The conference will continue at 9 a.m. on Friday, November 4, in the graduate student lounge in the campus’s MultiCultural Center; and at 9 a.m. on Saturday, November 5, at Casa de la Guerra, 15 E. De la Guerra St. in Santa Barbara. Events on all three days are free and open to the public.

The theme for the 2011 colloquium is an interdisciplinary study of masks, masquerades, faces, concealments, costumes, alternative voices, and emerging cultural identities in Mexican and Chicano and Chicana societies. The conference also will examine topics related to the cultural manifestations of the border, translation, and poetry from the standpoint of masquerades and concealments. From the mystery of real masks worn at masquerades, to the deceptions played out through the use of disguises, the conference offers a new interpretation of that which we see, read, and hear.

Among the participants will be Miryam Moscona, award-winning poet and author of “Negro marfil”; Hernán Lara Zavala, author of the award-winning novel, “Península, Península”; and Mónica Lavín, author of “Yo, la peor.” In addition to lectures and discussions, the conference will include cultural actvities, such as mask contests and a performance by the folkloric dance group, Raíces de mi tierra.

The colloquium is co-sponsored by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the UC-Mexicanistas, an intercampus research program directed by Sara Poot-Herrera, a professor in the Spanish and Portuguese department. The program focuses on Mexican studies and culture, and bi-national border issues. Other sponsors of the event include, among others, the Ministry of Culture of Mexico and the Cultural Section of the Municipal Government of Mérida.

The colloquium at UCSB is part of an international series organized by Poot-Herrera. Over the years, some of the most relevant figures of Mexican literature and film have participated. Among them are Sergio Arau, director of the film, “A Day Without a Mexican”; actress Yareli Arizmendi, whose credits include the film, “Like Water for Chocolate”; and award-winning novelists Carlos Fuentes, Elena Poniatowska, Margo Glantz, and Cristina Rivera Garza.

For more information about the conference, contact Sara Poot-Herrera at


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