CSRC Newsletter - March 2005
CSRC Newsletter Volume 3, Number 6
I hate to admit it, but I am hooked. When Starbucks Coffee Company unleashed its latest drink on January 8, I was – needless to say – quite skeptical. I still am. The pure milk chocolate drink, called “Chantico,” is named after the Aztec goddess of hearth and fire. That's right. Starbucks is cashing in on the Aztlán fad…. According to their spokesperson, Chantico is based on Aztec traditions of drinking chocolate, but it is also being pitched as a different type of “romantic experience.” Talk about mixed messages. On the one hand, we have purity (an intensely pure milk chocolate, and references to pre-Columbian culture), but on the other hand there is the veiled reference to the Latin Lover (not so pure, and no doubt mestizo, too). I cannot quite figure out what Starbucks is after. Is this a bid for the ever-elusive Latino chocolate-drinking market? Or are we witnessing the second conquest of the Aztecs? I have done my research and can report the following: Chantico is not as thick as Champurrada (don't expect masa here). Instead it tastes like hot chocolate syrup imbued with Starbuck's trademark burnt-bean taste. My own response is itself a mixed message. I like Chantico and I have encouraged friends to try this “Aztec drink of the gods,” as if doing so would enable them to suddenly know me better, but I remain skeptical nonetheless. Beside the cultural politics of it all, I now find myself slipping back into Starbucks on a regular basis nearly six years after I gave up coffee and caffeine.
Chon A. Noriega, Director and Professor
A Ver Book Launch a Success
The CSRC publicly launched the A Ver: Revisioning Art History book series on February 3. Over 150 people attended the event. Guests included A Ver's national advisory board, the artists and writers for the first ten books, Los Angeles-based Chicano art collectors, representatives from our affiliated institutions LACMA, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, as well as representatives from other major Latino arts centers, museums, and organizations around the country. Speakers included Chancellor Albert Carnesale, former Assemblymember Marco Antonio Firebaugh, Cheech Marin, and Tomás Ybarra-Frausto from the Rockefeller Foundation. In addition, CSRC received congratulations from the Los Angeles City Council and the California Governor's Office. To see photographs of the event, click Artists and Authors; Speakers and Dignitaries, or general.
LACMA Institute for Arts and Cultures Panel
The LACMA Institute for Arts and Cultures presented the panel “From Ike to Iraq: Conversations with Latino Artists on Six Decades of Art and Politics” on February 4, in conjunction with the A Ver book launch. Over two hundred people attended the event in which A Ver artists Maria Brito, Carmen Lomas Garza, Gronk, Yolanda López, José Montoya, Malaquías Montoya, Celia Alvarez Muñoz, and Raphael Montañez Ortiz discussed the impact of wars, the civil rights movement, feminism, exile, capital punishment, and community activism on their work. To read more about the panel, see our page of press coverage.
Town Hall Meeting on the Faculty Diversity Initiative
The UCLA four ethnic studies research centers held a town hall meeting on February 17 on the Faculty Diversity Initiative that was presented to Chancellor Carnesale in February 2003. Over 50 people attended the annual update on the status of the initiative. The administration has not passed on the initiative, but has not acted on its recommendations in light of the state's political climate and fiscal crises. Several suggestions were made to move the initiative forward, including holding protests and forming a campus and community based committee.
Robert Chao Romero Joins Chavez Center Faculty
CSRC resident scholar and UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow Robert Chao Romero will join the Chavez Center and Department of Chicana/o Studies as an assistant professor beginning July 1, 2005.
New Baby Boy for Abel and Sophie Valenzuela
Congratulations to CSRC Faculty Advisory Committee Chair Abel Valenzuela and Sophie Valenzuela who are the proud new parents of Milan Valenzuela, born on February 8.
CSRC Events This Month
Seminar and Book Signing by Dr. David Hayes-Bautista
David Hayes-Bautista will discuss and sign copies of his book La Nueva California: Latinos in the Golden State on Tuesday, March 1, from 4 to 6 p.m. in Haines Hall A18. The book, based on decades of data, paints a vivid portrait of Latino society in California by providing a wealth of details about health, work ethic, family strengths, and business establishments. Spanning one hundred years, this analysis suggests that the development of a distinctive regional identity will be based on Latino definitions of what it means to be an American.
Department of Information Studies Position Job Talk
The UCLA Department of Information Studies and the CSRC are jointly seeking a tenure-track faculty member with a focus on Chicano-Latino information studies. Information Studies and Chicana/o Studies faculty and students are invited to meet candidate Reynal Guillen. Guillen will give a job talk on Monday, March 7, from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. A lunch meeting with graduate students will follow the talk. Location will be announced shortly. To find out the location, please contact the front office.
The CSRC Library is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Homeboy Industries papers. Homeboy Industries, founded by Father Gregory Boyle, is an economic development and job training program that employs gang members in the Los Angeles county area who wish to redirect their lives. The collection includes thousands of letters written from prison inmates to Father Gregory and Homeboy Industries about their hopes, dreams, and aspirations, as well as many videos and still images. For more information on the collection, please contact CSRC archivist Mike Stone.
Finding aids for CSRC collections can be found on the CSRC Library website and the Online Archive of California website.
Aztlán Thirty-Fifth Anniversary
This year marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of the launch of the CSRC Press and its flagship Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies. In celebration of this press that participated in the founding of the field of Chicano studies, we welcome short reminiscences from those involved in the press over the years and those who published with it. We will include them in the fall issue of the journal. Just email the press.
Toward the Personal
If you are teaching a class about research methods or the Chicana/o experience, we recommend that you check out our new book I Am Aztlan: The Personal Essay in Chicano Studies. This book features intimate writing about the challenges of being a Chicana/o intellectual, academic, and activist. In this book, many well-known scholars wrestle with childhood experiences of family and adult experiences of research in order to come to a better understanding of both. If you are interested in a desk copy, please contact the press.
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CSRC Grants & Fellowships Recipients
IAC Research Grant Program in Chicano Studies
The IAC and the CSRC announce the availability of small grants for support of research on Chicana/os. UCLA faculty, staff, graduate students, and IAC postdoctoral fellows/visiting scholars are eligible. The IAC particularly encourages proposals that will make a contribution to the CSRC. It also invites proposals on interethnic relations that will increase collaboration between the UCLA ethnic studies centers and/or between the centers and other campus units. All applicants are encouraged to discuss their proposal before submission with Carlos M. Haro. Applications are due by April 29.
CSRC Latino Research Program Grants
UCLA faculty members are invited to apply for research grants from the CSRC Latino Research Program (LRP). The program places an emphasis on applied and policy-oriented research and receives support through the University of California Committee on Latino Research. To apply, just check the "Latino Policy Studies" box on the IAC form. To be considered for both IAC and LRP funding, check both boxes. Applications are due by April 29.
Yale Library Latin America Collections Fellowship
Yale University Library is pleased to invite applications for a short-term library visiting fellowship to promote scholarly use of its collections of Latin America. The fellowships, which have a value of up to $7,500, are meant to help defray expenses in traveling to and residing in New Haven, Connecticut. The deadline is March 15. Prospective fellows are encouraged to consult the library's home page or contact Cesar Rodriguez, Curator, Latin American Collection.
Graduate Student Contacts
The CSRC website publishes a list of UCLA graduate students currently doing Chicana/o-related research. When organizations contact us with jobs or about specific grants, we frequently recommend that they check out this page and email those students who seem relevant. To be added to the CSRC Affiliated Students list, email the press with your information.
The CSRC welcomes undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in Chicano Studies to work as interns and volunteers in various areas of the Center. If interested, send an inquiry to Carlos M. Haro.
To learn more about us, visit our website or email us. To subscribe to this newsletter, e-mail CSRC Newsletter and include in the body of your message the line (and nothing but the line) SUBSCRIBE CHICANO [first name, last name] (don't enter the brackets, just your name). This automatically subscribes you to the electronic versions of the Latino Policy & Issues Brief and the CSRC Research Report.