CSRC Newsletter - February 2008
Volume 6, Number 5
Last month I learned from a Mexican diplomat that there is still a Mexican American candidate left in the U.S. presidential primaries: Mitt Romney! Furthermore, Romney is eligible for Mexican citizenship, whereas someone like me (a third-generation Chicano) is not. On January 29, the CSRC, in conjunction with the UCLA Office of the Chancellor, hosted a dinner for Carlos González Gutiérrez, Executive Director of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad at Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr. González Gutiérrez, who was on campus for one week as a UC Regents Lecturer, represents a new policy perspective on the part of Mexico toward the Mexican population in the United States. Suffice it to say, in the past Mexico has often been as conflicted about immigrants and immigration as the United States, pitting economic necessity against social and political hostility. Mr. González Gutiérrez has advanced new thinking about Mexico’s relations to the Mexican American population, as evidenced in his fascinating recent article in the Journal of American History, “Fostering Identities: Mexico’s Relations with Its Diaspora.” What most impressed me about Mr. González Gutiérrez is his willingness for honest dialogue that takes into account the best interests of both nations and their various populations. That is a good place to start.
So what about Mitt Romney? It turns out his great-grandfather was a polygamous Mormon who evaded prosecution by crossing the border into Mexico with his family, including his son Gaskell, Mitt’s grandfather (see reference). George Wilcken Romney, Mitt’s father, was born in 1907. The Romneys re-entered the United States in 1912, during the Mexican Revolution (although some relatives still live there). In other words, the Romneys violated federal law, and rather than face the music they fled the United States, crossing illegally into another country, where their Mexico-born descendants acquired the rights of citizenship in the host country. Sound familiar? Since the Mexican constitution now allows the children of Mexican citizens to petition for Mexican citizenship, Mitt Romney could become not only the first U.S. president of Mexican descent but also the first U.S. president to be a citizen of another country! I raise this possibility not as a constitutional question, but rather as one about the need for some perspective on immigration. The gander expects something that it denies the goose; but on this issue, they’re both cooked.
On Thursday, February 7, 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m., the UCLA Center for Performance Studies, in association with the CSRC, will present “Adelina Anthony: Mastering Sex and Tortillas, A Talk/Performance” at the CSRC Library, 144 Haines Hall. Ms. Anthony, a Xicana lesbian and multidisciplinary artista, will speak about her work and perform excerpts from her hit show. Her work addresses such issues as colonization, queerness, feminism, trauma, memory, gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, and migration. A reception will follow.The event is co-sponsored by the LGBT Studies Program.
Performance by Nao Bustamante
“Pathetic Instructions and the Longevity of Exchange,” a performance by Nao Bustamante, will be held on Thursday, February 28, in the CSRC Library, 144 Haines Hall, 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Ms. Bustamante is an internationally known performance and video artist. Her work encompasses performance art, sculpture, installation, and video. She has performed in galleries, museums, universities, and underground sites all around the world. A reception will follow the performance.
On Thursday, February 28, UCLA’s Academic Advancement Program (AAP) will celebrate its thirty-fifth anniversary in a ceremony in Royce Hall at 7:00 p.m. AAP is the nation’s largest and most successful university diversity program. Among the AAP alumni to be honored are Devon Carbado and Saul Sarabia, both UCLA law faculty; Laura Romero, Marguerita Lightfoot, and Tara Yasso, educational professionals who received their PhD from UCLA’s Graduate School of Education; Daphne Calmes, Associate Dean at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, who received a master’s degree in public health; Jacquelyn Sims, a graduate of the Anderson Graduate School of Management; Judith Mitoma, a faculty member in the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures; and Carlos Vigon, an engineering graduate who is now the CEO of Wilshire Holding.
CSRC Library & Archive
Self-Help Graphics & Art has donated ten recent prints produced at its facilities to the CSRC Library. These prints (and the artists) are: Cyber Mexica New Year (2006), by Nuke & One; Looking for the Birds (2006), by Ami Motevalli; Mexica New Year ’07 (2007), by Kay Brown; The Big Dime (2006), by Alberto Ibarra Del Alto; Transcendental Love, by Wayne Healy (2006); Corky (2006) and Speedy (2007), by Raul Caracoza; and Glare (2006) and SKB-SHG (2007), by Miguel Angel Reyes. Self Help Graphics & Art is a community arts center located in East Los Angeles. It is internationally recognized for its exhibitions and programming and its contributions to Chicano/Latino art and culture.
Slides Document L.A. Mural Movement
The CSRC would like to thank Nancy Tovar for her donation of five hundred color slides of murals painted in Los Angles during the 1970s. The slides, which will be scanned to preserve these exceptional images for future research, are an invaluable contribution to Chicano and art historical scholarship. Another donation from Ms. Tovar was incorrectly titled in an earlier newsletter; the name of the collection is the Church of the Epiphany Chicano Civil Rights Collection. This important collection, created by Ms. Tovar and Father Wauters, documents much of the history of the Farm Worker’s movement and the Brown Berets. The collection is currently being preserved and should be available to researchers this summer.