CSRC Newsletter - May 2012

Volume 10, Number 9

Director's Message

Last month, Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik wrote an article titled “Let’s Bring Back the Idea of a Free UC Education,” in which he made very clear the societal impact of the deep cuts to public higher education. His examples reminded me of my own experiences, and how different attending college can be for students today. When I was growing up in the 1960s, my father always told me, "Go to the University of California. It has free tuition." He did not have a college degree, but he valued learning and public higher education. I eventually received my BA from the University of Illinois at Chicago. While the tuition was not free, I was able to pay it and support myself by working a minimum-wage job. Of course, I had to work full-time and it took me nearly seven years to graduate, but today I teach at UCLA. Giving students an opportunity for higher education is by no means a handout. It is a cornerstone of the American Dream, and of our future economic and societal well-being.

Chon A. Noriega

Director and Professor


CSRC awarded grant from NEH
The CSRC Library has been awarded a grant of $185,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support a three-year archival project. It will address the gap in the American historical record regarding Mexican American contributions to Los Angeles civic life before the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s. The project, “Documenting and Preserving the Post–World War II Generation of Mexican Americans in Los Angeles,” will involve arranging, describing, digitizing, and providing public access to five collections: Edward R. Roybal Papers, Grace Montañez Davis Papers, Julian Nava Papers, Dionicio Morales Papers, and Ricardo F. Muñoz Papers. These collections include an extensive number of photographs, correspondence, personal papers, and organizational papers. Once digitized, these materials will have the potential to dramatically shift the current popular understanding of Mexican American history in Southern California and beyond.

Torres a guest speaker in television history class
On April 16, Joseph Torres, journalist and co-author of New York Times bestseller News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media (Verso, 2011), was an invited speaker in “The History of American Television,” a class taught by adjunct film and television professor L. S. Kim. Torres currently serves as the director of senior external affairs at Free Press, a nonprofit organization working to reform mass media and regulatory policies to better serve the public interest. Torres spoke on the underreported history of minorities in the media, from their ownership of pre-Civil War newspapers to their degradation through dominant news images and media discourse today. He concluded by explaining how Free Press works to diversify leadership within the mass media and to keep the Fourth Estate open to all voices.

CSRC associate director presents at conference
Maria Elena Ruiz, CSRC associate director and professor in the UCLA School of Nursing, and Carlos Contreras, undergraduate research assistant, presented their research at the Western Institute of Nursing (WIN) conference in April. Over 700 nursing leaders attended the conference held in Portland, Oregon. Ruiz and Contreras presented findings from their study “Latinos Aging in Skid Row: The Path to Homelessness,” which is funded by the CSRC and the Institute of American Cultures. For a snapshot of their PowerPoint presentation, contact Ruiz.

CSRC welcomes film scholar Deleyto
Celestino Deleyto, professor of film studies and literature at the University of Zaragoza, Spain, is a CSRC visiting scholar for spring 2012. During his appointment, Deleyto will conduct research on the representation of Los Angeles, particularly its Latino population and culture, in contemporary U.S. cinema.

Davalos promoted at LMU
Karen Mary Davalos, award-winning author of two CSRC books, L.A. Xicano contributor, and former IAC Fellow, has been promoted to full professor at Loyola Marymount University, where she is also chair of the Chicana/o Studies Department. Congratulations, Karen Mary!

Belcher publishes innovative study on Samuel Johnson
Wendy Laura Belcher, former CSRC Press editor and now assistant professor of African literature at Princeton University, has just published Abyssinia's Samuel Johnson: Ethiopian Thought in the Making of an English Author (Oxford University Press, 2012). The book is heralded as a “rich monograph that fuses eighteenth-century studies, comparative literature, and postcolonial theory, [and] adds a fresh perspective on and a wealth of insights into the great, enigmatic man of letters.” Congratulations, Wendy!

Cordova and artists celebrate Con Safo
Ruben C. Cordova, author of CSRC Press publication Con Safo: The Chicano Art Group and the Politics of South Texas (2009), participated in a book-signing event with several Con Safo artists on April 21 at the Gallista Gallery in San Antonio, Texas. The book – the first to cover the art collective in depth – received an honorable mention at the 12th Annual International Latino Book Awards in the category of Best Art Book, English Language. The book is distributed by the University of Washington Press.

Market makeover initiative reported by AP
Alex Ortega, director of the UCLA-USC Center for Population Health and Health Disparities and CSRC faculty affiliate, is leading a project to help make over local markets in East L.A., which is considered a “food desert.” Food deserts are urban areas that offer residents only minimal access to fresh, unprocessed food. The lack of healthy food leads to higher rates of obesity, chronic disease, and early death. The Associated Press covered the project and its successes in an online broadcast.

CSRC supports the 2012 Adelante Awards
The CSRC has donated books, DVDs, and other educational materials published by the CSRC Press to the 9th Annual Adelante Awards, held by city councilmember José Huizar. At this annual awards gala, Huizar honors top students from each school in his district, which comprises Boyle Heights, Eagle Rock, El Sereno, Highland Park, and parts of Downtown. The students will be honored along with their families, teachers, and principals on Sunday, May 20, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

New videos on CSRC YouTube
Two new videos are now available on CSRC YouTube. Gustavo Arellano, a nationally syndicated columnist, bestselling author of ¡Ask a Mexican!, and UCLA alum, read from and signed his latest book, Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America (Scribner, 2012), at the CSRC Library on April 10. The video of his lively talk, in which he discussed America’s love of Mexican foods from vanilla and chocolate to fast-food tacos, is now online. Also online is a talk given by artist Arturo Ernesto Romo-Santillano on the closing day of the L.A. Xicano exhibition Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement at the Fowler Museum. Romo-Santillano spoke about his commissioned installation Xolotl Soup, a work that included a videotaped re-creation of Asco's famous performance piece Stations of the Cross (1971), featuring Romo-Santillano and fellow L.A. Xicano artist Sandra de la Loza. De la Loza was a CSRC artist-in-residence during 2010-11.

CSRC in the News

“Art and Development on Collision Path in East L.A.”
Article about the fate of the First Street Store mural, which was featured in Mapping Another L.A.
Eastern Group Publications, April 26, 2012 (PDF)

“Free to Be Biased”
Op-ed by Russell Robinson refers to his CSRC Policy Brief (2006) on bias in Hollywood casting.
Room for Debate (New York Times blog), April 25, 2012 (PDF)

“Studio Visit with Artist Dora De Larios 2012”
De Larios was featured in Art Beyond the Hyphen, one of the CSRC’s L.A. Xicano exhibitions.
Chicano Art Movement, April 23, 2012 (PDF)

“Floricanto en Aztlán Reprint”
Announces the release of the CSRC’s new edition of Alurista’s first collection of poetry.
La Bloga, April 17, 2012 (PDF)

“Mapping Another L.A.- In Southern California, All Freeways Lead to Los Angeles”
An article about The Goez Map Guide, which was featured in Mapping Another L.A.
Tidal Shift, April 14, 2012 (PDF)

“East L.A. Residents Claim Hollywood Depicts Latinos Solely in Stereotypes”
Quotes Chon A. Noriega about the movie roles typically offered to Latinos.
Huffington Post, April 11, 2012 (PDF)

“La vieja y la nueva generación”
Article about mural conservation mentions Sandra de la Loza’s L.A. Xicano exhibition.
Notes on Looking, April 9, 2012 (PDF)

“UCLA Alumnus and UC Riverside Professor Juan Felipe Herrera Becomes California Poet Laureate”
Chon Noriega is quoted in this article about California’s new poet laureate.
Daily Bruin, April 5, 2012 (PDF)

PDFs of all articles are available on the CSRC website.


All CSRC events are free unless otherwise noted.

UCLA Alumni Day
The CSRC will have a table at the 2012 UCLA Alumni Day Info Fair on Saturday, May 5, 9:00 a.m.–noon. Alumni Day offers a great way to connect with fellow alums while enjoying campus tours, panel discussions, and an evening concert. Admission is free for 2012 graduates. For more information, visit the Alumni Day website.

Alurista to read at CSRC Library
In celebration of the fortieth anniversary edition of Floricanto en Aztlán, recently released by the CSRC Press, renowned Chicano poet Alurista will read from and sign his groundbreaking work on Wednesday, May 9, 4:00–6:00 p.m., at the CSRC Library. This book of poems, first published in 1971 at the height of the Chicano Movement, introduced a new and essentially Chicano poetic language that is part Spanish and part English, with references to the indigenous languages of Mexico. Marissa Lopez, UCLA professor of English, will present a brief appreciation of the work. The new edition contains the original illustrations created by artist Judithe Hernández. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event; in addition, they are available online through the University of Washington Press. A reception will follow the reading.

Tierra Brillante to screen
On Thursday, May 24, 1:00–3:00 p.m., in the CSRC Library, filmmakers Omar Foglio and José Luis Figueroa will screen and discuss their documentary Tierra Brillante. This 2010 film spotlights the ongoing crisis of lead poisoning suffered by practitioners of traditional ceramics in Mexico. Foglio and Figueroa are the founders of Bulbo, a Tijuana- and Los Angeles-based media collective that explores themes that are overlooked or underrepresented in the mass media. DVD copies of the film and lead-free Mexican ceramics by artisans raising awareness of the issue will be available for purchase.

González-López to discuss “transnational incest”
Gloria González-López, associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, will present the lecture “Transnational Incest: Mexican Families, Sexual Violence, and Migration” at the CSRC Library on Friday, May 25, noon–1:30 p.m. González-López will report preliminary findings from a qualitative study she conducted in 2005 and 2006 involving sixty Mexican women and men with histories of incestuous relationships. Using the rubric of “transnational incest,” her research examines the ways in which migration, settlement, and return migration may become part of the nuanced and complex context surrounding women’s and men’s incestuous experiences (both voluntary and involuntary) in Mexican society. This event is co-sponsored by the UCLA Program on International Migration at the UCLA International Institute, the UCLA Latin American Institute, the UCLA Center for Mexican Studies, the Gender Working Group in the UCLA Department of Sociology, and the CSRC.

CSRC Library exhibition: La Cocina
An exhibition exploring how we measure the “authenticity” of Mexican food is on display in the CSRC Library vitrine through June 2012. Is authenticity measured by the types of ingredients used? Homemade versus store-bought? Taco shop versus chain restaurant? Or is authenticity based on the identity or ethnicity of the cook? For Chicanas and Chicanos, the kitchen is a site of tradition and familia, and the platillos – the food we eat – is as much a reflection of history and culture as it is of our language, music, and art. Using a variety of archival materials, from cookbooks to food packaging, La Cocina highlights this culinary tradition, which mixes customs from the past as well as those that are more recent to become an amalgamation of diverse culinary traditions from people and communities all over the world.

CSRC Library

The CSRC Library welcomes service-learning students
The CSRC has partnered with the UCLA Department of Information Studies to provide service-learning opportunities for graduate students enrolled in the master of library and information science (MLIS) program. Students enrolled this quarter in the MLIS course “Ethics, Diversity, and Change in the Information Professions” are required to provide at least twenty hours of service to an approved site or community organization. Five students will perform their service at the CSRC on projects that include the processing of serials and audio-video components of the Yolanda Retter-Vargas Papers, the Norma Corral Papers, a portion of the Guillermo Hernández Papers (which is comprised of audio recordings), papers associated with the CSRC A Ver book series, and the ongoing La Gente de Aztlán digitization project. For more information on these projects and other volunteer and intern opportunities, contact the CSRC librarian, Lizette Guerra.

Gomez collection received
The CSRC is proud to announce the recent acquisition of the Ramiro Gomez Papers. Gomez is a young Latino artist who portrays Latino domestic workers employed in affluent Los Angeles neighborhoods. The collection includes selections from Gomez’s Happy Hills series of mixed-media works and documentary photographs of his installations. The CSRC will be digitizing this collection and providing access to it through the UCLA Digital Library. The CSRC Library will feature an exhibition of Gomez’s art in 2012–13; the exact dates will be announced. For more information on the artist, visit his blog at http://ramirogomezjr.blogspot.com/. Researchers who wish to consult this collection may contact the CSRC librarian, Lizette Guerra.

Archival projects in process
The Tomas Benitez Collection: This collection of invitations to gallery openings, museum exhibitions, and film and theater presentations is a virtual tour of the Chicana/o and Latina/o art scene in Los Angeles from 1979 to 2009. A curated collection of these materials has already been scanned and will be available online in the near future for artists, researchers, and anyone interested in Chicana/o art.

The Mexican Museum of San Francisco Papers: In 2005 the CSRC Library archived the first 250 linear feet donated to this collection. Since then the library has received an additional two linear feet featuring catalogs and ephemera related to the construction of the Mexican Museum’s facility. These materials will soon be available to researchers.

SACNAS Papers: Late last year the CSRC Library received fourteen linear feet of papers from the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). We are fortunate to have CSRC visiting scholar Reynal Guillen processing and preserving this invaluable collection.

The Guillermo Hernández Papers: Prior to his passing in 2006, Guillermo Hernández, former director of the CSRC, donated approximately four linear feet of oral histories recorded on audiocassettes and quarter-inch, reel-to-reel tape. Library staff are now preserving these materials as well as digitizing a curated selection of the recordings.

CSRC Press

Coming in June
The newest volume in The Chicano Archives series, The Arhoolie Foundation’s Strachwitz Frontera Collection of Mexican and Mexican Recordings, will be published next month. The Strachwitz Frontera Collection, with more than 130,000 individual recordings, is the largest repository of commercially produced Mexican and Mexican American vernacular recordings in existence. More than 40,000 have been digitized with the help of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center and are available online through the University of California’s Digital Library Program. Agustín Gurza explores the Frontera Collection from different viewpoints, discussing genre, themes, and some of the thousands of composers and performers whose work is contained in the archive. Rounding out the book are chapters by Jonathan Clark, who surveys the recordings of mariachi ensembles, and Chris Strachwitz, the founder of the Arhoolie Foundation, who reflects on his six decades of collecting the music that makes up the Frontera Collection, and sixty-seven historic photographs. Volumes in The Chicano Archives series are distributed by the University of Washington Press.

Aztlán seeking submissions
Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies is currently considering submissions for 2012. Each issue of Aztlán presents three types of articles: peer-reviewed essays, thematic dossiers, and book reviews. All submissions are considered on a rolling basis and should be sent to our submission inbox at submissions@chicano.ucla.edu. For complete information about Aztlán and the submission guidelines, please visit the CSRC Press website. To ask questions or discuss ideas with the journal’s staff, please contact CSRC assistant editor David O’Grady at dogrady@chicano.ucla.edu.


Summer internships
The CSRC has two Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Internship opportunities available this summer. The internships run Monday, June 11, through Friday, August 17, and each offers a stipend of $3,500. The deadline to apply is Sunday, May 6.

Preservation and Research
The CSRC Library is seeking one intern to work on arts-related archival preservation and access through the CSRC Library. The intern will work under the supervision of CSRC librarian and archivist Lizette Guerra and CSRC archives manager Michael Stone. The intern will be exposed to all aspects of archival processing, research, and the registrar processes. Projects will include digital resource management of The Gronk Collection and inventory, arrangement, and digitization of the CSRC’s poster collection. Duties may include but are not limited to:

Processing and documenting Chicano arts materials according to professional archival standards adopted by the CSRC, including materials donated to the CSRC following exhibitions that were part of the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time Initiative.
  • Arranging and describing image-heavy collections.
  • Upload digitized photographs and arts images onto the UCLA Digital Library.
  • Attaching metadata to digital objects using Encoded Archival Description (EAD), create finding aids for collections.

The CSRC Library is conveniently located on the UCLA campus. It has spacious and bright processing areas, climate controlled storage areas, and access to a comprehensive digital asset management system maintained by the UCLA Digital Library. Applicants should submit a résumé and cover letter via e-mail to Lizette Guerra, CSRC librarian, by Sunday, May 6. For details about the internship visit the Getty website.

Publications and Programs
The CSRC Press is seeking one intern to provide assistance with activities related to the A Ver: Revisioning Art History book series. This series explores the cultural, aesthetic, and historical contributions of Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, and other U.S. Latino artists. Interns will gain career-relevant experience in the area of publications and public programs and will develop their communications and development skills through contact with authors, artists, curators, and museums. Responsibilities may include, but may not be limited to:
  • Researching and compiling bibliographies and exhibition histories.
  • Working with authors and artists to develop art programs and illustration captions.
  • Managing permissions programs.
  • Archiving series-related materials.
  • Developing web-based content for the series.
The intern will work under the supervision of the CSRC director and senior editor for a period of ten weeks. The CSRC Press is conveniently located on the UCLA campus, adjacent to the CSRC Library. Applicants should submit a résumé and cover letter via e-mail to Javier Iribarren, CSRC assistant director, by Sunday, May 6. For details about the internship visit the Getty website.

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