The University of Iowa

The Latino Midwest focus of October 5 WorldCanvass

September 13th, 2012

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The long history of Latino presence in the Midwest and the changing demographics of our region will be among the topics discussed on the October 5 WorldCanvass program, The Latino Midwest.  The free program will take place in Room 2780, University Capitol Centre from 5-7 p.m. and the public is invited to attend.  WorldCanvass is produced by International Programs and hosted by Joan Kjaer.

WorldCanvass: The Latino Midwest is occurring in conjunction with a major symposium of the same name to be held October 11-13 on the UI campus, the Obermann-International Programs Humanities Symposium.  Our guests will discuss the history, education, literature, art, and politics of Latinos in the Midwest, with a particular focus on demographic changes and the role international migration has played in shaping Latino Midwestern communities.

We’ll also discuss Latino involvement in Iowa’s agricultural life and, of course, that great connector of cultures—food!  Latinos who’ve moved to the Midwest have brought ingredients, recipes, and food culture from their home regions to a part of the country that may once have thought them strange and exotic.  A restaurateur from Solon will share his experience in introducing Latino cuisine to a small, Midwestern town.

A special highlight of the program will be an appearance by guitarist and singer Eugenio Solís, formerly of Solís and Solís, and currently a member of the mariachi ensemble De Colores.  Music has never been contained by borders and nationalities and those who love Latin music won’t want to miss this performance.

WorldCanvass guests include The Latino Midwest symposium organizers Santiago Vaquera-Vásquez (UI Department of Spanish and Portuguese), Omar Valerio-Jiménez (UI Department of History), and Claire Fox (UI Department of English); Eugenio Solís (guitarist and singer); Gabriela Rivera (UI Center for Diversity and Enrichment and co-director of the West Liberty Enrichment Program); Andrew Branan (Washington, Iowa, high school teacher); Hector Ibarra (retired, award-winning West Branch science teacher); José Orduña (graduate student in the UI Nonfiction Writing Program); Nina Ortiz (UI graduate student in Anthropology working in Columbus Junction, Iowa); Tlaloc Rivas (UI Department of Theatre Arts); Miriam Alarcon-Avila (chef at New Pioneer Coop); and Diego Rivera (co-owner of El Sol restaurant in Solon, Iowa).

WorldCanvass explores international topics through lively conversation between scholars and community experts. The program is produced one Friday a month from 5-7 p.m., generally in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol Museum, and is distributed widely through television, radio and iTunes.  Please join us!

 Note: this program will take place on October 5, from 5-7 p.m., in Room 2780, University Capitol Centre.