Check out our 2018-2019 Year in Review by clicking here.

2019 Year in Review capture


Read the Institute for Latino Studies' 2017-2018 Year in Review below.



View Recent ILS Newsletters by Clicking the Links Below

December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018



View New Horizons Newletter Archives

To subscribe to the ILS New Horizons newsletter mailing list, please e-mail us at or call (574) 631-4440.

May 2016 ILS Newsletter: Academic Year 2015-16 in Review

(download pdf version)


Catherine Brix (Literature) was just awarded a Fulbright Research Scholarship to Chile for next year in order to conduct research and write her dissertation entitled, "Transformative (Re)Inscriptions: Traumatic Memories and Testimonio in Chile," which is directed by Dr. María Rosa Olivera-Williams. Catherine's research interests include cono sur testimonial literature, gender studies, torture, and human rights. Catherine is a former Latina/o Graduate Association at Notre Dame (LGAND) Vice-President.

Luis Lopez-Maldonado is a first-year candidate for the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. In the fall 2015 he founded the Men's Writing Workshop at the St. Joseph County Juvenile Justice Center. He is also the recipient of the 2016 Sparks Summer Fellow Internship and has forthcoming work being published in Reservoir, Spoon Knife Anthology, and The Packinghouse Review.

Award winner Karen Hooge Michalka with professor Kraig Beyerlein

Karen Hooge Michalka, a graduate student in the Department of Sociology, won the William D'Antonio Award for Graduate Student Excellence in the Sociology of Religion at the University of Notre Dame. The award honors students who show active involvement in the intellectual and institutional life of the study of religion and promise for becoming a successful and influential professional scholar after graduation. Karen's work focuses on the embodied culture of Latino Protestant churches and how congregational rituals and boundary-work shape group identity in a new-immigrant location. In addition, she founded and leads an interdisciplinary graduate working group on Latino religion through the Institute for Latino Studies.

Felicia Moralez, doctoral student in History and founding member of LGAND, had a panel submission, "Outside Aztlan: New Scholars and New Research on Mexicana and Mexicano History Outside the Core Southwest," accepted for the 2016 Western History Association [WHA] conference from October 20-23 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The panel aims to study ethnic Mexican people in the US Midwest. 

César Soto (English) was recently awarded a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship (2016-2017). Thirty-six dissertation fellowships are awarded and, of the thirty-six, three are typically given to literature students. César's project examines how revolutionary discourses transform religious conceptions of community in Mexican, Irish, and English Literature (1789-1832). He focuses on writers affiliated to particular sects and denominations: Mexican criollo Catholic priests; Church of Ireland Protestants and Irish Quakers, and English Dissenters and Anglicans. During his years of study, César has founded and led the Latina/o Graduate Association at Notre Dame (LGAND).César is also an Alternate for a Fulbright to Ireland, and this will be his second Ford fellowship. He was awarded a Ford Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in 2012.

Juan Valdez, a first-year PhD student in Political Science, has been awarded both a Ford Foundation Fellowship and a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship for his work on the incorporation of Latinos into the American political process, including both the formal and informal political activities of Latinos, and the role of U.S. institutions in the process.

Lindsey Passenger Wieck (History) defended her dissertation, "Contesting the Mission: The Cultural Politics of Gentrification in Postwar San Francisco" in April 2016 to complete her Ph.D. in History. Wieck is a postdoctoral fellow at Notre Dame's College of Arts and Letters for 2016-2017. She will be teaching courses with History and Computing & Digital Technologies on the history of San Francisco and 20th Century American Borderlands in Fall 2016. As a postdoctoral fellow, Wieck aims to pursue several digital humanities projects related to her work and collect more oral histories in the Mission District (especially from Latino business owners) while revising her manuscript.



Mike Amezcua and his students tour Chicago Latino neighborhoods

Mike Amezcua

Professor Amezcua and his students in "History of Latina/o Chicago" enjoy a Saturday afternoon visiting Chicago's various Latino neighborhoods.

Thomas F. Anderson, Dr. William M. Scholl Professor of Spanish and Chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, completed work on Piñera Corresponsal: Una vida en cartas and continues to work on his 4th book project, Democracy “Made in U.S.A.”: Depictions of the US Civil Rights Movement in Cuban Poetry. An article related to this project, “‘La semibárbara democracia de Jim Crow y Mr. Lynch’: Nicolás Guillén ante los casos de Josephine Baker y Emmett Till” is forthcoming in Cuba’s leading academic journal, Casa de las Américas. A translated edition of his second book, Carnival and National identity in the Poetry of Afrocubanismo is being published. Anderson presented papers at the Latin American Studies Association Conference in San Juan Puerto Rico and at the “Coloquio Internacional Sobre Latinos en los Estados Unidos: Más Allá de los Bordes y las Frontera” in Havana, Cuba. Anderson worked with colleagues in ILS on the formation of a new joint major in Spanish and Latino Studies, and spearheaded a successful proposal for new PhD programs in Spanish and Italian, which will welcome their inaugural cohorts of students in Fall 2016. 

Kraig Beyerlein, Assistant Professor of Sociology, worked with his home department and the Center for Social Concerns to turn the one-credit border issues seminar into a full, three-credit course, titled “México-U.S. Border Immersion Seminar.” As in the past, Kraig led an immersion trip to the Southern Arizona borderlands during the first week of January and first-ever faculty/community partner trip to the border. He also gave a talk a Westmount College in Santa Barbara, CA, on this book project, Flooding the Desert: Faith-Based Mobilizing to Save Lives Along the Arizona-Sonora Border. Additionally, he published articles in the American Sociological Review and Social Forces.

Galeria Gilberto and Dolores Cardenas at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago

Gilberto Cárdenas, Executive Director of the Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture and former ILS Director, recently received the Valeria Kantor Lifetime Achievement Award at the MALDEF Gala. He formed the working group, Talleres de la Frontera, and Border & migration research related projects sponsored by the Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture in IUPLR. He is co-principal investigator for the Latino Global Midwest. Latinoamerica Presente: Tracing the Hidden Histories of Latina/o Art, Aesthetics and Expressive Culture in the Global Midwest supported and funded by Humanities Without Walls Consortium. He also received naming recognition at the National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago permanent gallery: “Galeria Gilberto and Dolores Cardenas.”

Alex E. Chávez, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, was extended a contract by Duke University Press for his book manuscript provisionally titled, ¡Huapango!: Mexican Music, Bordered Lives, and the Sounds of Crossing. Chávez published four journal articles, including “So ¿Te Fuiste a Dallas? (So You Went to Dallas?/So You Got Screwed?): Language, Migration, and the Poetics of Transgression” in the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology; “Southern Borderlands: Music, Migrant Life, and Scenes of a ‘Mexican South’” in Southern Cultures. Chávez gave lectures at Columbia University’s Center for Ethnomusicology and participated in the colloquium “Transnational Migration in Comparative Perspective: Italy and the United States” at the Notre Dame Global Gateway Center in Rome, Italy. He received a Global Midwest Research Initiative Award part of the Humanities Without Walls consortium funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is serving as a Co-Principal Investigator for the research project “¡Latinoamérica Presente!: Tracing the Hidden Histories of Latina/o Arts, Aesthetics, and Expressive Culture in the Global Midwest.”

Luis Fraga, Co-Director, Institute for Latino Studies, Arthur Foundation Endowed Professor of Transformative Latino Leadership, Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Professor of Political Science, and Fellow of the Institute for Educational Initiatives co-edited a special issue entitled Latinos, Education, and the Church of the Journal of Catholic Education. With Fr. Joseph Corpora of the Alliance for Catholic Education he co-authored the essay “¿Es Su Escuela Nuestra Escuela? Latino Access to Catholic Schools” and also authored the essay “The Promise and Potential of Two-Way Immersion,” both of which appear in this special issue. He was one of the Latino leaders invited by the Aspen Institute to develop the report “Unlocking Latino Civic Potential: 2016 and Beyond” and spoke at its public presentation in Washington, DC. He presented the essay “The Origins of the 1975 Voting Rights Act: Theorizing Race and Politics for Action” at a conference at the University of Texas at Austin. He has presented his lecture “The Changing American Voter in 2016 and Beyond” through the Hesburgh Lecture Series to three Notre Dame Alumni Associations in West Palm Beach, FL, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and Seattle, WA.

Carlos Jauregui published four articles this year: “Huacayñán (1952-1953) and the Biopolitics of In(ex)clusion.” in the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies; “Oswaldo Costa, Antropofagia, and the Cannibal Critique of Colonial Modernity.” in Culture and History; “Biopolítica colonial, gestión de la población y modernización borbónica en Santo Domingo. El proyecto de Pedro Catani (1788)” in Perífrasis (coauthored with David Solodkow) and  “La paz nheengahiba. Oswaldo Costa y el otro Manifesto antropófago” in Revista Iberoamericana. He delivered the invited lectures “La invención colonial de la ‘Riviera Maya’.” in Tübingen, Germany; “Ecuador, la nación y el mural.” Conferencia Magistral at the Fundación Guayasamín, Quito, Ecuador. June 4, 2015 and  “Arte combinatoria y matemática mestiza.” Invited lecture. Colegio de Mexico, Mexico, DF. May 6, 2015.

Jennifer Jones’ edited volume Afro-Latinos in Movement: Critical Approaches to Blackness and Transnationalism in the​ ​Americas, co-edited with Tianna Paschel and Petra Rivera-Rideau, is in press with Palgrave McMillan, to be released later this spring. This book is the culmination of a conference and book workshop held on Notre Dame's campus in the fall of 2014. Jones also did some public sociology from her new research project on Mississippi and Alabama with Hana Brown, including the publication of "The Hidden Politics of Immigration" for Scalawag Magazine; a radio appearance on NPR's The State of Things, in which Brown and Jones spoke about “Black Latino Coalitions in the South”; and contributed a piece to the Mobilizing Ideas conversation on immigration and refugees with a short essay "What Nativist and Pro-Immigrant Groups Have in Common.”

Jose E Limon honored at 2016 MLA meeting

José E. Limón, Notre Dame Professor of American Literature Emeritus and former Director of ILS, was honored with a special symposium, José E. Limón and Chicano/a Studies at the Modern Language Association’s annual meeting in Austin, Texas on January 6-10, 2016, featuring papers by five of Limón’s former PhD students now tenured professors at Brown University, Michigan-Ann Arbor, Arizona State, Colorado-Boulder and the University of St. Thomas with Limón responding. On May 31, 2016, Limón will present a paper on the work of Aurelio M. Espinosa (1880-1958) at the 10th Congress of Chicano Literature and Latino Studies in Madrid, Spain hosted by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Espinosa was a prominent Catholic folklorist and linguist from southern Colorado who studied New Mexico’s Hispanic culture in the first half of the twentieth century and served as Professor of Romance Languages and departmental chair at Stanford University.

Timothy Matovina, Department of Theology and Co-Director of ILS, presented the 2016 Margaret Lindquist Sorensen Endowed Lecture at Yale Divinity School on April 14. His topic was “Latino Ritual in the American Public Square.” On March 10, Matovina gave a presentation for the American Catholicism, American Politics Reconsidered Symposium at the John C. Danforth Center at Washington University in St. Louis. He also published “Marianism in Latin America” in the recently-released Cambridge History of Religions in Latin America.

Marisel Moreno, Associate Professor of US Latino/a Literature in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, published two articles in leading peer-reviewed academic journals in 2015: “‘Swimming in olive oil’: North Africa and the Hispanic Caribbean in the Poetry of Víctor Hernández Cruz” in Hispanic Review and “The Untold Midwestern Puerto Rican Story: Fred Arroyo’s Western Avenue and Other Fictions” in Studies in American Fiction. Last October Moreno received the 2015 EXTIMO (Exceptional Teaching Impact and Motivation) Student Voice Award for Outstanding Spanish Teacher, from the Indiana American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, and in April 2016 she received the prestigious Sheedy Award for Excellence in Teaching from the College of Arts and Letters at the University of Notre Dame.

Darcia Narvaez, Professor of Psychology, was elected to fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Her book, Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom (Norton, 2014) won a second book award, this one from AERA’s Moral Development and Education special interest group. Her latest book is called Embodied Morality: Protectionism, Engagement and Imagination. Her article, “Reclaiming our indigenous worldview: A more authentic baseline for social/ecological justice work in education,” was published in the book, Working for social justice inside and outside the classroom: A community of teachers, researchers, and activists. Along with colleagues, Celia Deanne-Drummond and Tom Stapleford, she received a $3.1 million grant from Templeton Religion Trust to study “Developing Virtues in the Practice of Science.” As of mid-April, 2016, her blog at Psychology Today, “Moral Landscapes,” had over 7.6 million hits.

Jaime Pensado received two grants for the support of his second book project, Catholic Youth in Cold War Mexico, the Distinguished Fellow of the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS) at the University of Notre Dame (2015-2016) and the Santander Visiting Scholar of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS) at Harvard University (Fall, 2016 - declined). Pensado’s recent publication coming from this research is titled “A ‘Third Way’ in Christ: The Project of the Corporación de Estudiantes Mexicanos (CEM) in Cold War Mexico,” in Stephen Andes and Julia Young, eds., Local Church, Global Church: Catholic Activism in the Americas before Vatican II (The Catholic University of America Press, March 2016).

Jason Ruiz, Associate Professor of American Studies, was recently awarded a 2016 Edmund P. Joyce Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching by the University of Notre Dame.  In addition, Professor Ruiz co-authored the lead article in the winter/spring issue of The Oral History Review (43.1, “What Makes Queer Oral History Different”) and co-edited an issue of The Radical History Review (Fall 2015, “Sexing Empire”). In Spring 2016, he also assumed the role of co-chair of The Radical History Review editorial board, for which he was elected to a three-year term. Ruiz was promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure in May of 2015.

Thomas Tweed has a new article coming out, “Religious Identity and Emigration from Latin America.” In The Cambridge History of Religions in Latin America, eds. Virginia Garrard-Burnett and Paul C. Freston (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), 682-691.


March 2016 cover of Poetry Magazine features Pintura Palabra

Francisco Aragon, Letras Latinas

Letras Latinas, the Institute’s literary initiative directed by ILS faculty member Francisco Aragón, was pleased to present, in the pages of POETRY Magazine’s March issue, a 45+ page supplement titled “PINTURA : PALABRA”—the jewel-in-the-crown of a multi-year initiative involving Latino poetry and Latino art. Specifically, Aragón curated and introduced a selection of twenty poems by twelve poets, who were each commissioned to respond to, “Our America: the Latino Presence in American Art,” a Smithsonian American Art Museum exhibit that is traveling the country through 2017. Among the poets who contributed new, art-inspired work were the current Poet Laureate of the United States, Juan Felipe Herrera, and ILS Fellow and Notre Dame English Professor, Orlando Menes. The twenty poems were accompanied by color reproductions of the works that inspired them, thanks to the generosity of the Smithsonian, who granted permission to reproduce the art.

The POETRY Magazine portfolio is one of six in this multi-year project. The PINTURA : PALABRA initiative held specially curated writing workshops at the exhibit’s first four stops: Washington, D.C., Miami, FL, Sacramento, CA, and Salt Lake City, UT. For each workshop, a partnering literary journal published, or will publish, a selection of art-inspired writing by the mostly Latino poets and writers who took part.


Viveca Pattison Robichaud, Special Collections Librarian

In November, 2015, the Samora Library received a substantial addition to our collection of the personal papers and artwork of Cuban born-American artist José Bernal (1925-2010). Included in this gift are documentation of his early career in Cuba and his move to Miami and ultimately Chicago in the early 1960s, documents related to the work Bernal did at Marshall Field’s, where he worked as a designer with famed art dealer Betty Parsons, and communication between himself and the Parkinson’s foundation. Bernal was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1993 and donated works of art to be used to benefit the foundation.

Cuban artist Jose Bernal collection at the Julian Samora Library at Notre Dame

Last fall we loaned a substantial amount of artwork from our collection of Bernal’s artwork to the Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, NC, who held a retrospective of his work entitled Obra de Arte. This was the first bilingual show that the museum has curated and the Institute for Latino Studies pieces played a prominent role, including Untitled, 1986, which was used for the cover of the exhibition catalog.

As part of the gift from the Bernal family, the Institute was given eight works of art. These, along with the rest of our collection of Bernal’s artwork and some archival materials, will be on exhibit during the spring semester of 2017 at the Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture.

The Samora Library has also received a gift of printed books from Olga Villa-Parra, who was a member of the Institute for Latino Studies’ Advisory Council as well as served as director of the Midwest Council of La Raza and the Midwest Hispanic Catholic Commission. This collection of over 300 books is available in the library.



U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor visited the Institute for Latino Studies as part of the Transformative Latino Leadership Lecture Series for a two-hour public conversation on September 2nd, 2015. The event drew a crowd that filled the 840-seat Leighton Concert Hall and overflowed the adjacent Decio Theatre of the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. The first Latina Supreme Court Justice discussed a wide range of legal, intellectual, cultural and even personal issues arising from her life and career.

The Transnational Migration in Comparative Perspective Symposium: Italy and the U.S. was held at the Rome Global Gateway, Rome, Italy on October 21st through 23rd, 2015. The symposium facilitated cross-national discussion and collaboration between scholars based in the U.S. doing work on transnational migration and scholars doing similar work in Italy. Several ILS fellows and Co-Directors, Luis Fraga and Timothy Matovina, presented their work.

Manuel Pastor Lecture at Notre Dame

In Spring 2016, the Young Scholars Symposium took place with Manuel Pastor as the senior invited scholar and The Most Reverend Jaime Soto, Bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento, was the featured Spring speaker in the Transformative Latino Leadership Lecture Series.



Upcoming in Fall 2016, please save the date for the following three major events.

October 5th, 2016, evening: The United States Poet Laureate at Notre Dame, presented by the Institute for Latino Studies and the Office of the President in Decio Mainstage Theatre, DPAC. The Poet Laureate of the United States, Juan Felipe Herrera, has received an official invitation from President Jenkins to perform at Notre Dame. Before the Poet Laureate takes the stage, a group of Notre Dame students (undergrad and grad), directed by Professor Siiri Scott of the Department of Film, Television and Theatre, will give a theatrical interpretation of "The Soap Factory," a multi-voiced poem by Herrera.

November 18th, 2016, evening: Sones de México Ensemble and the Irish Music School of Chicago present, "Los San Patricios: The story of the St. Patrick's Battalion,” a musical performance that sheds light on the struggles of 19th century North America and tells of cultural conflict, religious faith, war, and sweeping social transformations that shaped the United States through music, song, and dance. 

December 1st through 2nd, 2016: Latinos and the 2016 Election Symposium