Middlebury

"Sleeping Giant: The Significance of Latino Immigration, the Latino Vote and Latino Forms of Expression in America" to be symposium topic March 11-13

March 3, 2004

Josefina Lopez, who wrote the 1990 play MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-Middlebury College's annual Alianza Latinoamericana y Caribeña (ALC) symposium, titled "Sleeping Giant: The Significance of Latino Immigration, the Latino Vote and Latino Forms of Expression in America," will take place from Thursday, March 11-Saturday, March 13.  The symposium, which is free and open to the public, will include three lectures, readings from established Latino authors and original works by Middlebury students, and a film screening and discussion with Josefina Lopez, who wrote the play "Real Women Have Curves" and the screenplay of the 2002 film by the same name.

"ALC is a student organization that seeks to offer the whole community a way to learn about Latin American and Caribbean traditions, customs and cultural practices, and to engage in relevant political and social issues," said Middlebury College senior Aracelis Lucero, president of ALC.  Lucero, a double major in French and economics from the South Bronx, noted that Latinos make up the largest minority group in the United States, one that is still rapidly growing.  "We selected the topic for this year's symposium to promote better understanding of the significance of the Latino population, and to dispel common stereotypes concerning Latinos both here and in Latin America," she said.

"The ALC is very much like a family," added Lucero.  "We enjoy company and would like to welcome anyone who has any degree of interst in Latin American and Caribbean studies."

Symposium organizer Marilyn Urena, a Middlebury sophomore from New York City majoring in Spanish, stated, "Latinos in the U.S. are often seen as a sleeping giant-a group of people that, if they were to come together and vote against injustices, would have a major effect on American history.  We are exploring how immigration has affected the Latino population, and why the Latin vote is so important."

On Thursday, March 11, at 4:30 p.m., the symposium will begin with a lecture titled "Dislocated Geographies: A Story of Border Crossings" by Middlebury College Instructor in Sociology and Anthropology Hilda Llorens.  According to Llorens, it is important to analyze migration and immigration stories and the effects these movements have on individuals-and on society at large.  Her talk will examine the contradictions and paradoxes of her own migration to the United States from Puerto Rico, and address wider societal implications.  Lloren's lecture will be held in the conference room of the Robert A. Jones House on Hillcrest Road, off College Street (Route 125).

On Friday, March 12, a performance on The Grille Juice Bar stage at 7 p.m. will include a series of readings by students and faculty from works by established Latino poets and story-writers, including Ana Castillo, Sandra Cisneros, Martin Espada, Valerie Martinez, Esmeralda Santiago, Piri Thomas and Gloria Vando.  Middlebury College students Crystal and Christine Etienne also will read from their own original works.  The Grille is in the McCullough Student Center on Old Chapel Road, off South Main Street (Route 30).

Belle, a senior and English major from Brooklyn, will read her poem "Taste of Latin Flava."  Belle is interested in economic and political justice within urban communities.  A poet since the age of 11, in February 2004 she released a CD on campus of her own works, titled "Size Me."

Etienne, a first-year student who spent her early childhood in Haiti before moving during her preteen years to the United States, will read an untitled piece she wrote based on her life's experience in both countries.

At 9 p.m. playwright Josefina Lopez will present a screening of the film "Real Women Have Curves" in Room 220 of Bicentennial Hall on Bicentennial Way, off Route 125.  Lopez, who wrote the 1990 stage play "Real Women Have Curves" and the screenplay of the 2002 film, based the story on her own experience as an undocumented worker in an East Los Angeles sewing factory.  Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times called the film "enormously entertaining for moviegoers of any age."  According to Elvis Mitchell of The New York Times, the film is "effervescent and satisfying, a crowd pleaser that does not condescend," and Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post described it as "a vivid cinematic portrait."  Immediately after its showing, Lopez will invite the audience to discuss the movie.

Two talks will take place on Saturday, March 13.  The first, from 2-3:30 p.m, will be titled "The Latino Vote: Why It Is Critical for Democracy in the United States," given by Middlebury College Professor of Political Science Eric Davis in Room 216 of Bicentennial Hall on Bicentennial Way, off Route 125.  Davis, an expert on a range of topics including American politics and comparative electoral processes, writes a bi-weekly political column for the Addison Independent.  He is often quoted in local and national print and broadcast media regarding current political developments and campaigns.  Refreshments will be served.

From 4-5:30 p.m. in the same location, Lopez will return to present a talk titled "The Latino Film Writer's Rising Influence in American Film."  Refreshments will be served.

"The students who organize the yearly ALC symposium are tireless in their effort to explore and understand their lineage, heritage and futures," said Llorens, who has participated in previous ALC symposiums.  "What is significant is that they are eager to share who they are, where they are from and where they are going with the wider community."

For more info on ALC symposium events, contact student organizer Sully Diaz at 802-443-6255 or, sdiaz@middlebury.edu.

Events  Listing:

"Sleeping Giant: The Significance of Latino Immigration, the Latino Vote and Latino Forms of Expression in America" to be symposium topic March 11-13

Thursday, March 11

4:30 p.m.  Lecture

"Dislocated Geographies: A Story of Border Crossings"

The talk will examine the contradictions and paradoxes of the speaker's own migration to the United States from Puerto Rico, and address wider societal implications.

By Hilda Llorens, Middlebury College instructor in sociology and anthropology

Robert A. Jones House conference room, Hillcrest Road (off Route 125)

Friday, March 12

7 p.m.  Readings at The Grille

Readings by students and faculty from works by established Latino poets and story-writers Ana Castillo, Sandra Cisneros, Martin Espada, Valerie Martinez, Esmeralda Santiago, Piri Thomas and Gloria Vando.  Two students also will read from their own original works.

The Grille Juice Bar stage, McCullough Student Center, Old Chapel Road (off Route 30)

9 p.m.   Film screening and discussion

"Real Women Have Curves" (2002), introduced by playwright Josefina Lopez

Lopez, who wrote the film's screenplay and the 1990 stage play upon which it is based, will attend the screening and invite the audience to discuss the movie immediately following its conclusion.

Room 220, Bicentennial Hall, Bicentennial Way (off Route 125)

Saturday, March 13

2-3:30 p.m.  Lecture

"The Latino Vote: Why It Is Critical for Democracy in the United States"

By Middlebury College Professor of Political Science Eric Davis

Room 216, Bicentennial Hall, Bicentennial Way (off Route 125)

Refreshments will be served.

4-5:30 p.m.  Lecture

"The Latino Film Writer's Rising Influence in American Film."

By Josefina Lopez, playwright and screenwriter of the 1990 stage play and 2002 film "Real Women Have Curves"

Room 216, Bicentennial Hall, Bicentennial Way (off Route 125)

Refreshments will be served.

All events are free and open to the public.  For more information on ALC symposium events, contact student organizer Sully Diaz at 802-443-6255 or, sdiaz@middlebury.edu.

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