Susana Sepulveda's Conference Summary

     Susana Sepulveda
     Ph.D. Student
     Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory GIDP

     Conference Summary
National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies
     NE Albuquerque, NM

As a recipient of the Herbert E. Carter travel award, I was able to attend and present my work at the 2019 National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS) annual conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico (April 3-6th). This was my first time attending and presenting at NACCS as a graduate student. I presented my paper La Merma's Punk Transnational Politics of Refusal”, wherein I analyze musical cultural productions of the borderlands punk band La Merma. This paper connects to my developing dissertation research on U.S. Southwest and borderlands punk subcultures, and I plan on submitting it for publication in the near future.

            Upon presenting my paper in the panel Punkeando Power: Culture, Body, and Song, I received significant feedback from fellow panelists and attendees. Questions were raised that enabled me to think about future inquiries as well the importance of my work within the field of Chicana/o studies and Cultural studies. My paper was one of three presentations listed within the three-day conference program that engaged punk. Although there were a relatively small number of panels that revolved around music there was a stark contrast in what musical narratives were predominantly discussed and focused on. There were at least four panels that centralized corrido music, which is a canonical genre in Chicano musical narratives. Thus, my contribution to discussions of Chicana/o and U.S.-Mexico music relations offered new perspectives and questions for expanding these narratives. I hope to submit this essay for publication in the NACCS journal Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, to further underscore the relevance and importance of punk within Chicana/o studies.

            Moreover, attending NACCS enabled me to engage intellectually with members of my panel, including Lucero Saldaña of the University of Texas, San Antonio. After we presented our papers, we engaged the audience and their questions and stirred a thought provoking conversation of the gender relations in the music genres we engage in our papers respectively—corridos and punk. In discussing each other’s work relationally, I gained knowledge of new emerging theoretical frameworks. Saldaña proposes, the framework of “cultural-tune-out” (2019), a way of tuning out suppressive representations in music and lyrics as a participant in its fandom. This framework is relevant to my own discussions of punk and intersections of race, gender, and sexuality.

            Overall, the Carter travel award enabled me to: receive critical feedback on my work, to engage interdisciplinary practitioners of Chicana/o popular music studies, contribute much needed perspectives and interventions in Chicana/o musical discourses, gain critical insight for future studies, and practice professional development via presenting and networking. I am appreciative of the support and opportunity the Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs Herbert E. Carter Award has provided me.

Last updated 5 Jun 2019