CSRC Newsletter September - October 2007
CSRC Newsletter Volume 6, Number 1
Last weekend the Los Angeles Times ran an editorial on the arrival of the first Starbucks in East L.A. That’s right, an editorial! For the paper’s leadership, this arrival signaled broad and even contradictory transformations for East L.A., from economic development to social validation to cultural homogenization. Thus, for the paper, the good news is also the bad news. Indeed, this particular store is a drive-through, which is in keeping with the urban planning notion that East L.A. is more freeway wormhole to other places than destination site in and of itself. Thus, with some irony, the editorial notes, “The neighborhood has arrived. It’s good enough for a Starbucks.” Plus ça change ...
Two undergraduates have been honored with a service award for their outstanding contributions to the Latino community. First place winner Brenda Walsh, a double major in Spanish and comparative literature who will graduate in fall 2007, received a prize of $300; runner-up Aida Hernández, a Spanish linguistics major who is graduating this June, received $200. The award, which is sponsored by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the CSRC, goes to graduating seniors with the best record of service to the Latino community.
CSRC Issues Brief Featured in NAACP Advocate
Latino Policy & Issues Brief No. 15, Why White Americans Oppose Affirmative Action: A Group-Interest Approach (April 2007), authored by Brian Lowery, Miguel Unzueta, and Eric Knowles, appeared in the summer issue of the NAACP’s online newsletter, the Advocate. To download a copy of the brief, visit the CSRC Press website.
Tara J. Yosso, who was a CSRC Visiting Scholar in 2005, has been promoted to the position of Associate Professor with tenure in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is the author of Critical Race Counterstories along the Chicana/Chicano Educational Pipeline (Routledge Press, 2006).
The CSRC, in collaboration with LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes and Glendale Community College, presented the West Coast premiere of Gronk’s BrainFlame on September 8 at the Glendale College Planetarium. The artist’s animated film, which visualizes the creative process inside the mind, drew nearly 400 people; an additional screening was added to the day-long schedule to accommodate the crowd. The screenings were complemented by an art exhibit, archive display, and reception. Gronk and author Max Benavidez were on hand to sign Gronk, the first volume in the CSRC’s groundbreaking book series on Latina/o artists, “A Ver: Revisioning Art History.” A recent reviewer noted that Gronk was “A pleasure to read through!” To read reviews that have appeared in various outlets, and to order the book online, visit the CSRC Press website.
Yolanda Retter Vargas Memorial
"The Pages of Yolanda’s Her-Story,” a memorial for CSRC librarian and archivist Yolanda Retter Vargas, will be held Saturday, September 29, 1:00 p.m., at the Metropolitan Community Church. The church is located at 8714 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood. Everyone is invited to bring a written page of history, a Yolanda story, a poem, button, or photo for inclusion in the pages of a history book that will be compiled for the Yolanda Retter Archives of Los Angeles. Yolanda passed away after a brief illness on August 18 and will be greatly missed by students and her many colleagues and friends at the CSRC and the university.
Oral History Workshop
The UCLA Library’s Center for Oral History Research is offering an oral history workshop for UCLA graduate students, faculty, and staff. The workshop will provide an introduction to the basics of oral history methodology and is fundamental training for those conducting interviews for Chicana/o Studies. The workshop will be held on Saturday, October 6, 2007, and Saturday, October 20, 2007. For more information, email the workshop leader, Teresa Barnett, at the Center for Oral History Research, or phone 310-206-2454.
Annual UCLA Latino Alumni Association Banquet
This year’s banquet, or “Fiesta de Inspiracion,” will be held on October 24, 2007, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. For more information, email the UCLA Latino Alumni Association.
Symposium on Prop 209
“Economic Opportunity in California: The Labor and Employment Impact of Prop 209” will examine the impact of Prop. 209—California’s anti-affirmative action initiative—on public employment, contracting, and the public sphere. The symposium will be Friday, October 26, 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m., at the UCLA Faculty Center. Thomas A. Saenz, counsel to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, will be the keynote speaker. Reception to follow. The CSRC is a co-sponsor of the event. For registration and more information please visit the Impact209 website.
Lecture and Book Signing
Mario T. Garcia will discuss his new book, The Gospel of César Chávez: My Faith in Action, on Wednesday, October 31, 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m., at the UCLA Young Research Library Presentation Room. The book presents the labor leader’s own words in an exploration of his profound faith and the way it shaped his life. A book signing will follow the lecture. The author is Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Save the Date
CSRC Library and Archive
The CSRC Library notes the passing of our librarian, Yolanda Retter Vargas. A special memorial was held at the CSRC Library on September 7, 2007. An altar was prepared for the event, and returning students are invited to add photographs and mementos to the altar.
The CSRC Library received several significant collections this summer. The Mexican Cultural Institute Archives consists of institutional papers and records relating to this important cultural exchange institution. The Plaza de la Raza Archives contains documents from one of Los Angeles’s premier Latino-oriented arts and cultural institutions. Another new collection, the Isaac Artenstein Film and Image Archive, contains the filmmaker’s 35mm print of Break of Dawn, his film about Pedro J. Gonzalez, plus research materials, production papers, clippings, and production stills.
The Father Will / Church of the Epiphany Archive contains the church’s papers from the 1960s and 1970s. The church was involved in the Chicano Movement and was a staging ground for the 1968 Chicano student high school walkouts and César Chávez’s efforts to establish the United Farm Workers. Also new is the Gronk Archive, which includes sketches, correspondence, and artifacts dating from the 1960s.
Two collections will soon be online: the Joe Ortiz Papers and the Tomás Benitez Archive.
Student Worker Wanted
The CSRC Library needs a student worker. Must be able, or willing to learn, to stack books, do data entry, process archival collections, and learn about the CSRC collections. Attention to detail is a must. Work study is preferred. For more information, contact Greg Hom at 310-206-6052
A recent newsletter thanked Helen and Tomas Crail for donating their daughter Lorena Parlee’s collection of Pedro J. Gonzalez Papers to the CSRC Library. After publication we learned that the donation was also made possible by her father, Kenneth Parlee, and her brother Larry Parlee of Edgewater, New Jersey. The CSRC would like to take this opportunity to thank the Parlees for making this donation possible.
The fall issue of Aztlán—featuring a multidisciplinary mix of essays and book reviews—is in the mail. In the Essays section, Melissa Michelson surveys Latino immigrants’ attitudes to American political issues, and Moisés Próspero discusses how two Chicana professionals overcame barriers to advancement. Fernando Saúl Alanis Enciso offers an evaluation of the repatriation of Mexican Americans during Great Depression (in Spanish), and Lee Bebout traces Reies López Tijerina’s role in the emergence of Chicano nationalism. The Dossier section, “How We Represent,” looks at matters of representation and literary form; contributors are Marissa López, Carlos Gallego, María Cotera, and Dagoberto Gilb. Our featured artist is Nicola López, whose drawings and installations not only criticize our produce-and-consume culture but also reveal the intricate beauty of the urban landscape.
The CSRC Press is pleased to announce that article submissions to Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies can now be made online! Not only can you read Aztlán online, you can also submit your article to Aztlán electronically. This means that you no longer have to print three copies and send them to us via post or a shipping service—you can submit articles to the journal in the comfort of your own home. Save time, trees, and money! Just visit the submission site and follow the directions. If you have any problems, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Chicano Studies Reader, an anthology of groundbreaking essays from Aztlán, is now in its third printing. A favorite for course adaptation, this collection includes twenty articles that shaped the development of Chicano studies and testify to its broad disciplinary and thematic range. Required reading for anyone interested in ethnic studies in general, and Chicano and Latino studies in particular.
The CSRC Press donated 100 copies of seven titles to Books for Third World, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to collecting, shipping, and distributing books to benefit students in third world countries. For more information, see their website.