Central American Feminisms

Part of the LAI Working Group on Central American Feminisms. Arely Zimmerman (University of Illinois) and Maya Chinchilla (Author) will be discussing their research on the topic.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Royce Hall 314

Arely Zimmerman (University of Illinois)
Maya Chinchilla (Author)
Arely Zimmerman Discussion

"Revolutionary Refugees: A feminist perspective on Central American migrant organizing in the United States"

Research on Central American feminism has focused primarily on political engagement amongst revolutionaries and party activists in Central America.  Much less scholarship is focused on Central American women's activism in the United States. Using a transnational feminist lens, Arely Zimmerman examines Central American migrant women's experiences of political and community activism.  Drawing extensive research with Central American communities in Los Angeles, she demonstrate how gender interacts with legal status and racialization to shape Central American women's identities and experiences of political activism across borders.
Arely Zimmerman currently holds an appointment as a Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow in Latino Studies at the University of Illinois. She earned her Ph.D. from UCLA in Political Science.  Arely Zimmerman’s principle areas of research are in the politics of immigration, social movements, media, and youth activism, and the politics of race, gender and sexuality.  Her current book project examines the politics of Central American communities in the United States through a transnational framework.  Beyond the academy, she is actively engaged with social justice movements, including immigrant, human, and LGBT rights. 
Maya Chinchilla Discussion

Chapina Poetics: US Central American Narratives


Maya Chinchilla will present her short film "Solidarity Baby" based on the poem of the same name, perform poetry and discuss poetics from her upcoming book: "The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poética." 


Chinchilla's debut book makes visible the Central American-Guatemalan diaspora and disentangles the myths from the mayhem of civil wars, urban wars, and the wars raging in young hearts. Part memory, part imaginary, the Cha Cha Files honors Central American feministas, Long Beach roqueras, families divided by war, lovers separated by borders, and celebrates the pleasure and heartbreak of femmes, machas, y mariconadas.  These poems, stories, and snapshots traverse California coastlines and southern borderlines, cut across tense multi-culti high-school hallways, sing "Solidarity Movement" songs, mosh through tribal slam pits, and find home in the vibrant Bay Area where radical activists and lovers alike come of age.  Chinchilla’s hopeful and uniquely Chapina voice emerges as a significant contribution to U.S. Latina literary works. 

Maya Chinchilla is a Guatemalan, Bay Area-based writer, video artist, and educator with an MFA in English and Creative Writing from Mills college and author of "The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poética. Her work has been published in anthologies and journals including: Mujeres de Maiz, Sinister Wisdom, Americas y Latinas: A Stanford Journal of Latin American Studies, Cipactli Journal and The Lunada Literary Anthology. Maya is a founding member of the performance group Las Manas, a former artist-in-residence at Galeria de La Raza in San Francisco and La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley, CA and is a VONA Voices and Dos Brujas workshop alumni.  She is the co-editor of Desde El Epicentro: An anthology of Central American Poetry and Art and is currently a lecturer at San Francisco State University.


Cost: Free and open to the public

Special Instructions

Parking Information: The closest parking lot is Structure #5. Visitors may purchase daily parking permits (Currently $12) by stopping at the Information & Parking kiosks (cash only) or by using a "Pay by Space" pay station. The closest information booth to Structure #5 is located on Hilgard and Westholme Ave. To use a Parking Pay Station: Simply drive to a self-service Pay Station location (there is one located in Structure #5). Please read the posted signs and screen prompts for Pay by Space. Pay Stations allow you to select the time you need to spend on campus and pay accordingly (all-day passes can also be purchased). UCLA maps and driving directions

For more information please contact

Leisy Abrego Tel: 310-206-9414

Download File: 05-21-14-Central-American-Feminisms-ja-cpk.pdf

Sponsor(s): Latin American Institute, Cesar E. Chavez Center for Interdisciplinary Instruction in Chicana and Chicano Studies, César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies, USEU (Unión Salvadoreña de Estudiantes Universitarios), and LAI Working Group on Central American Feminisms