English professor's lecture to address 'stories of the undocumented'

Thursday, February 16, 2017

LAWRENCE — Marta Caminero-Santangelo, professor in the Department of English and interim director of the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies at the University of Kansas, will give a talk, “Stories of the Undocumented: Cultural Trauma and American DREAMers,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, at The Commons at Spooner Hall. The event is part of the KU Center for Migration Research's Migration Lecture Series. This lecture is open to the public, and a reception will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Caminero-Satangelo examines how U.S. Latino writers are increasingly expressing their solidarity with undocumented immigrants in representing the issues surrounding unauthorized immigration as a form of cultural trauma. Caminero-Santangelo also looks at the narratives of the undocumented themselves — especially the “DREAMers” — to discuss their compelling stories of American identity.

"At this historical moment, it is (sadly) more important than ever to be listening to and talking about these stories that aren’t really getting heard in larger society and that get lost in the immigration debate,” Caminero-Santangelo said.

Caminero-Santangelo received her doctorate in English from the University of California, Irvine, in 1995, and she came to KU as an assistant professor in 1997. Caminero-Santangelo's research interests include the U.S. Latino/a narrative, 20th-century American women’s literature and feminist criticism. She has authored and co-authored a number of books and scholarly articles. Her most recent book is "Documenting the Undocumented: Latino/a Narratives and Social Justice in the Era of Operation Gatekeeper."

Cecilia Menjívar and Victor Agadjanian, both Foundation Distinguished Professors of Sociology, came to KU in 2015 and started the KU Center for Migration Research under the KU Institute for Policy & Social Research. The center promotes and coordinates KU research on causes, types and consequences of human migration at the state, regional, national and global levels.