Jennifer Carolina Gómez Menjívar received her Ph.D. in Latin American Cultural Studies from The Ohio State University in 2011. She is currently Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Her research focuses on racial discourses and ethno-linguistic borders in Central America, with particular attention to the Mayan and Afro-descendant communities in the isthmus. She has an active research agenda, with articles in the Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages, Chasqui, Diálogo, Alter/nativas and A contracorriente, and forthcoming publications in Transmodernity, Applied Linguistics and Proceedings from the 52nd Chicago Linguistic Society. Her book, Tropical Tongues: Language Ideologies, Endangerment and Minority Languages in Belize, is under review at UNC Press. Her next book project, an edited volume tentatively titled Indigenous Interfaces: Spaces, Social Networks & Indigenous Identities in Latin America, is in progress.

Candidate statement:

I am honored and humbled to stand for election to the NAISA Nominations Committee. I have been a member of NAISA since 2012 when my mentor, Jill Doerfler, invited me to attend my first conference on Mohegan Territory. At that meeting, I made connections with scholars at both stretches of Abya Yala and beyond. I fell in love with NAISA’s commitment to representing the global reach of Indigenous experience, its dedication to preserving Indigenous knowledges and its inspiring vision for this to be a place where fresh comparative and collaborative research ventures in Native American and Indigenous studies can take place. 

I am passionate about the role of this organization as a professional network of scholars across disciplines, and I hope to bring my knowledge of new directions in literature, cultural studies, ethnic studies, media studies, gender studies, language revitalization and endangerment, among others, to the table. If elected, it would be a great privilege to work with colleagues as we follow the NAISA Constitution to assemble lists of candidates who will fill the important leadership positions in our organization while representing the geographic and interdisciplinary breadth of our membership. Thank you—in all the tones and registers of our elders and ancestors.