About

Welcome to Café Americano. Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I love coffee and, more importantly, coffee houses. I have a favorite café here, in the midwest, where I now live. (I never thought I’d end up on the plains or with an annual winter. But, ah, el destino!) I go to the café whenever I can to sip, chat, argue, and observe.

So, why “café americano”?

‘Cause coffee houses are great places to talk about anything–the challenging, the mundane, the intimate, the public.

‘Cause café translates to ‘brown’ and, following Richard Rodriguez, I want to take on brown as a metaphor that starts in lo Latino–and in my particular mix of Mexican and American–but then also moves into considering and dismantling reified American identity politics.

‘Cause Americano, in Spanish, suggests the hemispheric claims of that label. América is big, people!

‘Cause café americano means one thing in the U.S. (a shot of espresso with hot water) and another in Mexico (brewed, weak coffee). Language crosses borders but it shifts along the way.

Café Americano, then, will be my place to talk about my thoughts across borders, languages, identities, colors, media, genres.

Who am I? A college professor at a small liberal arts college in the Midwest. So I’m a teacher and a learner, primarily in the fields of U.S. Latino literature, poetry, and U.S. Latino studies. I’m also a music lover and a film freak and a closet scientist and technogeek. I have a teenage son who makes me laugh and a job that drives me. In whatever spare time I have, I like to run. Far.

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