CSRC Newsletter - February 2020


Director’s Message

“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” Robert Frost writes in his poem “Mending Wall” (1914), “That wants it down.” The poem is pastoral, and the “something” is implicitly nature, rising up against the civilizing notion that “Good fences make good neighbors.” But that something is also a profoundly human something that doesn’t love invisibility, silencing, and confinement. Here’s a salute to a few of the people who challenge such walls, which keep neighbors from being neighborly.
Myriam Gurba. Her review of the novel American Dirt—initially commissioned and then killed by Ms. Magazine for not being upbeat—was a critical tour de force. The piece was eventually reworked and published in Tropics of Meta, which was followed by Gurba’s indefatigable social media campaign to bring attention to the biases at work in the publishing and marketing of American literature. In recognizing her essay as one of the CSRC’s “Best of 2019” (see last month’s Newsletter), we described it as “the future of American literary criticism, now.” Since then Gurba has been joined by other writers and critics, effectively hitting the pause button on the silencing of diverse Latina/o/x voices. May these efforts continue, bringing new voices into print.
Gronk. If Gurba takes on the Great American Novel, Gronk refigures opera as another cultural arena in which to engage issues from the Conquest of the Americas to state violence against immigrants. But see this one in person. This week at the LA Art Show, Gronk will be re-creating the stage design he conceived and painted in 2013 for Peter Sellars’s adaptation of Henry Purcell’s semi-opera The Indian Queen (1695). He’ll be onsite each day, painting from opening to closing. “The artist is present” —so join him as he makes political theater for our contemporary moment. And drop by on Saturday to hear him chat with Peter Sellars.
Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. But also Bad Bunny and J. Balvin. Imagine—a Super Bowl in a city that is 74 percent Latino and 70 percent Spanish-speaking, and a halftime performance that looks and sounds like the city!

The CSRC is proud to archive the Myriam Gurba and the Gronk papers. As for the Lopez, Shakira, and the rappers, give our librarian a call.

Chon A. Noriega

Director and Professor


Noriega to introduce archival screening
On Sunday, February 23, at the Hammer Museum’s Billy Wilder Theater, CSRC director Chon A. Noriega will introduce a screening of the first episode of Canción de la Raza (Song of the People), which aired on KCET on October 14, 1968. Canción de la Raza, a thirteen-week novella series produced by KCET, followed a fictional Mexican American family and sought to depict Latina/o life in Los Angeles’s Eastside and the challenges that Latina/o communities faced. The focus of the first episode is the Eastside high school walkouts in the spring of 1968 and the police brutality experienced by the protesters. The screening will be presented during “Shot on Videotape: Social Issue Dramas Preserved by UCLA,” part of the ongoing “Archives Treasures” series hosted by the UCLA Film and Television Archive. For more information, visit the archive’s website.
Josten participates in panel
On January 23, Jennifer Josten, the 2019-20 IAC visiting scholar at the CSRC and associate professor of art and architecture at the University of Pittsburgh, participated in the panel discussion “Artist as Researcher: Visualizing Knowledge in the Americas." It was held at the University of Florida's Harn Museum of Art in conjunction with the exhibition Accumulate, Classify, Preserve, Display: Roberto Obregón Archive from the Carolina and Fernando Eseverri Collection. Josten’s “Exhibiting Patrimonio in Contemporary Mexico,” considered recent collaborations between artists and scholars that shed light on histories of greater Mexico. Her examples included collaborations between mixed-media artist Mariana Castillo Deball and museum program director Diana Magaloni, and sculptor Eduardo Abaroa and scholar and filmmaker Sandra Rozental.
Tejada book named among best of 2019
Congratulations to Roberto Tejada, whose book Still Nowhere in an Empty Vastness (Neomi Press, 2019) was named by Entropy Magazine as among the best nonfiction titles of 2019. For the complete list, click here. Tejada is the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor of English at University of Houston and author of Celia Alvarez Muñoz, volume 3 in the A Ver: Revisioning Art History series from CSRC Press.
New blog entry on the CSRC Post
In “CSRC Archival Treasures: Findings on Chicana/o/x Murals,” the latest entry on the CSRC’s blog, CSRC Post, Gabriela Rodriguez-Gomez discusses her research into three CSRC collections: the Nancy Tovar Murals of East L.A. Collection and the CARA (Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation) Records, Parts I and II. Rodriguez-Gomez, a Chicana artist and PhD candidate in Chicana/o studies at UCLA, used the research for the completion of her master’s thesis. Her work was supported in part by a CSRC research grant, with funds provided through the Institute of American Cultures. Also see our blog for the Frontera Collection!
Gonzalez honorary event noted in report
In a report of its exhibitions and programming in 2018-19, the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica noted its inaugural gala on May 9, 2019, where Rita Gonzalez, head curator of contemporary art at LACMA and former CSRC arts project coordinator, was honored “for her contributions to scholarship and visibility for Los Angeles artists.” Gonzalez was introduced by CSRC director Chon A. Noriega. (PDF)

CSRC In the News

“Arts Professor’s Anthology Named One of 'Best Art Books of the Decade'”
This story on UC Santa Cruz’s Newscenter website noted that Chicano and Chicana Art: A Critical Anthology was named one of the “Best Art Books of the Decade” by ArtNews. The anthology is edited by Jennifer González, C. Ondine Chavoya, Terezita Romo, and CSRC director Chon A. Noriega.

Newscenter, January 8, 2020 (URL) (PDF)

All “In the News” articles are available in PDF format on the CSRC website.


Traveling Exhibition: UCLA: Our Stories, Our Impact
Through February 26, 8:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Mercado La Paloma, 3655 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90007

UCLA: Our Stories, Our Impact is on display at Mercado La Paloma. The multimedia exhibition showcases the role of UCLA and its alumni in advancing equity and equality in America. The exhibition features the stories of present and former Bruins who have advanced and shaped social justice movements. The project is led by the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, the Labor Center, and the Chancellor’s Advisory Council on Immigration Policy, in partnership with the Institute of American Cultures, the American Indian Studies Center, the Asian American Studies Center, the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies, and the CSRC.

CSRC at the LA Art Show
February 5–9, 2020
LA Convention Center–South Hall, 1201 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90015
The 2020 LA Art Show will present programming developed with Los Angeles’s major art institutions, including, for the third time in four years, the CSRC. The CSRC and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) will co-present a new work by L.A. artist Gronk titled Pyramids. Gronk will reimagine the stage design he created in 2013 for the Peter Sellars adaptation of Henry Purcell’s semi-opera The Indian Queen (1695), in which Sellars paired Purcell’s music with a new scenario that addressed issues of conquest, immigration, and authoritarianism. Gronk will paint a full-size representation of a theatrical stage over the course of the L.A. Art Show, allowing visitors a behind-the-scenes look at his artistic practice and involving them in the process of making political theater for our contemporary moment. The work, curated by CSRC director Chon A. Noriega, will be completed after the exhibition closes.  

Opening Night Premiere Party: Wednesday, February 5, 6:00 p.m.–11:00 p.m.
Exhibition schedule: Thursday, February 6–Saturday, February 8, 2020 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.; and Sunday, February 9, 2020, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. For more information and ticket prices visit the LA Art Show website.

The Gronk/Sellars Conversation
Saturday, February 8, 4:00 p.m.
LA Art Show, LA Convention Center–South Hall, 1201 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90015
Join us as Gronk and Peter Sellars discuss their international work from the last three decades. Taking place on the site of Gronk’s LA Art Show installation Pyramids (see above), the two L.A.-based artists will share their experiences and thoughts on the role of art in the current political climate.
CSRC Director Candidate Vision Talk
Monday, February 10, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
CSRC Library, 144 Haines Hall, UCLA
The CSRC and the Institute of American Cultures invite you to a vision talk by a candidate for the position of CSRC director.
Traveling Exhibition: UCLA: Our Stories, Our Impact
February 11 – March 13, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Robert F. Kennedy Complex Library, 701 S. Catalina Street, Los Angeles, CA 90005
UCLA: Our Stories, Our Impact will be featured at Mercado La Paloma. The multimedia exhibition showcases the role of UCLA and its alumni in advancing equity and equality in America. (See above.)
CSRC Director Candidate Vision Talk
Monday, February 19, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
CSRC Library, 144 Haines Hall, UCLA
The CSRC and the Institute of American Cultures invite you to a vision talk by a candidate for the position of CSRC director.
Book Talk and Archival Donation: Mario T. García presents Father Luis Olivares, a Biography
Thursday, February 20, 4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m.
CSRC Library, 144 Haines Hall, UCLA
Join us as Mario T. García discusses his recent book, Father Luis Olivares, a Biography: Faith Politics and the Origins of the Sanctuary Movement in Los Angeles  (UNC Press, 2018). In addition, García will present to the library an oral history collection that includes interviews he conducted with Chicano activist Raul Ruiz. García, professor of Chicano studies at UCSB, will discuss how Ruiz's oral history contributed to García’s 2015 book, The Chicano Generation: Testimonios of the Movement (UC Press). 

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

Library exhibitions continue

Currently on view at the CSRC Library are three mini exhibitions and an installation. They celebrate fifty years of Chicanx and Latinx activism through art, literature, and scholarship and mark the CSRC’s fiftieth anniversary. Profiles of Activism gathers together prints, photographs, and books from the collections of the CSRC Library. In Give Us Our Flowers: Latinx Artivist Portraits, artist and UCLA doctoral candidate Angélica Becerra presents watercolor portraits of four emerging or established artivists—artist-activists who are responsible for visual culture in contemporary social movements. Salomón Huerta’s Portrait Series of Chicana/o-Latina/o and Mexican–Latin American Icons honors the leaders—both women and men—who have played a key role in making positive differences in the United States and Mexico. The exhibitions will remain on view through the winter quarter in the library and vitrine and are viewable during regular library hours: Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Flores presents in UCLA course

On January 23, CSRC librarian Xaviera Flores spoke to 114 students enrolled in the UCLA course M186B: “Global Feminism, 1850 to Present.” She discussed Chicana activists and the Mujeres Collections, which are part of the LGBTQ/Mujeres Initiative.

Flores hosts UCLA Student Chapter of SLA

On January 24, CSRC librarian Xaviera Flores gave a tour of the CSRC library to the UCLA Student Chapter of the Special Libraries Association (SLA). The tour included a behind-the-scenes look at current archival processing projects.

Flores hosts Soka University of America students

On January 24, fifteen students from Soka University of America traveled from Aliso Viejo in Orange County to tour UCLA’s four ethnic studies centers. CSRC librarian Xaviera Flores met with them to talk about the CSRC’s history and services.

New collections received

The CSRC announces the acquisition of new collections and additions to existing collections. These materials enrich our understanding of the Chicanx and Latinx experience in the United States.

  • Two boxes (three linear feet) of personal materials have been added to the Gregory Boyle Papers. The materials include correspondence, photographs, and artwork sent to Father Boyle, as well as ephemera from his speaking engagements and public appearances.
  • Thirty boxes (thirty-one linear feet) of materials have been donated to the CSRC by Estela Zarate, UCLA alum and Cal State Fullerton professor in the Department of Educational Leadership. The CSRC will archive data from a fifteen-year longitudinal study of Latinx immigrant families in Los Angeles, which Zarate and her team conducted at UCLA through the Department of Education.
Exhibitions with CSRC loans

The following off-campus exhibitions opening this month or currently on view include images and artworks from CSRC collections and publications:

*Exhibition catalog available in the CSRC Library

To schedule a tour of the CSRC Library, contact CSRC librarian Xaviera Flores at floresx@ucla.edu or fill out the form on the CSRC Library Services page.

CSRC Press

CSRC Press’s best-selling anthology now in a new edition

The Chicano Studies Reader: An Anthology of Aztlán, 1970–2019 will ship to the distributor this month. This new edition of the Reader—the fourth—has been expanded with essays that focus on Chicana/o and Latina/o youth, and the format has been enlarged to a generous 7 x 10 inches. Now with thirty-nine essays that represent Aztlán from its inception to the present, The Chicano Studies Reader documents the foundation of Chicano studies, testifies to its broad disciplinary range, and explores its continuing development. The volume is edited by Chon A. Noriega, Eric Avila, Karen Mary Davalos, Chela Sandoval, Rafael Pérez Torres, and Charlene Villaseñor Black, who also contribute introductions that offer analysis and contextualization. Order today from the distributor, the University of Washington Press.


IAC 2020-2021 Research Grant Program in Ethnic Studies

The Institute of American Cultures (IAC) invites applications for support of research on African Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans, and Chicanas/os for 2020-2021. The Institute also invites proposals on interethnic relations that will increase collaboration between the UCLA ethnic studies research centers and/or between the centers and other campus units.

Eligibility Requirements:
UCLA faculty, staff, graduate students, and IAC visiting research scholars

Funding: The Research Grant Program is on a reimbursement-basis only. Funds for the purchase of permanent equipment will be provided only under exceptional circumstances. Conference travel, whether the applicant is presenting or attending, is not eligible.

Grant Period: July 1, 2020 through May 31, 2021.

Deadline to apply: March 1, 2020. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Applicants will be notified in May. Prior to submission of the application, applicants should briefly discuss their proposal with the coordinator of the appropriate center, or in the case of interethnic proposals, with each applicable center. All grant recipients, where appropriate, must comply with UCLA’s Protection of Human Subjects in Research before receiving funding. All grant recipients, where appropriate, must comply with UCLA’s Protection of Human Subjects in Research before receiving funding. If you have been awarded this grant for the last two academic year (2018-19 and 2019-20), you are not eligible to apply for a 2020-21 grant.

The application is available online at https://sa.ucla.edu/IAC/ResearchGrant.

For further information, please contact the coordinator of the appropriate UCLA Ethnic Studies Research Center.