CSRC Newsletter - November 2010

Volume 9, Number 3

Director's Message

Mondo was robbed! Then again, so was Emilio, last year at this time. Yes, I am talking about the past two season finales of Lifetime's Project Runway. Mondo Guerra and Emilio Sosa are outside-the-box designers with an unerring ability to find unexpected harmonies in bold combinations of color and pattern. For the most part, neither designer's work made reference to their ethnicity—Mexican American and Dominican American, respectively—although Mondo did include a shirt with a hand-sewn Day of the Dead calavera in his final runway collection. The judges liked Mondo's gesture toward ethnic tradition, but then they circled around and argued that his work did not reflect the future (as did, apparently, the retro-1970s flouncy monotone stylings of the eventual winner). Interestingly, two of the four judges voted for Mondo as the winner and pronounced that his collection was the one from which they would purchase pieces. But in the end, when the question of the direction of fashion was posed, everyone agreed that the future would be less colorful and vibrant. It is the future of wishful thinking about who buys clothing, not the future of changing demographics and cultural diversity. In one of the most moving episodes in the eight-year series, designers were asked to develop a fabric pattern inspired by their past. In Mondo's stunning design, black crosses and purple squares, each with a yellow border, form a grid in which black and purple hover—either can be perceived as foreground or background. The design told a compelling story, even if initially no one knew the plot points. The story was modern, traditional, vibrant, assured, mournful, and hopeful. It was a Chicano story, and it was a universal story, both woven together to represent one man's life as a Mexican American, as a gay man, as someone living with HIV, and as an artist drawing from the past to create the building blocks of our future. I expect to see more from Mondo, but I will no longer watch Project Runway. It does not reflect the future....
Chon A. Noriega
Director and Professor


The Chinese in Mexico
On October 28 Robert Chao Romero, assistant professor in the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, discussed and signed The Chinese in Mexico, 1882–1940, recently published by the University of Arizona Press. The book provides a social history of Chinese immigration to Mexico in the context of the global Chinese diaspora. Dr. Chao Romero was a CSRC postdoctoral fellow in 2003-04, receiving research funding for his project, “The Dragon in Big Lusong: Chinese Immigration and Settlement in Mexico.” The event, which was held in the CSRC Library, was co-sponsored by the Asian American Studies Center, the Department for Chicana/o Studies, and the CSRC.
Welcome, Tei Luz Hernández-Day
Congratulations to David M. Hernández and Iyko Day on the birth of their daughter Tei Luz Hernández-Day. The baby was born a day ahead of schedule on October 19, 2010. She weighed in at 7 lbs. 13 oz. Dr. Hernández is an assistant professor in the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies and a former UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in residence at the CSRC. We send the family our best wishes.
Legal Program Acknowledged
The CSRC congratulates the UCLA School of Law's El Centro Legal Clinics, which has been selected as the UCLA Community Program of the Year. The program, founded in 1973 by the La Raza Law Students’ Association, provides much-needed free legal services to low-income communities throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Each clinic focuses on one area of law, such as bankruptcy, homelessness, immigration, and workers’ rights. Nearly two-thirds of the law school’s first-year students volunteer in the program. More information is available on the program’s webpage.
Associate Director Receives Award
Maria Elena Ruiz, CSRC associate director and assistant adjunct professor at UCLA’s School of Nursing, received the prestigious National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) Nurse of the Year award at its national conference in July. Dr. Ruiz was honored for her research and leadership as past president of the Oregon NAHN chapter, as well as for her international clinical and educational programs, which focus on Latinos, language, and culture. At the CSRC Dr. Ruiz is beginning a newly funded research study on homeless older Latinos in the Los Angeles area.
Research Awards for 2010-11
The CSRC has awarded eight research grants for the 2010-11 academic year. These awards are supported by the Graduate Division’s Institute of the American Cultures and by two external funds headquartered at the CSRC: the Tamar Diana Wilson Fund and the Carlos Haro Education Fund.
Faculty Awards
Maria Elena Ruiz, Nursing, “Older Latinos: The Path to Homelessness in Los Angeles’s Skid Row”  
Ruben Hernandez-Leon, Sociology, “The Mobility Responses of Mexican Immigrant Women to the U.S. Economic Crisis”
Cesar Ayala, Sociology, “Militarism and Colonialism: The U.S. Navy in Vieques, Puerto Rico, 1940–1953”
Graduate Student Awards
Rocio Rosales, Sociology, “Hidden Economics in Public Spaces: A Study of Fruit Vendors in Los Angeles” (Wilson Fund)
Sylvia Zamora, Sociology, “Mexican Immigrants’ Pre- and Post-Migration Racial Perceptions of African Americans”  
Katherine Williams, Psychology, “Prevention of Marital Distress in Low-Income Couples Transitioning to Parenthood” (Wilson Fund)
Pedro Nava, Education, “Sin Sacrificio No Hay Recompensa: A Look at Parental Engagement in Farmworking Families in the California Central Valley” (Haro Fund)
Ofelia Huidor, Education, “Riding the Yellow School Bus in a Post-Brown Era” (Haro Fund)

CSRC in the News

An essay by Alvaro Huerta, CSRC visiting scholar and PhD candidate in city and regional planning at UC Berkeley, appeared on the October 5 issue of the Daily Bruin. In “Give Credit to Paid, Diligent Latino Gardeners,” Mr. Huerta re-frames the national dialogue on the role of immigrants by discussing their contributions to the United States in a positive light.
On October 11, Fernando Torres-Gil, associate dean of the UCLA School of Public Affairs, director of the UCLA Center for Policy Research on Aging, and CSRC faculty associate, was quoted in “Senior Citizens Brace for Social Security Freeze,” which was distributed by the Associated Press on October 11. The article discusses the expected government announcement that Social Security recipients will not get a cost-of-living increase.
A review of Bas Jan Ader: Suspended Between Laughter and Tears, an exhibition curated by Pilar Tompkins Rivas, CSRC arts project coordinator, appeared in the online edition of the Inland Empire Weekly on October 7. The group show, which explores the work of Ader and artists influenced by him, opened at Pitzer College’s Pitzer Art Galleries on September 30; it will run through December 10.  Information about the exhibition is available on the Pitzer College website.
PDFs of all articles are available on the CSRC website.


Lecture and Book Signing
John Phillip Santos will be the guest lecturer in David Hernández’s “Introduction to Chicana/Chicano Studies” course on Wednesday, November 3, 11:00–11:50 a.m., in A39 Haines Hall. Mr. Santos, University Distinguished Scholar in Mestizo Cultural Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio, is a filmmaker, producer, journalist, and author and the first Mexican American Rhodes Scholar. He will speak about his latest book, The Farthest Home Is in an Empire of Fire. A book signing will follow the lecture.
CSRC’s Annual Open House
Join us for our annual open house on Wednesday, November 3, 4:00–6:00 p.m., in the CSRC Library (144 Haines Hall). This year’s program features keynote speaker Rachel F. Moran, dean of UCLA School of Law, and book signings by Alex Moreno Areyan, author and researcher; Karen Mary Davalos, LMU professor; and John Phillip Santos, filmmaker, producer, journalist, and author. Drop by to learn about programs and projects and to meet CSRC scholars and staff, then enjoy refreshments by Casablanca Restaurant on the Haines Hall north patio. 
Latino Art Now!
“Latino Art Now! The New Wave/La Nueva Ola” will take place Wednesday, November 10, through Saturday, November 13, at The Plaza de la Raza. The conference will explore the status of Latino art in the United States. Roundtables and workshops will focus on a range of topics, including current opportunities and challenges for artists, new institutional developments, and technological trends. For more information, the conference agenda, and registration, visit the IUPLR website. Latino Art Now! is a biennial conference; this year’s meeting is sponsored by The Inter-University Program for Latino Research at the University of Notre Dame, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, and the CSRC.
CSRC Distinguished Lecture
On Wednesday, November 10, 4:00–6:00 p.m., the CSRC will present its Fall 2010 Distinguished Lecture, featuring Juan Ramos. Dr. Ramos’s presentation, on healthcare access, will take place in 169 Humanities Building. Dr. Ramos, a noted researcher in mental health, held a number of program and administrative positions at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) before he retired. The development of social work research in mental health and mental illness and facilitating clinical and research training for mental health services pertinent to minority populations were among his initiatives. He received a master’s degree in social work from USC and a PhD from the Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.
Performance about Sor Juana
The Center for Performance Studies will present “The Sor Juana Revue” on Wednesday, November 10, 4:00 p.m., in 1330 Macgowan Hall. Jesusa Rodríguez will perform sections of the poem "First Dream" by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, the first woman playwright and poet in the New World. A lecture by Diana Taylor and a reading by Alicia Gaspar de Alba, professor of Chicana/o studies, will follow the performance. The event, which is open to the public, is being co-sponsored by the CSRC, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, the Mexican Studies Center, and the Department of Theater.
Film Screening
The CSRC will host a screening of Zoot Suit, the 1981 film version of the Broadway play, on Tuesday, November 16, 3:00–5:00 p.m., in the CSRC Library (144 Haines Hall). Luis Valdez wrote and directed both the play and the film. Zoot Suit fictionalizes the story of the real-life events of the controversial Sleepy Lagoon murder trial, when several young Mexican Americans were wrongfully charged with murder. A discussion will follow the screening.
Preview for Upcoming Exhibitions
Faculty will have the opportunity to preview Pacific Standard Time—a series of exhibitions about the Los Angeles art scene between 1945 and 1970—on Friday, November 19, 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m., at the Hammer Museum’s Billy Wilder Theater. More than fifty cultural institutions across Southern California are developing exhibitions for this unprecedented collaboration, which is supported by grants from the Getty Foundation. The CSRC will present L.A. Xicano, a set of four interrelated exhibitions the Fowler Museum at UCLA, LACMA, and the Autry National Center. The CSRC’s exhibitions will open in October 2011. Information about Pacific Standard Time and a video about the initiative are available on the Getty’s website. To attend the preview, RSVP to Naima Keith (nkeith@hammer.ucla.edu); the Hammer Museum is located in Westwood Village.

CSRC Library and Archive

Día de los Muertos Altar
Maylei Blackwell, assistant professor of Chicana/o studies, students from her “Chicana Feminisms” course, and the mujeres of MALCS have created an altar commemorating the life and memorias of our former librarian, Yolanda Retter-Vargas, in the CSRC Library. Other notable Chicanas and Chicanos, including Gloria Anzaldúa, Rubén Salazar, and Candelario Mendoza, are also honored. Please stop by to view or to contribute to the altar, which will remain on display through November.
Welcoming Patricia Garcia
The CSRC Library welcomes Patricia Garcia, a new PhD student at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Ms. Garcia received a master’s degree in Mexican American literature from the University of Texas in Austin. Her research interests include Chicana/o literary archives and issues of accessibility to special collections within the community. She is currently processing the Tatiana de la Tierra Papers, which is part of the library’s ongoing LGBT and Mujeres Initiative.
This month the CSRC is preparing for a major renovation to our busy library. This means that the library will be, for a while, much neater than usual! Then it will become much messier … but then, by mid-January, extremely beautiful. In the meantime we are processing and preserving our small press newspaper collections in preparation for storage at the Southern Regional Library Facility. Many other archival holdings that have been kept at the CSRC are also being readied for cataloging and long-term storage.
New Request Form
Coming soon for patrons of the CSRC Library is an enhanced online materials request form for CSRC collections. The form will facilitate requests for specific archival materials. We thank Craig Yu, our student programmer, and Luz Orozco, CSRC’s management services officer, for spearheading this innovation in our library and archival services.

CSRC Press

Book Sale!
Save 40% on CSRC Press publications during the CSRC Open House on Wednesday, November 3. This special discount will apply to all books and DVDs, including award-winning titles in the A Ver: Revisioning Art History and The Chicano Archives series, and the new, expanded edition of the Chicano Studies Reader.

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