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K-State Today

April 18, 2017



Millán co-moderates plenary and completes first year of service as NACCS' Chicana Caucus co-chair

By Russell Norris

NACCS 2017 Chicana Caucus Plenary

American ethnic studies faculty member Isabel Millán completed her first year of service to the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies as Chicana Caucus co-chair along with Yvette Saavedra, assistant professor of history at California State University, San Bernardino.

This year's theme was "Chicana/o Studies in an Era of Globalization, War, and Mass Expulsions." The conference was March 22-25 in Irvine, California.

Millán and Saavedra organized and moderated the Chicana Caucus plenary "Excavating Chicana Voices: Innovative Ways of Telling Our Stories," which included the following abstract: In a climate where we are constantly faced with erasure it is important to locate the voices that illustrate, reflect and preserve our histories of resistance and struggle while simultaneously reaffirm our historical and contemporary identities. Traditional archives often highlight voices that support metanarratives of colonization and subjugation — narratives that often belittle, ignore and negate our existence. Our plenary speakers have reconceptualized archives as a means of excavating Chicanas' buried voices and histories. In doing so, these authors, activists and artists are not only speaking about marginalized others, but as insiders, they speak to themselves and their communities' historical, contemporary and future identities.

The plenary was made up of three speakers. Deena J. González, professor and associate provost for faculty affairs at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, presented "Stories Old and New: Resonating Threads across Time." Maria Cotera, associate professor at the University of Michigan, presented "Re-Imagining the Chicana Archive in Precarious Times." Maya Gonzalez, independent artist-author, presented "Voice is a Revolution/Children's Books as a Tool for Personal and Cultural Healing and Activism."

The Chicana Caucus is the largest National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies caucus. In addition to the plenary, co-chairs Millán and Saavedra co-facilitated two caucus meetings, awarded three student scholarships, and are spearheading the creation of publication/creative works awards and recognitions. They also met with leaders of the Indigenous Caucus; the Lesbian, Bisexual Mujeres, Trans Caucus; and the Joto Caucus in order to make the association more inclusive of each of these communities. 

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