CSRC Newsletter June - August 2005
CSRC Newsletter Volume 3, Number 9
“It was better before they came.” This phrase can be found in Southern California near the Baldwin Park Metrolink station on a public artwork that includes numerous inscriptions reflecting the region's diverse history. Two weeks ago the artwork became the focus of public protest by the Ventura-based group Save Our State, which opposes illegal immigration. The group identified another passage, this one by the late Chicana poet Gloria Anzaldúa, as the “most offensive.” It reads “This land was Mexican once,/was Indian always/and is,/And will be again.” To the Save Our State members, these passages--and the artwork over all--are “seditious” and “anti-American.” But let's take a closer look at this conflict.
The artwork, by UCLA professor Judy Baca, was completed twelve years ago. Like her numerous other public artworks around the world, this one involved the community in a collaborative process of recovering local history in all its complexity. Baldwin Park is now 70 percent Latino and nearly 40 percent of the adult population does not have citizenship (which is not necessarily the same as being “illegal” or undocumented). The phrase--“It was better before they came”--was actually a statement made to Baca by a white civic leader who lamented the dramatic increase of Mexican immigrants to California after World War II. The cruel irony behind his statement is that he was himself from another place, Arkansas. In not attributing this passage to the man (or anyone), Baca used ambiguity in her artwork to emphasize the way in which all groups stigmatize each other for not belonging “here”--when in fact we are all immigrants, some more recent than others. When Save Our State ventured into Baldwin Park in order to protest, one supporter described it as “like going into the lion's den.” But the “anti-American” passage that mobilized them did not so much describe an opponent (the proverbial lion) as it held up a mirror to their own nativist sentiments. In effect, they were fighting with themselves, while blaming someone else.
If you ever visit Baldwin Park, you will find the following passage as part of Baca's original artwork: “Use your brain before you make up your mind.”
Chon A. Noriega, Professor and Director
CSRC Awarded Center for Community Partnership Grant
The CSRC and the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, Inc. (CHRCL) have been awarded a grant from the UCLA Center for Community Partnerships for the partnership project Casa Libre/Freedom House: A Model Practice for Homeless Immigrant Children. Established in 1997, the Casa Libre/Freedom House represents a model comprehensive program addressing the unique challenges and risks facing immigrant minors in Los Angeles. The partnership will create a modular DVD with documentary segments and oral histories to inform the public and relevant agencies about this population, present Casa Libre as a potential model for other shelters in the area, and engage Casa Libre's residents with hands-on media experience. The oral histories and transcripts will be archived at UCLA for future research.
New CSRC Audio-Visual Center Established
The CSRC is pleased to announce the creation of a new audio-visual center to assist in its research, archival, and press projects. The AV Center will videotape oral histories, produce documentary segments for DVD projects, and document both campus and community-based events. CSRC Manuscript Processor and filmmaker Mike Stone (MFA, Columbia University) will oversee the AV center.
Sleepy Lagoon Defendants Commemorated at UCLA
Thanks to all who contributed to the conference to commemorate the sixty-first anniversary of the release of the Sleepy Lagoon defendants and to reflect upon the similarities of the case to contemporary events. Held on May 20 and 21 by the CSRC, the Charles E. Young Library Department of Special Collections, and the Fowler Museum, the two-day conference was titled The Sleepy Lagoon Case, Constitutional Rights and the Struggle for Democracy. It featured Alice Greenfield McGrath, executive secretary of the Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee, and Jaime Gonzalez Monroy, a union organizer and a member of the Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee in the 1940s. Other panelists included over twenty-five leading scholars who have studied the history of the Sleepy Lagoon case as well as those involved with the infamous trial. For students, teachers, and others interested in the Sleepy Lagoon case, visit our website . To view the conference papers and an online exhibition of the case, visit the UCLA Young Research Library Department of Special Collections Sleepy Lagoon website.
New Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies
Congratulations to the UCLA Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, which officially gained the status of a department this Spring. On May 24, university leaders, students, faculty, staff, and community members gathered to celebrate the creation of the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, which has been an academic field at UCLA for more than 30 years.
Chon Noriega Keynote Speaker at Latino Art Conference
On May 21, Chon A. Noriega gave a keynote address at the Assessment and Valuation of Puerto Rican, Chicano, Latino and Hispanic-Caribbean Art Conference at Hunter College in New York City. Noriega discussed A Ver, the CSRC book series devoted to the cultural and artistic contributions of U.S.-based Latino artists.
CSRC Research Assistant Awarded Summer Research Mentorship
Colin Gunckel (Ph.D. student, Critical Studies), who has worked on the CSRC community partnership with Self-Help Graphics and is editing the book on the organization, as well as subtitling our next DVD, has received a 2005 Graduate Summer Research Mentorship to work with Chon A. Noriega on a project about Spanish-language movie theaters in the Southwest.
CSRC Events This Month
CSRC Faculty Exchange Series with Rubén Hernández-León
the CSRC will host Rubén Hernández-León, assistant professor in the UCLA Department of Sociology, who will speak about and sign copies of his edited volume New Destinations: Mexican Immigration in the United States. Assistant Professor Kelly Lytle Hernandez, History, and Professor Roger Waldinger, Sociology will be presenters. The reception will begin at 12:00 noon on Thursday, June 9, and the lecture will follow at 12:30 pm.
New Acquisition of Museum Papers
The CSRC Library is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Mexican Museum Administrative Papers. The museum papers represent twenty-five years of the curatorial and administrative history of the Mexican Museum in San Francisco. Student interns will help process the 160-box collection this summer.
New Finding Aids Available Soon
Due to changes in Best Practices at the On Line Archive of California (OAC), several CSRC finding aids pending publication on the web have been delayed. Once the new OAC guidelines have been put in place, the guides to the following CSRC Holdings will be published on-line: the Humberto Cane Record Collection and Papers; the Laura Aguilar Papers and Photographs and the Laura Aguilar Deposit Materials; the Ron Lopez Papers and the Ron Lopez Sleepy Lagoon Papers; and the Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation Papers (volume 2).
Finding aids for CSRC collections can be found on the CSRC Library website and the Online Archive of California website.
New Issue of Aztlán
The thirty-fifth anniversary issue of Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies should have arrived. If you are not a subscriber, subscribe now so that you can read the special thanks to all our supporters and lists of those who have participated over the years. Just email the press with your postal address and we will send you a subscription package.
Special on DVDs: Start Your Collection Now!
This summer the CSRC will be releasing the fourth DVD in its media series. If you haven't started your collection of these historic DVDS, what are you waiting for? The Chicano films on these DVDs are not available from anyone else or anywhere else and they won't be around for long. To get your collection started, we are offering a one-time summer deal on the first three DVDs, plus the fourth one when released. For the next month only, you can get all four DVDs for the incredibly low price of $59.99 (tax and shipping included)! Normally all four would cost you over $90 if you bought them from us direct or $135 if you bought them in stores. That's a discount of at least 30 percent. So, start your collection now and send us your check and order today! If you prefer, you can email us your postal address and we will send you a reply card and form to make your buying even easier.
The press is going to be very active this summer! We are working on a reprint of Dr. David Hayes-Baustista's best-selling book Healing Latinos, a book on Self-Help Graphics & Art and its collections, several of the A Ver books, a couple policy briefs, and the journal. Staff members are also working on two more DVDs, one of Frontierland/Frontierlandia by Ruben Ortiz and Jesse Lerner and another of the photographs and short videos of Laura Aguilar.
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New Scholar-in-Residence for 2005-2006
The CSRC welcomes George Sanchez, associate professor of the USC History Department and Program in American Studies and Ethnicity as a postdoctoral fellow and visiting scholar for 2005-06. Sanchez has been awarded the Institute of American Cultures (IAC) Postdoctoral Fellowship for his project Remaking Community: A Multiracial History of the Boyle Heights Neighborhood of East Los Angeles. He will be the postdoctoral/visiting scholar for 2005-06 with the Asian American Studies Center and will also be doing research in Chicano studies.
IAC Chicano Studies Predoctoral Fellow for 2005-2006
The CSRC welcomes IAC Predoctoral Fellow Roberto Emilio Montenegro, Ph.D. candidate in Sociology. Montenegro will be completing his dissertation, Parent Expectations, Spanish-Speaking Doctor-Parent Communication, and Inappropriate Antibiotic Prescribing for Pediatric Upper Respiratory Infections.
IAC Chicano Studies Research Grants for 2005-2006
The CSRC awarded the following faculty IAC research grants for 2005-2006: Guillermo Herrnandez, Spanish and Portuguese, Documenting the Frontera Collection at UCLA; Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Chicana/o studies, Making a Killing: Femicides, Free Trade, and La Frontera; and César J. Ayala, Sociology, Why Not Martha's Vineyard? Land Tenure, Military Expropriations, and Civilian Displacement in Vieques, Puerto Rico, 1942-2002: A Sociological Study. The CSRC awarded the following IAC graduate student research grants for 2005-2006: Citlali Lucia Sosa-Riddell, History, The Politics of a Spanish Heritage: Californios, Americans, and the National Body; 1880-1915; Bert Maria Cueva, Women's Studies, Economic Globalization: New Threads of Imperialism; and Natalie Operstein, Indo-European Studies, Dialectal Survey of Zaniz (Papabuco) Zapotec.
Latino Research Program Grant Recipients for 2005-2006
The CSRC administers the Latino Research Program that provides research grants to faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students for the promotion of policy relevant research on Chicano and Latino issues in California. Graduate student recipients for 2005-2006 include: María Rebeca Burciaga, Education, Race and Ethnic Studies, Having It All: Chicana Education Doctoral Students' Familial and Professorial Aspirations; Verónica F. Gutiérrez, Public Health, Women's Labor Force Participation and Family-Level Health in a Global Context; and Kelly D. Main, Urban Planning, MacArthur Park: Rethinking Attachments to Place in a Culturally Diverse and Transnational Environment. Staff Researcher Paolo Prolo, School of Dentistry, was awarded a grant for his project Internet Health Care Access in the Latino Community.
Summer Leadership Program in Washington, D.C.: 2005 Recipients
Congratulations to the following undergraduate students who have been selected as UCLA representatives to the Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR) Summer Leadership Training Program in Washington, D.C., July 18-24, 2005: Brenda Robles, Sociology and Chicana/o Studies; Brian Sanchez, Political Science; and Jorge Pena, Sociology. As an IUPLR member, CSRC supports UCLA student participation in this and other programs each year. Students are nominated by the UCLA Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies.
Graduate Student Website
The CSRC website publishes a list of UCLA graduate students currently doing Chicana/o-related research. To be added to the CSRC Affiliated Students list, email the center with your information.
The CSRC welcomes undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in Chicano Studies to work as interns and volunteers in various areas of the Center. If interested, send an inquiry to Carlos M. Haro.
To learn more about us, visit our website or email us . To subscribe to this newsletter, e-mail CSRC Newsletter and include in the body of your message the line (and nothing but the line) SUBSCRIBE CHICANO [first name, last name] (don't enter the brackets, just your name). This automatically subscribes you to the electronic versions of the Latino Policy & Issues Brief and the CSRC Research Report.