Eddy Alvarez, University of California, Santa Barbara; Gustavo Licon, Ithaca College; Lindsey Passenger Wieck, University of Notre Dame

Center for American History and Culture Programs
Borderlands and Latino Studies Seminar
Friday, December 6, 2013

3 to 5 pm

B-84

“Its Not About AIDS Anymore?: Re-Membering and Mourning in Queer Latino Los Angeles”
Eddy Alvarez, University of California, Santa Barbara

Despite erasure and “forgetting,” AIDS and HIV are remembered/lived through personal and public memory, and performed through technologies of remembrance like lists, altars, public memorials, writing and storytelling. Through oral histories, poetry analysis, ethnography and through women of color feminists who advocate for a “re-membering” that is often painful but necessary, I trace the histories of of AIDS and HIV, death and and survival in Los Angeles. As a “cultural space of hope,” this essay, like the sites I analyze, becomes an obituary, an archive and a memorial.

“ ‘You’re Killing Us!’ Sexuality, Identity, and Ideology in California M.E.Ch.A., 1970s-1990s”
Gustavo Licon, Ithaca College

From 1969 through the mid-1980s, M.E.Ch.A. projected a hetero-normative understanding of itself, its membership, and the community it claimed to fight for. This changed in the 1980s, due to the devastating impact of the AIDS epidemic on the Chicano/a community and the corresponding rise of AIDS related activism in the community. In this paper I argue that this activism and the successive waves of LGBT activists that have built upon its legacy, changed M.E.Ch.A.’s interpretation of normative sexuality and gender identification, and prominently contributed to the evolution and transformation of Mechistas’ collective identity, ideology, and activism, as a whole.

El Tecolote vs. The Big Mac: The Mission District Does Not Want Fries With That”
Lindsey Passenger Wieck, University of Notre Dame

This paper introduces issues of San Francisco redevelopment, rooting the city’s concerns over safety and commerce in the creation of new architecture, and shows community newspapers as a crucial resource for helping residents create a mental map of the community and discern safe places from dangerous ones. In addition, it explores the ways in which community residents, city officials, and private enterprise held competing notions of safety, community, and capitalism, which shaped how these groups used and fought over the Mission District’s built environment.

Commentator: Elena Gutierrez, University of Illinois at Chicago

Cost and registration information: 

Scholl Center Seminar papers are pre-circulated electronically.  For a copy of the paper, email the Scholl Center at scholl@newberry.org.  Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.