Dr. Perla Guerrero, a professor at the University of Maryland, will speak at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 24 in conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month.
Guerrero’s presentation, titled “Latinas/os in Arkansas: Labor, Race and Community,” will take place in room 107 of Windgate Art & Design, the university’s new visual arts facility located at the corner of Kinkead Ave. and Waldron Road. The talk is free and open to the public.
In her presentation, Guerrero will discuss her research into Arkansas’ Latino population, including interviews with Arkansans of various backgrounds. Although a large portion of her lecture will be on her archival research, Guerrero will open with a brief biographical anecdote before discussing her research into Arkansas’ Latino population, taking into account her interviews with Arkansans of various backgrounds, including Asian immigrants.
Guerrero, a graduate of Fort Smith Public Schools and the University of Central Arkansas, has made Arkansas a major focus of her research, with her dissertation analyzing the role Fort Chaffee played in relocating Southeast Asians and Cubans to the region, and the influx of greater numbers of Latin Americans to the state in the 1990s.
Dr. Daniel Maher, associate professor of anthropology and sociology, said Guerrero’s scholarship was “unique and important” to the region.
“Dr. Guerrero’s connection to Fort Smith and the region make her an ideal speaker for events during Hispanic Heritage Month, both for UAFS students as well as members of the community,” Maher said. “Her work is both timely and crucial for understanding the context of the two fastest growing ethnic/minority groups in Fort Smith.”
Dr. Rosario Nolasco-Schultheiss, assistant professor in the Department of World Languages, agreed with Maher.
“It also adds up to much needed research and scholarship on the historical, cultural, and economic importance of newer immigrants to the region,” she said.
Guerrero teaches in the Department of American Studies & U.S. Latina/o Studies at UMD. She earned her master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Southern California, and is currently working on her first book, “Nuevo South: Latinas/os, Asians, and the Remaking of Place.”
The presentation was made possible by Dr. Georgia Hale, provost; Dr. Paul Hankins, dean of the College of Communication, Languages, Arts and Social Sciences; Rita Barrett, chair of the Department of Behavioral Sciences; Brenda Ross, head of the Spanish Department and interim head of the Media Communications Department; and the adviser, elected officers, and members of the UAFS Spanish Club.