A Confluence of Diasporic, Immigrant Writers: Reclaiming and Regaining Our Agency and Voice


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AMELIA MONTES, Author, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

HOPE WABUKE, Author, Assistant Professor in English/Creative-Writing, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

LINDA GARCIA MERCHANT, Doctoral Student, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


“A Confluence of Diasporic, Immigrant Writers: Reclaiming, Regaining Our Agency and Voice”

This presentation features poets, memoirists, and academic scholars who are part of the global African diaspora, are Latinx immigrants, or children of Latinx immigrants. Additionally, two presenters also identify as Queer and teach LGBTQ literature courses. Each presenter teaches, conducts research, or writes within what continues to be a traditionally white institution of academia. Within this milieu, they continually seek to disrupt colonized spaces by, for example, writing critically and creatively; teaching alternative pedagogies, working within the academy, while also involved with community activism. These presenters will discuss how their work in the classroom, in their creative writing, in their research, completely transforms and reimagines a space where difference is privileged and normativity is deconstructed. Even the framework for this presentation ruptures any kind of standardized session because presenters will be giving testimony about their lives, their academic work, while also reading from their creative projects. Two of the presenters are poets who also conduct research, one is a digital scholar, and the fourth writes a mix of creative and scholarly work. All consider themselves activists in what they do. “A Confluence of Voices” seeks to model and empower audience members with strategies to reimagine and re-create narratives of liberation.