Tag Archives: Mariana Romo-Carmona

Latinx: A Discussion about the Meaning of the Term Latinx and its Use in Academia

Even though the use of the term Latinx in English has become quite commonplace, especially in activist and academic circles, many people in Latina/o communities in the U.S. are still discussing its merits and whether it is a word that everyone can use comfortably. The popular new program on You Tube, Prospecto Latino, which is part of VamosForward.com held a brief interview with LALS Prof. Mariana Romo-Carmona, about the subject.

LALS Prof. Mariana Romo-Carmona on Prospecto Latino

Whether it’s about the use of the letter X, which tends to roll off the tongue more easily in English than it does in Spanish, or the fact that its connection with academia makes many people assume that it is an affectation rather than a real issue to take seriously, discussions about the term can be quite interesting. In fact, the use of the letter “X” on the East Coast harkens back of the Civil Rights movements of the 1960s and its reference, as Malcom X did, to a protest of slavery and an unknown colonialist past. On the West Coast, its use connects it linguistically with the X from the original Nahuatl for Mexica, and the Xicano movement (Chicano/a), again with a reference to the protests of the Civil Rights Era.

Since about 2004, however, we recognize its usage as a way to question and challenge the binary of gender to point out that using the term “Latino” for Latin American and Caribbean heritage necessarily utilizes the letter “o” and therefore indicates the masculine gender in Spanish. Utilizing Latino/Latina makes the speaker and listener choose between genders, either masculine or feminine, thereby obviating the possibility of trans experience as well as the possibility of not having to choose a gender at all. Click on the link above to hear journalist Marlene Peralta of Prospecto Latino in conversation with Prof. Romo-Carmona. The discussion is in Spanish and it addresses many of these issues, including the use of the term in Latin American countries, along with the use of “e” as a neutral choice in Spanish, and the changing trends in the language today.

Ofrenda Virtual in Celebration of Gloria Anzaldúa’s Work

This past October, 31, 2020, Prof. Mariana Romo-Carmona from LALS, presented a talk on the international one-day conference on the work of Gloria Anzaldúa, broadcast from Tecnológico de Monterrey, UNAM, Mexico. Dr. Romo-Carmona’s presentation discussed the contribution by the renowned Chicana lesbian academic in terms of organizing in Latinx U.S. communities, and her philosophies detailed in Borderland/La Frontera, as a territory that goes beyond ideologies. The presentation focused primarily on how the work is featured her courses taught at City College, in the Latin American & Latin@ Studies Program (LALS).

Below are some screenshots from various moments of the day-long conference, which featured speakers from Mexico, South America, and the U.S., including traditional musical presentations by the musical group, La bocona, and a moving rendition of the song, “La llorona,” sung by the daughters of one of the organizers.

The conference was organized and facilitated by Dr. Coco Gutierrez Magallanes, Dr. Javier Camargo Castillo, Dr. Norma Cantú, and Dr. Cora Jiménez Narcia. The artwork on the poster was donated by Chilean artist, Liliana Wilson, from Austin, Texas.

In order to view a recording of the conference, go to here!

Along with many of the presenters, Dr. Romo-Carmona also spoke about her own connection with Gloria Anzaldúa over the years, as a colleague and friend, and Latina lesbian writer.

The Conference closed with a reading of Gloria Anzaldúa’s poem, “Arriba mi gente,” and the powerful presentation by Dr. Raúl Contreras, from Chile, who connected the work of Gloria Anzaldúa to the events that have taken place in that country since the Estallido Social of October 18, 2019, and culminated with the passage of the referendum to write a new national constitution, by plebiscite vote this past October 25, 2020, in a nearly 80% vote of approval.