CSRC Newsletter - March 2008
Volume 6, Number 6
Happy leap year! This year February will be twenty-nine days long. Anyone born on the last day of the month will have to wait four calendar years before their first “birthday.” This occurs because a solar year takes 365 days and six hours, and every four years the calendar accounts for those extra twenty-four hours by adding a day to the end of February. We live our lives so much by the clock that it is useful to remember that time is not perfect. Thomas Jefferson’s mechanical clock offers a metaphor for Enlightenment attempts to understand the universe as a machine, or a system. The clock is installed in the foyer of Jefferson’s house at Monticello. Jefferson miscalculated the height needed for the weights that power the clock. To solve this problem, he cut holes into the floor so that the weights could continue downward into the basement, where his slaves—including Eston Hemings, who was likely his son—lived. When I visited Monticello the tour guide called the basement quarters a multicultural environment. But I had another thought as I stood down there. The enslaved people knew something about the Enlightenment that Jefferson did not: time is not perfect, and we have to make adjustments.
The CSRC welcomes Miguel Juárez, who joins us as our new librarian on April 1. Mr. Juárez brings nine years of professional academic library and special collections experience to the CSRC. He was Hispanic Resources Librarian and Curator at Texas A&M University and a Fine Arts Librarian at the University of Arizona. He is a graduate of State University of New York at Buffalo, where he earned a Masters of Arts in library science. Mr. Juárez has an extensive knowledge of Chicana/o studies and an active commitment to research and curriculum development. We look forward to working with him. Welcome aboard!
The UCLA Department of Anthropology will host a lecture by Angela Garcia, the University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow. In her talk, “Ties That Bind: Intergenerational Heroin Use and the New Ethics of Kinship,“ Dr. Garcia will discuss heroin use between Hispanic parents and their children in New Mexico’s Española Valley. These Hispanos have the highest rate of heroin use and overdose in the United States. Dr. Garcia, a graduate of UC Berkeley and Harvard University, places this practice in the context of the fragmentation of social, economic, and domestic life. The lecture will be held on Wednesday, March 5, 2:00–3:30 p.m., in the Anthropology Department Reading Room, 352 Haines Hall. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, visit the Department of Anthropology’s website.
The César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies will present writer and performer Dan Guerrero in a special campus performance of ¡Gaytino! on Thursday, March 6, 7:00 p.m., in Schoenberg Hall. This one-night event is free and open to the public. Campus parking is available in Lots 2 and 3 for $8.00. The performance is co-sponsored by the CSRC, the UCLA Department of Theater, and the LGBT Studies Program. For more information visit the ¡Gaytino! website.
Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement will be the largest exhibition of cutting-edge Chicano art ever presented at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Developed through an ongoing agreement between the CSRC and LACMA, the exhibition will open on Sunday, April 6, and run through Monday, September 1, in LACMA’s Art of the Americas Building. The exhibition surveys 31 artists and approximately 125 works that include paintings and sculptures as well as installations, conceptual pieces, videos, performance art, and intermedia works that incorporate film, digital effects, and sound. The exhibition was organized by Rita Gonzalez, curator of American art, and Howard Fox, curator of contemporary art at LACMA, and Chon A. Noriega, adjunct curator of Latino and Chicano art at LACMA and director of the CSRC. The exhibition, which has been made possible in part by the Peter Norton Family Foundation and LACMA’s Art Museum Council, will travel to venues in New York, Texas, and Mexico. A substantial catalog has been published by the University of California Press. There will be an opening reception on Wednesday, April 2, 7:00 p.m., and an all-day symposium on Saturday, April 5, among other programs. For more information go to the LACMA website.
CSRC Library & Archive
The CSRC Library would like to thank Chelsey Hauge for her generous donation of 35mm negatives of Los Angeles garment workers. The collection is comprised of over 1,000 individual images, and we look forward to making them available to researchers.
Finding aids for three CSRC collections are now available via the Online Archive of California: The UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press / Aztlán Publication Papers, The Peter Rodriguez Mexican Museum of San Francisco Papers, and The Ruben Guevara Collection of LP Records and Papers.
Jain Fletcher, principal cataloger and head of the Technical Services Division of UCLA’s Department of Special Collections, is working with the CSRC Library to catalog a large number of its processed archival materials. This will allow our records to be retrieved via UCLA’s library catalog in addition to the Online Archive of California. Facilitating wider access will generate greater use of our unique collections and will allow us to move these collections to the Southern Regional Library Facility, which is located on campus. The project will free some much-needed space in the CSRC, enabling us to continue processing new and existing archival collections.
The CSRC Library is cleaning out nonarchival cardboard boxes and file folders, broken furniture, and other noncollection items that are taking up valuable space. The limited amount of library space affects our ability to process collections and make them available to our patrons. The CSRC Library is committed not only to serving as a repository for collections but also to maintaining a space where students, faculty, and community members can carry out research and can enjoy and participate in lectures, performances, meetings, and exhibitions.
The Spring 2008 issue of Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies features essays on Arturo Islas’s The Rain God, by John Alba Cutler; the art of Delilah Montoya, by Asta Kuusinen; Cherríe Moraga’s The Hungry Woman, by Patricia Ybarra; Chicano muralism in Michigan, by Dylan Miner; and the dramatic works of Luis Valdez, by Linda Saborío. Political and cultural relations between Chicana/os and African Americans are explored in the dossier section, which is authored by Luis Alvarez and Daniel Widener, Gaye Theresa Johnson, Pancho McFarland, and Catherine S. Ramírez. Margarita Cabrera is the featured artist, and her work is the subject of the editor’s commentary by Chon A. Noriega. Subscribe today at the Press website.
Translations of three reports generated by the CSRC’s collaboration with the UCLA Center for Policy Research and Aging and the USC Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center are now available from CSRC Press. Latinos and Social Security Policy Brief No. 1, Latinos y el futuro del Seguro Social: Momento para actuar, by Fernando Torres-Gil, looks at four characteristics that result in a higher rate of return on Social Security contributions for Latinos than for the rest of the U. S. population.
Latinos and Social Security Policy Brief No. 2, Reforma del Seguro Social: Implicaciones para los jubilados latinos, by Patricia Halliwell, Zachary D. Gassoumis, and Kathleen H. Wilber, surveys the impact that proposed Social Security reforms will have on Latino retirees. In the related research report, El impacto del Seguro Social en la comunidad latina, Latinos and Social Security Research Report No. 1, Patricia Halliwell and Kathleen H. Wilber examine the proposed changes in depth and conclude that reforms to Social Security could have a particularly profound impact on Latinos. For downloadable PDFs of these publications, please visit the Press website.