Director’s Letter Spring 2023

 

January 2023

Dear USLS students, faculty, staff, friends, and community members,

Happy New Year! I hope that the winter break has offered you time to recuperate, regenerate, and re-imagine yourselves for a fantastic new year, brimming with meaningful engagement and learning.

I am delighted that our graduate student lecturer, Max Moore, continues to teach the face-to-face intro to Latinx Studies core course. His evaluations praise his dedication, experience, and class energy. I hope many of you will study with him this semester and find out what all the exciting comments are about.

This semester, the program is featuring a new class, USLS/Spanish/English 377, “Latina/o/x Life Stories: Memoirs and Oral History.”  This promises to be a unique, highly interactive class that combines traditional coursework, digital humanities, and community outreach with a local school to study and archive Latinx life stories in Iowa. Guiding questions include: How do Latina/o/x individuals tell their stories through the pervasive genre of the memoir? How do memoirs differ from oral histories? How do we get deeper glimpses of identity, race/gender identifications through crafted narratives and remembered histories? How do we read, write, and teach life writing? What role does language (Spanish, English, Spanglish) play in how we remember? How is translation necessary to connect these stories to our broader Iowa communities?

The class allows students to take charge of their learning by offering community outreach, creative workshopping, and campus wide events.

On May 6, 2023, we will host an end of semester exhibition for the college and local communities, featuring the work this class has accomplished with Marshalltown Highschool MUJERES at The Catalyst in Parks Library, Room 198 from 1 to 4 pm.  I hope that many of you can join us!

I am especially pleased to announce that we will have three $3,000. scholarships for summer internships. For more details, see https://usls.las.iastate.edu/about/scholarships/ Applications are due in April.

USLS has exciting cross-listings and many opportunities for all our students. Please be sure to follow us on Instagram and join us for any and/or all events with WLC at Pearson Hall.

I want to iterate how grateful I am for our intersecting communities, the energy our students bring to learning and positively contributing to reshaping the world we live in. I look forward to an amazing semester of discovery and connections!

Best regards,

Lucía M. Suárez, Ph.D.