Our 2019 PAMLA Conference was held at the Wyndham San Diego Bayside between Thursday, November 14 and Sunday, November 17!
The theme for the 117th Annual PAMLA Conference at Wyndham San Diego Bayside was “Send in the Clowns,” which we went all out for! We even sold our very own PAMLA 2019 t-shirt, designed by famed Scottish comics artist, Frank Quitely, who also graced us with a visit all the way from the west coast of Scotland to the west coast of the United States. We had jam packed sessions, an array of creative spotlights and guest speakers, including special talks on the theme, comic book discussions, a conversation with San Diego filmmaker Neil Kendricks, creative writing workshops, readings by creative writers including Rae Armantrout, Michael Davidson, Kazim Ali, Jerome Rothenberg, Joseph Thomas, Michael Heyman, Gordon Johnson, and Suzanne Lummis, conversations with clowns, and an amazing clowning workshop organized by director and clown A.J. Knox. The conference was full of incredible activities, including a booze “cruise” and facepainting aboard the historic Berkeley Ferryboat in the historic San Diego Harbor and Maritime Museum.
On our final day, after about 225+ panels, we ventured outward by bus and then foot for a tour of and lecture about Chicano Park with Chicano activist, scholar, and artist, Mario Torero. Mario was gracious enough to discuss his experiences of Chicano Park, including his work on its founding and his and other artists’ murals. Following the lecture, PAMLA participants viewed the murals and enjoyed the local eateries in the historic Latinx quarter, Barrio Logan, located in Logan Heights, San Diego’s oldest Mexican-American neighborhood. The park is home to the largest concentration of Chicano murals in the world with more than 80 paintings on seven acres dotted with murals, sculptures, and gardens.
We want to thank our sponsoring university partners, the University of San Diego, Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego State University, Palomar College, and the National Center for the Study of Children’s Literature for all of their support and help with organizing the 2019 conference!