Latina/o/x Cultural Citizenships and Popular Belonging

Darrel Wanzer-Serrano sits down with three esteemed Latina/o/x Studies scholars — Frederick Luis Aldama, Adrian Burgos Jr., and Ed Morales — to talk about pop culture and regimes of belonging.
Today, we have a very special program  planned for you. A year ago, we were supposed to host my guests for a one-day Symposium in Iowa City on the topic of LATINA/O/X CULTURAL CITIZENSHIPS & POPULAR BELONGING. After having addressed issues surrounding formal citizenship and national belonging in the Fall 2019 semester, this one-day symposium was supposed to bring subject area experts (our guests, today) to discuss modalities of popular belonging (television, sports, music, literature, and more) in Latina/o/x contexts in the U.S. Alas, that symposium was the first thing we had to cancel due to the emerging coronavirus pandemic. So after Ariana and I had a chance to start settling into our new locations after our moves, we realized that one of the best ways we could make up the symposium was with a couple of episodes of this podcast. In this episode, we’ll be sticking to the subject matter of the symposium.  After I introduce them, each of my guests will have a chance to offer short opening statements and then we’ll proceed into some questions about cultural citizenship and popular belonging. In the NEXT episode, we’ll do our traditional “roundtable” format and dive into what we’ve called their “origin stories” as well as their thoughts on the importance of Latinx Studies education. 

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Show notes:
Our guests today included…
  • Frederick Luis Aldama is an academic and award-winning author of over 40 books, including the International Latino Book Award and Eisner Award for Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics. He is editor of the trade press, Latinographix, creator of the first documentary on the history of Latinx superheroes, and co-founder & director of SÕL-CON: Brown, Black, & Indigenous Comix Expo & Symposium. This fall, Frederick will publish a Spanish translation of his kid’s book The Adventures of Chupacabra Charlie (2020) as well as join UT Austin as the Jacob & Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities and launch his Latinx Pop Lab.
  • Adrian Burgos, Jr., is Professor of History at the University of Illinois, specializing in US Latino history, sport history, and urban history. He is the author of Cuban Star: How One Negro League Owner Changed the Face of Baseball (2011) and Playing America’s Game: Baseball, Latinos, and the Color Line (2007), which won the Latina/o Book Award from the Latin American Studies Association and was a Seymour Medal finalist from the Society of American Baseball Research. He has consulted on the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Viva Baseball exhibit, Smithsonian’s Latinos and Baseball exhibit, and on numerous documentaries. He was founding editor-in-chief of La Vida Baseball, a multiplatform digital brand in partnership with the Baseball Hall of Fame that produces daily content on Latinos and baseball through a cultural lifestyle perspective.
  • Ed Morales is an author and journalist who has written for The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, and the Guardian. He was staff writer at The Village Voice and columnist at Newsday. He is the author of Latinx: The New Force in Politics and Culture (Verso Books 2018), and Living in Spanglish (St. Martins 2002). And most recently, he saw publication of his book Fantasy Island: Colonialism, Exploitation, and the betrayal of Puerto Rico — I book I’m very excited to read as it’s close to some of my current research interests.  Morales wrote and directed *Whose Barrio? (*2009) an award-winning documentary about the gentrification of East Harlem. Morales is a lecturer at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

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  • Our cover art, a photo of an installation titled “El Hielo / I.C.E,” is provided courtesy of the artist, Fidencio Fifield-Perez.
  • Music by Juan Ruiz.
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