The English Department at The University of New Mexico hosts the Fall 2019 Rudolfo and Patricia Anaya Symposia series featuring Indigenous research, art and activism of the Southwest. Featured events are scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 26, Thursday, Oct. 31 and Thursday, Nov. 21. All symposia begin at 4 p.m. in the Bobo Room located on the third floor of Hodgin Hall.

The symposia series is hosted in anticipation of the 10th annual Rudolfo and Patricia Anaya Lecture on the Literature of the Southwest. Rudolfo Anaya, Emeritus Professor of English at UNM and founder of UNM’s distinguished Create Writing Program, established the lecture series in 2010 through a generous gift to the English Department. Anaya’s work is also held at UNM’s Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections.

Anaya Symposia Poster

The Symposia
On Sept. 26., Lourdes Alberto delivers the first lecture, “Trauma and Kinship: Mesoamerica in the Poetry of Ana Castillo and Natalie Diaz.” Alberto is a Zapotec indigenous scholar, born and raised in Los Angeles, and an associate professor of English and Ehtnic Studies at the University of Utah.

Her research interests focus on Indigenous and Latino Studies, and she has published in Critical Ethnic Studies, Latino Studies and in the volume Comparative Indigeneities in the Americas. Alberto’s book, Mexican American Indigeneities, is a comparative study of Chicanos and Zapotecs, two transnational Mexican American populations whose discourses about indigeneity are indispensable to the construction of ethnic, political and cultural identities of Latinas and Latinos in the US.

On Oct. 31, the second symposium, “New Approaches, New Genres: Indigenous Voices Now,” features Jason Asenap, a Comanche and Muscogee Creek writer, director and occasional actor based in Albuquerque. He holds an MFA in Screenwriting from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, and his films have screened around the United States, in Canada, Finland, and New Zealand.

In addition to film, Asenap contributes thoughtful journalism, primarily about Indigenous contributions to film, art and culture in High Country News, First American Art and Indian Country Today. Asenap will present alongside Tristan Ahtone and Shaun Beyale, with whom he collaborated to produce the graphic novel, Nizhóni Girls. Ahtone is a member of the Kiowa Tribe, Associate Editor for Tribal Affairs at High Country News, and president of the Native American Journalists Association. Beyale is of the Navajo Nation and an artist who does Illustrations, paintings, screen printing, and digital work.

On Nov. 21, Jennifer Nez Denetdale, director of the Institute for American Indian Research at UNM, will deliver the final lecture “Indigenous Feminisms and the Futures of Native America.” Denetdale is Diné from the Navajo Nation, professor of American Studies at UNM and author of Reclaiming Diné History: The Legacy of Navajo Chief Manuelito and Juanita. She has also published two books for young adults and numerous essays, articles and book chapters.

Denetdale serves on the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission and currently serves as chair. She has received the Rainbow Naatsiilid True Colors award for her support and advocacy on behalf of the Navajo LGBT+, as well as the 2013 Sarah Brown Belle award for service to her community. In 2017, she received the UNM Presidential Award of Distinction.

The annual Rudolfo and Patricia Anaya Lecture on the Literature of the Southwest has featured foundational figures including Acoma Pueblo poet Simon Ortiz, Las Cruces writer and playwright Denise Chavez and more. The 10th annual lecture will take place next Oct. 1, 2020.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information visit, Anaya Lecture Series.

To donate to the symposia, visit UNM Foundation for Anaya Lecture Series.