Sanctuary, Refuge, Oasis

Sanctuary, Refuge, Oasis

May 4-5, 2017

Special Events Room 6137
McKeldin Library
University of Maryland, College Park, MD


We construct sanctuary—refuge, protection, and safety—in times of trouble. Sanctuary may mean escape from political or religious persecution or protection from environmental disaster. It may be sacred or secular, underground or overtly revolutionary. It may be a physical space or part of our consciousness and dreams for the future, a state of being or promise of utopia. Sanctuary is often very real, but it is also artistic and poetic, taking shape with our imaginations. Sanctuary suggests that crisis will be overcome, the vulnerable protected, the newly dead guided to the beyond. However, it may also indicate that danger is imminent and that we risk everything by leaving its confines – be it spatial or ideological. Grave consequences sometimes occur if we cannot reach its borders or if its borders are breached from the outside. Certain conditions are crucial for successful refuge, including mercy, altruism, hospitality, empathy, and alliance.

Latin America and the Caribbean have long histories of sanctuary, santuario, or sanctuaire in religious, political, social, and environmental contexts. For centuries, dissidents have fled to alternative worlds or have stayed put to fight and built new ones. Inclusion and exclusion define cultural and national identities and communities, yet the boundaries they determine are continually disputed and in flux: Who is in, who is out? Who or what is legal and legitimate, illegal or illicit, sacred or profane? Who defines spaces of sanctuary and controls the bodies and minds flowing between them? Who would we take in and harbor in our own homes if asked? And how do fear and hope drive our actions?

The 2017 LASC student conference invites presentations that examine these questions and those related. We invite participants to explore elements of the theme through concepts, practices, and problems in Latin America, the Caribbean, and among Latin Americans and Latina/o/x living in the United States or anywhere else in the world. As a trans-disciplinary center, the Latin American Studies Center encourages proposals that cross-methodological and analytical boundaries. We ask participants to consider how the proposed paper, panel, or creative project might relate generally to the theme of sanctuary in order to generate a common conversation about the great variety of viewpoints that will be presented.


Thursday, May 4


Welcome Remarks
Sabrina González and Eric Tomalá

Panel One: Digital "Home Stories"
Introduction by Dr. Ana Patricia Rodríguez, Spanish and Portuguese, USLT
Katherine Garcia, UMD, Spanish, “Un Mundo, Dos Culturas”
Ana Julia Granados, UMD, Spanish, “Un amor verdadero”
Demetrio Gutiérrez Finley, UMD, Spanish, “Frijoles”
Ingrid Rivas, UMD, Family Science, “Entre dos mundos”
Maureen Wrightson, UMD, Spanish, “Paso a paso”

Panel Two: In Search of Sanctuary: The Health of Maryland DREAMers
Ana Ortez-Rivera, UMD, Anthropology, "'I Carry My Work Permit with Me Everywhere I Go': DACA as Material Security during Anti-Immigrant Times"
Kaelin Rapport, Alaska Burdette, UMD, Anthropology, "'We Lost our Health Insurance When We Moved': Navigating a Fragmented Health Care Landscape: DACA Recipients in Maryland"
Delmis Umanzor, Umai Habibah UMD, Anthropology, "'I Work Twice as Hard for Half as Much': The Balancing Act of DACA Recipients in Maryland"

Joint Q&A (Panel 1 and 2)

Panel Three: Student Activists Speak
Erica Fuentes, PLUMAS, UMD, Moderator
Miranda Mlilo, Environmental Science and Policy, UMD
Jessica Nolasco, Hearing and Speech Sciences, UMD

Open Mic: "What is YOUR Sanctuary?"
H.J. Patterson 1st floor Atrium

Fricay, May 5

Refuge of Breath and Body - Yoga
led by Dr. Britta Anderson

Check-in, Coffee, and Bagels

Welcome and Introductory Remarks
Dr. Laurie Frederik

Panel Four: Capital, Labor, and Ideal Citizens
Hang M. Le, UMD, Education, "Educating the Ideal Future Citizen of Cuba: Continuities amidst Ruptures"
Camille Marichal, American University, Comparative Regional Studies in Latin America and East Asia, "Japanese and Chinese Immigrants: Assimilation to an Achievement of Bicultural Identity and Diversification in the Dominican Republic"
Christine Bonnefil, George Mason University, French and Spanish, “Language Attitudes of Multilingual Haitians in the Washington, D.C. Area”
Q & A

Panel Five: Las (Im)Posibilidades de Construir un Santuario
Stephanie Hall, UMD, Education, "Higher education: Sanctuary or risk?"
Sabrina González, UMD, History, “Imaginando santuarios: los racionalistas en búsqueda de la escuela moderna en Buenos aires”
Victor Hernandez-Sang, UMD, Ethnomusicology, “Sanctuaries in the Dominican Republic: Practitioners between the Margins and the Center of Local Communities"
Monica Ocasio, UMD, Spanish and Portuguese, "Cocinando espacios: imaginando santuario a través de las recetas en Cocina Criolla"
Cara Snyder, UMD, Women’s Studies, "Refugios Queer: Sissi do Amor, las Economías Políticas de Soccer y Lugares de Santuario"


Lunch Break

Keynote Panel
Dr. Linda Rabben, UMD, Anthropology
Ray Ranker, Pastor, UMD, Lutheran Campus Minister
Dr. Ana Patricia Rodríguez, UMD, Spanish and Portuguese, USLT Dr. Michelle Rowley, UMD, Women’s Studies
Erick Sanchez, Activist
Moderator: Dr. Laurie Frederik, UMD, Latin American Studies Center, TDPS

Panel Six: Resistance and Performative Alternatives
Julian Moreno, UMD, History, "In Our Dreams We Have Seen another World: Community and Solidarity in Zapatismo."
Eduardo Campos Lima, University of Sao Paulo, Columbia University, "From Bertolt Brecht to Leonardo Boff: Creative Sanctuaries in Latin American Theatre of Liberation"
Sarah Dowman, UMD, Spanish and Portuguese, "La Chingada, La Virgin y La Punkera: Rethinking Chicanx Archetypes through Queer Latinx Punk Rock"
Maria De Luna, American University, International Peace and Conflict Revolution, “Gender Politics in Narco Telenovelas: Women in the Mexican Imagination in La Reina del Sur”


Panel Seven: Garden Poetics, Ecological Oasis, and Indigenous Imagining
Charlotte Blair, American University, Anthropology, "Planting Gardens over Garbage Cans: Order and Disorder in a Mexico City Neighborhood"
Lisa Warren Carney, UMD, Spanish and Portuguese, "Taken to Live with the Forest People: Precarity, Abduction and Possibility in a Quichua Oral Narrative"
Delia Dreher, UMD, Anthropology, "Circumventing the State: Indigenous Organizations on Facebook in the Peruvian Amazon"
María Cristina Monsalve, UMD, Spanish and Portuguese, "El santuario poético de las piedras: cantos en la poesía latinoamericana”


Panel Eight: The Journey of Transgender Latina Women in the U.S.
Video presentation and roundtable
Oliver Contreras, freelance photojournalist
DMV, Transgender Rights Activist
Zoila Fajardo, Metro PFLAG volunteer, Board Member of Trans-Latina Maren A. Lujan, American University, School of International Service Alexa Rodriguez, Trans-Latina Coalition DMV Director, Transgender Rights Activist

Exhibitions – Art and Performance

Plena Puertorriqueña Music Workshop
led by Ben Jackson and Victor Hernandez-Sang, UMD, Ethnomusicology

Exposición artística de fotografía: Cordillera Íntima
Santiago Monsalve, Universidad de Vladimir, Rusia

Closing Reception and LASC Graduation Celebration

Aperitivo - Cuba de Ayer Restaurant

Keynote Panelists

Dr. Linda Rabben, is an author, human rights activist and associate research professor of anthropology at the University of Maryland. She did field research in Brazil over a 25-year period and worked for Amnesty International, the Rainforest Foundation, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, and other NGOs on human rights, migration, environmental and international development issues. Since the late 1990s she has published eight books about human rights, including Fierce Legion of Friends: A History of Human Rights Campaigns and Campaigners. Her new book, Sanctuary and Asylum: A Social and Political History, was published by University of Washington Press in September 2016. She has spoken about migration issues to diverse audiences in the US and UK.

Dr. Michelle Rowley is an Associate Professor to the Women’s Studies Department at the University of Maryland. Before joining the department in 2006 she served in the Women’s Studies Department at the University of Cincinnati (2004-2006). She completed her Ph.D. as a Fulbright Scholar at Clark University, Worcester MA (2003). She presently serves on the editorial collective for Feminist Studies. Her research interests address issues of gender and development, the politics of welfare, as well as state responses to questions of Caribbean women’s reproductive health and well being and rights for sexual minorities. Her publications include “When the Post-Colonial State Bureaucratizes Gender: Charting Trinidadian Women’s Centrality Within The Margins,” “Where the Streets Have No Name: Getting Development Out of the (RED).” “Rethinking Interdisciplinarity: Meditations on the Sacred Possibilities of an Erotic Feminist Pedagogy,” and “Whose Time Is It?: Gender and Humanism in Contemporary Caribbean Feminist Advocacy.” Her book is entitled Feminist Advocacy and Gender Equity in the Anglophone Caribbean: Envisioning a Politics of Coalition (Routledge, 2011).

Pastor Ray Ranker is from Reisterstown, Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, where he was shaped by relationships developed in the CARing project and Lutheran Campus Ministry, the Student Government Association, and other clubs and organizations. After graduating in 2004, he served in Argentina at an ecumenical human rights organization and a Reformed church with the ELCA's Young Adults in Global Mission Program. After his time in Argentina, he spent time in an interim position at the University of Maryland and over a two-year period served in short-term volunteer positions in Brazil, South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Jerusalem, and Bosnia. While in Jerusalem, he met his now wife, Karin Brown. They have a daughter, Lucia. After finishing his seminary degree at The Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pastor Ray was called as Lutheran Campus Pastor at the University of Maryland, following his mentor and long time Lutheran Chaplain, Pastor Beth Platz. He has served ecumenically and globally in volunteer positions with the National Council of Churches, World Council of Churches, and the Lutheran World Federation, and he is excited to serve the community of College Park through this new collaborative ministry at Hope.

Dr. Ana Patricia Rodriguez is associate professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and U.S. Latina/o Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she teaches courses in Latin American, Central American, and U.S. Latina/o literatures and cultures. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research interests include Central American and U.S. Latina/o literatures and cultures; Central American cultural production in the U.S.; transnational migration and cultural production; diaspora studies; violence and postwar/trauma studies; gender studies; U.S. Latina/o popular culture; community-based research; and Latina/o education (K-16). Professor Rodríguez has published numerous articles on the cultural production of Latinas/os in the United States and Central Americans in the isthmus and in the wider Central American diaspora. Her books include De la hamaca al trono y al más allá: Lecturas críticas de la obra de Manlio Argueta (with Linda J. Craft and Astvaldur Astvaldsson; San Salvador: Universidad Tecnológica, 2013) and Dividing the Isthmus: Central American Transnational Histories, Literatures, and Cultures (University of Texas Press, 2009).

Erick Sanchez is a public relations consultant and activist from Washington, DC, working in democratic politics for over 10 years. Sanchez, who was recently called "The Guy Behind Some of DC's Most Viral Campaigns" by Washingtonian, has made local and national headlines over the past few years for using digital tools to organize local actions. His most notable accomplishments include successfully petitioning Chef Jose Andres to abandon his plans for a restaurant inside of the Trump Hotel in Washington, gathering supporters outside of the Naval Observatory to celebrate the career of Vice President Joe Biden in the aftermath of the 2016 election, and driving patrons to Comet Ping Pong Pizza after the community was shocked by an active shooter in the restaurant investigating a fake news conspiracy. Sanchez has been featured in the Washington Post, the New York Times, Newsweek, ABC News, NBC News, USA Today, and made a late night appearance for an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2014. He is currently working with local organizations on the Immigrants and Workers March in Washington, taking place on May Day.

Conference Committee

Daniela Bulansky, Spanish and Portuguese
Lissette Escariz Ferrá, English
Sabrina González, History
Stephanie Hall, Education
Victor Hernandez-Sang, Ethnomusicology
Monica Ocasio, Spanish and Portuguese
Norman Mora Quintero, Spanish and Portuguese
Kristofer Jon Reed, English
Mariana Nidia Reyes, Spanish and Portuguese
Cara Snyder, Women’s Studies