2019 Rudolfo Anaya Symposia on the Southwest
Thursday, September 26: Dr. Lourdes Alberto will deliver the first lecture, “Trauma and Kinship: Mesoamerica in the Poetry of Ana Castillo and Natalie Diaz.” Dr. Alberto is a Zapotec indigenous scholar, born and raised in Los Angeles, and an Associate Professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of Utah. Her research interests focus on Indigenous and Latino/a Studies, and she has published in Critical Ethnic Studies, Latino Studies, and in the volume Comparative Indigeneities in the Americas. Dr. Alberto’s book, Mexican American Indigeneities, is a comparative study of Chicanas/Chicanos and Zapotecs, two transnational Mexican American populations whose discourses about indigeneity are indispensable to the construction of ethnic, political, and cultural identities of Latinas and Latinos in the US.
Thursday, October 31: Our second symposium, “New Approaches, New Genres: Indigenous Voices Now,” will feature Jason Asenap, a Comanche and Muscogee Creek writer, director, and occasional actor based in Albuquerque, NM. He holds an MFA in Screenwriting from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, and his films have screened around the United States, in Canada, Finland, and New Zealand. In addition to film, Asenap contributes thoughtful journalism, primarily about Indigenous contributions to film, art, and culture in High Country News, First American Art, and Indian Country Today. Asenap will present alongside Tristan Ahtone and Shaun Beyale, with whom he collaborated to produce the graphic novel, Nizhóni Girls. Ahtone is a member of the Kiowa Tribe, Associate Editor for Tribal Affairs at High Country News, and president of the Native American Journalists Association. Beyale is of the Navajo Nation and an artist who does Illustrations, paintings, screen printing, and digital work.
Thursday, November 21: Dr. Jennifer Nez Denetdale, Director of the Institute for American Indian Research (IFAIR) at UNM, will deliver the final lecture, “Indigenous Feminisms and the Futures of Native America.” Dr. Denetdale is Diné from the Navajo Nation, a Professor of American Studies at UNM, and the author of Reclaiming Diné History: The Legacies of Navajo Chief Manuelito and Juanita (2007). She has also published two books for young adults, and numerous essays, articles, and book chapters. Dr. Denetdale serves on the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission (NNHRC) and currently serves as its chair. She has received the Rainbow Naatsiilid True Colors award for her support and advocacy on behalf of the Navajo LGBTQI, as well as the 2013 UNM Sarah Brown Belle award for service to her community. In 2017, she received the UNM Presidential Award of Distinction.
About the Lecture Series
The UNM English Department established the annual lecture series on the literature of the Southwest in 2010 through a gift from the renowned fiction writer Rudolfo Anaya and his late wife Patricia Anaya. A founder of UNM’s distinguished Creative Writing Program, Rudolfo Anaya is also an Emeritus Professor of English at UNM. His papers are held at UNM’s Center for Southwest Research.
The annual Rudolfo and Patricia Anaya Lecture on the Literature of the Southwest features foundational figures in southwestern literature, such as Acoma Pueblo poet Simon Ortiz (2010), Las Cruces writer and playwright Denise Chávez (2011), Taos writer John Nichols (2012), Kiowa writer N. Scott Momaday (2013), Chicana writer Ana Castillo (2014), and Santa Fe writer Anne Hillerman (2015).
Support the Rudolfo Anaya Fellowship Fund!
The UNM English Department also has the Rudolfo Anaya Fellowship Fund, which is very close to endowment and would then be available for student fellowships. We would like to encourage you to make a contribution to this fund; gifts of $100 or more will receive a poster of this year’s Rudolfo and Patricia Anaya lecture signed by Rudolfo Anaya and Anne Hillerman.