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Academic Affairs

Scholars' Symposium Keynote Speakers

Dr. Yolanda Broyles-Gonzalez

photo of Dr. Yolanda Broyles-Gonzalez

Professor, Mexican American/Raza Studies • University of Arizona

Dr. Yolanda Broyles-González is Professor in the Department of Mexican American & Raza Studies at the University of Arizona. Until fall 2004 she was Professor of Chicano Studies and German Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She studied at four German universities and was among the first women of color to receive a doctorate degree from Stanford University. As an undergraduate she attended the University of Arizona and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. She is a native of the Arizona/Sonora desert and is rooted in the Yaqui-Mexican culture.

The many firsts in Dr. Yolanda Broyles-González's career have helped blaze trails for women, both academically and in the women's rights arena. She was the first indigenous woman to receive a doctorate in German Studies and later became the first woman of color to be tenured at the University of California, Santa Barbara (1985). In 1991 she became the first native Chicana woman to chair an academic department within the University of California system and was among the first native women in the nation to be promoted to full professor at a major research university. Under her leadership the very first proposal for the Chicano/a Studies doctorate degree in the nation was created.

In 1996 Dr. Broyles-González was honored with the lifetime Distinguished Scholar Award from the National Association for Chicana & Chicano Studies. The award recognizes Professor Broyles-González's "multiple and invaluable scholarly contributions and her advocacy for the Chicana/o Studies discipline." Other distinguished national and international awards have come from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, and the German Academic Exchange Service, which funded her research in Germany for five years.

The focal points of her research and teaching are popular culture, gender, oral tradition, Native American culture, and the popular performance genres of the US-Mexico borderlands, of which she is a native. Among her most recent publications is the first academic study of the legendary singer and National Medal of Arts recipient Lydia Mendoza, entitled Lydia Mendoza's Life in Music/La Historia de Lydia Mendoza. Norteño Tejano legacies (published by Oxford University Press, bilingually and with a CD, 2001). Broyles-González also published a comprehensive Raza women's anthology entitled Re-emerging Native Women of the Americas. Native Chicana Latina Women's Studies (Kendall Hunt Publishers, 2001).

Broyles-González has made many contributions to the field of performance studies. Her landmark book El Teatro Campesino: Theater in the Chicano Movement (University of Texas Press), helped lay the foundation for the study of women and performance and it has become required reading at many universities across the country. It is the only book-length study of a Chicana/o performance ensemble.

In 1996 Professor Broyles-González made national news by legally challenging the unequal payment of women and minority professors within the University of California system. In 1998 President Clinton honored her at a White House ceremony marking women's struggles for equal pay.

Broyles-González first book, The German Response to Latin American Literature, was published in Germany. During her ten years of research/study in Germany, Professor Broyles-González also pioneered in bringing Chicano/a literature (and an interest in Chicana/o Studies) to a European readership. She was the first to translate a Chicano novel into the German language (published by Germany's premiere literary publishers, Suhrkamp Verlag).

Dr. Yolanda Broyles-González has also been active in journalism, writing for the San Antonio Light and the Los Angeles Times. She has also gained distinction as a teacher and community activist. In 1994 she was selected as one of "Ten Terrific Teachers" at the University of California Santa Barbara; in 1997 she received an award as Outstanding Faculty Member at UCSB "for her dedication and contributions to the education of UCSB students."

Broyles-González is interested in educational issues and she has volunteered in public schools. In 1994 she piloted the first Chicano Studies course ever taught at a Santa Barbara high school (San Marcos High School). In 1994 she also received an award for Ten Years of Distinguished Service to the Community from a coalition of Santa Barbara community organizations.

Dr. Yolanda Broyles-González is married to Mexican harp player Francisco González. They have two children: Esmeralda Guadalupe Broyles-González (18) and Francisco Broyles-González (23).


Uros Petrovic

photo of Uros Petrovic

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Sociology • University of Kansas

Uros Petrovic, originally from the former Yugoslavia, spent almost three years in the besieged city of Sarajevo during the genocide in the 1990's. He worked for the International Rescue Committee as a driver and legal advisor. As conditions worsened, he escaped to the United States with his wife, resettling in San Francisco as refugees.

Uros holds a law degree from the University of Sarajevo in the former Yugoslavia. He published, "Principles of Multiculturalism in Multiethnic Societies" in the Journal for Social Questions and "Disharmony of Spheres," in the Cultural Connections Quarterly. He conducts anti-discriminatory workshops throughout the United States. He also is ABD at the University of Kansas-Lawrence.


Lise Pelletier

photo of Lise Pelletier

Director, Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes • University of Maine at Fort Kent

Lise Pelletier was born in Fort Kent and raised across the international river in Clair, New Brunswick. A proud Franco-American, Pelletier is passionate about the French language and the rich cultural heritage of the St. John Valley. The concept of identity is at the heart of her research into Acadian literature and society.

Lise Pelletier graduated from the Université de Moncton's Edmundston campus in 1993 with a double major in English and French literatures. She taught French at the Fort Kent Community High School for five years. As the recipient of a FLAS award from the Canadian-American Center of the University of Maine, she completed a Master's degree in French (2003) and completed her doctoral coursework in Acadian Literature (2007). She has been teaching French language and literature courses at UMFK and UMCE for the last 15 years. Pelletier lectures on the history, literature, and renaissance of the Acadian people; the history of the St. John Valley, and the history of Franco-Americans of Maine. She is on the international organizing committee of the 2014 World Acadian Congress.