The SALSA Collective were on tour again for the British Association of American Studies conference at the University of Birmingham. Spreading the word about latinidad was our mission!

As you may have picked up from our About page, one of the main goals of our collective is to promote the study of all things Latin American/Latino/Latinidad here in the UK. With this mind, SALSA had put together a panel entitled: Lost in Translation: Latino/a Identities and the Browning of America. The panel got started with Victoria Carroll from King’s College London, speaking about “The White Man in Me: Translating HIV Transmission as Interracial Exchange in Gay Latino Cultural Production”. (Victoria will hopefully be blogging for us soon, so more on this to come!)

Then followed Becky’s paper on “Dora the Explorer Speaks Like a White Girl” discussing standard language ideology and U.S. born Latinos.

In connection with a lot of issues raised in this paper, Eilidh then went on to discuss the mestizaje of language and identity in Sandra Cisneros with particular reference to the children’s book Hairs=Pelitos.

It was a great success! We all presented really interesting papers and the audience got to hear some of our latest ideas from our ongoing projects. We then went on to have a really valuable discussion about a variety of issues from bilingual education in both school and at home, to generational complexities, host culture vs home culture, trouble with authenticity, authorship complicating or reinforcing the narratives we’re trying to address, and the intricacies of a pan-American identity (amongst other things!). The discussion carried on well after the end of the panel, with useful ideas and suggestions of fruitful avenues to both broaden and refine the ideas we presented on.

We’d like to thank BAAS for putting on such a great conference, and big thanks to our hosts at the University of Birmingham. Thanks to all who came to our panel and for sharing the love for latinidad!

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