I’m giving a paper for the National Association of Chicana Chicano Studies conference. This will be my first time attending. The conference is being held in Pasadena this year.
Even though I could probably rent a car and drive there and back each day, I decided to pay to stay at the hotel. Part of the reason is convenience — my paper is at 9:00 AM the first day and I don’t want to have to drive through rush hour traffic and worry about being late. But the other reason is I really want to experience the conference, come early, stay late and all that. This seems an obvious thing to say, but I know I won’t be as likely to be there if I’m not actually there.
The paper I’m giving is a bit of a re-hash of a paper I gave in September 2010 at St. John’s College in Durham. It’s on re-envisioning Aztlán as cosmopolitan space. I’m nervous about giving it in a way I wasn’t nervous in England. The scholars at the conference in the UK knew lots about cosmopolitanism but knew nothing about Chicano/a studies or Aztlán. Here I’ll be talking to people who not only know about it, but may feel invested in other visions and definitions of Aztlán. It preys upon all my fears of not being “really” Chicana, or not Chicana enough.
That said, I’m so looking forward to spending a three days immersed in Chicano/a studies surrounded by Chicano/a scholars. How cool is that?