July 30th-August 2, 2014
Northern New Mexico College
Española, New Mexico
It is ninety miles from Albuquerque to the El Rito campus of Northern New Mexico College. To the West is the Rio Grande; to the East are the Sandia and Sangre de Cristo mountain ranges. These mountains cradle the entire route as it snakes North into the geographic landscape of northern New Mexico. Four sacred peaks mark this landscape, tracing P’o (water and time). Etched into the countless volcanic rocks surrounding the trails of the North are millions of images recording time immemorial –histories of the Old Ones and the Mother from whom they emerged. She is the origin; she is the first environment. While this concept is not particular to northern New Mexico, to the Southwest or to the Americas, it is a critical component of our experiences and our stories as Chicana, Afro-Latina, Asian- Latina, and Indigenous women.
Northern New Mexico has remained a rural and heavily agricultural area of the U.S. Southwest. Consequently, farming and sustainability are key elements of our lifeways. At the same time it has also engaged in the complexities of technological and health advances that have driven the U.S. economy. We are a sited people, whose spirit of place influences our work, our art, our communities, our lives. Attentive to Nambi Nava (our land), mind, body and spirit and carrying on the tradition of Las Vegas, New Mexico partera Doña Jesusita Aragón, we choose “Mapping Geographies of Self: Women as the First Environment” for the 2014 Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social Summer Institute theme. We bring together Gloria Anzaldúa’s concept “the geography of self” and Mohawk activist and mid-wife Katsi Cook’s “woman is the first environment.” This framing will allow us to engage in conversations regarding agriculture, gender, sexuality, health (physical and emotional), sustainability practices, Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Health (STEM-H) and trauma (physical and emotional). Within each of these subjects, there are myriad possibilities for exploration and discussion. We think of our identities as synergetic – like the braiding of air, land, water. As has been done for thousands of years, we will join the migrations of many; respect the places of emergence of all. With our voices, our bodies, our spirit, and our work, we will transform, inspire and empower one another. We look forward to working together as we develop the Summer 2014 Institute.
** Call for papers will be send out in Jan, 2014. Keep an eye out!!!