In conjunction with Professor Crabtree’s LCWA Junior Faculty Colloquium, Nicole Guidotti-Hernández will deliver a public lecture titled “Latinx: The Future is Now” on April 6 at 2:00 pm in Addlestone 227. This lecture charts out the histories of how we went from using Mexican American and Puerto Rican to Chicano and Nuyorican and then to the latest iterations, Latina/o and now Latinx. By drawing on specific bodies of evidence both in the creation of new-phase ethnic studies departments in the 2000s and public digital discourse, I demonstrate that while millennials are leading the charge with the Latinx conversation, their boomer intellectual forerunners not are ready for and are often outright resistant to the use of Latina/o let alone Latinx, indicating the futurist potential and political necessity of the term. In making a historical argument about terminology linked to the fields of Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies, I show the work of hegemonic logic in how majority minority populations shape discourse with their mere numbers and their access to discourse: print, digital, and aural. To be a part of the affective community is antiessentialist because Latinx bears the load of recognition and diversity and represents the power of inclusion without speaking for everyone. Ultimately, people invest in Latinx because it carries the excessive and diverse affective load of a population in ways that other ethno-nationalist and pan-Latina/o terms cannot.
This lecture is free and open to the public.