PULLMAN, Wash. — “Immigrants Transforming American Identities” is the theme of afternoon presentations by author and poet Cecilia Rodríguez Milanés and documentary filmmaker Alexandra Hidalgo Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, hosted by The Writing Program at Washington State University.

Hidalgo’s film, “Vanishing Borders,” will be shown at a program beginning at 2:30 p.m. Wed., Sept. 30 in CUB L60, Butch’s Den, and is open to the public at no charge. The program includes discussions, refreshments, and the 90-minute documentary about four immigrant women living in New York City who transform their communities with their work.

Rodríguez Milanés will present a reading and short film from 3:00-5:00 p.m. Thurs., Oct. 1 in the Bundy Reading Room of Avery Hall. Collections of stories are published in her books “Marielitos, Balseros, and Other Exiles” and “Oye What I’m Gonna Tell You,” which were among the top ten “must reads” to understand Cuba according to “The Guardian.” “Everyday Chica” won the 2010 Longleaf Press Poetry Prize.

Aligned with national Hispanic Heritage Month

“We are honored to bring two well-known and accomplished Latina women to help WSU celebrate national Hispanic Heritage Month in 2015,” said Victor Villanueva, Regents Professor and director of The Writing Program.

“Their artistic contributions to their fields and their efforts as college professors cover significant distances in helping everyone understand what challenges immigrants—particularly women—face as they build lives as Americans.”

Hidalgo

Hidalgo was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and moved to Dayton, Ohio, when she was 16. Now a Michigan State University assistant professor of writing, rhetoric, and American cultures, her scholarly interests range from gender, race, and pop culture to how digital production—especially film and video—can be used within academia to enrich our scholarly inquiries and methodologies and engage with the community. Her Ph.D. in English is from Purdue University.

She produces general interest and academic documentaries. They have screened at festivals and universities around the world and have been featured on National Public Radio and in “CinéWomen” and “Raising Films,” among other publications. Her works in progress include a video book, video articles, a series of interconnected short and feature films, and an academic documentary

Hidalgo is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of “agnès films,” an online community of women filmmakers that fosters and helps promote feminist and female-centered films and videos. She is also the founding editor and multimedia editor of “Present Tense,” a peer-reviewed, blind-refereed journal that publishes conference-length articles and multimedia scholarship.

Rodríguez Milanés

Rodríguez Milanés was born in New Jersey to Cuban parents, grew up in Bayonne, and at 14 moved with her family to Miami. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English/creative writing at the University of Miami. She also studied writing with two Nobel Prize winners and acclaimed authors—Isaac Bashevis Singer and Toni Morrison.

Today, Rodríguez Milanés is a professor of Latino/a literature and writing at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Her research interests include Latino/a literature, writing, women writers of color, emergent American literature, and women’s studies. She earned her Ph.D. at the State University of New York at Albany in African American women writers, composition, and writing.

Her “Everyday Chica, Music and More” is a “spoken-word CD” containing poems and a short story set to Cuban folk and Puerto Rican music. One original song is by her husband, Jorge Milanés.

WSU Hispanic Heritage Month events

National Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. A listing of WSU activities is available at http://www.chilatcenter.wsu.edu/hispanic-heritage-month/.


CONTACT: Victor Villanueva, Regents Professor and WSU Writing Program director, 509-335-2680, victorv@wsu.edu