The 2024 Latin American Studies Conference, also known as the Study of the Americas, will feature keynote speaker Maylei Blackwell of the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o and Central American Studies at UCLA when it convenes on April 25 at Cal State San Bernardino.

This year’s daylong conference, “Transnational Politics, Democracy, and Grassroots Resistance,” will take place in person beginning at 9 a.m. in the John M. Pfau Library, room PL-5005. It will also be offered virtually, with a livestream available for the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus in the Rancho Mirage Student Center, and on Zoom for other online attendees.

Blackwell’s keynote presentation, “Scales of Resistance: Indigenous Women’s Transborder Activism,” will take place at noon.

The conference, an annual event affiliated with the Latin American Studies minor program in the Department of World Languages and Literatures, will feature panel presentations by students, faculty and community organizations with a shared interest in Latin American and Latinx/Chicanx studies.

Its aim is to promote and foster the knowledge and understanding of the very diverse peoples, processes and histories shaping Latin America, a cultural construct that spans Mexico to Tierra del Fuego and includes the Caribbean, Latinx peoples in the United States, the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and Latin American diasporic communities around the world.

Blackwell’s keynote presentation takes its title from her book of the same name, in which she “narrates how Indigenous women’s activism in Mexico and its diaspora weaves in and between local, national, continental, and transborder scales,” according to the publisher’s webpage for the book. “Drawing on more than seventy testimonials and twenty years of fieldwork spent accompanying Indigenous women activists, Blackwell focuses on how these activists navigate the blockages to their participation and transform exclusionary spaces into scales of resistance.”

Blackwell is an associate professor in the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies and Women’s Studies Department and affiliated faculty in American Indian Studies and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies, also at UCLA.

She is the author of the landmark “¡Chicana Power! Contested Histories of Feminism in the Chicano Movement,” as well as a co-editor of “¡Chicana Movidas! New Narratives of Activism and Feminism in the Movement Era.” She is the co-editor of the Critical Latinx Indigeneities special issue of Latino Studies. In addition to co-creating/directing the digital story platform, “Mapping Indigenous Los Angeles,” Blackwell is currently working on rematriating historical memory and seeding Indigenous social movements through the Mobile Indigenous Community Archive.

The conference is sponsored by the CSUSB College of Arts and Letters, College of Extended and Global Education, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, John M. Pfau Library and the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program.

2024 Latin American Studies Conference flyer