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Newsletter - Spring 2013


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Latino Studies Program

John Nieto-Phillips, Ph.D.

Editors, 2012-2013
Antonio Estudillo,
J. Eduardo Wolf

Faculty News

Faculty Spotlights

José Anguiano, Ph.D.

The Department of American Studies and the Latino Studies Program are delighted to announce that Dr. José Anguiano has accepted a joint appointment as Visiting Assistant Professor, starting August, 2013. Dr. Anguiano received his PhD and MA in Chicana and Chicano Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Broadly, his academic training and teaching span cultural studies and ethnic studies, while his research focuses more specifically on Latin@ popular music and popular culture, as can be seen in the title of his dissertation: “Latino Listening Cultures: Affect, Identity and Resilient Music Practices.”

This fall he will be teaching LATS L101: Introduction to Latino Studies and LATS L400: Listening to America.


Aidé Acosta, Ph.D.

Aidé Acosta was Visiting Assistant Professor in Latino Studies and the Department of American Studies from 2011-2013. She holds a PhD (2010) and MA (2007) in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and BA (2003) from the University of California, Riverside. She is currently working on a book manuscript, entitled, Migrant Home Making, Reshaping the Heartland: Latino Diasporic Settlement and Cultural Practice in Rural America, which provides an intersectional analysis of Latina/o migration into the Heartland and the intricacies of integration in new migrant destinations. Her research interests include: migration and diaspora; social movements; Latino cultural production; gender and Chicana feminism. She grew up in the Tijuana-San Diego border region.

Courses Taught:

  • LATS-L 101 Introduction to Latino Studies
  • LATS-L 396 Latinos in the Midwest
  • AMST-A 201 Borders and Borderlands
  • AMST- A 351 Global Diasporas, Migrant Cultures


Sylvia Martinez, Ph.D.

Sylvia Martinez is a sociologist interested in the high school experiences of Latino youth. She is particularly interested in issues of engagement in school. More specifically, She examines whether Latino youth are being challenged academically and whether they view those challenges as positive or negative experiences. She would like to continue this line of research by exploring whether challenges in the classroom translate to higher levels of academic achievement (i.e. higher grades) among high school students.

Courses Taught:

  • LATS- L 104 Latinas in the U.S
  • LATS- L 105 Diversity by the Numbers
  • LATS- L 398 The Latino Family


Alberto Varon, Ph.D.

In fall 2012, Alberto Varón joined LATS as an Assistant Professor of English and Latino Studies. Alberto holds an MA from the University of Chicago and a PhD in English with portfolio certification in Mexican American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. His research delves into the Latina/o archive to reconsider Latina/o literary history and he is currently at work on a book project examining the relationship between citizenship and representations of gender in nineteenth and early twentieth century Mexican American literature. His teaching and research interests include early and contemporary Latina/o cultural production, Chicana/o literature, transnational American studies, cultural studies, and graphic literatures. Though a born and bred tejano, Alberto has enjoyed joining the IU community.

Courses Taught:

  • LATS- L 398 21st-Century Latina/o Literature


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2013-2014 Latino Studies Instructors


Jennifer Boles

Jennifer Boles is a Ph.D. candidate in Latin American History at Indiana University-Bloomington. She is interested in modern Mexico, cultural politics, experimental film, urban studies and multimedia production. Her current work examines the cultural history of Mexico City in the 1970s and 1980s through the lens of the life and works of Sergio García Michel, a life-long independent filmmaker, leftist critic, archivist, teacher, and rocanrolero, who she argues was an emblem of his time, both reflective and at the forefront of history. His films include a wide range of counter-cultural shorts, political documentaries, docu-fiction, fiction, and rockumentaries, all of which represent key shifts in his life, ideals, and in the history of Mexico and the world. Jennifer has received support from the Fulbright García-Robles and the Social Science Research Council to conduct research for this project.


Rachel Gonzalez

Rachel Gonzalez is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Folklore & Ethnomusicology. Her research interests include the verbal play and material artistry of American Latino communities particularly focusing on the intersections of gender identity, self-representation, and rituals of transition. She conducts her research with Mexican American women in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. Rachel is currently completing her doctoral dissertation entitled, Dreaming in Taffeta: Imagining an American Quinceañera.


Mintzi Auanda Martinez-Rivera

Mintzi Martinez-Rivera is a PhD Candidate in Folklore and Anthropology. She identifies as a Mexican-Puerto Rican, raised in Mexico and educated in Puerto Rico. She began her graduate career at Indiana University-Bloomington in 2004. Since 2005, she has conducted fieldwork in the P’urhépecha region in the state of Michoacán, México, and since 2006, she has solely focused on the community of Santo Santiago de Angahuan in the Sierra P’urhépecha. She is interested in issues of indigenous identity/representation, rituals and festivals, performance, youth culture, indigenous rock music, politics of multiculturalism, and postcolonial and subaltern theories.  In her dissertation, Martinez-Rivera argues that the different cultural and social elements that allow for the variation and continuity of the P’urhépecha culture are present and identifiable in the miskuani, the P’urhépecha wedding. Contrary to most conceptualizations of indigenous culture/identity, which argue that indigenous culture must remain unchanged in order to maintain its “purity,” she contends that P’urhépecha culture has always been in a process of transformation; instead of contributing to a loss of indigenous culture, celebrations such as the miskuani contribute to its continuation and survival.  


Tamara Mitchell

Tamara Mitchell will join LATS as an Associate Instructor for the 2013-14 academic year. She holds an MA in Spanish Literature from the University of Kansas, and is currently pursuing a dual PhD in Spanish & Portuguese Literature and Comparative Literature. Her research centers on post-national literary production written in Spanish, Portuguese, English, any any hybrid of the three. Her tentative dissertation goal is to question how pluri- and post-national identity affects late twentieth century and contemporary narrative. Her research often incorporates political and literary theory and examines authors such as Roberto Bolaño - who was Chilean born and Mexican raised, but lived the last twenty some years of his life in Spain.


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2012-2013 Latino Studies Instructors


Irasema Rivera

Irasema Rivera has been at Indiana University since 2009, where she began her graduate studies in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and in the School of Public Health. Her research interests include: histories of reproductive technologies; sexual and reproductive health policies; strategies and practices in minority health programs; and gender, sex, and sexuality in health research. She is part of a team researching the reception and application of HPV and cervical cancer DNA screenings in sexual health clinics. In the Latino Studies Program, Irasema has taught several courses including Latinas in the U.S., Introduction to Latino Studies, and will be teaching her personally crafted Sex and the Brown Body: Latin@ Genders and Sexualities this fall semester.


Juan Eduardo Wolf

Juan Eduardo Wolf is a Ph.D. candidate in Folklore and Ethnomusicology. He is currently finishing his dissertation entitled "Afro-Chile?! Styling Blackness in the Music-Dance along Chile’s Northern Border," In it, he explores how different styles of music and dance reflect the interplay of history, politics, and emotions surrounding the presence of people of African descent in Chile. His field research was sponsored by a Social Science Research Council's International Dissertation Fellowship as well as a Fulbright IIE Student Award. For the past two years, Juan Eduardo has been teaching the class "Immigration Nation: Latinos and the Politics of Citizenship" in the Latino Studies Program. He has also taught "Introduction to World Music" and "Introduction to American Folklore" for the Folklore and Ethnomusicology Department. Together with native speaker Francisco Tandioy and professor John McDowell, he has published both English and Spanish language versions of Inga Rimangapa ¡Samuichi!, a textbook designed to teach Inga, a variety of Quechua spoken in Colombia. He will begin teaching Fall 2013 as an Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Oregon.


Faculty Publications

Torres, V., Martinez, S., Wallace, L., Medrano, C., Robledo, A., & Hernandez, E. (2012). The connections between Latino ethnic identity and adult experiences. Adult Education Quarterly, 62(1), 3-18.

Martinez, S. & Cervera, Y. L. (2012). Fulfilling educational aspirations: Latino students’ information seeking patterns. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education.

Martinez, S., Torres, V., Wallace, L., Medrano, C., Robledo, A., & Hernandez, E. (in press). The influence of family dynamics on ethnic identity among adult Latinas. Journal of Adult Development.

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Dr. Raquel Anderson was recently promoted to Full Professor!
Dr. Silvia Martinez was recently promoted to Associate Professor!

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