford."

February 8, 7:30 pm (Sarratt Cinema) LATS hosts International Lens Film Series


Afro-Hispanic Review Tenth Anniversary Celebration

We celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Afro-Hispanic Review at Vanderbilt University on October 29th, 2015. Chancellor Zeppos kicked off the event with remarks on diversity, inclusion, and community. Professor William Luis also welcomed those in attendance and provided a history of the journal. Opening remarks were followed by a panel discussion with Narcisco Hidalgo, Emanuelle Oliveira, and Megan Myers.

See Chancellor Zeppos' comments on diversity here:

AHR 10th

Post panel (L to R): Frank Dobson, Ifeoma Nwankwo, Emanuelle Oliveira, William Luis, Narciso J. Hidalgo, and
Megan Myers

Afro-Latin@ Symposium

Miriam Jiménez Román, Yvette Modestín, Walter Thompson-Hernández, and Chiqui Vicioso

October 12th and 13th at the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center

Monday, October 12:

12:00 lunch with LATS students (RSVP only)

4:00-5:30pm Miriam Jiménez Román and Yvette Modestín

6:00-7:00pm Día de la Raza celebration with food and music, Yosvany y su son tropical

Tuesday, October 13:

4:00-5:30 Chiqui Vicioso and Walter Thompson-Hernández

5:30-6:30 Roundtable discussion, moderated by Professor Tracy Sharpley-Whiting

 Roundtable     Baile

Left: Invited speakers participate in an Afro-Latin@ Roundtable with Professor William Luis, moderated by Professor Tracy Sharpley-Whiting Right: Students get a lesson in merengue from Chiqui Vicioso


Lunch with LATS students on Monday

Dangerous Moves: Politics and Performance in Cuba

Featuring Coco Fusco

Tuesday, Sept. 22, 4:10pm at the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center
Interdisciplinary artist and writer Coco Fusco spoke about her forthcoming book, Dangerous Moves: Politics and Performance in Cuba (Tate Publishing, Nov 2015).  Dangerous Moves focuses on a range of performative practices in visual art, music, poetry, and political activism and examines the relationship between the abject body in performance and the greater body politic of a state officially defined as revolutionary yet seeking to limit and constrain dissent.    

Coco at BCC

Coco answers questions from the audience after reading from Dangerous Moves.

Proud to be an American: Affect and Emotion in Immigrant Rhetoric

Featuring J. David Cisneros

February 12th, 4:10 pm at the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center

j. David Cisneros Poster


Wise Latinas Symposium

7:00pm-9:00pm, October 30th at the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Culture Center

10:00am-12:00pm, October 31st at the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Culture Center

The Latina and Latino Studies Program was proud to hold their second annual symposium with the visiting writers, Jennine Capo Crucet, Jennifer De Leon and Daisy Hernandez as a part of the WISE LATINAS symposium . This two day event featured both fiction readings and nonfiction readings as well as a discussion of such important topics as the challenges of identity and life as a minority in various stages of academia; experiences ranging from undergraduate life all the way to professorship. Check out these pictures if you were unable to be a part of the great crowd that came!

 The Wise Latinas

Jennine Cap Crucet, Jennifer De Leon, Daisy Hernandez



Symposium Panshot

 Crowd at Day 1 of the WISE LATINAS Symposium

Gustavo Pérez Firmat

Friday, April 11, 2014

4 pm  Buttrick 102

The Program in Latino and Latina Studies welcomed poet, memoirist and scholar Gustavo Pérez Firmat for a reading and discussion of his work.  Gustavo Pérez Firmat is the author of Bilingual Blues, The Havana Habit, and Next Year in Cuba, among many others.  His book Life on the Hyphen, a study of Cuban American culture, was awarded the Eugene M. Kayden University Press National Book Award. Other awards include fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Mellon Foundation. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and teaches at Columbia University.


photo courtesy of Gustavo Pérez Firmat

gpflecture1 gpflecture2

Gustavo Pérez Firmat speaks about his relationship to the classic series "The Andy Griffith Show."

Looking Out, Looking In: Latino and Latina Studies Symposium

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Latino and Latina Studies Symposium featured readings and discussions by Latino and Latina poets and literary critics featured in Looking Out, Looking In: An Anthology of Latino Poetry, edited by Professor William Luis.  All sessions were held in T he Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center on the Vanderbilt University campus. 


10:00 - 10:30  Opening Remarks
                         William Luis and Lorraine López
10:30 - 11:30  Nicolás Kanellos, author of Hispanic Immigrant Literature: El Sueño de Retorno
                        Moderator: Annie Castro
11:30 - 12:30  Gabriela Jáuregui, author of Controlled Decay
                        Moderator: Miriam Mimms
2:30             Welcome Address
                     Dean Carolyn Dever, College of Arts and Science
2:30 - 3:30  Gustavo Pérez Firmat, author of Next Year in Cuba
                    Moderator: Benigno Trigo

3:30 - 4:30  Blas Falconer, author of The Foundling Wheel

The symposium concluded with a screening of the award-winning documentary film "El Barrio Tours," in partnership with International Lens.  For more information about the film, click here.


Nickolas Kanellos outlines the history of Arte Público Press



Blas Falconer reads from his work.

The Latina Dialogues: Latina Feminisms and Other Feminisms

Friday, November 15 - Saturday, November 16, 2013

Co-sponsored with the Department of Philosophy, the Latina Dialogues 2013 focuses on Latina feminisms in a variety of  contexts.  Panels include Decolonizing Gender, Power, and the Phenomenology of Resistance; Embodiment, Resistance, and the Aesthetics of Identity; Latin American Philosophy, Men, and Feminism; and Intersectionality, Latina Feminism, and the Tasks Ahead.  For more information visit  

Joy Castro Reading and Program Launch

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

We celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month and the official launch of the Latino and Latina Studies Program with food, live music, dancing, and a reading by author Joy Castro. Castro is the author of the memoir The Truth Book, the novels Hell or High Water and Nearer Home, and Island of Bones, a collection of personal essays.  She is also the editor of the essay collection Family TroubleIsland of Bones was recently a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Creative Nonfiction. Learn more about Joy Castro's life and work at  

LATSlaunch1  LATSlaunch2  LATSlaunch3  LATS4