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Guillermo de los Reyes Heredia
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Guillermo de los Reyes Heredia is Associate Professor of Latin American Cultural Studies, and Associate Director of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, at the University of Houston.

Education and Accomplishments: MA, PhD in Folklore and Folklife, University of Pennsylvania (2004; 1999); MA & BA in International Relations, Universidad de las Américas-Puebla (1997; 1994). Service to AFS: Convener for the Chicana/o Section 2001-02; Convener for the Folklore Latino, Latinoamericano y Caribeño section 2002-03; Diversity Task Force, 2004-2009. Service to other learned societies: President-Phi Beta Delta: Honor Society for International Scholars (2013-2016); Track-Chair for the LGBT and Sexualities program track, Latin American Studies Association (LASA) 2012-13; Chair, Sexualities Section, LASA, 2013-2014; Life Member of LASA, Board member, American Culture Association, 2003-2006.  Publications include: Herencias secretas: Masonería, política y sociedad en México (Secret Heritage: Freemasonry, Politics and Society in Mexico). BUAP, 2009; Special Editor: United States-Mexican Interaction: Shifting Cultures and Identities, American Behavioral Scientist 40 (2007), co-edited with Paul Rich; and several articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries including Clement’s Encyclopedia of World Folklore and Folklife and Bronner’s Encyclopedia of American Folklife. Awards include: Michael Lynch Service Award, Gay and Lesbian/Queer caucus Modern Language Association, (2014); Bi-centennial Commemorative Medal—Mexican Senate, Mexican Government (2009); National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, University of Maryland 2006; Provost‘s Core Teaching Excellence Award, University of Houston (2006).

Question: What is the greatest challenge or opportunity facing the field of folklore studies and how, as an Executive Board member, would you respond to it?

Response: I joined AFS in 1998, when I joined the graduate program at Penn.  I still remember a breakfast organized by then-AFS President John Roberts for minority scholars, whose words and guidance still resonate in my mind. I strongly believe that providing space and a voice to people who haven’t had the opportunity to speak is paramount in our field, the same way I was given a voice back in 1998. In addition, interaction with young folklorists is extremely important to keeping us alive and aware of the changes in our discipline and world. In my current position, I have made folklore and expressive culture part of my department through classes on Hispanic and Latin American folklore and women’s folklore in the Americas. In addition, my current fieldwork project on masculinities in the Mexican diaspora in Houston has facilitated my connections with the Mexican migrant and immigrant community and grassroots organizations in Houston. I will also draw on my work as an associate director for the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program. I have also learned immensely from my experiences as an organizer of various folklore platforms, and from developing service learning projects that reflect folklore’s unique approach to community-based research.  If elected, I will use my position to expand networks for established undergraduate and graduate programs and to increase folklore offerings at state universities. AFS is well established in the United States, but it needs to develop official connections and collaborations with its counterparts around the world, and to establish a dialog across borders. I have connections in Latin America, Europe and Asia, and will continue promoting diversity in our society in all the intersections of our society: gender, sexuality, ethnicity, age, ability, and class, among others. We need to be diverse in all the senses of the word. 


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