Fall 2013 Newsletter (archive)

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Volume 4, Number 1
Fall 2013


Fall Spotlight: Four ILS Faculty Fellows Publish First Books

The Institute for Latino Studies is proud to announce that faculty fellows Jaime Pensado (History), Yael Prizant (Film, Television, and Theater), Ricardo Ramírez (Political Science), and Jason Ruiz (American Studies) have completed their first books.

Pensado’s Rebel Mexico: Student Unrest and Authoritarian Political Culture during the Long Sixties (Stanford University Press, 2013) traces the rise, growth, and consequences of Mexico's “student problem” during the long sixties (1956-1971). The volume closely analyzes student politics and youth culture during this period, as well as reactions to them on the part of competing actors. Examining student unrest and youthful militancy in the forms of sponsored student thuggery (porrismo), provocation, clientelism (charrismo estudiantil), and fun (relajo), Pensado offers insight into larger issues of state formation and resistance. He draws particular attention to the shifting notions of youth in Cold War Mexico and details the impact of the Cuban Revolution in Mexico's universities. In doing so, Pensado demonstrates the ways in which deviating authorities—inside and outside the government—responded differently to student unrest, and provides a compelling explanation for the longevity of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional. Historian Eric Zolov contends that Pensado’s important “work will quickly shoot up to the top of required reading on the Global Sixties as well as twentieth-century Mexico.”

Prizant’s book, Cuba Inside Out: Revolution and Contemporary Theatre (Southern Illinois University Press, 2013), has also elicited high praise. Frederick Luis Aldama, the Arts & Humanities Distinguished Professor of English at Ohio State University, notes that “Prizant brilliantly shows the different social and historical contexts that led Cuban playwrights to their delicate dances between form and content to ensure creative innovation and expression.” The Cuban Revolution’s resistance to and intersections with globalization, modernity, emigration and privilege are central to the performances examined in the study. The first book-length study in English of Cuban and Cuban American plays, Cuba Inside Out provides a framework for understanding texts and performances that support, challenge, and transgress boundaries of exile and nationalism. Prizant reveals the intricacies of how revolution is staged theatrically, socially, and politically on the island and in the Cuban diaspora. This close examination of seven plays written since 1985 seeks to alter how U.S. audiences perceive Cuba, its circumstances, and its theatre.

Ramírez published Mobilizing Opportunities: The Evolving Latino Electorate and the Future of American Politics (University of Virginia Press, 2013). His research examines a widely-acknowledged shift in perception of Latinos from uncertain political relevance in 1990 to a sense that they are redefining American democracy in 2012. However, Ramírez demonstrates that this is not a story of revolutionary change. Rather, it is a story of evolutionary change in the Latino electorate and the sources of growth of Latino eligible voters. Mobilizing Opportunities presents a novel approach to show the relevance of Latino demographic change for American politics will be determined not by their presence nationally or vis-à-vis national party politics, but by the extent to which the influx of Latinos into state politics is gradual and expected or sudden and unexpected. The volume identifies the convergence of Latino organizational efforts to enhance civic infrastructure with the political activation of Latinos as residents, citizens, and voters in response to contentious political contexts. Mobilizing Opportunities has been acclaimed as “destined to become the most important book in Latino politics for the next generation.”

Ruiz’s Americans in the Treasure House: Travel to Porfirian Mexico and the Cultural Politics of Empire (University of Texas Press, 2014) examines travel to Mexico during the long dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz (1876-1911), focusing especially on the role of travelers in shaping ideas of Mexico as a logical place for Americans to extend their economic and cultural influence in the hemisphere. Overland travel between the United States and Mexico became instantly faster, smoother, and cheaper when workers connected the two countries’ rail lines in 1884, creating intense curiosity in the United States about Mexico, its people, and its opportunities for business and pleasure. These travelers created a rich and varied record of their journeys, constructing Mexico as a nation at the cusp of modernity but requiring foreign intervention to reach its full potential. Through extensive engagement with archival sources, Americans in the Treasure House traces the history of travel to Mexico during the Porfiriato and the decade-long revolution that followed. Perhaps more importantly, it relates the dramatic rises in travel and travel discourse to complex questions about national identity, state power, and economic relations across the U.S.-Mexico border.


ILS Welcomes New Faculty Fellows

The Institute is pleased to welcome four new Notre Dame faculty members as faculty fellows.

Mike Amezcua, History, specializes in the fields of Latina/o history, U.S. urban history, and comparative race relations. His research is driven by an exploration of the intersections of race, culture, immigration, and metropolitan transformation. A native of Los Angeles, he is spending the 2013-2014 academic year as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California San Diego before officially beginning at Notre Dame in fall 2014. He earned his PhD at Yale University (2011) and received his undergraduate education from UCLA (2004). He is currently at work on a book entitled The Second City Anew: Mexicans, Urban Culture, and Migration in the Transformation of Chicago, 1940-1986. The book examines Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans as they encountered, responded to, and helped shape Chicago’s midcentury modernity in its various forms: racial formations, spatial change, and cultural practices. He is the recipient of numerous research and teaching awards from Northwestern, the University of Illinois, the National Museum of American History, and Yale. When not teaching or doing research, Dr. Amezcua, an avid music fan, enjoys visiting local record stores and adding to his ever-growing vinyl collection.

Peter Casarella, Associate Professor of Theology, formerly held the positions of professor of Catholic Studies and director of the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology at DePaul University. His essays in scholarly journals cover a variety of topics – medieval Christian Neoplatonism, contemporary theological aesthetics, and the Hispanic/Latino presence in the U.S. Catholic Church. In 2005 he served as President of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians in the United States (ACHTUS). He has edited or co-edited Cuerpo de Cristo: The Hispanic Presence in the U.S. Catholic Church (1998), Christian Spirituality and the Culture of Modernity: The Thought of Louis Dupré (1998), Cusanus: The Legacy of Learned Ignorance (2006), and A World for All? Global Civil Society in Political Theory and Trinitarian Theology (2011). In 2013 he served as guest editor with Elizabeth Coonrod Martínez of two issues of the journal Diálogo that were dedicated to exploring the intersection of Latino Studies and Latino/a theology. His plenary address at the Catholic Theological Society of America meeting in Miami recently appeared in the 2013 CTSA proceedings: “Conversion and Witnessing: Intercultural Renewal in a World Church.”

Jennifer Jones, Sociology, joins the Notre Dame faculty after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Ohio State University. In 2011, she completed her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. She also holds a B.A. from Pomona College. Professor Jones is in the process of revising her book manuscript entitled Majority Minority: Race, Immigration and the Browning of the New South, based on her dissertation work funded by the NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant and the UC Center for New Racial Studies. Specializing in race and ethnicity, immigration, political sociology, and Latin America and the Caribbean, her work has appeared in such journals as Ethnic and Racial Studies, Latino Studies, and Sociological Perspectives. Dr. Jones’s current research continues to examine the social construction of race by exploring three distinct sources of change in the contemporary racial landscape – increasing immigration, the growing multiracial population, and shifting social relations between and within racial groups. By focusing on these three themes, she works to expand understanding of how people become racialized and make sense of that racial identity, as well as how those identities impact social relations.

Thomas A. Tweed is the Harold and Martha Welch Endowed Chair in American Studies and has a concurrent appointment in History. He is a Faculty Fellow in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies as well as the Institute for Latino Studies. He previously taught at the University of Texas, the University of Miami, and the University of North Carolina, where he won an award for undergraduate teaching and served as Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, Zachary Smith Distinguished Professor, and Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences. Tweed’s historical, ethnographic, and theoretical research, which includes six books and a six-volume series of historical documents, has been supported by several grants and fellowships, including three from the National Endowment for the Humanities. He edited Retelling U.S. Religious History and wrote Our Lady of the Exile: Diasporic Religion at a Cuban Catholic Shrine in Miami, which won the American Academy of Religion’s book award. Tweed’s Crossing and Dwelling: A Theory of Religion was published by Harvard University Press in 2006, and his most recent book is an historical study of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, which appeared in 2011 as “America’s Church”: The National Shrine and Catholic Presence in the Nation’s Capital, 1917-1997America’s Church also received the book award given by the American Academy of Religion. Tweed has served as the president of the American Society for the Study of Religion, and in 2012 he was elected vice president and future president of the American Academy of Religion.


Faculty Accomplishments and Activities

Fr. Virgilio Elizondo, The Notre Dame Professor of Pastoral and Hispanic Theology, delivered a keynote address “¿Qué pide el pueblo de nosotros?” to the National Association of Hispanic Priests in Newark on September 30. He also presented “Culto en espíritu y verdad fuera de la Iglesia,” a keynote address to the IV International Congress of the Espiritualidad de la Cruz, Guadalajara, México, on October 9.

Film, Television, and Theater professor Anne Garcia-Romero's play, Provenance, is a finalist for the Repertorio Espanol’s Nuestras Voces competition and will receive a staged reading in New York City on November 13. She has also been selected as an invited participant for the Latina/o Theatre Commons, a new national advocacy initiative. This historical convening will encompass 75 Latina/o actors, directors, producers, playwrights, designers, and scholars representing all regions of the United States.

Jennifer A. Jones, Sociology, is the recipient of the 2013 Latino Studies Section of LASA Award for Best Article, Honorable Mention – “‘Blacks May Be Second Class, but They Can’t Make Them Leave’: Mexican Racial Formation and Immigrant Status,” Latino Studies 10 (1-2): 60-80.

José E. Limón, The Julian Samora Professor of Latino Studies and Director of ILS, has been appointed to the Academic Council, the primary decision-making body in the University that governs all changes in the Academic Articles, establishes and terminates academic programs, and develops/approves university-level policy. He was also honored as the Featured Faculty member at the Shamrock Series Notre Dame/Arizona State football game on October 5 in Dallas. And in recognition for his outstanding contributions to scholarship and meritorious service to folklore studies, Limón was inducted into the Fellows of the American Folklore Society on October 16 at the Society's annual meeting in Providence, RI.

Marisel Moreno, Romance Languages and Literatures, has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure.

Professor of theology and executive director of ILS Timothy Matovina’s book Latino Catholicism: Transformation in America’s Largest Church won the 2013 Catholic Press Association Book Award in the History Category. Liguori Publications has released an abridged version of the book in Spanish and in English.

Jaime Pensado, History, was named the first runner up for the national Consortium of Latin American Studies Program Teaching Award for Junior Faculty. At Notre Dame he has also been appointed as the Carl E. Koch Assistant Professor in History.

Tom Tweed, The W. Harold and Martha Welch Endowed Chair in American Studies, will become president-elect of the prestigious American Academy of Religion at their annual meeting in November.


Recent Publications

Jennifer A. Jones (Sociology). “‘Mexicans Will Take the Jobs that Even Blacks Won’t Do’: An Analysis of Blackness and Invisibility in Contemporary Mexico.” Ethnic and Racial Studies, 36 (10).

Jennifer A. Jones. “Redrawing the Lines: Understanding Race and Citizenship through the Lens of Afro-Mexican Migrants.” In Migrant Marginality: A Transnational Perspective, ed. Jorge Capetillo-Ponce, Glenn Jacobs and Philip Kretsedemas. New York, NY: Routledge, 2013.

José E. Limón (English). “Critical Regionalism and the Literature of Texas: The Comparative Case of Rolando Hinojosa and Larry McMurtry.” In Rolando Hinojosa's "Klail City Death Trip Series": A Retrospective, New Directions, ed. Stephen Miller and José Pablo Villalobos. Houston: Arte Público, 2013, pp. 154-176.

Timothy Matovina (Theology)“Endurance and Transformation: Horizons of Latino Faith.” In American Latinos and the Making of the United States: A Theme Study. Washington, D.C.: National Park System Advisory Board, 2013, pp. 122-36. Also available at http://www.nps.gov/latino/latinothemestudy/pdfs/Religion_web_final.pdf.

Timothy Matovina. “Priests, Prelates, and Pastoral Ministry among Ethnic Mexicans: San Antonio, 1840-1940.” American Catholic Studies 124 (Spring 2013): pp. 1-20.

Darcia Narvaez (Psychology), Panksepp, J., Schore A., & Gleason, T., eds. Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development: From Research to Practice and Policy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Darcia Narvaez, Gleason, T., Wang, L., Brooks, J., LeFever, J., Cheng, A., & Centers for the Prevention of Child Neglect. “The Evolved Development Niche: Longitudinal Effects of Caregiving Practices on Early Childhood Psychosocial Development.” Early Childhood Research Quarterly 28 (4): 759-773. Doi: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2013.07.003

Darcia Narvaez. “Development and socialization within an evolutionary context: Growing up to become ‘A good and useful human being.’” In D. Fry, ed., War, Peace and Human Nature: The Convergence of Evolutionary and Cultural Views. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013, 643-72.

Tom Tweed (American Studies). “Marking Religion’s Boundaries: Constitutive Terms, Orienting Tropes, and Exegetical Fussiness.” In Figuring Religions: Comparing Images, Ideas, and Activities, ed. Shubha Pathak (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2013), pp. 2-30.

Tom Tweed. “Afterword: ‘No Home Like a Raft’: Repositioning the Narratives of U.S. Religious History.” In Gods of the Mississippi, ed. Michael Pasquier (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013), pp. 205-215.


Graduate Student Accomplishments and Activities

Lauro Vasquez, Master of Fine Arts, won the prestigious Nicholas Sparks Prize awarded to an MFA graduate to stay at Notre Dame for a year after graduation and focus on completing a book. He also won the Mitchell Award given to a graduating MFA student who has done exemplary service in the Creative Writing Program and the Samuel Hazo Award for the graduating poet who shows the most promise.

May Kim, Psychology, successfully defended her doctoral dissertation, “The Influence of Cultural Context on Risk, Resilience, and Mental Health among Latino Emerging Adults.”

Sara Mónica Mata, Theology, successfully defended her doctoral dissertation, “Myth and Mystery: Augustine’s First Commentary on Genesis 1-2:3.”

Mayra Duarte has completed her degree Master of Fine Arts in Design.


We welcome the following students beginning graduate studies at Notre Dame:

Wendy Alvarez Barrios, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Gregory Cruess, Theology
Jonathan Diaz, Master of Fine Arts
Laura Fernández, Iberian and Latin American Studies
Suzanne Garcia, Master of Fine Arts
Leo Guardado, Theology and Peace Studies
Ariana Salazar-Newton, Sociology


Undergraduate Student Accomplishments and Activities

Chelsey Ramos, Latino Studies supplemental major, completed her senior honors thesis, “A Modern Mestiza: Bridging the World of Migrant Farm Work and Life at Notre Dame” under the direction of Professor José Limón.

Jessica Millen, Sociology, completed a senior honors thesis, “The Transparent Children: The Latino Community Experience of School Desegregation in South Bend, Indiana” under the directorship of Professor Maria McKenna. Ms. Millen utilized the José Juárez papers from the Julian Samora Library for her study.

Congratulations to our 2013 Latinos studies graduates. Supplementary majors in Latino studies were Alyssa Borrego, Jacqueline Covarrubias, Gabriela Hernandez, Isabella Pacheco, Chelsey Ramos, Brian Reynolds, and Marina Seminatore. Receiving a minor in Latino Studies were Christian Aguilera, Cindy Espinoza, Emilio Garcia, Mattherw Huber, Analisa LaMair-Orosco, Crystal Lee, Stephen Oliva, Trevor Plescia, Michael Savage, Alejandro Sigala, and Camille Suarez.


ILS Activities

On September 27 Professor of Government, University of Texas at Austin, David Leal presented "The Case of the Disappearing Latinos: The Consequences of (Non) Ethnic Identification for Understanding Latino Political Participation in the United States.” His presentation was part of a Mellon-ISLA Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Workshop that ILS cospsonsored.

October 24 Letras Latinas of ILS partnered with The Poetry Foundation in Chicago and presented the inaugural winner and judge of the Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize. Winner Dan Vera was joined by ILS faculty fellow and Notre Dame English professor Orlando Menes, who served as the inaugural judge.


Announcements and Future Events

Young Scholars Symposium Opportunity. ILS has announced a call for applications for advanced doctoral students and pre-tenured professors whose work pertains to Latino studies. Deadline is January 15, 2014. For details: http://latinostudies.nd.edu/academic-programs/young-scholars-symposium/

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 Letras Latinas partners with the Poetry Society of America to present the grand finale of “Latino/a Poetry Now,” featuring poets Blas FalconerRaina J. LeónMaria Melendez, and John Murillo, 7:30 PM at the Eck Auditorium at the Eck Visitors Center on the Notre Dame campus.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 Letras Latinas partners with the Creative Writing Program to launch Fetish by Orlando Ricardo Menes, winner of the 2012 Prairie Schooner Poetry Book Prize and published by University of Nebraska Press. Reception: East Lounge, McKenna Hall at 6 PM, followed by the reading at 7:30 PM at the Hammes Bookstore on the Notre Dame campus.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 ILS presents the inaugural Arthur Foundation Endowed Lecture in Transformative Latino Leadership. Our inaugural lecturer is Professor Carlos Eire, The T. Lawrason Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies at Yale University and winner of the National Book Award for Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy. Professor Eire’s lecture, “Still Waiting for Snow in Havana,” will be at 7:00 p.m. in the Hesburgh Center Auditorium.

Friday, December 6, 2013 Book launch: Jaime M. PensadoRebel Mexico: Student Unrest and Authoritarian Political Culture During the Long Sixties (Stanford University Press, 2013). Presentation With by Gilbert Joseph, Farnam Professor of History and International Studies, Yale University. 4:00 p.m., Carole Sandner Hall.



February 3, 2014. Reception and book launch for four ILS faculty fellows who have published first books (see lead story above). 4:30 p.m., East Lounge of McKenna Hall.

March 2-5, 2014. Major national conference on the Church and Immigration. Speakers include Kevin Appleby (Migration and Refugee Services), Anastasia Brown (Migration and Refugee Services), Donna Carroll (Dominican University), Socorro Castañeda (Santa Clara University), Nancy Foner (Hunter College), Jennifer Jones (University of Notre Dame), Don Kerwin (Center for Migration Studies), David Leal (University of Texas at Austin), Larry Snyder (Catholic Charities USA), Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa (John Hopkins University), Rick Ryscavage (Fairfield University), Bishop John Wester (Bishop of Salt Lake City).

April 23-25, 2014. Inaugural Virgilio Elizondo Distinguished Visiting Professorship named for our esteemed senior ILS colleague, Fr. Virgilio Elizondo. Our inaugural visiting professor is Dr. Arlene Dávila, Professor of Anthropology, Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. Professor Dávila’s activities on the Notre Dame campus will include a lecture and a symposium for advanced doctoral students and pre-tenured professors (see call for applications for the Young Scholars Symposium above).