CSRC Newsletter - December 2015

Volume 14, Number 3

Director’s Message

I’ve been thinking a lot about the celebration of Las Posadas, the re-enactment of the expectant Mary and Joseph’s journey from place to place as they sought lodging in Bethlehem. This nine-day ritual, or novena, which traditionally begins on December 16 and ends on Christmas Eve, is celebrated in many places throughout the Spanish-speaking world, particularly in Mexico and parts of Central America. Today it is also regularly celebrated in Los Angeles, San Antonio, and other U.S. cities with large Latino populations. Las Posadas originated in Spain and can be documented in Mexico as far back as the 1530s, the early colonial period.
Recently, an undergraduate student leader of MEChA at UCLA suggested that we celebrate Las Posadas on “the Hill”—that is, in the residence halls, where I live and mentor students as a faculty-in-residence and as an advisor for the Chican@/Latin@ theme floor in Sproul Hall. Because UCLA Residential Life has a policy of inclusiveness, religious celebrations must be carefully considered. Las Posadas centers on the story of Jesus’s birth and is narrated in song. Each of the nine evenings of the novena culminates in Christmas carols (villancicos), piñatas, and food (often champurrado and pan dulce). Could we celebrate Las Posadas on the Hill without referencing its biblical origin? Could we share the beauty of this holiday, the way it creates community, without excluding non-Latino or non-Christian students? On the basis of inclusiveness, the decision was made to share this tradition Friday evening, December 4, by focusing on the food, fun, and sense of community and leaving aside the Catholic prayers typically associated with the celebration.

The student’s suggestion was made last month, while I and two resident assistants were organizing a large Día de Muertos celebration for students. As the United States becomes more and more Latina/o, I wonder if Las Posadas will be the next holiday to spark the national cultural imagination. Certainly, the central narrative of a family desperately seeking shelter is a powerful reminder of contemporary migrants fleeing violence in their home countries. May the spirit of generosity and sense of community of Las Posadas be an enduring influence this December and into the future.
Charlene Villaseñor Black
Acting Director and Professor


Spotlight on Archival Research
Franco explores connections between CSRC and Smithsonian archives Josh T. Franco is the Latino collections specialist at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art (AAA). Last month he spent a day conducting research at the CSRC Library, exploring the cross-referencing possibilities between the two celebrated archives. Franco was specifically interested in the CSRC’s collection of materials related to Con Safos, a magazine published in Los Angeles from 1968 to 1972. This collection complements the AAA’s collection of research materials on Chicano art donated by noted art historian and scholar Tomás Ybarra-Frausto. In addition, oral histories conducted by the AAA and the CSRC include interviews with artists who contributed to Con Safos, and transcripts are available online. The AAA interviewed Gilbert “Magu” Sánchez Luján and Carlos Almaraz, and the CSRC’s Oral Histories Series includes an interview with Luján. These various forms of documentation gathered at different times and housed at different locations reveal that archives are not closed systems. Franco’s visit hints at the wealth of materials available to scholars who conduct inter-archival research.
Torres speaks out about proposed deportation policy
In response to comments by presidential candidate Donald Trump, Esteban Torres, a former U.S. Congressman for California’s 34th District (Pico Rivera), spoke to the Los Angeles Times about Operation Wetback, a program that forced or compelled thousands of immigrants to leave the United States in the 1950s, calling it a misguided model for future deportation policy. UCLA history professor and former CSRC associate director Kelly Lytle Hernandez was also quoted in the story. The CSRC has the Esteban Torres Papers, which are being processed now as part of project supported by an NEH grant. (PDF)
UCLA faculty sign diversity brief to U.S. Supreme Court
More than 800 scholars and researchers from all parts of the United States recently submitted a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court that evidences the need to maintain colleges’ rights to consider race as one of many factors in selecting students. UCLA ethnic studies center directors Chon A. Noriega (CSRC), Darnell Hunt (Bunche Center for African American Studies), and David Yoo (Asian American Studies Center), as well as education professors and CSRC Faculty Advisory Committee members Daniel Solórzano, Sylvia Hurtado, and Concepción Valadez (retired), are among the signatories. The press release, issued by UCLA’s Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles, states that the brief represents what may be the largest-ever outpouring of scholarly support for a social science brief in a civil rights case. The press release can be found here.
Pérez Huber publishes on education topics Lindsay Pérez Huber, assistant professor of social and cultural analysis of education in the College of Education at California State University, Long Beach, is a CSRC visiting scholar and has helped organize the annual CSRC Latina/o Education Summit since 2006. We congratulate her on her peer-reviewed publications released in 2015: “Como una jaula de oro (It’s Like a Golden Cage): The Impact of DACA and the California DREAM Act on Undocumented Chicanas/Latinas,” in the Chicana/o-Latina/o Law Review (vol. 33, no. 1), and “Racial Microaggressions as a Tool for Critical Race Research,” in Race Ethnicity and Education (vol. 18, no. 3), and “Visualizing Everyday Racism: Critical Race Theory, Visual Microaggressions and the Historical Image of Mexican Banditry,” in Qualitative Inquiry (vol. 21, no. 3), both co-authored with Daniel Solórzano. Her essay “Constructing ‘Deservingness’: DREAMers and Central American Unaccompanied Children in the National Immigration Debate” is forthcoming in the Association of Mexican American Educators Journal
Aztlán assistant editor passes baton
Karrmen Crey, doctoral candidate in cinema and media studies and assistant editor of Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies since August 2013, will be leaving her post at the CSRC Press this month. We thank her for her dedication and exceptional work, and we wish her the very best in her future endeavors. The CSRC is pleased to announce that Heather Birdsall, also a doctoral candidate in cinema and media studies, will be taking over the assistant editor duties. Welcome, Heather!
New videos on CSRC YouTube
  • Central American Refugees in Detention: Rethinking U.S. Immigration Policy (September 17, 2015) (five videos). This conference, which was organized by the CSRC, brought together scholars, attorneys, and activists who have been effective in seeking justice for Central American refugees, particularly mothers and their children who have been detained after fleeing poverty and violence in their home countries. Participants discussed how to broaden public understanding of the crisis and reframe the debates about immigration, and they shared effective tactics for improving social justice for detainees.
  • The Farmersville Film Project (1968) (eleven videos), funded by the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity, produced short documentaries in 1968 about conditions for Mexican American farmworkers in Farmersville, a town in California’s Central Valley. The aim of the project was to use community participation, primarily through community screenings of the films, to develop a mode of communication for disenfranchised groups. The CSRC’s collection of eleven films was assembled by Baylis Glascock, a cinematographer on the Farmersville project. The broader collection, Baylis Glascock Farmersville Collection, 1968–1998, includes a large amount of correspondence, diaries, reports, and related materials created by Henry Lanford, a research assistant on the project, and the Office of Economic Opportunity.

CSRC in the News

“Organizing the Oscar R. Castillo: Documenting Chicano Life and Activism Exhibit at the 55th Annual Western History Association Conference in Portland, OR”
Miguel Juárez, curator and doctoral student in history at the University of Texas, El Paso, discusses organizing an exhibition featuring the works of Oscar R. Castillo as part of this year’s Western History Association Conference. The CSRC, in partnership with the UCLA Digital Library, houses the Oscar R. Castillo Photograph Collection, which was utilized for the exhibition, as well as the Oscar Castillo Papers, a collection of correspondence and other documents. The CSRC Press publication on the collection is also featured.
Borderlands History (blog), November 16, 2015 (PDF)
“How an Instagram Account Became a Portal to 1990s Chicano Gang Life”
This feature story focuses on CSRC collections donor Guadalupe Esquivel Rosales and her work on her Instagram project, which utilizes crowdsourcing to identify ephemera pertaining to Chicano party scenes in the 1990s.
LA Weekly, November 3, 2015 (PDF)
All “In the News” articles are available in PDF format on the CSRC website.


Screening: Please, Don’t Bury Me Alive!/Por Favor, No Me Entierren Vivo!
Friday, December 11, 7:30 p.m.
Billy Wilder Theater, Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90024
Efraín Gutiérrez’s landmark independent feature was found and, with the assistance of the UCLA Film & Television Archive, restored by the CSRC in the late 1990s. Commonly considered the first Chicano feature film, Please, Don’t Bury Me Alive! was added to the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry in 2014. It offers an in-depth look at South Texas Chicano culture in the Vietnam era. The UCLA Film & Television Archive will screen the film to culminate the Archive’s yearlong fiftieth anniversary celebration. For more info and to buy tickets, click here.  
Please note: The film is available in DVD format at an institutional rate through SubCine.com.
All CSRC events are free and do not require an RSVP unless otherwise noted. Programs are subject to change. For the most current information, visit the Events page on the CSRC website.

CSRC Library

Montañez Davis exhibition continues
Last month the CSRC presented Grace Montañez Davis, former deputy mayor of Los Angeles, in conversation with Anna NietoGómez, a Chicana feminist, writer, and educator, and a central figure in the Chicano Movement. The related exhibition, Selections from the Grace Montañez Davis Papers, 1940–1990, will remain on view in the vitrine outside the CSRC Library through December 18. Montañez Davis is recognized as an authority on employment, a champion of women's rights, and a diligent worker for the rights of children—especially the underprivileged. The documents in the exhibition highlight her professional involvement and achievements. To view a finding aid for this collection, visit the Online Archive of California.
Librarian position open
The CSRC is conducting a national search for a librarian. During the search, the library will continue to provide full services. For more information about the position and to apply, please see Opportunities below.

CSRC Press

CSRC Press holiday book sale!
Give the gift of books! CSRC Press books are now 50 percent off (plus tax and shipping) through December 18. Stop by 183 Haines Hall, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m., or contact Darling Sianez at support@chicano.ucla.edu or 310-825-3428. Browse all CSRC Press titles on our website. Please note: Books in the A Ver series and subscriptions to Aztlán are not included in the sale.
Chicano cinema and media art for libraries, classrooms, and museums
The Chicano Cinema and Media Art series by CSRC Press showcases in DVD format important and rare Chicano films and videos. Included in the collection are feature-length films and artists’ videos. Many of these works have been restored and the originals archived in the CSRC Library’s special collections. Included in the series are works by video artists Laura Aguilar, Harry Gamboa Jr., and Willie Varela, and film directors Efraín Gutiérrez and James Tartan. Institutions may purchase copies at SubCine.com.
Aztlán, the premier journal of Chicana/o studies, is inviting new submissions! Aztlán publishes scholarship relevant to Chicana/o studies from all disciplines and interdisciplinary research as well. We welcome submissions in English and Spanish. We are seeking submissions for all three areas of the journal:
Our essays are research-based and come from a wide variety of disciplines—literature, sociology, history, political science, the arts, linguistics, gender studies, ethnic studies, and many other fields—but they always engage the Chicana/o experience. All essays are peer reviewed and are frequently revised to meet the journal’s standards for quality research. Essays typically run about 10,000–12,000 words in length.
The dossier section provides a forum for multiple and shorter engagements with a specific theme that examines an aspect of Chicana/o studies; this might be an object of study, theoretical or disciplinary questions, a methodology, or one scholar’s work. The dossier section, while still of a scholarly nature, is designed to be exploratory, provocative, or experimental in approach. Aztlán will consider working with a guest curator—a scholar who wishes to create a dossier theme and can help manage dossier development. Contact Heather Birdsall at hbirdsall@chicano.ucla.edu to explore this opportunity.
Book Reviews
If you are interested in writing a book review for us, we will gladly consider suggested titles, or we can recommend a book for you that matches your field of interest. To inquire about reviews, contact our book review coordinator, Daniel Zweifach, at revieweditor@chicano.ucla.edu.
To submit: All submissions should be sent to our submission inbox at submissions@chicano.ucla.edu. For complete information about Aztlán and our submission guidelines, please visit the CSRC website. Please direct queries to Heather Birdsall, assistant editor, at hbirdsall@chicano.ucla.edu. We look forward to receiving your submissions!


Employment Opportunity: CSRC Librarian
The Chicano Studies Research Center (CSRC) is currently accepting applications for a librarian to oversee its library services, archival and digitization programs, and related campus and community relations. The CSRC Library and its archival holdings are considered the most extensive in the field. Since its establishment in 1969, the CSRC has played a crucial role in the development of interdisciplinary research on the Chicana/o population. The CSRC houses externally funded research projects, an academic press, academic and community programs, and the library. The CSRC librarian serves as a member of the CSRC managerial team and develops policies and procedures for the library. The CSRC librarian oversees all library activities and is responsible for securing extramural funding and developing donor relations. Duties further include management of library operations and budget; supervision of library and archival staff; maintenance and expansion of library holdings; the development of library exhibitions; and pursuit of professional endeavors such as research, publication, and local or national committee work.
To apply, go to the UCLA Academic Recruitment site: https://recruit.apo.ucla.edu/apply/JPF01529.
The position will remain open until filled.
UCLA Institute of American Cultures
2016-17 Visiting Researcher/Scholar Fellowship Program in Ethnic Studies
The UCLA Institute of American Cultures (IAC) offers in-residence appointments to support research on African Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans, and Chicanas/os. We especially encourage applications that advance our understanding of new social and cultural realities occasioned by the dramatic population shifts of recent decades, including greater heterogeneity within ethnic groups and increased interethnic contact. In the event that an award is for less than three academic quarters the stipend will be prorated in accordance with the actual length of the award. For visiting researchers, these funds can be used to supplement sabbatical support for the total that does not exceed the candidate’s current institutional salary. Visiting researchers will be paid through their home institution and will be expected to continue their health benefits through that source as well; visiting scholars will receive a stipend for living expenses and may be eligible for health benefits. Awardees may receive up to $4,000 in research support. In the event that an award is for less than the nine-month appointment, the stipend will be prorated in accordance with the actual length of the award.
Eligibility requirements: Visiting researcher appointments are for persons who currently hold permanent academic appointments and visiting scholar appointments are for newly degreed scholars. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and hold a PhD from an accredited college or university at the time of appointment. UCLA faculty, staff, and currently enrolled students are not eligible to apply.
Deadline: Completed applications are due February 1, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. Recipients will be notified in April. NOTE: Offer of fellowship is contingent upon funding availability. Unfortunately, due to budget constraints, the Bunche Center for African American Studies will not be awarding a 2016-17 visiting researcher/scholar fellowship.
To apply: The application is available online at: https://sa.ucla.edu/IAC/VisitingScholar
For further information, please contact the coordinator of the appropriate UCLA Ethnic Studies Research Center for your application.
Call for applicants: IUPLR/Mellon Fellowships
The Inter-University Program for Latino Research is now accepting applications for the IUPLR/Mellon Fellowship Program (academic year 2016-17). The program supports ABD doctoral students in the humanities who are writing dissertations in Latina/o studies. Doctoral students in the social sciences whose research uses humanities methods may also be considered. The fellowship facilitates completion of the dissertation and provides professional development, job market support, and mentoring for students who will graduate in Spring 2017.
With support from the Andrew G. Mellon Foundation, IUPLR will select fellows through five designated research centers:
  • The Center for Mexican American Studies and the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at the University of Texas at Austin
  • The Chicano Studies Research Center at UCLA
  • The CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, The City College of New York
  • Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños at Hunter College, CUNY
  • The Latin American and Latino Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago
The fellowship includes a $25,000 stipend and travel support to attend IUPLR conferences and a required two-week summer institute in Chicago. Matriculation fees and health insurance will be paid by the home institution, provided that the fellow is in residence.
Who is eligible?
Applications will be accepted only from PhD candidates enrolled at UT-Austin, UCLA, CUNY, and UIC. Applicants will be considered by the IUPLR center at their home institution (see list above).
Applicants must have advanced to candidacy (ABD status) and be completing a Latina/o studies dissertation in the humanities or in a humanities-adjacent discipline. Applications will not be accepted from candidates who have not yet defended their dissertation proposal. As this is a dissertation completion fellowship, all applicants should already have a significant portion of the dissertation drafted. Finally, applicants should be planning to pursue a career in teaching or research.
During the fellowship year, students must be enrolled at their home institution. Fellows will be expected to forego other employment during the year.
Application materials
When applying, please prepare a dossier of the following materials:
  • A cover letter listing your name, university, department, the month and year that you advanced to candidacy (reached ABD status), the name and year of any dissertation completion fellowships you have already had (both internal and external), and a fifty-word description of your project’s relationship and significance to the humanities.
  • CV
  • Dissertation prospectus, including chapter outlines
  • Completed chapters (preferably two or three)
  • Writing plan that demonstrates ability to defend dissertation during fellowship year
  • Recommendation letters from: 1) the dissertation chair, and 2) a Latina/o studies faculty member or other faculty member at the student’s home campus who can speak to the dissertation’s relevance to Latina/o studies. The letter from the dissertation chair should confirm that the applicant has defended the proposal and will be able to graduate by Spring 2017. Letters must be sent directly to the contact person below by the recommenders, not by the applicant.
You should send your dossier of materials in either Word or PDF form, preferably as a single document. If your materials contain images please send a zip file.
Deadlines and important dates
  • Application materials must arrive by January 8, 2016.
  • Decisions will be made by January 29, 2016.
  • Selected fellows will attend the Latino Art Now! Conference in Chicago, April 7–9, 2016 (mandatory).
  • Fellows will attend the IUPLR/Mellon Summer Institute in Chicago, June 2016 (mandatory).
  • Fellowship stipends will begin June 15, 2016.
Send all queries and application materials (Word or PDF) to the IUPLR/Mellon program coordinator, Dr. Meghan Marie Hammond (hammondm@uic.edu), AND the appropriate IUPLR Center director(s). Contact information for applicants applying through UCLA is below. Contact information for the other four centers can be found on the IUPLR website.
UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center
Dr. Chon Noriega, director