CSRC Newsletter - June 2020
“We need change more than we need peace.” Two young men, one black and the other white, made this statement to a reporter from the local news station in Minneapolis just minutes before curfew last weekend. Their role was to provide care for the other protestors—water and food, as well as iced milk to wash away teargas. They were neither righteous nor angry, but rather calm and assured in taking a public stand against injustice. In contrast, an unjust society simply ignores evidence. In place of facts or the truth, it engages in endless and puerile argument. Against democratic principles, it disenfranchises, imprisons, and segregates, while it limits access to food, clean water, shelter, employment, healthcare, and education. The playing field is littered with buried land mines, yet it is called level. The brutal murder of George Floyd was systemic, not incidental: police kill blacks and Latinos at a rate that is 2.5 and 2.0 times higher, respectively, than the rate for whites. Derek Chauvin pressed his knee onto Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and forty-six seconds, hand in his pocket, as if whiling away the minutes, ignoring Floyd’s pleas. The intent of this act is not Chauvin’s alone. It is baked into the system. Similarly, COVID-19 is disproportionately killing Indigenous peoples, blacks, and Latinos, and the reason is societal: the exploitation of “essential” workers, the forced creation of marginalized communities, and the unequal access to the infrastructure and resources that makes a society. As President Trump made clear in ordering meat processing plants to stay open, Americans must have their animal protein, even if it means a lot of dead Mexican workers. In watching the two young men in Minneapolis, I was struck by how matter-of-fact they were in stating their position and preparing for protest in the face of almost certain police force. What they were doing was right, and it was done for the common good. We need change more than we need peace.
Director and Professor
The exhibition catalog La Raza, published by the CSRC Press, was awarded a gold medal in the category of U.S. History in the 2020 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs). The awards were announced May 6. Edited by Colin Gunckel, the catalog draws from the more than 25,000 images in the La Raza Photograph Collection at the CSRC. Corresponding essays offer both scholarly assessments and personal perspectives of the La Raza photographers, calling attention to their contributions to community activism, social justice movements, photojournalism, and art history. The catalog accompanied the exhibition La Raza at the Autry Museum of the American West, curated by Luis Garza and Amy Scott, which ran from September 2017 to February 2019 and was presented by the Autry in collaboration with the CSRC. The exhibition was part of the Getty arts initiative Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA and attracted over 150,000 visitors. The catalog is currently on sale at 50 percent off, plus tax and shipping, when purchased directly through the CSRC. See CSRC Press below for more information.
The CSRC congratulates Amada Armenta, assistant professor of urban planning at the Luskin School of Public Affairs, on receiving tenure, effective July 1, 2020! Armenta is a CSRC faculty associate and a member of the CSRC Faculty Advisory Committee.
The CSRC congratulates Ines Boechat, professor emerita of radiological sciences, and Arturo Vargas Bustamante, associate professor of health policy and management, on their election to the Los Angeles Division of the UC Academic Senate. Both professors are members of the CSRC Faculty Advisory Committee. Vargas Bustamante is a CSRC faculty associate.
Chicana/o studies graduate students Alana de Hinojosa and Rosanna Simons have been named the UCLA recipients of 2020-21 dissertation-completion fellowships offered by the Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR) and the Mellon Foundation. De Hinojosa and Simons will be part of a national cohort of outstanding doctoral candidates from five universities. Fellowships include a stipend, mentorship, and participation in the IUPLR conference and summer institute. The CSRC is a founding member of the IUPLR, and it contributed to establishing this fellowship program for students who are writing dissertations focused on Chicana/o or Latina/o studies and utilizing humanities-based research methods.
LeighAnna Hidalgo, a 2019-20 IUPLR Mellon dissertation year fellow at the CSRC, has accepted a tenure-track position in the sociology department at the State University of New York at Binghamton. Hidalgo completed her doctoral degree in Chicana/o studies last month. In 2018, she curated the exhibition Casos de Justicia: The Los Angeles Street Vendor Movement at the CSRC Library with support from an IAC research grant.
Carlos Rivas, doctoral candidate in art history and a 2019-20 IUPLR Mellon dissertation year fellow at the CSRC, was selected for the 2020 Young Scholars Symposium hosted by the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Participants are selected from a national pool of applicants and present an essay or dissertation chapter to the cohort.
Ernesto Chávez, professor of history at the University of Texas at El Paso, is the recipient of a fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University for 2020-21. Chávez was the IAC visiting research scholar in residence at the CSRC in 2014-15 He also served on the advisory board to the La Raza exhibition and contributed an essay to the catalog (see News item above).
Jennifer S. Ponce de León, assistant professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, has won the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by an Assistant Professor in the Penn Arts and Sciences 2020 teaching awards program. Ponce de León is a former CSRC arts project coordinator and was in residence at the CSRC in 2018-19 as a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow.
In the latest blog entry for the CSRC Post, CSRC archives specialist Doug Johnson examines the Panel of Americans, a program founded by the UCLA University Religious Conference in 1942. The program included students of different ethnic and religious backgrounds who would travel to communities throughout California to deliver talks and take questions on diversity and tolerance.
The CSRC would like to thank its 2019-20 visiting scholars for their groundbreaking research and contributions to Latina/o scholarship. We wish them the very best.
- Deborah Cullen-Morales was a 2019-20 CSRC research scholar. Her research while in residence focused on the work of Raphael Moñtanez Ortiz (b. 1934), artist and founder of El Museo del Barrio, New York, whose papers are located at the CSRC. Previously, Cullen was director of curatorial programs at El Museo del Barrio, where she worked for over fifteen years. In April she was appointed program officer for arts and cultural heritage at the Andrew G. Mellon Foundation.
- Cecilia Fajardo-Hill is an independent curator and art historian based in Southern California and New York. As a 2019-20 CSRC research scholar, she conducted research for the upcoming touring exhibition Xican-a.o.x. Body, organized by the American Federation of Arts and the Phoenix Art Museum. Over the past year she worked in the archives at the CSRC and at UC Santa Barbara and made studio visits to and conducted investigations of Chicanx artists in California, Texas, and New York. She and collaborators Gilbert Vicario and Marissa del Toro began compiling the exhibition checklist, which will include approximately 200 works by sixty-five artists. In spring 2020, Fajardo-Hill was a visiting lecturer and fellowship visiting research scholar in the Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS) at Princeton University. She co-taught the first Latin American art history course at Princeton to include Chicanx art in the syllabus.
- Jennifer Josten was the 2019-20 Institute of American Cultures visiting scholar at the CSRC and is an associate professor of art and architecture history at the University of Pittsburgh. During her residency, she conducted research in the greater Los Angeles area, Santa Barbara, and Mexico City for two book projects: one titled “Designing the Global Sixties: From Cuba and Mexico to the World,” and another on how icons and materials from Mexico have circulated in post-1990 contemporary art. Josten delivered lectures on this new research at the University of Chicago’s Katz Center for Mexican Studies and the University of Florida’s Harn Museum of Art, and she led research workshops for graduate students at the University of Chicago and the University of Maryland.
Image-text artist Celia Álvarez Muñoz has received the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award in the Visual Arts from Art League Houston. Muñoz’s work is the subject of the award-winning monograph Celia Álvarez Muñoz by Roberto Tejada, volume 3 in the A Ver Revisioning Art History series from CSRC Press. The volume is currently on sale when purchased directly from the CSRC (see CSRC Press below).
CSRC in the News
All “In the News” articles are available in PDF format on the CSRC website.
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.
The CSRC congratulates our graduating library student workers Chantel Diaz (MLIS), Sarah Corona (MLIS/MA), and Zaira Bernal (BA)! We thank them for their hard work and dedication. We are very proud of them and know they will go on to do great things for the Chicanx/Latinx community and their respective fields. We wish them the very best.
On May 22 and 29, CSRC librarian and archivist Xaviera Flores held workshops for doctoral students planning to archive their personal research collections. Flores provided insight and advice on how to archive research materials by using case examples from attendees. A total of sixty people attended the workshops.
The CSRC has acquired the films, photographs, research materials, and related ephemera of Barbara Bustillos Cogswell, a Chicana documentary filmmaker, videographer, producer, and journalist. Bustillos Cogswell’s repertoire includes public programming on Latino art and culture, a documentary on lowrider and motorcycle culture in the US Southwest, films on legendary rock, blues, jazz, and mariachi musicians, interviews with acclaimed Hollywood cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa Sr. and his son, photographer Gabriel Figueroa Jr., and more. The CSRC will provide an in-depth announcement once the collection is processed and available for research.
La Raza was an underground publication that was launched in 1967 to document events and disseminate news and information during the early months of the Chicano movement. Initially issued as a newspaper, it began appearing in magazine format in 1970. An important organizing tool for community activism, La Raza continued to publish stories of interest to Los Angeles’s Chicano/Latino community into 1977. The digital materials are part of a larger collection, the La Raza Publication Records, which will eventually offer administrative records and ephemera related to the publication. Issues of the newspaper and magazine can be found here.
The finding aid for the Tomas Benitez Papers has been updated. Benitez served as executive director of Self-Help Graphics & Art, and was a founding member of the Latino Arts Network. The collection consists of magazines, posters, gallery cards, and ephemera documenting the city’s arts scene from 1970 to 2006. The finding aid can be viewed at the Online Archive of California.
The finding aid for the Dennis E. Leoni Resurrection Blvd. Papers has been updated. Dennis E. Leoni, who began his career as a stuntman on Hawaii Five-O in the 1970s, works in various capacities in Hollywood. In 1999 he wrote the pilot for Resurrection Blvd., which was picked up by the Showtime network and premiered in 2000. Airing for three seasons, the series focused on the Santiagos, a Mexican American family of boxers in East Los Angeles. At the time, the show represented the largest collection of Latinx talent, both in front of and behind the camera, in the history of Hollywood. The collection consists of scripts, production records, contracts, publicity material, and videotapes. The finding aid can be viewed at the Online Archive of California.
The finding aid for the Church of the Epiphany Records has been updated. The Church of the Epiphany, located in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, was founded in 1883 and is the oldest continuously operating Episcopal church in the city. During the Chicano movement it was a center for community activism, serving as the birthplace of the periodical La Raza and a meeting place for organizers of the National Chicano Moratorium. In 2005 the church was designated a historical landmark. The collection consists of photographs, clippings, correspondence, printed material, and ephemera that document the church’s history from 1964 to 2000. The finding aid can be viewed at the Online Archive of California.
Two Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Interns will join the CSRC this summer:
- Jennifer Payan is a second-year student from Pasadena City College who will transfer to UCLA in the fall. Payan is pursuing a B.A. in art history. She will work with CSRC librarian and archivist Xaviera Flores to describe and provide digital access to the Gronk Papers and the Robert Legorreta–Cyclona Collection.
- Amado Castillo is a third-year UCLA student pursuing a degree in sociology and Chicana/o studies. Castillo will work with CSRC archives specialist Doug Johnson to create an online exhibition for the CSRC’s Chicano Moratorium 50th Anniversary Project, a website developed with the help of UCLA-Mellon Community Archives intern Chantel Diaz.
CSRC library worker Grace Muñoz, a second-year UCLA graduate student in library and information studies, has received several awards and grants this summer:
- Summer 2020 Information Studies Digital Resource Development Initiative (DRDI) award to create a digital exhibition on Chicanx murals made during the Chicano art movement.
- Acceptance to the Association of Moving Images Association (AMIA) Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship Program. This program is the result of collaborative work done by AMIA and the National Film Preservation Board Diversity Task Force to assess and evaluate the state of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of audiovisual archiving.
- 2020 Dr. Karin Duran Scholarship from the REFORMA Los Angeles Chapter. REFORMA is a national association that promotes library and information services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking communities.
In accordance with Chancellor Gene Block’s directive to suspend most on-campus operations, the CSRC Library and its archive are closed until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. During this time, CSRC Library staff will remain available via email, and we look forward to engaging with community members remotely. For online library instruction, see Events (above).
Off-campus exhibitions that include images and artworks from CSRC collections and publications are currently closed due to the COVID-19 crisis. Our best wishes go out to the curators, museum personnel, and the artists, and we hope the public is able to encounter these works again in the near future. In the meantime, we are reaching out to scholars, students, and curators to highlight aspects of our collections online. Stay tuned!
All CSRC Press books and DVDs are now 50 percent off (tax and shipping included!) through June 15. This offer includes the award-winning La Raza exhibition catalog and the newly expanded and updated edition of The Chicano Studies Reader. Also available are the PST: LA/LA exhibition catalogs Home—So Different, So Appealing and Laura Aguilar: Show and Tell, as well as all titles in the A Ver: Revisioning Art History series and the Chicano Cinema and Media Art Series! To make your purchases, contact Darling Sianez at firstname.lastname@example.org. Browse all CSRC Press titles on our website. Please note: The current issue of Aztlán and subscriptions are not included in the sale. DVD sale prices do not apply to institutions.