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“We all carry, inside us, people who came before us.” – Liam Callanan, Writer
Each of carry within us a memory, a poignant story of a member of our family: mother, grandmother, father, aunt, sister and/or brother. It’s that nagging story or moment in time that won’t let you go. These moments are crying out to be written, recorded and told. Don’t let the story slip into a place of forgetting.
Genetic research has proven that we carry the memories and trauma of our ancestors within our gene sequences. In other words, each of carry within us an ancestral remembering. Cristina D. Ramirez defines ancestral remembering as an ungraspable knowing of who we are in relation to our ancestral past. Writing about our family’s history and family life stories helps us to grasp or tap into the roots of who we are and where we come from. Ironically, these stories can also give us direction in where we are going.
In this family history writing workshop, Ramírez will present her own writing project about her maternal grandmother, Ramona González, who was a published writer in an influential Chicano literary journal in the 1970s, and who wrote the stories of her childhood home – a border barrio in El Paso, Texas. Bridging her own research with the writing workshop, Ramírez will guide workshop attendees in:
Ramírez is an Associate Professor of English in Rhetoric and Composition and the Teaching of English at the University of Arizona. She is a twenty-four year veteran writing teacher, having taught in Texas public schools to university and graduate level classes. Ramírez identifies as a bilingual (Spanish/English) feminist rhetorical recovery scholar, specializing in the recovery of women’s hidden voices. In spring 2017, she received the UA Social Behavioral Sciences Research Fellow award for the family history project she will be presenting in this workshop. Her second and latest book, Mestiza Rhetorics: An Anthology of Mexicana Activism in the Spanish Language Press, 1870-1922, is forthcoming in September 2019 from Southern Illinois University Press.
Writing level: Novice – Intermediate Writers
Bring to the workshop: Pictures, recipes, journals, newspaper clippings, any family item(s)
University of Arizona Museum of Art & Archive of Visual Arts
1031 North Olive Road
Tucson, AZ 85721-0002