UPDATED: April Is for Authors at UC Davis

Updated April 7 with an additional listing, Death’s Futurity, April 20; and more information on Continentes, Intercambios e Hibridaciones (in English, Continents, Exchanges and Hybridizations), April 21.

Salvador Plascencia, author of The People of Paper (2006), is the next guest in the Creative Writing Series, 4:30 p.m. Wednesday (April 5), in person 205 Shields Library.

"The People of Paper" book cover

Named a best book of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times and Financial Times, The People of Paper has been translated into a dozen languages and widely anthologized and adopted in Chicanista, postmodern and design courses throughout the country.

Plascencia is an assistant professor of creative writing at Harvey Mudd College.

He is among a number of authors participating in book talks and readings at UC Davis in April, in person and-or virtually.

  • "Unmaking the Bomb" book cover
    Unmaking the Bomb: Environmental Cleanup and the Politics of Impossibility
  • University of California Press (October 2023)
  • By Shannon Cram, assistant professor, Science and Technology Studies, University of Washington Bothell
  • WHAT: Book talk sponsored by the Cultural Studies Graduate Group and the Critical Militarization, Policing and Security Studies Research Cluster, with funding from the UC Davis Humanities Institute
  • WHEN: 4-6 p.m. Thursday, April 6, in person and remote
  • WHERE: 3201 Hart Hall and Zoom

  • "Constructing a Nervous System" book cover
    Constructing a Nervous System
  • Penguin Random House (paperback April 2023)
  • By Margo Jefferson
  • WHAT: The author will give a reading from her latest memoir, Constructing a Nervous System, and have a conversation with Zinzi Clemmons, assistant professor of English. Followed by a question-and-answer session.
  • WHEN: 4:30-5:30 p.m. Monday, April 10, remote
  • WHERE: Zoom only
  • OTHER INFORMATION: Organized by the Department of English and Creative Writing Program, and co-sponsored by the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum and the Department of African and African-American Studies
  • For more information: Contact Zinzi Clemmons by email.

Jefferson, a professor of writing at the Columbia University School of the Arts, received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography in 2016 for her memoir Negroland and is also the author of On Michael Jackson (2006). She received the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1995 for her work for The New York Times.

  • "Guayacan" book cover
  • Ishmael Reed Publishing (2022)
  • By Victor Hernández Cruz, Puerto Rico-born, Nuyorican-raised and Morocco-based poet
  • WHAT: Book release party and reading, presented as an Imagining America Happening
  • WHEN: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, April 11, in person
  • WHERE: International House, 10 College Park, Davis
  • RSVP
  • OTHER INFORMATION: Co-sponsored by the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, Office of Public Scholarship and Engagement, and Global Affairs
  • For more information: srmaroney@ucdavis.edu

This event celebrates Cruz’s new book, a botanical historical search for the trees that once lined his Puerto Rican horizon and the music that shaped his life. The poems travel across languages, sounds and perceptions; they escape ethnic confinement into the possibilities of international cultural fusion across the Caribbean and Mediterranean seas. Cruz will be introduced by long-time family friends, author and educator Herb Kohl and his daughter Erica Kohl-Arenas of UC Davis-based Imagining America.

Zepeda will discuss her first book in two campus book talks one month apart:

  • WHAT: The author in conversation with Gina Aparicio, visual artist and art professor, Sierra College. Sponsored by the UC Davis Humanities Institute.
  • WHEN: 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, in person (wine and cheese reception, 5:30 p.m.; book talk, 6 p.m.)
  • WHERE: International House, 10 College Park, Davis


  • WHAT: Book talk sponsored by the Hemispheric Institute on the Americas
  • WHEN: Noon-1:30 p.m., Friday, May 12, in person
  • WHERE: 2203 Social Sciences and Humanities Building (Andrews Conference Room)
  • OTHER INFORMATION: Lunch provided for participants.

From the publisher’s description: “Zepeda highlights the often overlooked yet intertwined legacies of Chicana feminisms and queer decolonial theory through the work of select queer Indígena cultural producers and thinkers. By tracing the ancestries and silences of gender-nonconforming people of color, she addresses colonial forms of epistemic violence and methods of transformation, in particular spirit research.

From the publisher: “In Death’s Futurity, Sampada Aranke examines the importance of representations of death to Black liberation. Aranke analyzes posters, photographs, journalism and films that focus on the murders of Black Panther Party members Lil’ Bobby Hutton, Fred Hampton, and George Jackson to construct a visual history of the 1960s and 1970s Black Power era. ... By foregrounding the photographed, collaged, filmed and drawn Black body, Aranke demonstrates that corporeality and corpses are crucial to the efforts to shape visions of a Black future free from white supremacy.”

Alejandro Tortolero Villaseñor headshot, UC Davis fellow, and "Continentes, Intercambios e Hibridaciones"


The Hemispheric Institute on the Americas’ Book Talk Series announced a program with Alejandro Tortolero Villaseñor, professor of history and philosophy, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Iztapalapa, México; and a visiting fellow at the HIA. His research focuses on agrarian history and the economic history of natural resources in México, especially water.

He will be discussing a forthcoming volume for which he served as co-editor, Continentes, Intercambios e Hibridaciones: Transferencias Técnicas y Culturales en la Historia Rural Entre Europa y América (Siglos XVI al XX), published by La Editorial Unimagdalena and El Colegio de Michoacán.

The book title translated to English is Continents, Exchanges and Hybridizations: Technological and Cultural Transfers in Agrarian History Between America and Europe (16th to 20th Centuries).

The program is scheduled from 12:10 to 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, in 2203 Social Sciences and Humanities Building (Andrews Conference Room). Lunch will be provided for participants.

The UC Davis Books Blog, a project of News and Media Relations, announces newly published books by faculty and staff authors, and awards and events related to books by faculty and staff authors. Contact the books blog by email.

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Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556, dateline@ucdavis.edu; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932, kitaura@ucdavis.edu.

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