This conference feels a bit like a marathon. There’s so much to see and hear, so many people to talk to. Today I miss the first morning session (wasn’t feeling great) but then went to the first plenary (great talks by student scholars) and then got some cash and headed to the book exhibit.
I’m not sure what I was expected, but this was much much more. The book exhibit at MLA is cool — lots of publishers, lots of books. But the NACCS book exhibit, while smaller in space is full of not just wonderful Chicano/a books, but ART. I bought some lovely stuff — didn’t stop ’til I ran out of money
Apologies for the low quality pictures — I took them with my iPhone and I don’t have the steadiest hands. My first purchases — a NACCS t-shirt — for $5 the deal of the decade as far as I’m concerned. Then I saw a copy 500 Years of Chicana History by Elizabeth Martinez. I hadn’t even heard about the book yet which shows how out of it I am as it came out in 2008. I had to have that too.
At about that moment I got swept up into the friendly and powerful table that MALCS was running. I’d been meaning to join, so I did right then, signing up and paying for my membership. That got me signed up to submit an article next month for review to see if I can take part in a writing workshop in August. In the midst of all of this I saw this beautiful signed framed poster by Lalo Alcaraz for $30. Yes, I bought it.
In the midst of this shopping frenzy, I ran into Deena Gonzalez who I knew from years ago at the a Ford Conference. It was really flattering to hear that she’d been following my progress a bit and she gave me nice praise for (finally) finishing. We chatted a bit and I asked her if I could sit with her at the lunch. She told me I could, that there was room at the table she had planned but there was also going to be a surprise. I was intrigued but then she got swept away and I went over the CSRC table to talk to Lizette and admire the center’s books. As she talked with me, I admired her necklace then saw next her a table full of wonderful jewelry by Mayan Inspirations.
I fell in love with these. Aren’t they great? They look good with my new short hair too.
Lunch was, well quite surprising. I ended up at a table full of people I’d cited in my dissertation. Seriously I was kind of star struck: Alma Lopez, the artist, was next to me, Arturo Madrid was on the other side. Also at the table were Deena, Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Emma Perez, Ramon Gutiérrez and Antonia Castañeda. The conversation at lunch was inspiring and full of good humor, as was the speech by Norma Alarcón, the NACCS scholar of the year.
The surprise? After Norma’s speech, Deena, Alicia and Emma took the stage and they announced a new award for an article written by a graduate student, new Ph.D. or young faculty member. It was to be named in honor of Antonia Castañeda. She was stunned and brought to tears by the news. I was so honored to be there at that amazing moment.