CSRC Newsletter - June 2021

Volume 19, Number 10

Director’s Message

This will be my last Director’s Message before I step down on June 30. I started the newsletter in January 2003, promising “information about news, events, and opportunities, as well as reports from our library and press.” Just the facts. I also drew attention to the state budget crisis then underway, noting the profound disparity between the percentage of Latina/o youth that entered California’s public schools each year—about half—and the much smaller percentages of Latina/o students and faculty in the University of California system. I concluded, “This equity deficit must be considered as important a policy issue as the budget deficit.” That remains true today. In writing the newsletter, I tried to keep the entries simple and straightforward, but, truth be told, my early “Director’s Messages” were often a bit earnest-to-indignant, even if for good reasons. Yet, when I engaged an issue with humor, or took a more “human interest” approach, I would inevitably receive very appreciative emails. Facts are important, but so is a resilient and inclusive outlook that can see beyond the persistent challenges, disparities, and biases. One of the ways we can do that is to understand that making a difference resides more in the conviviality of a collective effort than in the struggle against an opposing force. Of course, as a dear colleague would no doubt say, that sounds like bringing an acoustic guitar to a knife fight. Perhaps, but I am a child of the sixties, and a good Mexican corrido or American folk song never hurt a social movement.   
Last month the Fowler Museum hosted a farewell event for me. I was pleased to bring together some of the many people at UCLA and in the larger community who have contributed to our efforts at the CSRC: scholars, activists, elected officials, civil rights organizers, artists, and professionals who are bringing change to social institutions. Our goal was to share intimate conversations and showcase the arts, which have always been on the front line of social justice and public visibility. I was especially moved to have two poets read works that engaged with some of the CSRC’s research-based efforts. Imagine that! These poets were Vickie Vértiz, whose work U.S. poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera has described as “a Chicana world mural tumbling toward you fearlessly,” and Roberto Tejada, whose poetry is as approachable as it is haunting, since it is not simply ideas and beauty at stake in his poems, but our bodies, our feelings, and our social and environmental survival in the twenty-first century. We need such poetry.
This last year has been unlike any other in our lifetimes: a global pandemic with profound racial disparities, a global reckoning with anti-Black racism, a direct assault on U.S. democracy, from an undermining of voting rights to straight-up insurrection, and—just the facts—an increasing equity deficit for Latina/os seeking access to higher education. There is more work to be done. While I am stepping back from academic administration, I will remain active in all the areas that have been dear to me throughout my career. And, as will be announced next week, the CSRC will have an outstanding new director to carry on our collective effort.
Chon A. Noriega
Director and Distinguished Professor


CSRC publications win 2021 IPPY awards
Two CSRC Press publications have won medals in the 2021 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs), which were announced May 28. The Chicano Studies Reader: Anthology of Aztlán, 1970-2019, won a gold medal in the category Multicultural Non-Fiction Adult. Knowledge for Justice: An Ethnic Studies Reader won a bronze medal in the Anthologies category. Knowledge for Justice was produced by the four UCLA ethnic studies research centers on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Institute of American Cultures. The list of all winners can be found on the IPPY website.
Ralph Arriola, presente!
The CSRC mourns the recent passing of Ralph Arriola. Arriola, who grew up in the San Fernando Valley, was among the post–World War II generation of early Mexican American activists. The CSRC is honored to hold the Ralph Arriola Papers, which contain his personal papers, including photographs, newspapers, and ephemera documenting the farmworker movement, educational reform, the National Chicano Moratorium, political campaigns, labor activism, and other activities related to the Chicano movement. A finding aid to the collection can be found at the Online Archive of California.
Noriega serves on L.A. Arts Recovery Fund panel
CSRC director Chon A. Noriega was among the L.A. arts sector experts asked to serve on the Community Review Panel for the L.A. Arts Recovery Fund. Initiated by the Getty Foundations and administered by the California Community Foundation, the fund was created to provide operating support grants to arts organizations in Los Angeles County that were impacted by the pandemic. For more information about the fund and grantees, visit https://www.calfund.org/laartsfund/.
CSRC welcomes newly admitted Latinx transfer students
On May 18, CSRC director Chon A. Noriega, CSRC associate director Charlene Villaseñor Black, and CSRC librarian and archivist Xaviera Flores participated in an online welcome event for newly admitted Latinx transfer students. During breakout sessions, which offered students the opportunity to ask questions, Flores spoke about CSRC resources. The event was cosponsored by the UCLA Hispanic Serving Institution Taskforce, the Latino Staff and Faculty Association, Latina/o Alumni Association, and Undergraduate Admissions.
Tompkins Rivas joins board
Pilar Tompkins Rivas, chief curator and deputy director of curatorial and collections at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art and former CSRC arts project coordinator, has joined the board of directors of the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.
Home artworks featured in PBS story
On May 24, PBS NewsHour reported on the opening of a new building at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), which will display the museum’s growing collection of Latin American and Latino artworks. Mari Carmen Ramírez, Wortham Curator of Latin American Art and co-curator of the CSRC-organized exhibition Home—So Different, So Appealing, was interviewed for the story, which featured many works from the Home exhibition. The recording is available on the PBS NewsHour YouTube channel.
Ucedo organizes screening and workshop series
Nicole Ucedo, CSRC archival projects assistant, organized and produced the screening and workshop series “Demythifying Los Angeles” for the Echo Park Film Center (EPFC). The series, which is supported by a grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is focused on Latinx filmmakers making work in and about Los Angeles. On May 22, CSRC director Chon A. Noriega moderated a Q&A with filmmaker Robert Diaz LeRoy following a screening of his film River Bottom (1993). A recording of the event is available on the EPFC YouTube channel. For more information about the series and upcoming programs, visit the EPFC website.
Noriega, Argote, and Abes featured in LA Art Show talk
CSRC director Chon A. Noriega and L.A.-based artists and Bruins Carmen Argote and Zeynep Abes were featured in a DIVERSEartLA Talk hosted by the LA Art Show (LAAS). The LAAS will take place July 29–August 1 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. For the expo, Noriega will curate the exhibition Immersive Distancing: Carmen Argote and Zeynep Abes, which was inspired by this year’s DIVERSEartLA focus on women and nonbinary artists researching and documenting art, science, and technology. A recording of the discussion is available on the LA Art Show website.
Welcome, Getty Marrow interns!
This summer, the CSRC will host two interns through the Getty Marrow Multicultural Undergraduate Internship Program. Jacqueline Piña Ascencio received her bachelor’s in art history and graphic design from Cal State Long Beach. Piña Ascencio will be the CSRC’s Getty Marrow Academic Programs and Publications Intern and will assist in the production, promotion, and documentation of the CSRC-organized exhibition Immersive Distancing: Carmen Argote and Zeynep Abes at the LA Art Show. Eric Olsen is the Preservation and Research Intern. Olsen is a third-year UCLA student, majoring in geography and environmental studies with a history and Chicano studies minor. Olsen will be working with library staff on an archival project to create an online portal and landing website for the CSRC’s art and artist collections. Both interns will join the CSRC for ten weeks beginning June 21.
Ramos to join National Gallery of Art
E. Carmen Ramos has been appointed chief curator and conservation officer at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Ramos previously served as acting chief curator and curator of Latinx art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where she has held appointments since 2010. Ramos is the author of Freddy Rodriguez, a forthcoming volume in the A Ver: Revisioning Art History series from CSRC Press.
Perry joins faculty at Oberlin College
Ana Perry has been appointed assistant professor of modern and contemporary art at Oberlin College. Perry conducted research at the CSRC for her doctoral thesis, which focuses on the work of artist Raphael Montañez Ortiz. The CSRC holds the Raphael Montañez Ortiz Papers.
Ponce de Léon publishes book
Jennifer Ponce de Léon, assistant professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania and former CSRC associate researcher, has published the book Another Aesthetics Is Possible: Arts of Rebellion in the Fourth World War (Duke University Press, 2021). In 2018-19, Ponce de Léon completed her manuscript while in residence at the CSRC as a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Scholar.
Aguiñiga publishes book
Jorge Campos Aguiñiga has published the book Villages of Mourning (Page Publishing, 2021), which recounts his family’s history during the years that they lived in Ziquítaro, Michoacán, Mexico. The book discusses the village where Aguiñiga’s sister Socorro married Oscar Zeta Acosta, attorney, politician, author, and Chicano movement activist. The CSRC holds the Socorro Aguiñiga Papers.
Águilas to screen at Palm Springs International ShortFest
Águilas, a fourteen-minute documentary about Águilas del Desierto (Desert Eagles), a humanitarian search-and-rescue group that looks for migrants who have gone missing in the Arizona desert, as been selected to screen at the 2021 Palm Springs International ShortFest, June 22–28. The film is directed by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, professor of film in the School of Theater, Film, and Television and CSRC Faculty Advisory Committee member, and Maite Zubiaurre, professor of European languages, transcultural studies, and Spanish and Portuguese. The making of Águilas was supported in part by an Institute of American Cultures research grant through the CSRC.
Frontera Collection live show on YouTube
Don’t miss this month’s live shows from Frontera Collection ¡En Vivo!, featuring music from the Arhoolie Foundation’s Frontera Collection. Hosted and DJ’d by Juan Antonio Cuellar, the two two-hour live bilingual programs will feature music from the collection. Tune in Thursdays, June 10 and 24, starting at 6:00 p.m. on YouTube. Complement your experience by exploring the Strachwitz Frontera Collection of Mexican and Mexican American Music, which is hosted by the CSRC, the Arhoolie Foundation, and the UCLA Digital Library and features blog posts by music writer Agustín Gurza.
2020-21 visiting scholars report
The CSRC would like to thank its 2020-21 visiting scholars for their groundbreaking research and contributions to Latina/o scholarship. We wish them the very best.
  • Cecilia Fajardo-Hill is an independent curator and art historian based in New York. As a 2020-21 CSRC research scholar she conducted research on the artist Patssi Valdez, a project for which she received an Andy Warhol Foundation Art Writers Grant. In January of this year she became a member of editorial board of Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, and she continued to work on the forthcoming exhibition Xican-a.o.x. Body, organized by the American Federation of Arts. Fajardo-Hill also participated in the 2020 Wyeth Foundation for American Art Symposium, “Feminism in American Art History,” and contributed an essay to Christina Fernandez: Multiple Exposures, a forthcoming exhibition catalog from CSRC Press.   
  • José Muñoz, the 2020-21 Institute of American Cultures visiting scholar at the CSRC, is an associate professor of sociology at California State University, San Bernardino. While in residence, Muñoz developed his project on Latino faculty from first-generation and working-class backgrounds. He has one paper under review that explores the experiences of Latino sociologists across the country. Muñoz is currently conducting one-on-one virtual interviews with Latino faculty to explore themes related to career trajectories, mentorship, and the job market, and he plans to interview Latino graduate students to further the work accomplished at the CSRC. In August, he will present a co-authored paper, “Social Class and Mobility into the Sociology Graduate Pipeline,” at the American Sociological Association conference. In February, Muñoz advised UCLA graduate students and alumni on developing competitive applications for faculty positions in the California State University system. The event was organized by the CSRC, and the recording is available on the UCLA Alumni YouTube Channel.
New on CSRC YouTube:
On May 12, José M. Alamillo, professor and chair of the Chicana/o Studies Department at CSU Channel Islands, presented his new book, Deportes: The Making of a Sporting Mexican Diaspora (Rutgers University Press, 2021). Spanning the first half of the twentieth century, Deportes explores the experiences of the Mexican male and female athletes, teams, and leagues and their supporters who fought for recognition and equal treatment on both sides of the US-Mexico border. Alamillo was introduced by Genevieve Carpio, assistant professor of Chicana/o and Central American studies. Rudy Mondragón, doctoral candidate in Chicana/o and Central American studies, moderated the Q&A.
On May 19, the CSRC and the Fowler Museum presented a special online program celebrating Chon A. Noriega, who is stepping down this summer after nineteen years as the director of the CSRC. The program also marked the recent establishment of the Chon Noriega Arts Fund, which will support research-based efforts to advance understanding of the arts within the mission of the CSRC. Special guests included Marla C. Berns (director of the Fowler), Wendy Laura Belcher, María De Los Angeles “Nena” Torres, Carlos M. Haro, Claudia Mitchell-Kernan, Cheech Marin, Terezita Romo, the Hon. Lucille Roybal-Allard, Thomas A. Saenz, Pilar Tompkins Rivas, Charlene Villaseñor Black, and David K. Yoo. The event also featured poetry readings by Roberto Tejada and Vickie Vértiz and a performance by Dan Guerrero.

CSRC In the News

A Q&A with CSRC director Chon A. Noriega as he prepares to step down from leading the CSRC, which he has done since 2002.
Los Angeles Times online, May 21, 2021 (PDF)
Mentioned in UCLA Newsroom, UCLA In the News, May 21, 2021 (PDF)
A preview and commentary appeared in the Los Angeles Times Entertainment & Arts Newsletter, May 22, 2021 (PDF)
Los Angeles Times print edition, May 24, 2021 (PDF)
"History, Culture, Film, and More”
The monthly newsletter of the School of Theater, Film, and Television highlighted the Los Angeles Times feature on CSRC director Chon A. Noriega.
UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television newsletter, May 2021 (PDF)
A feature on CSRC director Chon A. Noriega, who discusses his nineteen-year tenure leading the CSRC.
UCLA Newsroom, May 21, 2021 (PDF)
Also featured on the UCLA.edu homepage, May 21, 2021 (PDF)
Also featured in UCLA Newsroom Weekly Highlights, May 24, 2021 (PDF)
A review of Laura Aguilar: Show and Tell was included in a roundup of reviews of exhibitions currently on view in the US.
Frieze, May 14, 2021 (PDF)
All “In the News” articles are available in PDF format on the CSRC website.

CSRC Library

Pride resources at the CSRC
Happy Pride Month! To learn more about LGBTQIA+ projects and resources at the CSRC, please visit:
Finding aid for Alex Donis Papers updated
The finding aid for the Alex Donis Papers has been updated. Donis is a Los Angeles–based visual artist and educator whose work examines and redefines the boundaries set within religion, politics, race, and sexuality. He has participated in hundreds of national and international individual and group exhibitions, and his work is in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the San Diego Museum of Art, and the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas, Austin. The collection consists of video and audio tapes, artwork, publicity material for exhibitions, correspondence, and photographs. There are also clippings, periodicals, books, and ephemera. The finding aid can be found at the Online Archive of California.
Exhibitions with CSRC loans
The following exhibitions, opening this month or currently on view, include images and artworks from CSRC collections and publications:
Library and archive available remotely
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 assistance, please email librarian@chicano.ucla.edu.

CSRC Press

E-book edition of the Chicano Studies Reader
The award-winning, best-selling Chicano Studies Reader: An Anthology of Aztlán, 1970–2019 will be released in e-book format later this month. Now in its fourth edition—and the recipient of a gold medal from the 2021 IPPY awards committee (see News, above)—the Reader is a one-of-kind resource that provides an overview of Chicanx and Latinx scholarship from the Chicano movement era to the present. The contents reflect the wide-ranging interests and fields of study that have been represented in the pages of Aztlán since its first issue in 1970. The e-book edition, as well as the print edition (released in 2020), are distributed for CSRC Press by the University of Washington Press. For more information, visit the UWP website.
Aztlán available for download
All back issues of Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies from CSRC Press, as well as individual essays, are available for download at IngentaConnect. Print and digital subscriptions are also available through this platform. To explore all issues from the past fifty years, and to purchase or subscribe, click here.
CSRC available remotely
In accordance with Chancellor Gene Block’s directive to suspend most on-campus operations, the CSRC is closed until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. During this time, CSRC staff will remain available via email (http://www.chicano.ucla.edu/about/staff) and at csrcinfo@chicano.ucla.edu.
The UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands). As a land grant institution, we pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.