Winton Chair in the Liberal Arts

The Winton Chair in the Liberal Arts was established in October 1987 to encourage “innovative, distinctive research in the liberal arts” with the special directive that the chair be held by individuals whose research or creative work “questions established patterns of thought.”

The benefactors, David Michael Winton and Penny Rand Winton, expressed interest in supporting individuals whose work challenges cultural paradigms and represents important breaks from dominant patterns of thought.

Upcoming dates and events​

  • March 27-31: Kyla Wazana Tompkins, "Thinking Food: Justice, Boundaries & Borders," Winton Cornerstone Event

Over a series of events, Professor Kyla Wazana Tompkins (Associate Professor of English and Gender Studies, Pomona College) will engage with members of the University and Twin Cities communities around questions of food, its meaning and the boundaries constructed around it, and the politics that maintain these separations.

3pm, Monday, March 27: "On the Gelatinous: Texture, Viscosity, History"
Heller 1210reception to follow

12pm, Thursday, March 30: "The Future of Food Studies"
​Campus Club, Coffman Unionregistration required at http://z.umn.edu/ThinkingFoodCornerstone

3:30pm, Thursday, March 30: "Deformalism: Fermentation, Abstraction, and the Affective Organization of Carcerality​" (an IAS Thursdays Presentation)
Northrup Auditorium, Crosby Seminar Room

  • April 5-7: George E. Lewis, Winton Cornerstone Event

Current Winton Chair

Sandra K. Soto
Hosts: Departments of American Studies and Chicano & Latino Studies

Portrait: Sandra Soto

Sandra K. Soto is associate professor of gender and women’s studies at the University of Arizona, editor of Feminist Formations, and co‐editor of The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latino Literature. She holds a PhD in English, with a focus in ethnic and third world Literature, from the University of Texas at Austin. Her interdisciplinary research and teaching interests are in Chicana/o and Latina/o literary and cultural studies, feminist theory, gender studies, and queer theory.

Her book, Reading Chican@ Like a Queer: The De‐Mastery of Desire (2010), replaces the race‐based oppositional paradigm of Chicano literary studies with a less didactic, more flexible, framework geared for a queer analysis of the discursive relationship between racialization and sexuality. She is currently working on a book tentatively titled Feeling Greater Mexico, which mobilizes queer theories of affect to pursue unlikely connections between critical transnational studies and US ethnic studies. She also writes about the politics of Arizona, and in 2010, she and co‐author Miranda Joseph received the NEA Excellence in the Academy Award in Democracy in Higher Education for their essay “Neoliberalism and the Battle over Ethnic Studies in Arizona.” At the University of Arizona, she is an affiliate of English, the Center for Latin American Studies, and the Mexican American Studies and Research Center. 

Soto will be teaching two courses as a Winton Chair in residence. This spring she is teaching Chicanas and Chicanos in Contemporary Society, an interdisciplinary upper‐division undergraduate course that she runs seminar style in order to give the students a graduate‐school experience. In fall 2016, Professor Soto will lead a graduate seminar on Queer of Color Critique. Offered through the Department of American Studies, this seminar/salon will be a hybrid of closed classroom discussions and open reading‐group meetings. Every other week, this class will meet jointly with a faculty reading group convened on the same topic; these salons are designed to expand the conversation, multiply its possible directions, and enhance graduate/ faculty exchange and mentorship on campus.

In the same spirit, during spring and fall Soto will be conducting a series of workshops and roundtables on the topic of academic publishing, specifically geared toward graduate students and junior faculty. She will also host a Feminist Formations symposium on campus this fall to showcase some of the most pressing questions in feminist knowledge production. An active contributor to campus life,  Soto will deliver two talks this semester: the keynote presentation for Queer Publics, Queer Praxis, a graduate student symposium sponsored by the Steven J. Schochet Endowment for GLBT Studies (April 1); and “Triptych: Floating with a Queer Shade of Brown,” co‐sponsored by the Critical Conversations in Chicano and Latino Series, and the Department of American Studies (April 4 at 3:30, Walter Library 402).

There are nearly 20 past Winton Chair Holders & Visiting Scholars dating back to 1993.