Meet Rosina A. Lozano – Joining LAO in 2013-2014

Rosina Lozano is a National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow during the 2012-2013 academic year.  She completed her PhD in 2011 from the University of Southern California and currently remains in California as a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Center for Comparative Study in Race and Ethnicity.  

Lozano is completing an article for the Western Historical Quarterly that compares New Mexico and Puerto Rico Spanish language teaching by looking at the ways that regional differences affect language identity.  She is focusing in particular on two major language learning debates that occurred in each region in the early 1940s and is using New Mexico Senator Dennis Chávez to connect the two.

By the end of the year, Professor Lozano will complete a book proposal and several chapter revisions based on her dissertation that examines the politics of the Spanish language in New Mexico and California over the century following the Mexican American War.  The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo made many Spanish speakers US citizens despite a lack of English language skills.  These new citizens and the Spanish speaking immigrants that followed negotiated language politics at a personal, community, state, and national level.  The book looks at the ways in which Spanish language usage affected identity, citizenship, and race.

Although away for the 2012-2013 academic year, Rosina Lozano looks forward to joining the faculty at Princeton University as an assistant professor in the history department beginning in the 2013-2014 academic year.

**New Spring 2013 Course**

Exciting new Spring 2013 course THR 331/LAO 331 “Special Topics in Performance History and Theory: Playing Latino” taught by Brian Herrera.

Meet Jessica Delgado – New LAO Associated Faculty Member

Jessica Delgado is Assistant Professor of Religion at Princeton University, since 2012. She earned her Ph.D. in Latin American History at the University of California at Berkeley and was Stewart Fellow in Religion at Princeton University from 2009-2012.

Her field is the history of religion in Latin America with a focus on Mexico in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Her research interests include women, gender, and sexuality, the Catholic Church in colonial society, race, caste, and religion, and the intersection between social and spiritual status in the early modern world. Her work on laywomen’s use of ecclesiastical courts to resolve domestic and marital disputes has appeared in Colonial Latin American Review, and she is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Troubling Devotion: Laywomen and the Church in Colonial Mexico.

She is currently teaching an undergraduate seminar called, “Religion, Gender, and Sexuality in Early Latin America,” and a graduate seminar called “Religion and Church in Mexican History.” In the spring, she will be teaching a lecture course called, “Histories and Themes in Mexican Religion.” Jessica Delgado is also affiliated with the Center for the Study of Religion and runs the Religion and Culture workshop for CSR fellows.

Meet Brian Eugenio Herrera – New LAO Associated Faculty Member

Brian Eugenio Herrera is an assistant professor of theater in the Lewis Center for the Arts whose work examining the formation of gender, sexual and racial identities in and through U.S. popular performance has been published in many journals, including Theatre JournalModern Drama, and The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism. Also a performer, his autobiographical solo show, I Was the Voice of Democracy ( has been seen scores of times and in more than a dozen states since 2010.  It is next slated to be presented at the American University of Beirut in early 2013. Professor Herrera is currently at work on two book projects, Latin Explosion: Latinos, Racial Formation and Twentieth Century U.S. Popular Performance and Casting: A History.

At the end of October, Herrera will be delivering the keynote address in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the National Hispanic Cultural Center as part of “Recognizing New Mexico’s Theatrical Past, Present and Future: An Interactive Symposium.”  This symposium is a tour of how theatrical performances have been a part of the lives of New Mexicans for over 400 years.  Herrera’s keynote, “400 Years of New Mexico Theatre History,” charts the broad contours of four centuries of New Mexico’s performance history, beginning with the collision of Spanish liturgical drama and indigenous ritual practice in the sixteenth century and continuing all the way through to the rise of “Tamalewood” in the early twenty-first century.

This semester Professor Herrera is teaching THR 330 Special topics in Performance Practice–Casting: History, Theory and Practices.  This one of a kind course is related to his book project on casting.  During Spring 2012-2013, Professor Herrera will teach THR 331/LAO 331 Special Topics in Performance History and Theory: Playing Latino.  This course will examine how the pan-ethnic construction of Latina/o cultural identity was rehearsed in twentieth century U.S. popular performance. Students will consider a wide array of popular performances and assess the ways such performances have staged shifting perceptions and presumptions about Latinas/os in the United States and how those performances have contributed to broader discourses of race, identity, culture and nation. Topics will include: heritage performance, liturgical drama, stand-up comedy, television, and visual art, as well as literary drama, performance art, and activist teatro.

Discussion on Latino Graduation – by Marta Tienda

Two PAW readers were critical of the Pan-African, Latino and LGBT graduation ceremonies (September 19, 2012 “Special graduation ceremonies). Both questioned whether separate ceremonies defeat the integration goal that a diverse campus is supposed to achieve. Are the special ceremonies justified? Do the special ceremonies reinforce group stereotypes and foster separatism? By allowing special ceremonies, is Princeton University pandering to political correctness?  How you answer these criticisms?

The letters can be viewed here:

Concentrator Spotlight: Leticia Garcia-Romo ’13

Leticia Garcia-Romo is a second generation Mexican-American immigrant from Salinas, CA and has 3 younger brothers. She is majoring in Sociology and getting certificates in Spanish and Latino Studies. Garcia-Romo is interested in immigration and education; enjoys playing soccer and basketball; and going to mass with loved ones. She plans on pursuing a Ph.D. after graduating from Princeton.

Meet Ali A. Valenzuela – New LAO Associated Faculty Member

Ali A. Valenzuela writes and teaches about American electoral politics, with a focus on Latino public opinion, immigrant socialization, voter turnout in American elections, religion and politics, and the politics of race and ethnicity in the U.S.

His current research combines the use of nationally representative surveys with Census and electoral data to investigate contextual and political sources of Latino group identities. This work is complemented by qualitative field research investigating state and local representatives’ strategies of group mobilization and experimental research that test the consequences of identity-based political appeals on Latino voter turnout and support for public policies such as immigration reform. A third area of his research asks how regular churchgoing and characteristics of the church environment together influence Latino policy attitudes, interest in politics, and group attachments such as ethnic and party affiliation in the U.S. His research has been published in the Quarterly Journal of Political Science, American Politics Research and Presidential Studies Quarterly.

In Fall 2012, Professor Valenzuela is teaching two seminar courses. One, open to undergraduate sophomores, juniors and seniors, is on Latino Politics in the U.S. and is cross-listed with Latino Studies and Latin American Studies and qualifies as an elective for American Studies (POL 423 / LAO 423 / LAS 423). The second, Identity Politics (POL 547), is intended primarily for Ph.D. students and the focus is on major racial, ethnic and religious groups in the U.S. context with some attention devoted to works from comparative politics on identity formation and change in developing country contexts.

Welcome Message from the Director

Dear Friends of Latino Studies @ Princeton:

It is my pleasure to welcome new and returning students, faculty, and alumni to participate in the Latino Studies Blog! As our program matures, this venue will help record the numerous events and accomplishments that give our community a presence at Princeton University.

I have so much good news to report. Three new assistant professors joined the LAO community effective July 1 and will greatly enrich the course offerings that satisfy the requirements for the Latino Studies Certificate: Jessica Delgado in the religion department; Brian Herrera in the theater program; and Ali Valenzuela in politics. In addition, Rosina Lozano will join the history department in fall of 2013! Jessica Delgado, who was trained at UC-Berkeley, has been affiliated with the religion department since 2009 as a Stewart Fellow and lecturer.  This semester she will be teaching REL 378/GSS 378/LAS 379 Religion, Gender, and Sexuality in Early Latin America; REL 505/LAS 505 Studies in the Religions of the Americas – Religion and Church in Mexican History; and REL 521 Religion and Culture Workshop.  Trained at Yale, Brian Herrera taught performance history at the University of New Mexico before joining the Princeton faculty. Professor Herrera will offer THR 330 Special Topics in Performance Practice – Casting: History, Theory, Practices in fall 2012. Ali Valenzuela has been in residence at Princeton since fall 2011 as a research fellow in the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics. In fall 2012, Professor Valenzuela will offer POL 423/LAS 423/LAO 423 Seminar in American Politics: Latino Politics in the U.S. and POL 547 Identity Politics. We look forward to Lozano’s arrival next fall.

LAO exists, in part, because of the accomplishments of its alumni and seeks to forge stronger ties with the Association of Latino Princeton Alumni (ALPA). With the assistance of Jessica Gamboa ’10, we seek to establish ties with certificate recipients as well as ALPA members to plan activities that will invigorate the intellectual content of the program offerings. For example, we will plan a session for reunions and welcome your suggestions. Jessica will reach out to recent concentrators to solicit their suggestions but please use the BLOG venue to keep in touch.

We face several challenges, including fund-raising to support student activities and academic events on campus. To date, LAO has largely assumed a “co-sponsorship” role, but with the vibrant faculty additions, LAO is now well positioned to take the lead on new academic initiatives. We welcome your ideas.

The Program in Latino Studies also welcomes submissions from students, alumni, faculty, and members of the Princeton community.  If you are interested in submitting an article for possible posting on the LAO blog, please send your submissions to for review.

Finally, on behalf of the executive committee, I welcome your ideas about ways to revamp the gateway course so that it becomes a draw for students from across campus.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Marta TiendaMarta Tienda