CSRC Newsletter - January 2010

Volume 8, Number 5

Director’s Message

Welcome to 2010! Last year ended with Hollywood’s highest box office gross ever.  The industry also saw a 5 percent growth in tickets sold during 2008, which means the box office increase was not due to higher ticket prices alone. Amid the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, people are finding some much-needed solace at the theaters, just as they did eighty years ago. But now they are finding Mexicans there, too, although not in the way or even in the place you might think. Consider Sherlock Holmes, based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “consulting detective,” who is noted for his prowess in deductive reasoning. Director Guy Ritchie imported American actor Robert Downey Jr. to fill the title role and turned the incessantly talky earlier film versions into an all-out action flick, but the film is still resolutely London-based. Given this, the marketing of the film through 7-Eleven convenience stores and the product tie-in with its 99¢ Go-Go Taquitos is puzzling. The movie/taco poster of a dapper Downey and Jude Law, both in character, implores customers to “Get a clue” and buy a taquito, no doubt on their way to the movie theater. One might exclaim, “Holy Taco Bell Chihuahua, Batman, what were they thinking?” Is this nothing more than a cheap, and mindless, attempt to sell more Mexicanized junk food? But then it came to me: the “l” in “Holmes” is actually silent, and therefore the name is pronounced “Homes,” a slightly more formal variation of “homies.” The head-scratching product tie-in is simply a way of letting people know that Sherlock Holmes, often thought of as an effete Brit, is in fact down with the homies and would as likely choose a Go-Go Taquito with a Tecate as some haggis with a pint. Raza take note, this film speaks to you. You will not find this personal connection in the film itself, mind you. Chicanos fill the theaters, but not the screen. To understand how Hollywood speaks to you, all you need to do is go to 7-Eleven and get a clue.
Chon A. Noriega
Director and Professor


Noriega on Museum Panel
Chon A. Noriega, CSRC director, will participate in a panel discussion titled “Museums: Not Just for Tourists” on Tuesday, January 5, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown Los Angeles. The panel, which is being organized by Town Hall Los Angeles in conjunction with the American Association of Museums, will explore the challenge of engaging Los Angeles's multi-ethnic communities in cultural offerings that reflect the Angeleno lifestyle. Other panelists are Ford Bell, president of the American Association of Museums; Charmaine Jefferson, executive director of the California African American Museum; Paul Schimmel, chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art; and Michael Govan, director and CEO of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Reservations are required.

CSRC in the News

A Hollywood Reporter article on the American Film Institute's top ten films of 2009 notes that Chon A. Noriega, director of UCLA's Chicano Studies Research Center and a professor of cinema and media studies at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, was a member of the AFI jury. UCLA Newsroom carried the news item in December. The State of Latino Los Angeles, CSRC Policy & Issues Brief No. 24, was cited in the Los Angeles Times in a piece about the Latino middle class published on January 4. La Opinión featured the report in November.
CSRC in the Blogosphere
CSRC’s association with Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano Movement is mentioned in Phil Patton’s blog about Vocho, Margarita Cabrera’s depiction of a Volkswagen Beetle, which is featured in the exhibition. Chon A. Noriega, CSRC director, is co-curator of the exhibition, which opens at El Museo de Barrio in New York City in March. The exhibition originated at LACMA in April 2008 and has since traveled in the United States and Mexico. Patton, a noted author and journalist, writes about automobile design for the New York Times. Cabrera’s sculptures, including Vocho, were featured in the Spring 2008 issue of Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies.
CSRC Book Reviewed
The Art of Healing Latinos, published by the CSRC in 2008, was reviewed in a recent issue of the Journal of Hospital Librarianship. The book, which received a First Place International Latino Book Award for 2009, relates the experiences of physicians, researchers, administrators, and activists who provide health services to the Latino community. The reviewer noted that the work is “rich with … insights” and contains an “impressive” range of topics. The review and more information about the book is available on the CSRC Press website.


Screening of No Movie
No Movie, a film featuring the artist Gronk, will be screened in the CSRC Library (144 Haines) on Thursday, January 14, 4:00­–6:00 p.m. A Q&A session with Gronk will follow the screening. No Movie is volume 5 of the CSRC’s Chicano Cinema and Media Art Series. For more information on the films in the series, visit the CSRC website.
Discussion and Book Signing
William Perez, professor of education at Claremont Graduate University, will talk about his new book, We Are Americans: Undocumented Students Pursuing the American Dream, on Tuesday, January 19, 1:00–3:00 p.m., in the CSRC Library (144 Haines). Dr. Perez’s book focuses on the educational challenges faced by high achieving undocumented Latino students in the United States. His presentation will be followed by a Q & A session and a book signing.
Screening of Traces of the Trade
The CSRC, in conjunction with the School of Public Affairs and the Critical Race Studies working group, will host a screening of Traces of the Trade: A Story of the Deep North on Tuesday, January 19, 5:00–7:30 p.m., in the Acosta Film Room of the UCLA Morgan Center. The documentary, by Katrina Browne, explores the history and legacy of slavery in the United States. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the filmmaker and a reception. For a description of the film, visit the PBS website.
Research Forum
The CSRC is hosting a lunchtime research forum on Wednesday, January 20, 12:00–1:00 p.m., in the CSRC Library (144 Haines). Iczel Santizo, Monica Gudino, Ana Dvorak, Miguel Zavala, and Leonard Melchor, UCLA graduate students, will present outlines of their research. Topics include the implementation of policies addressing intra-family violence in Guatemala, the impact of the silver trade on Chinese-Mexican integration in the nineteenth century, Chicano/a research after “El Plan de Santa Barbara,” and Mexican surfers of Venice. For more information contact Leonard Melchor.
Chicano Poetics
Marissa López, professor of English and Chicana/o studies at UCLA, and Bryant Florez, graduate of the UCLA English department, will discuss the CSRC's role in fostering Chicano poetry in a presentation titled “Chicano Poetics: From El Movimiento to Today.” The event will take place on Wednesday, January 27, 12:00–1:00 p.m., in the CSRC Library (144 Haines). Dr. López will discuss the impact of poet and activist Alurista on movimiento politics and literary production. CSRC published a collection of Alurista’s early poetry in Floricanto en Aztlán in 1971. Mr. Florez, an L.A.-based musician, poet, and performer, will speak about the influence of movimiento poetry on contemporary Chicano hip hop and spoken word and perform some of his recent work.


Postdoctoral Fellowship and Visiting Scholar Program
Applications are now being accepted for the CSRC’s 2010–11 postdoctoral fellowship and visiting scholar program, which is offered in cooperation with the UCLA Institute of American Cultures (IAC). CSRC postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars contribute to the research activities of the center, including teaching a ten-week undergraduate or graduate seminar based on their research project. The postdoctoral fellow will receive an academic stipend of $32,000 to $35,000 (contingent upon rank, experience, and date of completion of doctoral studies), plus health benefits. While all proposals related to Chicano-Latino studies are welcome, preference will be given to applications that complement existing projects at the CSRC or elsewhere on campus. Applications are due by Friday, January 15. Recipients will be notified by mid-April. Submit applications to CSRC Assistant Director Javier Iribarren. Questions about the program should be sent to Dr. Iribarren at jiribarren@chicano.ucla.edu.

CSRC Library and Archive

Recent Acquisitions
Fascinating Slippers was a site-specific art installation at the San Jose Museum of Art in 1992. Created and performed by Gronk and directed by Juan Garza, the event was videotaped over an eleven-hour period for a one-hour documentary. Mr. Garza has donated the full set original camera tapes as well as the final Beta master to the CSRC Library. These vital and unique tapes show Gronk working onsite and interacting with museum visitors, staff, and administration. The CSRC thanks Mr. Garza for his generous contribution, and we look forward to making this valuable material available for viewing.
    The Tatiana de la Tierra Papers contains approximately ten linear feet of materials representing the preparation and production of Ms. De la Tierra’s publication Esto No Tiene Nombre, Revista de Lesbianas Latinas. The collection includes manuscript submissions, correspondence, documents related to fund-raising, and administrative papers. The CSRC is grateful to Ms. De la Tierra for donating her work and for her contribution to Chicana studies.


The move of the CSRC’s archival processing office is complete! The new space features a special collections reading area and a media facility. Make a resolution to explore the CSRC’s Online Archive of California catalog soon. We can help with all your Chicana/o researching needs!

CSRC Press

Available Online
Advocacy for Latino Baby Boomers: Protecting an At-Risk Population (Latinos & Economic Security Policy Brief No. 4) is now available online and in print. In this study of support for older Latino baby boomers, Carlos M. Haro, former CSRC assistant director, surveyed ten prominent advocacy groups and service organizations. Findings show that these groups do not adequately address the needs of the growing population of aging Latinos. The brief was produced with the help of Javier Iribarren, Karina McCormack, and Yvette Flores. The series is co-published with the UCLA Center for Policy Research on Aging and the USC/Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center.
New Publications in 2010
This year will be a busy one for the CSRC Press. Watch for new books in the A Ver and Chicano Archives series and new DVDs in the Chicano Cinema and Media Art series.

In addition to the soon-to-be-released María Brito, by Juan A. Martínez, CSRC Press will publish two volumes in the A Ver series: Carmen Lomas Garza, by Constance Cortez, and Malaquias Montoya, by Terezita Romo. Carmen Lomas Garza is widely recognized for paintings and paper and metal cutouts that celebrate the everyday activities and traditions of her family and her South Texas Latino community. Malaquias Montoya, best known for his silkscreen prints, creates art that reflects his unwavering commitment to promoting the dignity of labor and exposing assaults on human rights. Visit the CSRC’s A Ver webpage to learn more about the series and the research that supports it.

Two volumes in The Chicano Archives series will be published in 2010; this series brings together resources that are related to major Chicano special collections. In the first, Karen Mary Davalos employs the CSRC’s collection of papers from The Mexican Museum of San Francisco to trace the museum’s history. In the second, Chantal Rodriguez discusses the Center Theatre Group’s Latino Theater Initiative (LTI), a program that aimed to expand and diversify audiences by offering works that would interest the Latino community; Center Theatre Group donated its LTI materials to the CSRC in 2005. Both volumes contain a guide to the collection and a selected bibliography. More information about the series is available online.
New DVDs will include Staccato Purr of the Exhaust, directed by Luis Meza, and Run Tecato Run and Chicano Love is Forever, directed by Efrain Gutierrez. Fascinating Slippers, directed by Juan Garza, features an art-performance by Gronk. Read about the Chicano Cinema and Media Art series online and watch clips from selected films on the CSRC’s YouTube channel.

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