Latin American, Latino Studies highlights faculty works

April 11 marks a special celebration for the Latin American and Latino Studies Program, one that will highlight recent publications by their faculty and affiliates.

The LALS Faculty and Affiliates Book Presentation and Celebration will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. in the East Terrace of Student Center East. The entire UIC community and interested Chicagoans are invited for an evening of literary conversation, with opening remarks by Astrida Orle Tantillo, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Some works will be available for purchase.

“We’re trying to showcase the work of faculty, particularly books, but not exclusively,” said Mariá de los Ángeles Torres, professor and interim director of LALS. “It’s important because it shows the commitment we have to students and research. By showcasing the work that faculty does, we really underscore a part of the university’s mission, which is to create new ideas that are engaged around the world that bring new imagination.”

At the event, eight authors will be spotlighted by colleagues who have read their featured works — books, chapters or poems that cover immigration, language policy and theories of democracy, among other topics.

“It’s something that further engages us with the work of our fellow faculty,” she added.

To RSVP for the event, email Marta Ayala, community affairs specialist for LALS, at

Read the full list of faculty and affiliates and their works:

  • Margarita Saona, professor and department head of Hispanic and Italian Studies, wrote “Memory Matters in Transitional Peru.” The work examines how memorials and other items created to commemorate tragic events in the past activate a collective cognitive and emotional response in the present.
  • Associate professors Andreas Feldmann and Xóchitl Bada’s volume, “New Migration Patterns in the Americas,” describes contemporary population migrations in the Americas.
  • John-Jairo Betancur, professor in the department of urban planning and policy, published “Claiming Neighborhood. New Ways of Understanding Urban Change,” which examines the forces that shape neighborhoods.
  • Olga Herrera, director of the Washington Office for UIC’s Inter-University Program for Latino Research, wrote “American Interventions and Modern Art in South America” to reveal how the U.S. used modern art during World War II to counter negative views of the country, which were spread by Nazis and their sympathizers.
  • Associate professor in English and LALS Ralph Cintrón’s volume called “Culture, Catastrophe and Rhetoric. The Texture of Political Action” explores politics through rhetoric and culture.
  • Daniel Borzutzky, who also holds a joint appointment in English and LALS, authored “Lake Michigan,” a series of lyric poems that look at neoliberal urbanism in Chicago.
  • Patrisia Macías-Rojas, assistant professor of LALS, wrote “From Deportation to Prison. The Politics of Immigration Enforcement in Post-Civil Rights America,” an unpacking of the Criminal Alien Program and its effects on immigration enforcement and peoples’ day-to-day lives.
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