LGS students attended the 2nd Annual Latin American, Caribbean, Latino and Indigenous Conference.

Research Conference in Binghamton

Research Conference in Binghamton

On February 28 to March 2, 2014 I had the privilege of attending the 2nd Annual Latin American, Caribbean, Latino and Indigenous Undergraduate Student Conference sponsored by SUNY-Binghamton, where I presented my research paper “El Corrido: Reflections of a Mexican and Mexican-American Identities.”

It was not only an opportunity to give my oration skills a test run but meet true Latin American intellectuals. There were students present from the University of California-Berkeley, University of Puerto Rico, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Colgate University, Ithaca College and Cornell University. Although the conference was not as well attended as the festivities going on in Binghamton University’s infamous “Parade Day” for the weekend, the caliber of students and their research was astounding.

The highlight of my day was attending other students’ presentations whose topics ranged from “Being a Man: Racial and Social Disparities within the Trans(itioning) Men of Color Community in the U.S.,” “Translingualism: Gustavo Perez Firmat’s Self-Expression of Hybridity (U.S.),” “Abusando del Genero: Reggaeton Masculinities in Transition or How Daddy Yankee Went from Whipping ‘latigazo’ to ‘Lovumba’ (Love and Rumba).”

While I sat in my seat, observing each student presentation, my excitement increased. Their love and interest in their work translated in their presentations. I found a reverberating energy and passion in each lecture hall I entered. It was then that I came to the realization that these undergraduate students were my peers, regardless of their Alma Mater they could potentially one day be my colleagues. The study of Latin America and its people will forever serve as a binding force to the professional and personal relationships built over the course of three days. This conference could not have been possible without the unique guidance and spice Dr. Juanita Diaz-Cotto brought to the table as Conference Director.

I look forward to visiting my new Puerto Rican friends during Spring Break: Iralys, Rachell and Lauren, and continuing my research.

This piece appeared in the Levermore Global Scholars Newsletter March 28, 2014 edition.

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