Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Academy for Retirement Learning highlights Southwestern poets and writers

Bulletin report

The Academy for Learning in Retirement (ALR) will host four presentations on writers and poets in the southwestern border areas in late November and early December, ALR said in a press release.

Two presentations will be given by R. Joyce ZL Garay, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of English at New Mexico State University and Faculty member of the Borderlands and Ethnic Studies Program at NMSU, and Spencer Herrera, Ph.D., Associate Professor at the Institute of Languages ​​and Linguistics, where he studies and teaches Chicano literature, film and culture. Garay will also host two round table talks with writers and poets.

Here is the lecture schedule, all programs start at 10.30 a.m. and you can log in at 10 a.m.:

  • Monday, November 29th: Garay and Herrera present “New Mexican Writers and Their Genres”.
  • Wednesday, December 1st: Roundtable: “Borderlands in Poetry and Fiction”, moderated by Garay with the participants Jennifer Givhan, Carolina Monsiváis and Sheila Black.
  • Monday, December 6th: Roundtable: “Indigenous Traditions in / of the Southwest”, moderated by Garay with the participants Brandon Hobson and Jamie Figueroa.
  • Wednesday, December 8th: Garay and Herrera, Contemporary New Mexico Writers and Future Directions.

Viewers can register at dacc.nmsu.edu/ALR under the link ALR presentation. Purchase options until 5 p.m. on the day before each presentation. ALR will email a zoom link to attendees the evening before each presentation.

Garay earned a Ph.D. at Arizona State University in 2003. Garay regularly teaches courses in Southwestern literature, Chicanx and Latinx literary traditions, frontier cultural production, feminist theories, and broader US literature. Her academic work is mainly focused on Chicanx writers, including Helena Maria Viramontes, Cherríe Moraga, Alejandro Morales, Rudolfo Anaya, and Eduardo Corral. Garay is Associate Editor of New Bones: Contemporary Black Writers in America and Associate Editor of Latina and Latino Writers. Garay is currently developing her dissertation for publication. It is entitled “Embodying Autobiography and Mothering Feminist Theory: Gloria Anzaldúa, Cherríe Moraga and the Re-visionary Practice of Auto / historia y Teoría”.

Herrera earned a BA in International Studies from Southwestern University in 1995, an MA in Spanish from the University of Houston in 2001, and a Ph.D. in Hispanic Literature with a minor in Film from the University of New Mexico in 2007. He has been a faculty member at NMSU since 2013. Herrera’s latest co-edited book is Querencia: Reflections on the New Mexico Homeland, published by UNM Press in 2020. He is co-author of Sagrado: A Photopoetics across the Chicano Homeland, also published in 2013 by UNM Press and a Southwest Book Award from the Border Regional Library Association, a New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, and an award for Southwest Book of the Year from the Pima County Public Library. Herrera is also the author / editor of Before / Beyond Borders: An Anthology of Chicano / a Literature, published by Kendall / Hunt in 2010. He was born and raised in Houston, Texas and has lived in New Mexico for 20 years.

ALR was founded in 1992 by former NMSU President Gerald Thomas along with retired deans Thomas Gale, Virginia Higbie, Flavia McCormick and others including former professor and teacher Clarence Fielder.

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