Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage: University of Houston Hosts 25th Anniversary Conference

Houston, TX—Scholars from around the world convened at the University of Houston in Houston, TX, February 9-11, 2017, to explore the history and literature of Latinos/as at the 25th Anniversary Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Conference.

The XIV Recovery Conference theme, Writing/Righting History, featured scholars sharing examples of the cultural legacy they are recovering, preserving and making available in order to write/right American culture and that of the Hispanic world whose peoples immigrated to the United States over the past centuries. Sessions included “Chicana Feminism: Looking through the Archives,” “Latinos and World War II” and “Mapping Violence: Possibilities and Limits of Digital Projects for Reckoning with Histories of Anti-Mexican Violence.”

In conjunction with the Recovery Conference, a special symposium on Texas Hispanic history took place on Saturday, February 11, free to the public.

Conference attendees and local sponsors were treated to presentations by University of Houston-Downtown Interim President and William B. Bates Distinguished Chair of Law at the University of Houston Law Center, Dr. Michael A. Olivas, and actress Olivia Negrón at a special fundraising dinner that took place February 10, 2017, at the University of Houston Hilton Hotel.

MICHAEL A. OLIVAS, the William B. Bates Distinguished Chair of Law at the University of Houston Law Center, is completing his tenure as the interim president of the University of Houston-Downtown. He is the author or co-author of fifteen books, including “Colored Men” and “Hombres Aqui”: Hernandez v. Texas and the Emergence of Mexican American Lawyering (Arte Público, 2006), No Undocumented Child Left Behind (New York University Press, 2012), and The Law and Higher Education (4th ed., Carolina Academic Press, 2015). He is the editor of In Defense of My People: Alonso S. Perales and the Development of Mexican-American Public Intellectuals (Arte Público, 2013). He served as the president of the Association of American Law Schools in 2011 and is a trustee of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).

OLIVIA NEGRÓN is an actress and writer, known for her work on stage and TV. She performed on Broadway in Cuba and His Teddy Bear, with Robert De Niro, and Serious Money, with Alec Baldwin and Kate Nelligan. She has appeared on numerous television shows, including Devious Maids, Law & Order, Without a Trace, The Rock and 21 Jump Street.
The Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Conference is sponsored in part by the Houston Arts Alliance, Humanities Texas, Rice University, The University of Houston-Downtown and the University of Houston through the Hispanic Studies Department and Global Strategies and Studies.

is a comprehensive University of Houston program to reconstitute the literary and historical legacy of Hispanics in the United States from colonial times to 1960. As a result of this project, hundreds of thousands of essays, autobiographies, historical and journalistic writings, novels, diaries and letters are being integrated into textbooks and curriculum from K-12 as well as graduate programs. Project organizers foresee the impact of this effort as reforming education and culture to more appropriately reflect Hispanic contributions.

is the nation’s largest and most established publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by U.S. Hispanic authors. Its imprint for children and young adults, Piñata Books, is dedicated to the realistic and authentic portrayal of the themes, languages, characters, and customs of Hispanic culture in the United States. Based at the University of Houston, Arte Público Press, Piñata Books and the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage project provide the most widely recognized and extensive showcase for Hispanic literary arts and creativity. For more information, please visit