Mujeres Talk: Welcome to MALCS and Mujeres Talk!

Digital Technology Workshop at 2012 Summer Institute
Digital Technology Workshop at 2012 Summer Institute

We are happy to count you among our members and supporters. We are a national organization of Chicanas, Latinas (including Afro-Latinas and Asian-Latinas) and Indigenous women, trans and gender non-conforming people who are dedicated to excelling in academia. So that we can better serve our communities, MALCS has three main goals:

  • To produce and distribute research in Chicana, Latina (including Afro-Latina and Asian-Latina) and Indigenous Women’s Studies;
  • To support the pursuit of social-justice based knowledge production;
  • To recruit, retain and promote Chicana, Latina (including Afro-Latina and Asian-Latina) and Indigenous women in higher education.

On these digital pages, you’ll find that MALCS isn’t the house that your father, or even your mother built, yet we honor the many experiences and histories that have formed us and that continue to shape the directions of our collective work.

Our members and visitors make use of our website in many different, and overlapping ways. At times our site is a “virtual casa,” a place where we and our work are valued, which is no small service considering that many if not most of us labor in institutions where Latin@s and Native Americans remain highly underrepresented. On other occasions, our site is a “virtual community,” where we share research, insights on academic and community work, petitions and campaigns. We also offer news about current events from a feminist Chicana, Latina and/or Indígena perspective, making us a digital news source. Many also visit our site looking for announcements of employment, fellowship and scholarship opportunities or relevant conference calls for papers. Throughout the year, we offer contact information and updates on our journal, Chicana/Latina Studies, and, every year, our site draws those looking for information on how to submit to and attend our annual Summer Institute.

Our website, now more than ever, is our virtual dwelling place, and like any home that houses a growing group of diverse, talented and active individuals, it seems we are always engaged in renovations – adding a page here, reconfiguring that page there, changing a feature here. Our site, in other words, reflects the dynamism of our organization and members.

The newest addition to our organization and our website is Mujeres Talk – the page you are now on – featuring original blog essays and multimedia presentations from our members and friends. Since its launch in January 2011, Mujeres Talk has steadily gained in readership and is fast becoming a go-to site for those interested in Chicana, Latina and Indígena Studies. Meanwhile, we’ve changed the name of our news blog, formerly known as “blog” and then later “Que Onda,” to Noticias, where under the direction of Susana Gallardo we continue to round-up the best in relevant news and reviews, giving us much food for thought. We thank Susana for her extensive work in building and maintaining our website, and making this virtual dwelling place possible. We welcome your comments and submissions on both blog sites.

You may have noticed some recent changes on Mujeres Talk. From its inception in 2010 and then its debut in January 2011, Mujeres Talk was destined to be a collectively edited and organized site, though it was not until this spring that Professor Seline Szkupinski Quiroga, currently at Arizona State University, agreed to join me as Co-Moderator/Editor of the site. We’re now proud to announce that Mujeres Talk has a new Editorial Collective that is regionally, ethnically and field diverse and includes:

  •     Assistant Professor Lourdes Alberto: a MALCS member who is also a member of the Zapotec indigenous community from Oaxaca, Mexico. Appointed in both English and Ethnic Studies at the University of Utah, she focuses on Latin@s and indigenous culture throughout the Americas and her critical lens contributes to our goal of addressing issues of concern to all MALCS members.
  •     Professor Inés Hernandez Avila: a MALCS member of Nez Perce and Tejana background who is Chair of Native American Studies at UC Davis and a founder of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association. Her experience in activism (including her early RUP years!), academia and communications (radio programming) enriches our collective work enormously.
  •    Myself – Assistant Professor Theresa Delgadillo: a MALCS member and Chicana from Wisconsin appointed in Comparative Studies at The Ohio State University. I launched Mujeres Talk in 2011. My work on religion and spirituality in Latin@ texts and contexts, Latin@s in the Midwest and Afro-Latinidad, as well as my interest in digital humanities work, augments our attention to cross-cultural exchange, multiple Latinidades and new platforms for the dissemination of research.
  •     Associate Professor Elena Gutierrez: a MALCS member, Chicana and sociologist appointed in Gender and Women’s Studies and Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Her work on Latina/o reproductive and sexual health politics, feminism and social activism, and her years building research networks helps us in maintaining a trans-disciplinary research blog site and editorial collective.
  •    Medical Anthropologist Seline Szkupinski Quiroga: a MALCS member, daughter of a Colombian mother and Polish father, whose research has long focused on Latin@ health, especially ethnic and cultural responses to illness and health status disparities. She brings her disciplinary experience as well as her work using digital technologies in teaching and community research to our work, enhancing its breadth.
  •     Graduate student Sara A. Ramírez: a MALCS member, Tejana and candidate for the doctorate in Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley whose interests include illness, literature and interdisciplinary research. Her facility with social media and her critical lens as a graduate student brings an important perspective to our editorial collective.
  •    Associate Professor Rita E. Urquijo-Ruiz: a MALCs member who was born in Sonora, Mexico and grew up in Southern California and who now serves as Chair-Elect of MALCS. Her research and teaching in Mexican and Chicano/a literatures, cultures and performance studies as well as Gender Studies adds to our transnational feminist lens.

What we all share in this new editorial collective is a dedication to collaborative work, which is work that requires dialogue, negotiation, integrity and respect. This is the spirit in which we will work to cultivate submissions and the spirit with which we will provide editing suggestions. We are all very excited to launch this new phase of Mujeres Talk together, and we INVITE YOU to join us in writing for Mujeres Talk and in commenting on the blog essays we publish. If you have an idea for a blog essay for Mujeres Talk that you’d like to talk over, let us know. All submissions are welcome.

You may have noticed that I identified everyone above first as a MALCS member. While it may seem repetitive in this brief format, I want to underscore how talented and diverse is the membership of MALCS. Although we have seen each other at Summer Institutes, I have also encountered every member of our editorial collective in other professional venues – because once you join MALCS you join a national professional and community organization whose members are very active in their respective fields. If you are not already a member of MALCS, I encourage you to join us! We welcome your contributions to meeting our goals, and we offer the opportunity to collaborate with others to accomplish them. As an all-volunteer organization, we rely on each other in every facet of our work.

In this new 2012-2013 academic year, MALCS will continue to work on creating structures and policies that will both sustain us over the long-term and will help us prepare in the short-term to meet the needs of growing numbers of scholars, artists and community participants involved in Chicana, Latina and Indigenous Studies. We are especially looking forward to working with you – our members and supporters – on enhancing our digital presence and communications, building our membership and fundraising for our future. Our Ad-Hoc Committee on Institutional Violence, which has done excellent work on building awareness of this problem, will be collaborating with other organizations to develop best practices and policies to address institutional violence. Our Graduate Student, Undergraduate Student, LBTQ and Women’s Indigenous Native Caucuses are developing plans for strengthening MALCS attention to issues in these communities and will work with our Executive Committee to enhance mentorship opportunities within our organization and contribute to research and scholarship in these areas. We expect that this year will be as rich in the pursuit of research as always and we look forward to sharing our research with you in our journal, Chicana/Latina Studies, here on our site on both the Mujeres Talk and Noticias sites, and at the 2013 Summer Institute to be held at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

Wishing you every success in this academic year’s journey!