CSRC Newsletter - March 2013
Volume 11, Number 6
It’s a conundrum, to be sure. What do you do when your longtime maid dies? After all, she practically raised your children. She cooked your eggs just so, lightly sprinkling them with something red. You asked her what, but you could not make out her response. (Sounded like “tapas”…) So do you send flowers to her family? Does she even have a family? Do you mention it in your year-end letter to friends and relatives? After all, she worked for you for almost forty years. These are delicate matters. It is what makes life in Hollywood so very challenging.
In 1976 Lupe Ontiveros earned her first role in Hollywood. She played a maid on Charlie’s Angels. Over the next thirty-six years she played, by her own account, more than 150 maids, holding her own against the likes of Jack Nicholson (twice). When she was not playing a maid, she played a prostitute or a madam. But she was also the patron saint of Chicano (and Latino) cinema, starring in now classic films: Zoot Suit, El Norte, Born in East L.A., My Family, … and the Earth Did Not Swallow Him, Selena, Chuck & Buck, Luminarias, and Real Women Have Curves. She had recurring roles in just about every Chicano-produced television series, and also Desperate Housewives. My personal favorite is her role as a drug lord in Taylor Hackford’s 1993 film Blood In, Blood Out. Without a doubt, her final shootout scene is matched in American cinema only by Queen Latifah’s in Set It Off. Lupe lived large on the silver screen.
Ontiveros passed away in July 2012 at age 69—much too early, to be sure. Yet she had an astounding career, especially in light of the limited roles available for Latino actors. Why, she even did voice work in an episode of Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy. So imagine my surprise when the Oscars did not include her in the “In Memoriam” segment. The Oscars also snubbed Russell Means, Sherman Hemsley, and Phyllis Diller. These oversights took place during an Oscar ceremony that one writer called “a lengthy celebration of xenophobia and misogyny” (The Nation). Another writer noted, “The more we pass off old stereotypes, rooted in hate, as normal—as MacFarlane did again and again last night—the longer those stereotypes, and their ability to harm people, will be in place” (The Atlantic). The Academy took the brunt of the blame, since its membership—similar to the declining viewership for the Oscar broadcast itself—is older (age 62 is the average), almost entirely white (94 percent), and mostly male (77 percent). The rationale for having MacFarlane as the host had to do with reaching out to a younger audience, which he did. The strategy relied heavily on what one writer called “the ironic hipster self-aware racism of ‘being so cool that we know it’s racist [and] that it’s ok to participate in it. We’re above it’” (Salon.com). Indeed, two Hollywood notables in the coveted 18 to 49 demographic received Oscars for creative work rooted in some form of racial masquerade: Quentin Tarantino and Ben Affleck. Of course such an approach overlooks the fact that non-whites made up more than half of all births and accounted for over 92 percent of population growth between 2000 and 2010. These are delicate matters, indeed. Earlier this week, the Academy quietly added Lupe Ontiveros to its online “In Memoriam” page.
Chon A. Noriega
Director and Professor
Scholar receives promotion
Juanita Heredia, the Institute of American Cultures (IAC) post-doctoral visiting scholar-researcher at the CSRC for 2012-13, has been promoted to professor of Spanish in the Global Languages and Cultures Department at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, where she is also affiliated with ethnic studies. Heredia also contributed a chapter to a newly released anthology focused on Chicana author Helena María Viramontes. Heredia’s essay, “The Women in East Los Angeles: Gender and the City in Their Dogs Came with Them,” appears in Rebozos de Palabras: An Helena María Viramontes Critical Reader, edited by Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs (University of Arizona Press, 2013).
Directors co-author journal article
CSRC director Chon A. Noriega and assistant director Javier Iribarren have co-authored an article based on the CSRC’s Hate Speech in the Media project. “Toward an Empirical Analysis of Hate Speech in Commercial Talk Radio” will appear in the 2013 volume of the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, which will be released at the end of the month. Coincidentally, CSRC work-study student Daniel Gonzalez provided the cover art for the volume.
FAC chair wins Getty grant
CSRC Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC) chair Charlene Villaseñor Black has been awarded a Getty Scholar grant for 2013-14, which enables her to work in residence at the Getty during the academic year. Black’s project is titled “Itinerant Artists in the Global Early Modern World.” The research theme for the year, “Connecting Seas: Cultural and Artistic Exchange,” focuses on the transmission of knowledge across bodies of water. Over 600 scholars applied to this prestigious program.
Ferrer works exhibited in New York
A solo exhibition by artist Rafael Ferrer, the subject of the most recent volume in the A Ver: Revisioning Art History book series, is currently on view at the Adam Baumgold Gallery in New York City. The show, Calor, runs through March 16.
Velasco public art receives attention
Library staff member Christopher Velasco was among several artists featured in “East of East,” published last month in SoCal, KCET’s online newsmagazine. The story focused on artistic interventions and the transformation of public spaces in South El Monte. Read the story here.
CSRC in the News
“Domestic Art: Nannies, Immigrants, and Labor”
A profile of artist Ramiro Gomez, which includes a mention of his current exhibition at the CSRC.
Tropics of Meta, February 27, 2013 (PDF)
“The Academy Awards: Latinos Who Made Hollywood”
CSRC director Chon A. Noriega is quoted in this story on Latinos' continued lack of representation in Hollywood films, as well as the lack of recognition for their work behind the scenes.
Fox News Latino, February 24, 2013 (PDF)
“Argo, Whitewashing, and Artistic License”
A CSRC study was cited in this editorial on "whitewashing" in Hollywood, with the Oscar-winning film Argo serving as one of the more recent examples of this practice.
Center for Media Justice blog, February 24, 2013 (PDF)
“Ramiro Gomez Jr. Art Show”
A Los Angeles street art blog mentions Ramiro Gomez’s solo exhibition Luxury, Interrupted and its opening reception at the CSRC Library.
Melrose & Fairfax, February 20, 2013 (PDF)
"Protest Artist's Cardboard Cutouts Draw Attention to Immigration Issue"
A feature story on installations in Washington, D.C., by Los Angeles-based street artist Ramiro Gomez.
The Washington Post, February 14, 2013 (PDF)
"Outlawed in Arizona"
The PBS newsmagazine Need to Know used research published in CSRC policy briefs for a story on the ethnic studies ban in Arizona public schools. The segment aired February 15, 2013. Watch it here.
A review of the CSRC Press publication The Arhoolie Foundation's Strachwitz Frontera Collection of Mexican and Mexican American Music.
The Monitor, February 8, 2013 (PDF)
Mapping and Asco exhibitions reviewed in CAA publication
A comparison of two Pacific Standard Time exhibitions, Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement and Asco: The Elite of the Obscure, A Retrospective, 1972–1987 in a College Art Association online publication.
caa.reviews, February 8, 2013 (PDF)
All “In the News” articles are available in PDF format on the CSRC website.
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. The all-day conference will be Friday, March 1, 9:00 a.m.–6:10 p.m., at the UCLA Faculty Center. For more information, click here.
Presentation and performance for International Womyn’s Week
The CSRC will host “Violence Against Women: Femicides, Deaths, Injustice” on Tuesday, March 5, 4:00–6:00 p.m., at the CSRC Library (193 Haines Hall). The event will include a presentation on femicide throughout the world, a performance by poet and scholar Reina Prado, and an arts and crafts workshop in which attendees will make pink crosses to honor the victims of femicide. “Violence Against Women” is part of MEChA de UCLA’s Semana de la Mujer in celebration of International Womyn’s Week. The series is sponsored by MEChA de UCLA, Bruin Feminists for Equality at UCLA, IDEAS at UCLA, the UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies, the UCLA Office of Residential Life, the Social Justice Network, the USAC, and the CSRC.
Cuba as health-care model?
How does Cuba's community-based health care system function on the ground? What can the United States learn from Cuba? Maria Elena Ruiz, former CSRC associate director and current adjunct associate professor at the UCLA School of Nursing, will be among the speakers at “Public Health in Cuba: A Dialogue,” on Wednesday, March 6, noon–1:30 p.m., at the Center for Health Sciences, Room 43-105. The featured speaker will be Peter Orris, a professor at the University of Illinois School of Public Health, Chicago, and a collaborator with Cuban public health advisors for over thirty years. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The event is sponsored by the UCLA Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program (LOSH), the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, and the CSRC.
Symposium on Latinos and aging
The Center for Policy Research on Aging (CPRA) at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs announces “Aging in a Majority-Minority Nation: Interracial and Intergenerational Tensions and Opportunities,” a symposium exploring the social, economic, racial, and cultural transformations that will occur as the Latino population of the United States continues to grow. Presentations will include a session on enhancing economic security for Latino elders. The symposium will be held Thursday, March 21, 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m., at DeNeve Commons. For more information and to register, please click here. The CSRC is a co-convener of this event.
All CSRC events are free unless otherwise noted. For more information, visit the Events page on the CSRC website.
The CSRC is proud to announce the addition of a new archival collection to its holdings: the Roberto Sifuentes Papers. Sifuentes was a UCLA graduate who studied on campus during the 1960s and 1970s. He was instrumental in the development of the Chicano Studies Research Center and the founding of Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies. He later served as a faculty member in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at California State University, Northridge. He passed away in 2010. The collection was donated to the CSRC Library in January by Sifuentes’s widow, Loretta, who is a UCLA alumna and cofounder of the UCLA Chicano Law Review. To learn more about this collection, please contact the CSRC librarian, Lizette Guerra, at email@example.com.
Making Invisible Histories Visible: Preserving the Legacy of Lesbian/Feminist Activism and Writing in Los Angeles Project is an initiative developed to process archival materials that document Lesbian history in Los Angeles since the 1930s. To date, twenty-six of a total of eighty-two collections in the project have been fully processed. The collections include 700 hours of recorded sound and moving images, which are being digitized and made accessible on the UCLA Digital Library. Finding aids for the processed collections are now available on the Online Archive of California. CSRC librarian Lizette Guerra is the archivist for the project, which is a collaboration between the UCLA Library, the UCLA Center for the Study of Women, and the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives. The project receives generous support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, contact Guerra at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gomez exhibition continues
The CSRC welcomes you to view the exhibition Ramiro Gomez: Luxury, Interrupted, installed in the library and vitrine through April 8. Ramiro Gomez is a young artist who portrays Latino domestic workers employed in affluent Los Angeles neighborhoods. The Ramiro Gomez Collection of Visual Works at the CSRC Library includes selections from Gomez’s Happy Hills series of mixed-media works, as well as documentary photographs of his installations. 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. CSRC library exhibitions are free and viewable during regular library hours: Monday–Friday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
New issue of Aztlán
The spring 2013 issue of Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies ships to subscribers this month. This issue features essays on Chicana/o identity in Alfredo Véa Jr.’s La Maravilla; queer storytelling in Felicia Luna Lemus’s Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties; sexual/textual politics in Fray Angélico Chávez’s La Conquistadora; and the struggle of Refugio Roman Martinez, a CIO organizer, against deportation. The dossier section presents reflections on Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera from the perspectives of feminist border organizing, indigeneity, art activism, and activist scholarship. “Aztlán on Blast,” the artist’s communiqué, is by Rio Yañez, whose social media art is featured on the cover. Rounding out the issue is an interview with filmmaker Ursula Biemann, whose Performing the Border focuses on a “culture of disposability” in Ciudad Juárez. Subscribers receive two issues of Aztlán a year, plus unlimited online access to every issue published. Subscribe online today!
Frontera book lauded
The latest volume in the CSRC’s Chicano Archives series, The Arhoolie Foundation's Strachwitz Frontera Collection of Mexican and Mexican American Music, received an enthusiastic review in The Monitor this month. Eduardo Martinez praised author Augustín Gurza’s “wonderful, analytical overview” of the Frontera collection and the chapters contributed by Jonathan Clark and Chris Strachwitz. Martinez concluded his review by noting, “Everyone that took part in putting together this book and preserving this music deserves a standing ovation.” The review is available on The Monitor’s website.
UCLA McNair Research Scholars Program
The UCLA McNair Research Scholars Program, which was refunded by the U.S. Department of Education this year, is now able to serve more scholars each year. As a result, the program is seeking students who are interested in participating in the one-year McNair Research Fellows Program, from June 2013 through June 2014. The McNair Research Fellows Program will be offered only this year. Applications for the two-year McNair program will be available in the fall of 2013.
The one-year program is a research-intensive program for undergraduate students who will complete their degree requirements by the summer quarter of 2014. The program supports students in their completion of a research thesis under the guidance of a faculty mentor. It prepares them to apply to the best graduate programs in the country and to excel in graduate school while pursuing a PhD in the humanities or social sciences.
As McNair Fellows, students participate in the UCLA McNair Summer Research Institute, which includes faculty-supervised research, graduate mentoring, and workshops on graduate school admission. During the academic year McNair Fellows enroll in independent study courses with their UCLA faculty mentors, complete an individual research project, and write a senior thesis. They also apply to graduate school, present their research at UCLA McNair presentations and symposia, present their research at academic conferences, and submit their research for publication.
To be eligible for the UCLA McNair Research Fellows Program, applicants must meet at least one of the following criteria:
– Be a low-income and first generation college student, or
– Be a member of an underrepresented group within graduate education
Applicants must also:
– Be a UCLA undergraduate student majoring in the humanities or social sciences
– Be a fourth- or fifth-year student who has completed at least 132 units by Spring 2013 and is scheduled to graduate no later than Summer 2014
– Be available June 22–August 5, 2013, for the McNair Summer Research Institute
– Demonstrate academic potential for graduate study
– Apply to graduate school during Fall 2013
– Be a United States citizen or permanent resident
– Have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
The application is due Monday, April 1, 2013, by 3:00 p.m., in 1202 Campbell Hall. For more information about the program, please contact the McNair assistant director, Erika Villanueva, at (310) 794-9592 or at email@example.com.