WGST and Latin American Studies major Kassandra Colón will be presenting at the “You Are Here” conference hosted at Creighton University, March 23-25th. In this vastly changing sociopolitical climate, the conference is structured around ideas of spatial theory and place. The conference aims to examine political and economic boundaries of space and their intersections. Space is being contested and reorganized, often leaving some to question their position in the world and begin a search for their own space, not finding that space where they previously had.
Colon’s research, tentatively titled “La Negra Tiene Tumbao: Multimodal Resistance Strategies of Afro-Latinxs and Other Queer Constructions”, analyzes the relationship between the Afro Diaspora and how this correlates to sound in Latin American communities. She also analyzes these theories of sound by applying a theory of queerness, examining what sound and music can do for queer and people of color. She examines the personal relationship with sound and how this often is tied to identity and connection to culture.
Her inspiration for this research is a personal one. Living in South Florida, Colón was used to a strong Latina culture; moving to Morgantown was a big adjustment. “People around campus didn't look like me, so that's when I decided I'd try and grasp for parts of my culture that were portable. Whether that was music, food, language, braids in my hair, movies, I grabbed for mechanisms that helped me survive in the very hard space that is Morgantown. Using these mechanisms, I was able to not only survive, but became aware of its connection to my heritage, the connection to my African ancestry.” Colón says.
Colón hopes her work will be more than just the presentation at the conference; she aims to use her research as a daily reminder to interact with other Latinos on campus and to analyze and examine their experiences with connecting their culture through music and sound. She hopes student organizations like Culturas can help bring diversity and encourage curiosity for other cultures here in Morgantown.