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12th Annual Undergraduate Conference on Multiethnic Literatures of the Americas

Department of English
California State University, Fresno

Virtual Conference: Friday, March 12 and Saturday, March 13, 2021

Featured speakers: Gerald Vizenor and Mónica de la Torre

Mission Statement

The Undergraduate Conference on Multiethnic Literatures of the Americas was founded in 2010 to provide undergraduate students with a professional venue in which to present their research and to foreground the increasingly significant study of multiethnic literatures, particularly the interconnectedness of those literatures across cultures, nations, and languages.

Undergraduate students gain experience in writing abstracts, presenting papers, and engaging in scholarly debate and discussion. The presentation of their research also serves to enhance the curriculum of Fresno State’s English Department.

The conference is organized by the department’s graduate students and faculty advisers.


In 2017, the 8th annual UCMLA conference was dedicated to the memory of Mireyda "Mia" Barraza Martinez and opened with a tribute to her.

Mia was a beloved student, scholar, poet, and activist who believed deeply in the UCMLA mission. As an undergraduate, she presented papers on Wendy Rose (2013) and Andrés Montoya (2014). As a graduate student, she volunteered her time and talent to design the conference programs, and she served on the conference organizing committee in 2015 and 2016.

Mia died in a car accident in November 2016, one semester away from graduating with her MFA in creative writing. She was 29.

Previous Speakers

2021 — Gerald Vizenor and Mónica de la Torre

2020 — Erika L. Sánchez and Ishmael Reed

2019 — Maxine Hong Kingston and Elda María Román

2018 — Reyna Grande and Gary Y. Okihiro

2017 — Wendy Rose and Arturo Arias

2016 — Saïd Sayrafiezadeh and Michele Elam

2015 — Manuel Muñoz and Marilyn Chin

2014 — Roxane Gay

2013 — Samiya Bashir

2012 — Hayan Charara and Jorge Huerta

2011 — Cherrie Moraga