In Honor of Horacio N. Roque Ramírez, Part 3: That's His Place! Horacio N. Roque Ramírez and Queer Latina/o/x Histories

AHA Session 141
Oral History Association 3
Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History 5
Friday, January 6, 2017: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Mile High Ballroom 1A (Colorado Convention Center, Ballroom Level)
Emily K. Hobson, University of Nevada at Reno
Julio Capó Jr., University of Massachusetts Amherst
Anahi Russo Garrido, Metropolitan State University of Denver
David Hernández, Mount Holyoke College
Ana Minian, Stanford University
Emily K. Hobson, University of Nevada at Reno

Session Abstract

Horacio N. Roque Ramírez (1969-2015) was a scholar of many fields, including migration studies, histories of social movements, Chicana/o and critical ethnic studies, Salvadoran and Central American history, and oral history. He brought insights from all these fields into the area of scholarship that centered his career and for which he became best known: histories of queer Latina/o/x communities and belonging. This roundtable honors Horacio’s life, work, and recent passing by analyzing his contributions to queer Latina/o/x history. It stands as one of three roundtables on Roque Ramírez being proposed for the AHA 2017, all of which are co-sponsored by the Committee on LGBT History and the Oral History Association. (The other two roundtables focus on Horacio’s overall contributions as a colleague, mentor, and scholar, and his contributions to oral history practice, respectively.)

Our discussion will center on three key themes: the significance of his work for studies of queer migration and state regulation; his insights into community history methods; and his mentorship of Latina/o queer scholars. Our title, “That’s His Place!”, adapts the title of Horacio’s 2003 essay on the Gay Latino Alliance (GALA), an organization whose history in the San Francisco Bay Area during the 1970s and 1980s encapsulated many of the most pressing concerns of his career: the necessity of community narratives, the experiences of “sexiles” from sites of origin, the transnational circulation of liberation politics, and the dilemmas of writing histories amidst both life and death. “That’s His Place!” also underscores our grief over Horacio’s interrupted life and our desire to carry his insights forward. In 2010 Horacio stated poignantly, “Yes, I do want to remain as alive and healthy as I can” (“Gay Latino Histories/Dying to Be Remembered”). We honor this wish by recalling the vitality of his contributions to queer/LGBT history, Latina/o history, and these histories’ intertwined ties.

Our first two speakers, David Hernández and Julio Capó, Jr., will address Horacio’s contributions to studies of queer migration and state regulation and will analyze the significance of these topics to understanding and researching queer Latina/o/x histories. Our second two speakers, Ana Raquel Minian and Anahi Russo Garrido, will examine how Horacio’s work advanced queer Latina/o/x community histories, looking especially to his insights into oral history methods, the embodied nature of community narratives, and the layered meanings of “place” in his work. The roundtable as a whole will also consider Horacio’s contributions to mentoring queer Latina/o scholars. Emily K. Hobson, whose work on lesbian and gay involvement in the Central American solidarity movement draws centrally on Horacio’s research in queer Latina/o/x and AIDS histories, will moderate the discussion.