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Spring Speaker Series Continues

Speakers Tell of Their Survival in Academia

Chicanas/os in High Education is Topic of Spring Speaker Series

(May 12, 2003)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- The Chicana/o Arts & Social Action Spring Speaker Series at the University of California, Riverside continues Wednesday, May 14, with a presentation at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, May 14, in Humanities 2212 by Teresa McKenna, a professor at USC. Her book is Migrant Song.

The speaker series, free and open to the public, will tackle some of the most pressing concerns before Chicana and Chicano students, faculty, and independent scholars working in higher education. The four speakers, each representing a different perspective, will tell their stories of survival in academia and offer their experiences for the next generation.

Organizer Tiffany Lopez, an associate professor of English, said the series will help capitalize on the intellectual energy resulting from the two major conferences this year on Chicano issues: Revolution and Resistence and The Rivera Conference. "It's just a nice way to end the year with continuing attention on these important issues."

The series started Wednesday, May 7, with a presentation at 11 a.m. by Tomas Ybarra-Frausto in Humanities 1500. He is the Associate Director for Creativity and Culture at the Rockefeller Foundation. Ybarra-Frausto’s essay on “Rasquachismo” was one of the first to put forth the aesthetics of the Chicano movement. Critics have called him a landmark in Chicano literary history and his work was recently the subject of an entire panel at the Association of Art Historians conference.

Teresa McKenna, a professor at the University of Southern California and the interim director of American Studies and Ethnicity, will speak at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, May 14, in Humanities 2212. Her book, Migrant Song, has been called, “A solid scholarly achievement, especially lucid in its convincing use of interpretive strategies drawn from anthropology, folklore, and feminist studies," by Ybarra-Frausto.

John Escobedo and Lourdes Alberto, UCR alumni and currently graduate students at Rice University, will conclude the series at noon, Wednesday May 28, in Humanities 2212. Both students are recipients of the Rice Provost Fellowship. They will discuss their experiences in graduate school and their views on the struggles they faced as well as those faced by their generation of Chicanas/os in higher education.

The series is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Chicano Student Programs, Women in Coalition, the Department of English and the Center for Ideas and Society. Maps and directions to the event are available at UCR information kiosks located at University Avenue and the Canyon Crest Drive campus entrances or through the university’s website at Visitor parking costs $6 per vehicle.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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