Meet the Director of Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry
Javier D. Durán, Professor of Spanish and Border Studies, is a specialist in cultural and literary studies along the U.S.-Mexico border. He is a native of the Arizona-Sonora desert region. Dr. Durán, a three time UA alumnus, received his Ph.D. in Hispanic Literatures from Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Arizona, an M.A. in Latin American Studies, and a B.S. in Plant Sciences also from the U of Arizona.
Dr. Durán’s areas of teaching and research include U.S.-Mexican border studies, Latin American women writers, Mexican literature and culture, and Chicana/Chicano-Latina/Latino narrative. He has received several research grants from state and federal agencies to conduct research and implement institutional programs during his career. He is the author of the book José Revueltas. Una poética de la disidencia, published by the Universidad Veracruzana in Mexico, five co-edited books on Cultural Studies, and numerous articles on literary and cultural themes. He has been editorial collaborator and reviewer for journals such as PMLA, Chasqui, Studies in Twentieth Century Literature, Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies, Studies in Latin American Popular Culture, South Eastern Latin Americanist, and La Palabra y el Hombre.
Dr. Durán has taught at Michigan State University, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and has been a Visiting Research Fellow at the Colegio de Sonora in Hermosillo, Mexico, as well as Visiting Teaching Fellow at the Universidad Veracruzana in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. He holds memberships in the Modern Language Association, National Chicano Studies Association, the Latin American Studies Association, and he has also been an advisor to the Brazilian Association of American Studies. He is one of the founding members of the MLA Discussion Group on Mexican Cultural and Literary Studies and he is currently the President of the Association for Borderland Studies, the leading international organization in the study of border issues.
Dr. Durán is currently working on two book length manuscripts dealing with border literature and culture. The first is entitled Border Voices: Memory and Self-Representation in Contemporary U.S.-Mexico Border Writing, and the second Borders, Aliens and Migrants: Citizenship, Human Rights, and the Bionetwork States. He is also investigating and teaching the connections between globalization, transnational identities and the Mexican and Latin American diasporas.
In addition to his administrative and scholarly endeavors, Dr. Duran is a faculty leader. He has participated in numerous college and university committees. Dr. Duran was selected to be in the inaugural class of the UA Academic Leadership Institute. He also chairs the Committee of Eleven, serves in the Faculty Senate, and sits on the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.
Yvonne C. Ervin, CFRE, worked in development for a dozen years in New York City, where she held the top development positions in health, education and social services agencies and was Executive Director of the Candies Foundation. Before moving to NYC, she spent a decade as executive director of the Tucson Jazz Society, which she grew into the largest jazz society in the country and where she produced “Jazz on the Border: The Mingus Project.” After graduating with a degree in journalism from the UA she spent five years as marketing director for the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. She served as secretary of the board of the International Association for Jazz Education for four years and she currently sits on the board of the Santa Cruz Advocates for the Arts and serves as Vice President of the Jazz Journalists Association. Since 1989 she has been the Executive Director of the Western Jazz Presenters Network.
Willie is the Center's website administrator. He received a bachelor's degree in Spanish from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky in 2000 and a master's degree in Spanish from Bowling Green State University in Ohio in 2003. He has spent three months in Ecuador, nine months in Spain and has made several trips to Mexico. He has taught various levels of Spanish for Foreign Language Learners, Spanish for Heritage Learners, and Traditions and Cultures classes at the University of Arizona. Willie has presented work at several conferences such as those of the Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, Latin American Studies Association and Association for Borderlands Studies. He has been a member of the latter organization since 2008 and of the Modern Languages Association since 2009. Willie is currently a Border Studies track Ph.D. candidate working on a dissertation about nativism in the new media and the construction of anti-immigrant "mediascapes" on the Internet.
Rennier is a freshman at the University of Arizona. He is double-majoring in political science with an emphasis on American government and Spanish with an emphasis in translation and interpretation. He is originally from a small town in Sonora, Mexico named Cumpas, but he has been living in Tucson since 2001. He wants to attend law school at UCLA after graduating from the University of Arizona. He loves to play sports, especially soccer and baseball.
Carlo Sebastian Campos-Alvarez was born in Los Mochis Sinaloa Mexico. He and his family came to the United States in 2004 seeking better educational opportunities for the children. He is a senior at the UA College of Fine Arts studying graphic design. He is passionate about various artistic disciplines but focuses on the creation of graphic design as a form of visual communication. Sebastian works as a freelance designer and has worked for The Arizona Daily Wildcat creating digital and printed advertisement and newspaper layouts for press printing. He loves working for organizations that require creating interesting visual voices and hopes to follow a path that will help him continue creating visual identities and designs for brands, organizations and other clients.
Joseph is a freshman at the University of Arizona, and he is majoring in computer science and minoring in Africana studies with a concentration in hip-hop cultures. He is a student/technical assistant at the Confluencenter. He has lived in Tucson all his life, and enjoys messing around with computers, writing goofy songs and poems, and like most people who are into computers, he really likes playing video games.
Tawni is a freshman at the University of Arizona. She is a student assistant at the Confluencenter. She is majoring in Psychology and double minoring in both Theatre and Sociology. After getting her bachelors in Psychology, she is hoping to attend law school. She is from Buckeye, Arizona. She enjoys theater, laughing, and reading books.
Meet the Members of our Faculty Advisory Board
Maribel Alvarez, Ph.D. holds a dual appointment as associate research professor in the English Department and as associate research social scientist at the Southwest Center. She teaches courses on cultural analysis with particular emphasis on folklore, visual culture of the Southwest, objects and material culture, oral narratives, and the distinctive cultures and history of the U.S.-Mexico border. Together with renowned UA ethnobotanist Gary Nabhan she co-directs Sabores Sin Fronteras, a bi-national alliance of farmers, ranchers, cooks, and food writers. In 2009-10, Maribel was a Fulbright Fellow conducting research in Sonora, Mexico on the importance of wheat as economic and symbolic crop in the formation of a regional identity. She is a trustee of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and program director of the iconic folklife festival, Tucson Meet Yourself.
An anthropologist with a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, Anne H. Betteridge is director of the UA Center for Middle Eastern Studies and a faculty member in the UA School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies. Her research interests focus on Iranian culture, and women and ritual in particular. She conducted fieldwork and lived in Iran from late 1974 until early 1979, and has made three visits to Iran since that time. At the UA, Anne teaches courses related to ethnography of the Middle East, the study of Middle Eastern women, and Iranian culture and society. She is currently co-chair of the Council of Directors of Title VI of National Resource Centers; a member of the Academic Steering Committee of the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies, Tufts University; and on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Persianate Studies. She served as executive director of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) from 1990-2002.
Peter Beudert is a professor of scenic design in the School of Theatre, Film and Television. A two-time recipient of Fulbright Fellowships to France, he was awarded the title of University Distinguished Professor in 2011 and is also a recipient of the Charles and Irene Putnam Award for Excellence in Teaching. A professional scenic designer, Peter has designed scenery, projections and lighting for many notable productions at the UA’s Repertory Theatre including As You Like It, Dracula, Urinetown, The Who’s Tommy!, The Kentucky Cycle, The Cider House Rules and many more. Peter has designed professionally for theatres around the country including New York, Chicago, Detroit and the Tucson-Phoenix area. He has developed an interdisciplinary partnership with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering to explore technology in the entertainment industry, creating industry partnerships with Cirque du Soleil and Fisher Technical Services in Las Vegas.
Jackson Boelts is a professor of art in the College of Fine Arts. He has been an educator, designer and artist for more than 30 years, and he has won over 500 awards for his work as an artist and designer. He has exhibited in Moscow, Mexico City, Berlin, Warszawa and numerous places nationally. Jackson is a master at landscape watercolor and is currently working on large watercolor/digital prints and DNA inspired monoprints. His business, Boelts Design, Inc., specializes in branding and identity and was given the Inaugural Copper Cactus Award for “Best Place to Work” and for “Community Service” for the pro bono design work he gives to local non-profits. The Tucson Advertising Club has recognized his work over the years with numerous top awards including 2003 Advertising Professional of the Year. Jackson’s love and mastery of teaching is evident in his network of thousands of accomplished graduates.
Alison Hawthorne Deming is professor in creative writing and serves as chairperson of the board of directors for Orion magazine. She was the director of the UA Poetry Center from 1990 to 2000. Alison received an MFA from Vermont College (1983), a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University (1987-88) and two poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1990, 1995). A poet and essayist, she is the author of eight books, including Science and Other Poems (LSU Press, 1994), Genius Loci (Penguin, 2005), and Writing the Sacred into the Real (Milkweed, 2001). Her book published in 2009, a collection of poems entitled Rope, follows the paths of imagination into meditations on salt, love, Hurricane Katrina, Greek myth and the search for extraterrestrial life.Her newest work is The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity, and the Natural World. Deming has received many awards for her writing, including a Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets, a Pushcart Prize and a Fine Arts Work Center fellowship.
Paula Fan, D.M.A. is the first Regents' Professor from the College of Fine Arts. She teaches piano and coaches vocal and instrumental chamber repertoire and offers a course on the history and development of Art Song, which has been the catalyst for her series of “Time Travelers Concerts,” in which guest artists and faculty members appear as historical figures who both converse and perform. Paula has recorded 19 albums and has broadcast for the BBC, National Public Radio, Radio Television China and other international networks. She has coached and accompanied singers from the world's great opera houses, and, as a specialist in wind chamber music, has performed with leading clarinetists at international festivals. She is passionate about bridging the gap between the scientific and musical worlds and is a founding member of Solar Storytellers, a solar powered piano trio, and she has produced four “Music of the Sphere” events at Biosphere 2.
K. Tsianina Lomawaima, (Muskogee Nation) Ph.D. is professor of American Indian studies. Her book, They Called it Prairie Light: The Story of Chilocco Indian School, received the 1995 American Educational Association's Critics' Choice Award and three other honors. Her most recent book, To Remain an Indian: Lessons in Democracy from a Century of Native American Education, co-authored with Teresa McCarty, received the 2007 Outstanding Book Award from the American Educational Research Association. Tsianina teaches a number of graduate courses including Dynamics of Indian Society, Interdisciplinary Research: Theory and Methods, and College Teaching Methods. She developed History of Indian Education and provided leadership for the development of Many Nations of Native America, a general education course for freshmen. Tsianina is a member of various professional associations in education, anthropology, history and ethnohistory. A past president of the American Society for Ethnohistory, she is 2012-13 president of the Native American & Indigenous Studies Association, an international scholarly association she helped found. Her ongoing research projects include the research survey team who produced the 1928 Meriam Report.
Ken S. McAllister, Ph.D. is professor and director of the graduate program in Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English (RCTE), where he studies the history of technology, computer culture (hacking, phreaking, breaking, and virus writing) and computer games. In 1999, he co-founded and continues to co-direct the Learning Games Initiative (LGI), an international trans-disciplinary organization that studies, teaches with, and builds computer games. Ken also co-curates the LGI Archive, one of the world's largest working research archives devoted to game studies with 10,000+ games from around the world, more than 100 working game systems representing the half-century long history of computer games, and an uncountable number of game related items, from the latest scholarly monographs to obscure Pac-Man tumblers from the 1980s. He has lectured, published and taught extensively on the rhetorics of new media, game industry labor practices and digital aesthetics.
J.C. Mutchler, Ph.D. is an associate research historian and associate research professor with the Southwest Center. His Ph.D. and M.A. in American Studies are from Yale and he holds graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of New Mexico. In addition to being in the inaugural class of both the Flinn Foundation’s Civic Leadership Academy and the UA’s Academic Leadership Academy, J.C. sits on the UA President’s Cabinet and Faculty Senate Executive Committee, chairs the UA’s Strategic Planning and Budget Advisory Committee, and is secretary of the UA Faculty. J.C.’s research focuses on ranching history, land use and cowboy culture and he has lectured in venues ranging from the Smithsonian Museum to the Autry Center for the West. He and his wife, Lissa Howe, make award-winning goat cheese on their ranch on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Thomas Sheridan, Ph.D. is research anthropologist at the Southwest Center and professor in the department of anthropology. He has conducted ethnographic and ethnohistoric research in the Southwest and in northern Mexico since 1971. He was director of the Office of Ethnohistorical Research at the Arizona State Museum from 1997 to 2003. Tom has published 12 books and numerous articles, including a revised edition of Arizona: A History (UA Press, 2012). His current projects include: Moquis and Kastiilam: The Hopi History Project, which combines Spanish colonial written accounts of the "Moquis," as the Hopis were called, with Hopi oral traditions about the Kastiilam, the Hopi word for Spaniards. He is also co-editing a volume entitled Stitching the West Back Together: Collaborative Conservation and Working Landscapes in the American West. Tom has been deeply involved in Pima County's visionary Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, serving as Chair of the Ranch Conservation Task Force, the Canoa Ranch Advisory Committee and the Conservation Acquisition Commission. He is a member of the Board of the Altar Valley Conservation Alliance as well.
Linda R. Waugh, Ph.D. is a professor in the departments of French & Italian, and English, and an affiliate of Anthropology, Linguistics, and Language, Reading and Culture. She chaired the Graduate Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT) from 2002 to 2010 and is a founder and co-director of the federally-funded Language Resource Center, Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language and Literacy (CERCLL). She was the winner of the Excellence in International Education Award in 2008, and in December 2010, she was the featured faculty member at the Board of Regent’s UA meeting. Her Ph.D. is in linguistics from Indiana University and she taught at Cornell University from 1971 to 2000. Lin is a French linguist, a general linguist, a discourse analyst, and a semiotician. In addition to more than 60 articles and chapters, she has authored, co-authored, and co-edited 12 books and monographs.
Stacie G. Widdifield, Ph.D. teaches modern and colonial Mexican art and holds her doctorate in art history from UCLA. Her previous research projects have focused on history, gender, nationalism and institutions in 19th and early 20th century Mexico. She co-edited a volume of essays titled Buen Gusto and Classicism in Late 18th and 19th Century Latin American Art to which she has also contributed an article. She recently published “Art and Modernity in Porfirian Mexico: Julia Escalante's Graziella and the Lechero” in Bulletin of Latin American Research and “Under Lock and Key: The Making of Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez in 19th Century Mexico” in: Miradas Disidentes: Géneros y Sexos en la historia del arte. Previous publications include the edited volume La Amplitud del Modernismo y la Modernidad, her monograph The Embodiment of the National in Late 19th Century Mexican Painting, as well as multiple articles on 19th century Mexican art.