Monday, March 24, 2008

Makpo' i Konfrensia

A few weeks ago, the conference "Postcolonial Futures in a Not Yet Postcolonial World: Locating the Intersections of Ethnic, Indigenous and Postcolonial Studies," which grad students in my department had been planning for months, took place, and it was a big success!
First, we were able to bring together scholars and students from the disciplines of ethnic, indigenous and postcolonial studies, and get them into conversation with each other, and also educate each other about what the traditions, histories and ideas of both their respective communities and academic disciplines could offer to the other. I can definitely say, that people who came to the conference with very narrow ideas about what an "indigenous" person is (for instance a Native American, or a Chamorro), left the panels and the discussions, with a much more nuanced and much broader understanding. Participants and presenters addressed these issues from Latin American, African, African American, Middle Eastern, South Asian, Native American and Pacific Islander perspectives.

Second, we scheduled the conference to coincide with the graduate student recruitment efforts for next year in our department, and so we held the conference to showcase both the vision of our department, and the creativity and activity of our grad students. In addition to this sort of marketing, the conference also helped enhance the reputation that our department has with other scholars, departments and intellectual communities. This conference, shifted slightly or drastically the notions that they had about what our department of Ethnic Studies at UCSD is like, what types of academics its training and where is its vision/version of Ethnic Studies taking it?
Below, I'm pasting the acknowledgements and thanks you's from the conference committee, the list of conference committee members and some photos from the conference.
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Acknowledgments

Thank you to William Runk, Yolanda Escamilla, Theresa Aitchison and Jackie Griffin, for sharing their knowledge, expertise and time, and for keeping the Ethnic Studies department running!

To K. Wayne Yang, Pat Washington, Yen Le Espiritu, Susan Gordon and Lisa Sun-Hee Park, thank you for encouraging your classes to participate!

Thank you to the following individuals for their generous support:
Kim Barrett, Dean of Graduate Studies
Beckie Callahan, VP of Finance, Graduate Student Association
Wayne Cornelius, Director for the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies
Paul W. Drake, Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs
Jeff Elman, Dean of the Division of Social Science
Heath Fox, Assistant Dean of the Division of Arts and Humanities
Ruth Padron, Program Coordinator for Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies
David Pellow, Director for the California Cultures in Comparative Perspective
Thea Tagle, OGS Community Intern
Gershon Shafir, Director, Institute for International, Comparative and Area Studies
Eric Van Young, Dean of the Division of Arts and Humanities

Many thanks also, for their strong interest and support, to:
Rosemary Marangoly George and Lisa Lampert, Department of Literature
Gary Fields, Department of Communication
David Gutierrez, Department of History
Roberto Tejada, Department of Visual Arts

Thank you to the following student organizations for their support:
Shae Lynn Zastrow from the Native American Student Alliance
The Ethnic Studies Collective

To Drew Hendricks and Scott Mosher of Hi-Rez Digital, and Jack Lujan Bevacqua of Pump Fake Nation – thanks for your awesome artwork!

Thank you to Angela Morrill, Madel Ngiraingas and Michael Lujan Bevacqua for sowing the seeds of this conference through their Voicing Indigeneity podcast.

To all our invited guests, presenters, and participants – thank you for making this possible!

Last but definitely not the least, thank you to the graduate students in Ethnic Studies and our fantastic faculty: Pal Ahluwalia, Roberto Alvarez, Yen Le Espiritu, K. Wayne Yang, Ana Celia Zentella. Thank you especially to Lisa Sun-Hee Park, Ross Frank, Denise Ferreira da Silva and David Pellow for their tireless support and guidance.
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"Futures" Confrence Committee:
Maile Arvin - 1st Year
Michael Lujan Bevacqua - 4th Year
Long Bui - 3rd Year
Rashne Limki - 2nd Year
Stevie Ruiz - 1st Year
Ayako Sahara - 2nd Year
Trangdai Tanguyen - 1st Year
Tomoko Tsuchiya - 3rd Year
Ma Vang - 3rd Year
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