CSRC Newsletter - October 2009

Volume 8, Number 2

Director’s Message

Earlier this week I had an interesting encounter with the digital divide…. First, artist Patssi Valdez posted her experience of visiting a local Kmart, where she noticed that the Halloween costumes included a “Mexican” replete with sombrero. The same day, I stumbled onto and became fixated with a new website promoting the new Bruce Willis sci-fi action film Surrogate. The site allows you to create your own animated and speaking surrogate. You can either choose from a menu of faces or upload an image file, type in text, and then select a speaking voice. I was hooked. But I found it surprisingly difficult to make a Chicano surrogate. The site allows you to manipulate the facial characteristics, but you must do it through a racial grid of Asian, African, Indian, and Caucasian, and the voice menu includes only the dominant accents from English-speaking countries. My attempts all missed the mark—and while I was convinced the South African accent sounded “Hispanic,” no one else agreed. So it remains nearly impossible to find or create a Chicano presence in our electronic culture. But just visit Kmart and you’ll have no trouble making yourself into a Mexican for Halloween. Now isn’t that scary?
Chon A. Noriega
Director and Professor


Noriega Receives Arts Award
Chon A. Noriega, CSRC director, has received a 2009 UCLA Arts Initiative grant to support “Latino Art Now,” a national biennial conference in June 2010 that will involve Chicano-Latino artists and the scholars, curators, collectors, and professionals who support their work. This conference series—established by the Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR), of which the CSRC is a founding member—will be the first one on the West Coast. The grants are awarded for collaborative projects that promote the arts.
Phantom Sightings Opens in Guadalajara
Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement, an exhibition co-curated by CSRC Director Chon A. Noriega, will open in Guadalajara in November. The exhibition, which originated in Los Angeles, has traveled to Phoenix, San Antonio, and Mexico City. Photographs of the Mexico City installation are available online. The exhibition catalog is available from the University of California Press.
Alvaro Huerta, CSRC visiting scholar and PhD candidate in city and regional planning at UC Berkeley, was profiled in the October issue of UCLA Magazine. The article, “Cultivating Justice,” highlights some of Huerta’s career achievements, including the creation of the Gardener Leadership Development Project.
Ondine Chavoya, the CSRC’s Institute of American Cultures (IAC) visiting scholar, will be a panelist at the annual Los Angeles Queer Studies Conference on Saturday, October 9. For more information about the conference, see the events section.
Welcome, Arturo Cuadrado
Congratulations to Lizette Guerra, CSRC librarian, and her husband Leo Cuadrado on the birth of their son, Arturo Cuadrado. Arturo, the couple’s first child, was born on September 24. We send them our best wishes.


Fundraiser for Baseball Documentary
A.P. Gonzalez, professor of film and television, is hosting “El Beisbol Party,” a fundraising event for El Beisbol: The Story of Latinos in Baseball, a documentary that will air on PBS. The event will be held on Thursday, October 1, 6:00-8:30 p.m., at the Conga Room. Baseball Hall of Famers Juan Marichal and Orlando Cepeda will attend, and former MLB pitcher Jose Lima will serve as master of ceremonies. An auction of items donated by the Dodgers, Padres, Angels, Giants, A’s, Yankees, and other teams will help fund completion of the documentary. Professor Gonzalez received a CSRC IAC grant in 2008­–09 that provided research funding for El Beisbol. RSVP at rsvp@beisbolproductions.com. For more on the documentary, visit the El Beisbol website.
Film Screening
CSRC will host a screening of “Laura Aguilar: Life, the Body, Her Perspective,” a film featuring the work of photographer Laura Aguilar. The screening, which will be held on Thursday, October 8, 4:00­–6:00 p.m., in the CSRC Library (144 Haines Hall), will be followed by a Q&A session with the photographer. Ms. Aguilar has used her photography as a tool to speak about people and issues not considered part of the cultural mainstream. The film includes personal video essays, a lecture she gave at UCLA in 2005 in which she describes her life as a photographer, and slideshows of her photography. The film is volume 8 of the CSRC’s Chicano Cinema and Media Art Series. For more information on this and other films in the series, visit the CSRC website.
Los Angeles Queer Studies Conference
The 2009 Los Angeles Queer Studies Conference will be held Friday and Saturday, October 9-10. The conference’s objective is to create discourse about the importance of documenting the histories of communities of color, to explore women's stories and archival efforts within LGBT history, and to educate mainstream archival institutions about the need to increase women's and LGBT archival holdings and to promote culturally sensitive collecting and archival practices. Friday’s program—1:00-7:00 p.m. in 314 Royce Hall— will be composed of panel discussions and a reception. The CSRC Library will host Saturday’s program—9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. in 144 Haines Hall—which will feature panel discussions and a workshop. A reception on the Haines Hall north patio will follow. For additional information, contact the UCLA LGBTS office at 310 206 0516 or lgbs@humnet.ucla.edu.
Latino Book and Family Festival
Visit the CSRC Press at the Los Angeles Latino Book and Family Festival, Saturday and Sunday, October 10–11, 10:00 a.m.­­–6:00 p.m., at Greenlee Plaza on the campus of Cal State University, Los Angeles. This is an excellent opportunity to see our selection of books, DVDs, and the latest issue of Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies. The press will be in booth 726. A long list of exhibitors and Latino authors—including writer Alicia Gaspar de Alba, CSRC-affiliated professor of Chicano studies—will participate in this year’s festival.
Los Angeles Archives Bazaar
The CSRC Library will participate in the 2009 LA Archives Bazaar on Saturday, October 17, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., at the USC Davidson Conference Center. The annual bazaar features exhibits by local libraries and archives, plus discussions, film screenings, and educational sessions. The event, sponsored by USC’s LA as Subject, promotes the preservation of the rich history of the Los Angeles region. For more information visit the LA as Subject website.
Teatro Chicana
Sandra M. Gutierrez, co-editor of Teatro Chicana: A Collective Memoir and Selected Plays, will speak about the book and answer audience questions on Wednesday, October 21, 2:00–4:00 p.m., in the Presentation Room, Young Research Library (YRL). Teatro Chicana is a collection of testimonials by Chicanas who contributed to early teatro.
CSRC’s Annual Open House
Join us for the CSRC’s 2009 Open House on Wednesday, October 21, 4:00–6:00 p.m., in Haines Hall. This year’s event will feature music from the Frontera Collection and a display of works by Chicana/o artists. Drop by to learn about upcoming fortieth anniversary events and other exciting projects and to meet CSRC scholars and staff. Refreshments will be provided by Casablanca.
Selections from the Frontera Collection
Chicana/o studies professor Robert Chao Romero will present a line-up of songs from the CSRC’s Frontera Collection on Wednesday, October 28, 12:00–1:00 p.m., in the CSRC Library (144 Haines Hall). A discussion of the songs will follow. The Frontera Collection is an online digital archive of Mexican and Mexican-American recordings that was launched by the CSRC last March.

CSRC Library and Archive

Collections Processed
Two CSRC archival collections were processed during the summer: the Plaza de la Raza Archive and the Vista en LA Papers. Plaza de la Raza is a private non-profit organization that provides year-round programs in arts education and serves as a school of performing and visual arts. Plaza de la Raza’s mission—to bridge cultural, social, and geographic boundaries—has made it a vital cultural resource in East Los Angeles. The Plaza de la Raza collection includes administrative records and records of its students’ artistic output. Vista en LA was a magazine published from the late 1970s to 2007. It covered Latino music, film, and television with an emphasis on Caribbean sounds, contemporary Spanish rock from Mexico and South America, and salsa. This rich collection contains photographs, slides, press materials, newspaper clippings, notes and correspondence, all of which will serve as a valuable reference for anyone interested in Latino culture.

CSRC Press

A Ver Volume 4 Just Released
Celia Alavarez Muñoz, volume 3 in the CSRC Press’s groundbreaking A Ver: Revisioning Art History series, is now available. Roberto Tejada gives an account of the artist in lyrical prose that draws on biography and cultural history, exploring Muñoz’s complex juxtapositions of words and images. The book, which includes sixty-five full-color illustrations, an exhibition history, and bibliography of writings on the artist, is available from the distributor, University of Minnesota Press.
Celia Alvarez Muñoz makes a significant contribution to art history, exploring the artist's highly complex verbal/visual process of weaving together U.S.-Mexico history and contemporary art practices. Roberto Tejada, a poet, translator, and scholar, is the perfect interlocutor for the artist….This book is an impressive addition to the growing body of scholarship on Latino artists and will serve as a cornerstone for a wide range of courses on art history, Chicano studies, and women's studies.”
— Kellie Jones, Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University
DVD Excerpts on YouTube
Excerpts from CSRC’s Chicano Cinema and Media Art Series are now available on YouTube. To view, please follow this link.
Aguilar DVD Now Available
For nearly three decades Laura Aguilar has used photography as a tool to speak about people and issues not considered part of the cultural mainstream. Laura Aguilar: Life, the Body, Her Perspective, volume 8 of the Chicano Cinema and Media Art Series, presents personal video essays by the artist, a lecture she gave at UCLA in 2005 that describes her life as a photographer, plus an interview and documentary filmed by Michael Stone, CSRC archivist. A comprehensive series of slide shows features works from her extensive oeuvre, including Family and Friends, In Sandy’s Room, and Clothed/Unclothed. A bonus CD contains a PowerPoint survey that enables students and educators to study individual images, facilitating discussion of Aguilar’s groundbreaking art. Order Laura Aguilar today from the CSRC online store for immediate shipment.
Fall Issue of Aztlán
The new issue of Aztlán arrived at the CSRC last month and has beeen mailed to all Aztlán subscribers. Chon A. Noriega opens the issue with an assessment of Robert M. Young’s The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez, a film based on Americo Paredes’s “With His Pistol in His Hand.” Essays explore Chicana/o identity in relation to gender and sexuality in art and literature and examine the Chicana/o experience through the lens of ethnography and sociology. The dossier section features articles on influential Chicano artists, and in the artist’s communiqué, Lalo Alcaraz explains how Viva Obama!—which is featured on the cover—came to be created.
Subscribe Today!
A year’s subscription to Aztlán includes not only two issues filled with research, writing, and reviews from Chicana/o and Latina/o scholars but also online access to every article published since the journal began in 1970. Subscribe online or by mail. Information is available on the Aztlán website.

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