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Department of English

12th Annual Conference: Featured Speakers


Gerald Vizenor

Poet, scholar and educator

de la torre

Dr. Monica De La Torre

Author, scholar and educator

About the Featured Speakers

Both keynote sessions are free and open to the public.

Gerald Vizenor is a professor emeritus of American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a citizen of the White Earth Nation in Minnesota, and he frequently speaks on Native American literature and cultural survivance.

Vizenor has published more than thirty books, including historical novels, critical theory, cultural studies, fiction and poetry. Native Provenance: The Betrayal of Cultural Creativity, a collection of essays, and Satie on the Seine: Letters to the Heirs of the Fur Trade, a historical novel, are his most recent publications.

He has received many awards including the American Book Award for the novel Griever: An American Monkey King in China, and the Western Literature Association Distinguished Achievement Award.

Dr. Monica De La Torre is an assistant professor of media and expressive culture in the School of Transborder Studies at Arizona State University. She earned her doctorate in Feminist Studies from the University of Washington, and her M.A. in Chicana and Chicano Studies from California State University, Northridge.

De La Torre's interdisciplinary research and teaching practices bridge Chicana feminist theory, Latinx feminist media studies, radio and sound studies, and women's and gender studies. As a critical scholar and practitioner of digital media and radio, she analyzes both media content and production practices to push the analytic edge of scholarship foregrounding modalities of difference such as gender, race, class, and citizenship.

A former community radio producer and member of the Los Angeles based radio collective Soul Rebel Radio, De La Torre's forthcoming book, Feminista Frequencies: Chicana Radio Praxis in Community Broadcasting, details the powerful story of Chicana and Chicano farm workers and activists turned community radio broadcasters beginning in the 1970s.

Full Conference Schedule

All virtual conference sessions are free and open to the public. Pre-registration is required for each session.

Download the full conference program. (422kb)

Speaker: Dr. Chris Henson, Professor Emerita of English, Fresno State

Moderator: Dr. Samina Najmi, Professor of English



Alea Droker, “Enforcing the Color Line: The Tragic Mulatta in Clotel

Rebecca Colbert, “White Supremacy and the American Aristocracy in The Great Gatsby

Mia De La Cerda, “At What Cost?: An Examination of the Expendability of Black Girls within Morrison’s The Bluest Eye

Joseph LeForge, “Western Obsession and an Absence of Culture in Jessica Hagedorn’s Dogeaters

Moderator: Celeste Guirola, M.A. English (Rhetoric and Writing Studies)



Coleen Gray, “Dirty Knees: Identity and Belonging in Pocho

Juan Gilberto Huerta, “The Bluest Eye in the Time of Neoliberalism”

Maiyang Lor, “Animal Masks: Races and Ethnicities in Spiegelman’s Maus Comix”

Moderator: Hector Tapía III, M.A. English (Literature)


Lunch on your own

Speaker: Dr. Monica De La Torre, Assistant Professor in the School of Transborder Studies, Arizona State University

Moderator: Graciela Sierra-Moreno, M.A. English (Literature)



Julieta Ortiz, “Madness and Monsters in Samuel Delany’s ‘The Tale of Plague and Carnivals’”

Kelsey Lyman, “The Black Coin: A Literary Analysis of Contemporary Black America and Racial Liberalism”

Claudia Amador, “Siguiendo Adelante: Learning to Move Forward in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

Griffin Sharp, “The Monstrosity of Language and Disease in Samuel Delany's 'The Tale of Plagues and Carnivals’”

Moderator: Noel Castillón, S.S. English Teaching Credential]

Dinner on your own

Speaker: Gerald Vizenor, Professor Emeritus of American Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Moderator: Hector Tapía III, M.A. English (Literature)


Graciela Sierra-Moreno, “Cultural Memory as Resistance in Leslie Marmon Silko’s Storyteller

Lindsay Norton, “Subjugation as an Economic Foundation: White Supremacist Colonial Capitalism in George Schuyler’s Black No More

Ami Rhodehamel, “The Generational Memories of Oppression and Resilience in Alexie's ‘My Father Always Said...’”

Savannah Moore, “Leslie Marmon Silko’s Storyteller and the Oral Tradition”

Moderator: Delaney R. Whitebird Olmo, MFA Creative Writing (Poetry)

Speaker: Gerald Vizenor, Professor Emeritus of American Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Moderator: Delaney R. Whitebird Olmo, MFA Creative Writing (Poetry)