From the Vox site “Latina, Latino, or LatinX? Here’s how the term came about: The gender-neutral term that’s supposed to be for everyone, well, isn’t” by Terry Blas on 10/23/19

The occasion for this posting is a net conference yesterday on latinx — referring to an orthographic form; also to its various pronunciations by speakers of Spanish; and especially to its choice as an racial/ethnic/cultural (self-)descriptor.

The invitation to the conference, by Phillip M. Carter (of Florida International University (FIU)):

It’s an honor to invite you to “Latinx: What’s in a Name?” today [9/21] at 6pm EST on Zoom and Facebook. We’ll hear from journalist / author / professor Ed Morales on “Latinx” – why some people embrace it and why others reject it – and what it means for the ways in which race/ethnicity/language are constructed in the United States..

We’ll then hear comentarios from four Latinx Studies scholars – Karma Chavez (UT), Amalia Pallares (UIC), Gabriel Mayora (FIU), and Aris Moreno Clemons (UT) that help understand “Latinx” vis-a-vis age, generation, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality.

We’ll start by hearing from young people in Miami (including FIU students!), Austin, Los Angeles, and Chicago about what terms they use to describe themselves, and what they think about “Latinx.”

Earlier on this blog, in my 8/28/20 posting “Hola Queridx”, with Ernesto Cuba on (among other things) latinx and queridx — as orthographc forms; and their pronunciation; and variation in their use. But this is a report from only one (Peruvian) speaker.

Net conferences. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend Phillip’s conference, but it did make me reflect on conferences and how they work.

In this case, the whole thing was done digitally, so that in principle there could be a complete recording of the conference, which could now be available on some site, perhaps for a fee (just as traditional in-person conferences typically charge a fee for admission) — though that would still make the digital conference considerably cheaper that an in-person conference, since participants wouldn’t have to pay for travel to the event, lodging, etc. (Of course, digital participants don’t get the face-to-face interactions with other conference participants — or the pleasure of visiting the conference site.)

In addition, organizing a conference takes some money, even if none of the participants receives an honorarium or reimbursement for expenses. For this, some external source of funds , or donation of facilities (like the meeting rooms) and services (like the recording of the proceedings), or probably both, will be necessary. The organizer has to scare up this support somehow; I assume Phillip’s support came from FIU..




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