Angie Díaz graduated from Duke University in 2014, earning an A.B. in History and a Certificate from the Program in Latino/a Studies in the Global South (LSGS). In this clip, Díaz kicks off the inaugural series, “Lunchtime Talks with LSGS Alums,” a convivial forum for sustained engagement with Certificate Graduates. The Lunchtime series attends to how the field of Latino/a Studies is at work in the world, specifically through LSGS Alums, while also forging networks with LSGS Certificate Majors. Díaz’s talk, delivered on 4 October 2016, was entitled “The Latinx Files: Pachuquismo, Chicanidad, and the Armadillo Grill.” Díaz spoke about her academic trajectory at Duke, recalling that, at the time, “I took a lot of classes that had the word ‘America’ in the title.” She also traced the geographical importance of Houston in her scholarly formation, as manifested in her senior honors thesis in History, entitled “Interstitial Resistance in the Role of Pachuquismo in (Re)Shaping Chicanidad in Houston.” Díaz’s undergraduate project at Duke earned her the Gilder-Lehrman History Scholar Award, an honor that recognizes the nation’s top fifteen students in History. Angie gave shout-outs to the Program as well as to Professors Antonio Viego (Literature) and Sally Deutsch (History), as their critical seminars were foundational spaces that allowed her to “learn how to talk about race and ethnicity.”
Díaz also provided some snapshots of some of her Latino/a Studies deliberations in graduate school, which are currently being pursued in the American Studies Program at Yale University. Among her preoccupations are configurations of “newness” in the context of the U.S. Southeast, the tensions between Chicano/a Studies and the broadening scope of Latino/a Studies, paired with digital representations and discussions of race and Latinidad in popular blogging sites such as Tumblr.
Her question and answer session was both illuminating and productive. Among the queries raised were: What themes and messages are being put forward by the Latina blog you discussed (9:27); How do you go about forming specific research questions (10:53); and From undergraduate work at Duke to graduate studies at Yale, how has your understanding of different versions of “Americanness” shifted (11:30)?