April 2011 Newsletter (archive)




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April Spotlight: Historian and Institute Fellow Marc S. Rodriguez
In this issue of New Horizons we turn the spotlight on Assistant Professor of History and Law and Fellow of the Institute Marc S. Rodriguez. The Institute congratulates Marc on the publication of his new book, The Tejano Diaspora: Mexican Americanism and Ethnic Politics in Texas and Wisconsin, due out this month from the University of North Carolina Press. Rodriguez remarks,

My book began with a simple premise. Mainly, that working class people who were part of a giant network of migratory labor could and did use the labor recruiting process as a potent tool for labor union building and political party development across what I term the “Tejano Diaspora.” This idea found resonance in the field of migration studies where historians of Italian, Slavic, Puerto Rican, and Latin-American immigrants had long shown the potency of circularity in migrant life. I took these transnational studies, and applied these lessons to the circular interstate world of Tejano workers—the first study of its kind. While the Tejano Diaspora encompassed many streams, only in one case did migrants use these resources to develop such a large number of community institutions, which included a labor union, a War on Poverty agency, and La Raza Unida Party. I studied the activism between Texas and Wisconsin because these two sites demonstrated the broadest array of sustained institution building and “Chicano” political activism. The book is a reflection on the potential and limits of American citizenship. Latino studies is far more than the study of people who come to the United States; it is about the people who have lived here for generations as well.

Rodriguez, whose father was a migrant farm worker, says that the book grew out of the life cycle of his own family:

My father was born during WWII in the sugar-beet fields of Michigan during harvest season. As my father remembers it, his family did its part to support the war effort by entering the fields as demand for agricultural produce went up in a time of rationing. Within eight years, my grandfather died of tuberculosis (a constant threat for poor people in America) and my grandmother re-entered the migrant stream a single parent who traveled each season with her six children, mainly working in Texas, Michigan, and Wisconsin. My father, who worked as a farm worker as a toddler, always an inspiration to me, remembered the stark poverty of his childhood, yet also had many stories of hard work, the simple joys of life among fellow migrant workers, and the kindness of strangers and church members who often helped migrant children.

Rodriguez’s next project, “Rethinking the Chicano Movement,” is a national survey of the Chicano Movement for Routledge Press.

My new book will utilize a huge number of regional and national Chicano and Latino newspapers as well as the growing collection available at the Julian Samora Library and Archives at Notre Dame. My teaching and research have come together nicely in this second project.

For more on Rodriguez’s teaching and research please see the featured article on the Department of History’s web site: http://history.nd.edu/history-at-notre-dame/history-spotlight/for-rodriguez-family-tree-is-a-teaching-tool/index.shtml.


Orfield and Gandara Speak on Hispanics and Educational Inequality
In March the Institute was a co-sponsor for two lectures organized by Notre Dame’s Center for Research on Educational Opportunity (CREO) as part of the Henkels Lecture Series. Dr. Patricia Gandara presented the lecture “Will We All Be Arizona? Horne vs Flores and the Future of Language Policy in the United States,” and Dr. Gary Orfield presented “The Great Civil Rights Reversal: The Conservative Counterrevolution and Social Justice in the American Education.”

Cárdenas Speaks at Immigration Symposium
Institute Director Gilberto Cárdenas was a panelist for the Symposium “Immigration Policy and the Politics of Reform” conducted by the Notre Dame Washington Undergraduate Semester Program in Washington, DC, on March 24. Professor David Campbell, from the University of Notre Dame’s Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy was the moderator for this event, which was also co-sponsored by the Rooney Center.

ILS and Goshen College Publish Study of Latinos in North Central Indiana
On March 25 the Institute for Latino Studies and Goshen College’s Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning (CITL) released a three-volume report on Latinos in four north-central Indiana counties. Co-edited by CITL Research Director Robert Reyes and ILS Research Director Juan Carlos Guzmán, the report examines area demographics and the history of Latino immigration to North Central Indiana since the 1990s, setting the context for an analysis of the educational challenges and opportunities local Latino students face.

Cárdenas Presents Hesburgh Lecture in Texas
Institute Director Gilberto Cárdenas was guest lecturer at St. Edward’s University, Austin, Texas. Cárdenas spoke about contemporary issues pertaining to Mexican immigration, drawing on historical foundations of immigration policy and utilizing a visual presentation based on contemporary artwork addressing immigration issues, including works from the “Caras Vemos” exhibition inaugurated at the University of Notre Dame’s Snite Museum in fall of 2006 and currently on national tour.

Duarte Leads Discussion on Latino Identity at Yale University
Institute Fellow Cynthia V. Duarte was a guest speaker at Yale University in March. Her talk, entitled “How Latino Am I?” explored the multigenerational aspect of Latino identity. Following the talk Duarte led a discussion with students at “La Casa,” Yale University’s Latino cultural center.

Aragón Presents at Macalester College
On March 24 Letras Latinas Director Francisco Aragón visited professor Kristin Naca’s courses “Latino Poetics” and “Craft of Writing” to discuss Glow of Our Sweat, his latest book, which had been assigned to students. In the evening, Aragón gave a public presentation of his work at the DeWitt Wallace Library on the Macalester College campus in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

ILS Researcher Presents at Academic Conference
Institute visiting scholar Daniel E. Martínez and co-author Jeremy Slack (School of Geography and Development, University of Arizona) presented their paper “What part of ‘Illegal’ DO you understand? The Sociological Consequences of Criminalizing Unauthorized Mexican Migrants in the United States” at the 2011 Annual Pacific Sociological Association meeting held in Seattle, Washington, March 10–13.

Brown-Gort on Panel to Discuss Immigrant Contributions to Indiana’s Economic Success
Institute Associate Director Allert Brown-Gort was a panelist at an Indiana Chamber of Commerce event “Why You Should Think Like An Immigrant” held on March 21 in Indianapolis. The event featured a talk by author Richard T. Herman on the seven important traits that can re-invigorate our local, state, and national economies—traits found within American’s immigrant populations. Brown-Gort was joined by Karen L. Friss, vice president for global public policy at Eli Lilly and Company; Dr. Bobby Fong, president of Butler University; and Tim Morales, president and CEO of the Morales Group, LLC.

Fr. Elizondo Distinguished Speaker at Nazareth College
On March 24 Rev. Virgilio Elizondo presented the lecture “World Church, Local Church: Grace, Blessing, Challenge” as part of the Shannon Lecture Series “Envisioning and Shaping the Church to Come” at Nazareth College, Rochester, New York. The lecture series invites theologians to explore how to “take stock of where we are as a church, to face the crises that demand our attention locally and globally, and to participate in shaping the Catholic Church in the twenty-first century.”

ILS Co-Sponsors Sixth Annual Community Forum
The Institute was, for the sixth year, a co-sponsor for the Community Forum for Economic Development’s annual Spring Forum Saturday, March 26, at Indiana University, South Bend. The Forum is co-organized by St. Joseph County community groups such as South Bend neighborhood associations, religious groups, labor leaders, educators at ND and IUSB, and others working to raise the quality of life and opportunities for residents in the area. This year’s theme centered on the potential impact of the 2011 Indiana legislative session on middle-class workers and public education. Afternoon workshops were held on small business development, creating safe and stable neighborhoods, and using tax abatements to promote community benefits. The Forum is for area residents to listen, learn, share, discuss, and lend hands to make a difference in St. Joseph County.

Guidance Counselors from Puerto Rico Visit ILS
A group of guidance counselors from Puerto Rico toured the Institute Library in March. The counselors also met with Institute faculty and staff. The counselors were at Notre Dame as part of a Puerto Rico Guidance Counselor weekend hosted by the Office of Admissions.

On-Campus Events

Catholic Diasporas Conference
Please join us Thursday, March 31–Saturday, April 2, for the “Catholic Diasporas: the Irish and Mexicans in America” conference, sponsored by the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies and the Cushwa Center and co-sponsored by the Institute and its Center for Latino Spirituality and Culture. The Irish have shaped US Catholicism and its impact on the wider society more than any other group since the first great waves of immigration in the nineteenth century. Today the rising influence of Hispanic Catholics, two-thirds of them from Mexican backgrounds, is the leading indicator for ongoing developments in the twenty-first century. This conference will examine the Mexican and Irish experience in their native and adoptive homelands, shedding new light on their significance through comparative analysis. The conference is scheduled for Thursday, March 31–Saturday, April 2. It is free and open to the public. All sessions are in the McKenna Hall Center for Continuing Education. For more information such as session times and details please visit the latinostudies.nd.edu events calendar.

Latin Expressions
The Latin Expressions Variety and Talent Show will be held on Friday, April 1, 7:00 pm, at the Century Center, downtown South Bend. This event is hosted by the University of Notre Dame student group La Alianza. For more information please visit the latinostudies.nd.edu event calendar.

For more information please contact mecha@nd.edu.

Gender Studies Research Workshop
Anne García-Romero, Moreau postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Film, Television and Theatre will be presenting a Gender Studies Research Workshop “Sacred Space, Ritual, and ‘Facultad’: Contemporary Latina Playwrights Staging Transculturation in the Spirit World.” The workshop will be held on Friday, April 8, from 12:00–1:00 pm, 339 O’Shaughnessy Hall.

Tenth Annual Sueños sin Fronteras Youth Leadership Conference
The Tenth Annual Youth Leadership Conference “Sueños sin Fronteras: Making College Dreams a Reality” will be held on Saturday, April 9. The conference is for South Bend high school and eighth grade students to come to campus of Notre Dame to learn more about the realities of college. It is a conference entirely initiated and planned by Notre Dame students and focuses on leadership, self-esteem workshops, and touches on real university experiences. The conference is sponsored by the Institute for Latino Studies and attendance is free to the participants who enroll through their school principals. This is a great opportunity for youth to begin thinking about career and college goals. Please contact Institute for Latino Studies at 631-3796 or latino@nd.edu for more information.

ILS Staff Contribute to Annual Culinary Fundraiser 
Several Institute staff members have been assisting with an annual fundraiser for the Culinary School at South Bend’s Ivy Tech College. The fundraiser, a seven-course Latin cuisine dinner and silent art auction, will be held on April 15, 6:00 pm–9:00 pm at the South Bend Century Center. Tickets are $100 per person. All proceeds benefit the culinary program’s national competition travel fund. For tickets or more information please contact Chef Brent at (574) 289-7001, ext. 5440.

Call for Notre Dame Student Art Submissions
The Institute again this year sponsors a student art exhibition to be held in its Galería América. Submitted works should focus on the issues of ethnicity and identity in today’s world. All media are welcome. Works for consideration must be submitted to José Velazco, 221 Riley Hall, no later than April 15, 2011. For more information please contact José Velazco at jvelazco@nd.edu.

Undergraduate Student Conference
On Saturday, April 16 the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the Institute for Latino Studies will host the undergraduate student conference “Mexico: 1810, 1910, 2010.” The conference will take place at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, Hesburgh Center Auditorium, from 9:00 am–5:00 pm. The conference is designed to commemorate the legacy of the Mexican revolution and independence and to explore Mexico’s precarious contemporary situation. The conference is a forum for undergraduate students, faculty, and outside scholars to engage with Mexico’s rich history, politics, and culture. Please contact Jaime Pensado, assistant professor of history, for more information or questions on this conference at jpensado@nd.edu.

Playwright and Producer Richard Montoya to Visit Notre Dame
American playwright, actor, director, and co-founder of the performance trio Culture Clash, Richard Montoya, will be visiting Notre Dame April 18–20 to give a lecture, speak to classes, and open an art exhibition of the work of his father, artist José Montoya. If you would like to schedule Mr. Montoya to speak to a class or have an informal lunch or dinner with students please contact ILS Program Coordinator Courtney Maesel at (574) 631-3796. The visit is co-sponsored by Multicultural Student Programs and Services and the Institute. In addition to being a staff writer on the critically acclaimed television show Southland, Montoya has authored commissioned works for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Arena Stage, Yale Repertory, and the Berkeley Rep, among others. As a playwright his works explore the true stories of real people locked in the margins and border regions of America. He describes himself as being obsessed with the always-evolving essential American Character that has historically celebrated our commonalities by bridging cultures, audiences, disciplines, and borders.

Lecture on Capitalism in Mexican Transnational Families
On Tuesday, April 26, Lisa Peñaloza, professor of marketing, Department of Humanities, Markets, and Culture of the EDHEC Business School, Lille, France, will give a lecture on “Spirits of Capitalism: The Catholic Consumption Ethic in Mexican Transnational Families.” The lecture will be held at McKenna Hall room 112-114, with a 4:00 pm networking reception followed by the lecture at 4:30 pm.

Please note that although the program information listed is currently accurate, events outside of our control sometimes intervene. Be sure to visit our online calendar (latinostudies.nd.edu) for the most current program details.

Off Campus Events

Author Jorge Volpi to Speak at Cervantes Cultural Institute
Noted Mexican writer Jorge Volpi will give a talk “Violence and Narcotraffic in the New Latin American Literature” on Wednesday, April 6, at 6:00 pm at the Cervantes Cultural Institute, 31 West Ohio St., Chicago. The program will be open to the public. Institute Associate Director Allert Brown-Gort will be moderator and respondent.

  • MEChA Sponsors Semana de la Mujer Week of Events
    Notre Dame’s student chapter of MEChA is sponsoring a week-long celebration “Semana de la Mujer,” April 4–8. Events include:

  • “Writing HERstory,” a presentation and discussion of past events from the perspective of women, April 4, 6:00 pm, Coleman-Morse Study Lounge.
  • A Latina art workshop to focus on Latina artists and artwork, April 5, 7:00 pm, 104 Bond Hall.
  • “Femicide on the Border,” a presentation on border violence against women, April 6, 7:00 pm, Dooley Room, LaFortune Hall.
  • “Dangerous Curves,” a presentation and discussion about the Latina body image in today’s media, April 7, 6:00 pm, McNeill Library, Geddes Hall.
  • “Latinas in Folklore,” a presentation on Latina icons, April 8, 6:00 pm, Coleman-Morse Study Lounge.