Young Scholars Symposium

Young Scholars Symposium 2019 Congressman Joaquin Castro visit

The Young Scholars Symposium is an annual ILS initiative that convenes young scholars who are working on a dissertation, a book, or another research project related to Latinas and Latinos in the United States. Participants are chosen through a national call for applicants. 

Selected young scholars present a chapter or essay in advance of the symposium. The Distinguished Visiting Professor — who ILS also brings to campus annually — serves as mentor and commentator for symposium participants and their work. ILS faculty members and graduate students also participate in the symposium sessions. The goal is to create an enriching environment that provides mentorship in the profession and enhance scholarly work. 

The canceled 2020 symposium has been reschedule to March 18-19, 2021. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, this will be a virtual event. Charlene Villaseñor Black, Professor of Art History and Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, will serve as the ILS Distinguished Visiting Scholar and mentor to the Young Scholars selected in this national competition. 

Each scholar presents a completed essay, chapter, or manuscript up to 30 pages in length, previously reviewed by both the Distinguished Visiting Professor Villaseñor Black and members of the Notre Dame faculty. All expenses are covered by ILS including an honorarium of $250 for up to eight participants selected from a broad national pool of applicants. Participants have two full business days of presentations and working group meetings.

The Spring 2021 Distinguished Scholar Lecture with Charlene Villaseños Black titled “Thinking about Migration through Latinx Art” is scheduled for March 18th.


Charlene Villaseñor Black is Professor of Art History and Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, Associate Director of the Chicano Studies Research Center, editor of Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, and founding editor-in-chief of Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture (UC Press). She publishes on a range of topics related to Chicanx studies, contemporary Latinx art, and the early modern Iberian world. Her most recent book, with Dr. Mari-Tere Álvarez of the Getty Museum, is Renaissance Futurities: Art, Science, Invention, published in 2019. She recently co-edited Knowledge for Justice: An Ethnic Studies Reader (2019); and Shifra M. Goldman’s final book, Tradition and Transformation: Chicana/o Art from the 1970s to the 1990s (2015). Several more titles in Chicanx studies are forthcoming, among them the new Chicano Studies Reader (2020) and Autobiography Without Apology: The Personal Essay in Latino Studies (2020).

Charlene Villasenor2

She has also just finished a book on colonial saints, tentatively entitled Transforming Saints: Women, Art, and Conversion in Spain and Mexico, 1521-1800. Her 2006 book, Creating the Cult of St. Joseph: Art and Gender in the Spanish Empire won the College Art Association’s Millard Meiss award. In 2016 she was awarded UCLA’s Gold Shield Faculty Prize for Academic Excellence, bestowed annually on one faculty member in recognition of exceptional teaching, innovative research, and strong commitment to university service. She has held grants from the Fulbright, Mellon, Borchard, and Woodrow Wilson Foundations, the NEH, the ACLS, and the Getty. Most recently, she is PI of “Critical Mission Studies at California’s Crossroads,” a $1.03 million dollar grant from the University of California’s Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives.