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Department of English

UCMLA Conference

Undergraduate Conference on Multiethnic Literatures of the Americas

California State University, Fresno

15th annual conference: Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9, 2024

Location: University Business Center on campus

Download the 2024 conference program

Featured Speakers

headshot photo of sandra cisneros with cacti in background

Evening Keynote: Sandra Cisneros

Sandra Cisneros is a poet, short story writer, novelist, essayist, performer, and artist whose work explores the lives of the working-class. Her numerous awards include NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction, the Texas Medal of the Arts, a MacArthur Fellowship, several honorary doctorates and national and international book awards, including Chicago’s Fifth Star Award, the PEN Center USA Literary Award, the Fairfax Prize, the National Medal of Arts. Most recently, she received the Ford Foundation’s Art of Change Fellowship, was recognized among The Frederick Douglass 200, won the PEN/Nabokov Award for international literature, and received a Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize from the Poetry Foundation. Her classic, coming-of-age novel, The House on Mango Street, has sold over seven million copies, has been translated into over twenty-five languages, and is required reading in elementary schools, high schools, and universities across the nation.  

In addition to her writing, Cisneros has fostered the careers of many aspiring and emerging writers through two non-profits she founded: the Macondo Foundation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2025, and the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation, which ran for fifteen years. She is also the organizer of Los MacArturos, Latino MacArthur fellows who are community activists. Her literary papers are preserved in Texas at the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University. Her most recent book, Woman Without Shame, her first new collection of poems in 28 years, was published by Knopf and by Vintage Español in a Spanish language translation, Mujer sin vergüenza, by Liliana Valenzuela. Sandra Cisneros is a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico and earns her living by her pen. As a single woman, she chose to have books instead of children. 




headshot photo of jesse aleman

Afternoon Keynote: Dr. Jesse Alemán

Dr. Jesse Alemán is a Professor of English and Presidential Teaching Fellow at the University of New Mexico. The author of more than two-dozen articles, he’s published The Woman in Battle (University of Wisconsin, 2001); Empire and the Literature of Sensation (Rutgers University Press, 2007); and The Latino Nineteenth Century (NYU Press, 2013). He currently serves as the 2023-2024 Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, MA, where he is completing his book, Latinx Civil Wars.

Born and raised in Selma, CA, Dr. Alemán earned his bachelor's (1994) and master's (1994) degrees from Fresno State's English Department. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas.

2024 Organizing Committee

Luis Granados Torres
Jasmine Kaur
Joseph LeForge
Alvaro Lozano

Email the committee

Faculty Advisers

Dr. Melanie Hernandez
Prof. Melanie Kachadoorian
Dr. Samina Najmi
Dr. René Rodríguez-Astacio


Fresno State, Dept of English
5245 N. Backer Ave., PB98
Fresno, CA 93740-8001


Peters Business Building
Room 382