CSRC Newsletter - May 2005
CSRC Newsletter Volume 3, Number 8
New billboards for a local Spanish-language newscast announce: "Los Angeles, California Mexico – Tu Ciudad. Tu Equipo." For the station, KCRA-TV Channel 62, the billboard merely addresses a local audience: "All we are saying is, 'It's your city, your town, your team.' We are a team that's educating and informing the Spanish-language marketplace." But for the political action group, Americans for Legal Immigration, the billboards are an example of "irresponsible corporate citizenship" because the message might "make illegal immigrants feel welcome." In either case, the billboards clearly reference the fact that Los Angeles was once part of Mexico and that in recent decades the Mexican-descent population has become the largest single demographic and broadcast market in the region. These are simply facts and nothing more. What each side makes of them is another matter. KCRA-TV uses them to address a marketplace, while Americans for Legal Immigration uses them to raise fears about citizenship (including "corporate citizenship"). Look closely at the uproar over the KCRA-TV billboards and you see two groups of non-Hispanics fighting with each other over what to do with "Mexicans." Ironically, Spanish-language television stations are not necessarily owned and operated by those who speak Spanish, let alone by Latinos: in this case, KCRA-TV is owned by Liberman Broadcasting and the billboards are owned by Clear Channel Communications. Here, in a nutshell, is a fundamental conflict in our society – not between immigrants and citizens – but between the business sector and social conservatives. This conflict has been at the root of immigration debates throughout the 20th century, and it continues full force into the twenty-first century. Meanwhile, the U.S. Spanish-language press continues a tradition that goes back to the 19th century in such newspapers as Eco de la patria in Los Angeles: it places the local news in a hemispheric context. No, Los Angeles is not Mexico, but neither is it an island unto itself.
Chon A. Noriega, Professor and Director
Frontera Collection Honored
On April 5, Professor Guillermo Hernandez represented the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., where a recording representing the CSRC Frontera Collection was inducted into the National Recording Registry. The registry was created by Congress in 2000 in order to maintain and preserve sound recordings that are culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. The Frontera Collection – formally called, the Arhoolie Foundation's Strachwitz Frontera Collection of Mexican and Mexican-American Recordings – is a web-based archive that includes 30,000 digitally preserved Spanish-language 78 rpm recordings from the first half of the twentieth century. This project – initiated by Professor Hernandez – represents an ongoing collaboration between UCLA and the Arhoolie Foundation (which owns the collection); and it has received major support from the UCLA Los Tigres del Norte Fund.
La Casa de California Dedication
On April 11, Assistant Director Carlos M. Haro represented the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center at the dedication of La Casa de California, in Mexico City. This facility is located near the National University (UNAM) and the Colegio de Mexico and will house the offices for the UC Education Abroad Program and the Institute for Mexico and the United States (UC MEXUS). La Casa de California will also be made available to other UC programs with interests in Mexico, including the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. The dedication included a welcome by UC President Robert C. Dynes and the presentation of posters for various UC programs with projects related to Mexico, including a poster from the CSRC. Dr. Haro also met with UCLA Professor Hector Calderon, director of the Education Abroad Program in Mexico, and visited the UNAM campus.
National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS) Conference
CSRC Head Librarian Yolanda Retter Vargas attended the NACCS conference last month in Miami, Florida, where she networked, bought books and materials for the CSRC Library, and attended several caucus meetings, including the Chicano Librarians Group and the Lesbian Caucus. The 2006 NACCS conference will be in Guadalajara, Mexico.
LA Times Festival of Books a Success
Thanks to everyone who made our booth on April 23 and 24 such a success! This year our authors included Professor Alicia Gaspar de Alba, David Reyes, and Tom Waldman, as well as artist Artemio Rodriguez of La Mano Press. We also collaborated with the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute to present their recent book, Right Before Our Eyes: Latinos Past, Present & Future.
CSRC Events This Month
The Sleepy Lagoon Case: A Commemorative Symposium
The CSRC, UCLA Charles E. Young Research Library Department of Special Collections, and the UCLA Fowler Museum will hold a two-day symposium on the Sleepy Lagoon case on May 20-21 at UCLA. In the 1942 trial, characterized as "more of a ceremonial lynching than a trial in a court of justice" by lawyer, writer, and activist Carey McWilliams, three young men were sentenced to life in prison and nine received lengthy sentences for the murder of a young Mexican man. In a wartime atmosphere of anxiety and hysteria, it would take two years of work by a group of volunteers before the convictions were overturned on the basis of insufficient evidence. This symposium commemorates, investigates, and evaluates the Sleepy Lagoon case and reflects upon its parallels with current events. Full conference details and an online exhibition are available here . Please RSVP by May 10 to 310/794-4408 or by email the contact . Admission is free.
CSRC Faculty Exchange Series with Mario T. Garcia
The CSRC will host Mario T. Garcia, Professor of History and Chicano Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who will discuss The Mexican-American Search for Identity: Ruben Salazar's Unfinished Novel “A Stranger's House," at noon on May 4, at the CSRC Library (144 Haines Hall). The reception begins at 12:00 noon and the lecture follows at 12:30 pm.
CSRC Faculty Exchange Series with Helena Simonett
The CSRC will host Helena Simonett, Vanderbilt University, Blair School of Music, who will sign and discuss her book Banda: Mexican Musical Life Across Borders at noon on May 5 at the CSRC Library (144 Haines Hall). The reception begins at 12:00 noon and the lecture follows at 12:30 pm.
CSRC Faculty Exchange Series with Rubén Hernández-León
The CSRC will host Rubén Hernández-León, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles, who will speak about and sign copies of his edited volume New Destinations: Mexican Immigration in the United States at noon on June 9 at the CSRC Library (144 Haines Hall). Assistant Professor Kelly Lytle Hernandez, History, and Professor Roger Waldinger, Sociology will be presenters. The reception begins at 12:00 noon and the lecture follows at 12:30 pm.
For more information on any of the CSRC Faculty Exchange Series events and to RSVP, please contact the front office .
The CSRC is pleased to announce the acquisition of two new collections: The papers and selected works of Laura Aguilar, groundbreaking Chicana photographer, and the papers of Guillermo Bejarano, muralist, editor, and photographer. We thank the artists for their wonderful contributions to the CSRC. Finding aids for this collection and other CSRC collections can be found on the CSRC Library website and the Online Archive of California website .
CSRC Special Collections Catalogued by the Young Research Library
Our archival collections are currently being cataloged by Jain Fletcher of the Young Research Library and we offer her our deepest thanks for her good work and help. This means that our special collections will soon all be searchable on UCLA's new online library catalog system.
New Issue of Aztlán
The thirty-fifth anniversary issue of Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies is out now. If you are not a subscriber, subscribe now so that you can read about the lives of three nineteenth-century women living in Alta California prior to the U.S. invasion; Dolores Del Rio's Hollywood career during the transition from silent to sound film; Americo Paredes's semi-autobiographical persona, the Pocho; and the political and cultural notion of landscape in relation to the Mexican American experience. The dossier section includes an autobiography of an undergraduate at UCLA from 1944 to 1948 and considerations of the issue of “Latino” representation within American social and cultural institutions. Also in this issue are special thanks to all our supporters and lists of those who have participated over the years. If you don't subscribe, how will you find if you have been left out?! Just email the press with your postal address and we will send you a subscription package.
New Research Report: Identifying and Preserving the History of the Latino Visual Arts
This important new report includes a nationwide survey of recent Latino arts archival initiatives designed to prevent the loss of important primary sources. Written by Tracy Grimm at the Institute for Latino Studies, University of Notre Dame, it suggests resources for the development of archival practices and how these initiatives could be better coordinated at a national level to preserve a comprehensive historical record of the Latino visual arts. The report is written in response to the 2003 Latino Policy and Issues Brief, also produced by the CSRC, recommending further research on Latino cultural legacy preservation efforts.
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UCLA Latino Alumni Association Educational Grants
The UCLA Latino Alumni Association (ULAA) awards educational grants to entering and continuing UCLA students. The educational grants program, established in 1991, provides financial assistance to qualified UCLA students in an effort to promote academic success. Finalists will be reviewed by UCLA financial aid to determine financial eligibility level. For more information and to obtain an application, please e-mail the scholarship chair. The application must be postmarked by June 3.
Student Writing Contest
The CSRC is sponsoring an undergraduate student writing award for the best essay that uses the Frontera Collection of digital music. Funded by the Los Tigres del Norte Fund, the $250 award can only go to an undergraduate enrolled at UCLA, for a paper about one or more recordings on the Frontera Collection site, and that was completed as part of an assignment for a class taken during the academic year 2004-05. All submissions must be nominated by a faculty member. To nominate suitable students/papers, send the name and e-mail address of the student, the paper topic or title, and information on the course (title, number, quarter offered). A formal submission from the student will be solicited by the CSRC. There is no limit to the number of nominations from a faculty member, provided the students meet the above eligibility requirements. Nominations should be sent to Assistant Director Carlos Haro by Friday, May 20, 2005. Submissions will be reviewed by a faculty selection committee and announced before the end of the school year. If possible, the CSRC will also arrange for the student to meet with Los Tigres del Norte.
Graduate Student Website
The CSRC website publishes a list of UCLA graduate students currently doing Chicana/o-related research. To be added to the CSRC Affiliated Students list, email the center 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.
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