CSRC Newsletter - February 2013
Volume 11, Number 5
On February 2, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, thereby indicating an early spring. We are all familiar with the observance of Groundhog Day, a Pennsylvania German custom that began in the eighteenth century, but we are not so familiar with another milestone that falls on the same date: the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican-American War (1846–1848). Oddly, the two are connected. Until the early twentieth century German was the second most widely spoken language in the United States; today it is Spanish, which has more speakers than all the other “foreign” languages combined. This shift started with the Treaty of Guadalupe, which, by ceding Mexican territory and establishing the southern border of Texas, transferred the northern half of Mexico to the United States. Interestingly, today the United States can be roughly divided into two regions: the one that is the natural habitat for groundhogs, and the other that was acquired from Spain and Mexico. Our geography is as diverse as our demographics and cultural history. But we are one nation, a nation that looks to Punxsutawney Phil for signs of the coming spring and to the Southwest for our demographic and economic future. On this second point, consider the following from the February 1 edition of the Los Angeles Times: “For the first time since California became a state in 1850, Latinos will surpass whites as the largest ethnic group by 2014.” Two weeks earlier, it was widely reported that Chicanos-Latinos had surpassed whites as the largest ethnic group among California freshman applicants to the University of California (32.1 percent of the 174,767 applicants). At present, Chicano-Latino students make up just 17 percent of UC enrollments. An increase in Chicano-Latino admits for fall 2013—not just applicants—could signal an early spring for our state and national economies.
Chon A. Noriega
Director and Professor
CSRC assists Latino Art Now!
Planning has begun for “Latino Art Now! Nuestra América: Expanding Perspectives in American Art,” the fourth biennial conference organized by the Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR). Chon A. Noriega, CSRC director, is on the planning committee for the conference, which will examine the contemporary state of Latino art in the United States. The conference, to be held November 7–9 at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., will include roundtables, workshops, and scholars’ presentations. This will be the first time Latino Art Now! will be held in the nation’s capital, and it will coincide with the exhibition Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, October 25, 2013, through March 2, 2014. An official call for conference papers will be released in February. For more information, contact Olga Herrera at email@example.com or visit www.nd.edu/~iuplr.
Novel turned into film
Juana de Asbaje, a new film by director René Bueno and starring Mexican actress Ana de la Requera, is based on the historical novel Sor Juana's Second Dream (University of New Mexico Press, 1999) by Alicia Gaspar De Alba, professor of Chicana/o studies, English, and women's studies at UCLA and former CSRC associate director. In 2001 Gaspar de Alba won first place in the Latino Literary Hall of Fame’s historical fiction category for this work, which offers a Chicana lesbian interpretation of the life of Latin America’s “tenth muse,” the seventeenth-century nun, poet, and scholar Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.
Passing of Robert Murrell Stevenson
Robert Murrell Stevenson, one of the leading music scholars of the twentieth century, a preeminent figure in Latin American and Iberian research, and a good friend of the CSRC, died at age 96 on December 22 in Santa Monica. Steven Loza, professor of ethnomusicology at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, has written a tribute to Dr. Stevenson that we’ve posted on the CSRC website (PDF).
New videos on CSRC YouTube
If you weren’t able to attend the CSRC open house in November or would simply like to re-experience it, a video of the event has been posted on CSRC YouTube. The video includes brief comments by CSRC director Chon A. Noriega and artist Alex Donis, plus an acoustic performance by Los Angeles-based, retro-ethnic-soul band Chicano Batman.
Also on CSRC YouTube is a video of the Friends of the Library workshop “Preserving Family Photographs.” At this event, which took place last June, CSRC librarian Lizette Guerra led participants through the basics of arranging, describing, storing, and digitizing photographs for long-term preservation. CSRC friend and retired attorney and judge Ricardo Muñoz, as well as L.A. Xicano artist Barbara Carrasco, were present to lend their expertise.
CSRC in the News
“In Other News”
Daniel Olivas highlights the CSRC LGBT Latina/o Initiative and the CSRC’s book-signing event featuring author and professor Maria Nieto.
La Bloga, January 7, 2013 (PDF)
All “In the News” articles are available in PDF format on the CSRC website.
Symposium on spatial analysis and environmental justice
The UCLA Environmental Justice Initiative (EJI) continues its 2012–13 public programming on Friday, February 22, with the all-day symposium “Spatial Analysis of Social Environmental Justice.” This symposium will feature national experts discussing the use of spatial analysis to study how space and place produce and reproduce social, economic, and environmental inequality. The event will take place at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, Room 2355, and is organized by UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, Institute of American Cultures, and Luskin School of Public Affairs. For more information and to RSVP by February 11, click here.
UC-wide immigration conference
The CSRC is a co-sponsor of this year’s UC-wide Immigration Conference, which will be held Friday, February 22, 9:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m., in the UCLA Law Building, Room 1242. This year’s conference is titled “We Asked for Workers and Families Came: Children, Youth, and Families in Migration.” It will feature UC faculty and students who study children, youth, and families in relation to migration issues. Registration includes dinner and a cultural event. For more information and to register, click here.
Carlsen and Muñoz to discuss grassroots organization
Join us at the CSRC Library (144 Haines Hall) on Wednesday, February 27, 12:00–2:00 p.m., when Laura Carlsen, a political analyst who has written extensively on NAFTA, the drug war, immigration, and gender issues, and Gloria Muñoz, an award-winning journalist specializing in displacement and resistance in indigenous communities, will discuss how Mexican grassroots organizations are battling for land, resources, and culture in Mexico today. Their talk, “Chaos and Grassroots Organization in Mexico,” will include discussion of the national and geopolitical implications of this growing movement. The event is co-sponsored by the UCLA Labor Center, Latin American Institute, Center for Mexican Studies, Institute for Research on Labor Employment, the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies, and the CSRC.
IAC inaugural conference
"Superdiversity California Style: New Approaches to Race, Civil Rights, Governance and Cultural Production" is the first conference organized by the Institute of American Cultures, the umbrella organization for UCLA’s four ethnic studies centers. Speakers will discuss the pursuit of equality, social justice, and racialization in the modern world, and the kind of research that is necessary to understand and manage the changing face of American society. CSRC director Chon A. Noriega, the directors of the other three ethnic studies centers, and other UCLA cultural studies scholars will participate in the presentations. A preconference roundtable will be held Thursday, February 28, 5:00–7:00 p.m., at the UCLA Faculty Center, California Room. The all-day conference will be Friday, March 1, 9:00 a.m.–6:10 p.m., in the same location. For more information and to register, click here.
All CSRC events are free unless otherwise noted. For more information, visit the Events page on the CSRC website.
McNair Research Scholars Program
The CSRC is proud to announce that Cristal Gutierrez Alba—a work study staff member at the CSRC Library—has been accepted into the McNair Research Scholars Program at UCLA. This is a rigorous two-year research-based program that prepares undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing a PhD in the humanities or social sciences. The McNair program at UCLA is noted for attracting young scholars who are committed to promoting social justice through scholarship and research. Alba’s project will focus on Frida Kahlo and her influence on Chicana artists. We wish her success!
The CSRC Library is exhibiting materials from the Ramiro Gomez Collection of Visual Works this winter quarter. Gomez is a young artist who portrays Latino domestic workers employed in affluent Los Angeles neighborhoods. His collection includes selections from Gomez’s Happy Hills series of mixed-media works and documentary photographs of his installations. The exhibition, titled Luxury, Interrupted, features new pieces, made specifically for this show, that highlight the hard work and dedication of those who come to work at UCLA and in the surrounding neighborhoods—a workforce that is often overlooked. The CSRC hopes that the show will bring attention to this important issue in addition to showcasing the work of a talented young artist. The exhibition runs from February 4 through April 8. Works are installed in the library as well as in the hallway display case; those inside the library may be viewed during regular library hours. A reception will be announced in coming days.
Mexican American Study Project processed
Processing and preservation is now complete for the Mexican American Study Project (MASP) archive. This collection includes survey data, documents, correspondence, maps, research files, reports, and other materials related to the groundbreaking Mexican American Study Project (MASP) of 1965–1966 and 2000. The initial study was a large-scale survey conducted in Los Angeles and San Antonio by UCLA professors Walter Fogel, Leo Grebler, Joan Moore, and Ralph Guzman. In 2000, Edward E. Telles and Vilma Ortiz, UCLA professors of sociology, returned to those cities to examine and compare various markers of integration among Mexican Americans, including educational attainment, economic advancement, English and Spanish proficiency, residential integration, intermarriage, ethnic identity, and political involvement. Researchers interested in viewing the materials should contact the librarian, Lizette Guerra. Results of Telles and Ortiz’s study are available in five CSRC Latino Policy and Issues Briefs.
DVDs now on sale
Collect DVDs of classic works by Chicano artists and filmmakers for big savings! During the month of February, receive a 50 percent discount when you purchase all eight DVDs in the CSRC Chicano Cinema and Media Art Series. The series features the art of Gronk, Los Four, and Laura Aguilar, Chicano films and videos by Efrain Gutierrez and Harry Gamboa Jr., and more. To order, call 310-825-3428 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Shipping is free for phone orders. Later this year, look for new releases of films by Willie Varela and Efrain Gutierrez.