December 2010 Newsletter (archive)

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Seasons Greetings from Our ILS Family to Yours!

Notre Dame Main Building in Winter

Feliz Navidad
The Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame
and our very best wishes for the new year

December Spotlight: Professor of American Literature José Limón

In this issue of New Horizons we turn the spotlight on distinguished scholar of Latino/a literature José Limón. The Institute is pleased to join the English Department in welcoming Professor Limón to the University of Notre Dame. Limón will join the English Department in January as Professor of American Literature and the Institute as a faculty fellow and member of the Executive Committee on Academic Affairs. Limón comes to Notre Dame from the University of Texas at Austin, where he is the Mody C. Boatright Regents Professor of English and director of the Center for Mexican-American Studies.

Professor Limón has authored more than 35 articles and three major books in the field of Latino studies: American Encounters: Greater Mexico, the United States and the Erotics of CultureMexican Ballads, Chicano Poems: History and Influence in Mexican-American Social Poetry; and Dancing with the Devil: Society and Cultural Poetics in Mexican-American South Texas, which received the Senior Book Prize of the American Ethnological Society. Professor Limón has directed more than 25 dissertations and seen his PhD students placed at universities across the nation. He recently completed a book on the founding figure of Mexican-American studies, Américo Paredes, and his current book project is an interdisciplinary study of the Hispanic middle class.

Limón, a Texas native, is no stranger to Notre Dame. He is a long-time friend of the Institute and has traveled to Notre Dame several times as a guest lecturer, most notably as one of the featured speakers at the Institute's Tenth Anniversary Academic Symposium on the state of Latino studies in the United States.

But his connection to Notre Dame goes even further back. "When I was a little boy attending little Catholic schools in south Texas," Limón recalls, "my mother often said: 'Quiero que algun dia vayas a Notre Dame' [I want you to go to Notre Dame someday], even though she didn't have the slightest idea where it was except somewhere in 'el norte.' Well, I finally made it," he says. "I am honored to be joining such a stimulating and forward-looking English department and the excellent Institute for Latino Studies at such a distinguished institution."

His Notre Dame colleagues share his enthusiasm. "This change of address is very good news for Notre Dame undergraduates and graduate students, who will now have access to a towering figure in Latino/Latina literary studies," says Professor John Sitter, chair of the Department of English. "Moreover, Limón's presence will strengthen the broader and evolving study of American literature as a whole at Notre Dame."

Although English will be Limón's home department, he will also have close ties to the Department of American Studies, the Department of Anthropology, and the Institute for Latino Studies. "His joining our faculty is wonderful news not only for the English Department but also for the Institute for Latino Studies and the University as a whole," says Institute Director Gilberto Cárdenas. "José brings with him a wealth of experience and an unmatched network of colleagues and former students who are in increasingly important positions in diverse aspects of Latino studies throughout the academy. He will be adding much needed academic depth to our Latino studies programs."

According to Sitter, the Department of English's announced search for a junior scholar in Latino/a literature is being postponed until next year so that Limón can lead the search.


ILS Congratulates Faculty Fellows

  • The Institute for Latino Studies would like to congratulate faculty fellow Jorge Bustamante for receiving the Mexican Bar Association's 2010 Jurisprudence Award for his work in the defense of the human rights of migrants.
  • The Institute also congratulates faculty fellow and professor of law Jimmy Gurulé for being awarded a Fulbright Fellowship. Gurulé will be teaching international criminal law next semester at la Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago, Chile. He will also be conducting research on the legal response to the commission of international crimes during the Pinochet regime.

Latino Studies Faculty, Students Meet with Dean of Arts and Letters 
On November 9 Rev. Virgilio P. Elizondo, fellow of Institute for Latino Studies and professor of pastoral and Hispanic theology in the Department of Theology, hosted a consultation among Notre Dame students, faculty, and the Dean of the College of Arts and Letters John McGreevy. The purpose of the session was to discuss further opportunities for students and faculty and honor those who are involved in advancing Latino studies at Notre Dame.

Fr. Elizondo Addresses Latino Catholic Education
In early November Fr. Elizondo spoke in Grand Rapids at a luncheon announcing the city's new San Juan Diego Academy. The school, which is designed to attract more Latinos to Catholic education, is the joint effort of six Grand Rapids parishes with large Latino populations. Elizondo stressed the importance of such efforts, citing a University of Notre Dame study released last year which found that Latinos who attend Catholic school are 42 percent more likely to graduate from high school and also more likely to graduate from college than Latinos in public schools.

Cicero Youth Task Force Lecture
In early November Institute Associate Director Allert Brown-Gort participated in the first session of the Nonprofit Business Excellence Certification Program presented by the Mendoza College of Business in partnership with the Cicero Youth Taskforce in Cicero, Illinois. He spoke on issues facing the Latino community.

Richman Chairs Annual Meeting
In mid-November Professor Karen Richman was program chair for the Society for the Anthropology of Religion for the 111th annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association in New Orleans. She was also the lead organizer of the session "The Earthquake in Motion: Essays in Honor of Karen McCarthy Brown" and served as a discussant for six paper presentations.

Mexican Human Rights Commissioner Speaks
On November 16 Dr. Raúl Plascencia Villanueva, president of the National Commission of Human Rights spoke on "Challenges to Human Rights in Mexico." The lecture was co-sponsored by the Institute for Latino Studies, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, and Multicultural Student Programs and Services.

ILS Research Visitor Awarded Dissertation Improvement Grant
Daniel E. Martínez was recently awarded a dissertation improvement grant from the Programa de Investigación de Migración y Salud (PIMSA), housed in the Health Initiative of the Americas at University of California, for his proposal entitled "The Physical and Emotional Consequences of Failed Unauthorized Crossing Attempts along the Sonora-Arizona Border." Martínez's work is a quantitative examination of the verbal and physical abuse migrants face at the hands of US authorities, coyotes (guides), and bajadores (bandits) while attempting a clandestine crossing.

Census Bureau Conference
Research Associate Raúl Jara represented the Institute at the recent US Census Bureau annual Census Information Center (CIC) conference in San Antonio, Texas. The CIC program was started by the Census Bureau as a way to help communities and minority groups that have need for Census data. The ILS/IUPLR have been a designated CIC since 2000. Through its participation in the conference the Institute renewed its commitment to disseminating meaningful demographic data and analysis of the Latino community.

Family of Artist José Bernal Donates Papers
Papers documenting the life and work of artist José Bernal (1925-2010) have been donated to the Julian Samora Library by the artist's family. Born in Santa Clara, Cuba, José Bernal came to the United States with his wife and three children in 1962. Settling in Chicago, he continued his career as an artist, designer, and educator. During the last years of his life Bernal made a significant donation of artworks to the National Parkinson Foundation, much of which is documented in the papers. The papers also include personal records such as professional certificates and awards, personal photographs, news clippings, auction sales records, gallery records, and correspondence. The Institute is grateful to the late artist's wife Estela Bernal, his daughter Lucrecia Bernal-Schneider, and the Bernal family for this donation.

"Latino Art Now! The New Wave/La Nueva Ola" Conference a Success
The third biennial "Latino Art Now!" conference was held November 10-13 in Los Angeles, California. The conference was organized by the Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR), headquartered at the Institute, in collaboration with the Chicano Studies Research Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños at Hunter College. The three-and-a-half day conference featured two pre-conference workshops and more than 30 sessions including panels, roundtables, plenaries, and keynotes. A short documentary on the 2010 conference can be viewed here.

Tomas Ybarra-Frausto Latino Art Now! 2010





Scholar Tomás Ybarra-Frausto being interviewed by documentary film director Roberto Oregel at the 2010 "Latino Art Now!" conference. Photograph by Ramiro Rodriguez.

Karen Mary Davalos and Juan A





Karen Mary Davalos, Loyola Marymount University, and Juan A. Martínez, Florida International University, panelists for "A VER: Revisioning Art History" roundtable at the 2010 "Latino Art Now!" conference. Photograph by Teresa Santos.

Archival Workshop
Tracy Grimm, Julian Samora Library archivist, and Lizette Guerra, librarian at the Chicano Studies Research Center, UCLA, presented a workshop entitled "Who Are We? Preserving Legacy and Memory: A Preservation and Access Workshop for Artists and Arts Organizations." The workshop was hosted by La Plaza de Cultura y Artes as part of the "Latino Art Now!" conference. The well-attended workshop provided arts organizations and artists an introduction to the management of organizational archives and personal papers and explored options for ensuring their preservation and access for future generations. For more information about the workshop contact Tracy Grimm at or Lizette Guerra at

ILS Staff News
The Institute wishes to thank Angela Anderson, director of the Institute's Center for Metropolitan Chicago Initiatives, and Brett Keck, senior technical support consultant, for their service to the Institute. Both will be departing the Institute to pursue other opportunities. We wish them every success as they embark upon new phases of their careers.

December Events
The Institute calendar of events is continually updated, so please be sure to check for up-to-date event information at

Finals Week Study Hours at the Julian Samora Library
The Institute will host open study hours Friday, December 10, and Monday, December 13, through Friday, December 17, 9:00 am-5:00 pm. Snacks, energy drinks, hot chocolate, candy, granola bars, fruit, will be provided in the quiet, comfortable setting of the Julian Samora Library.

A Look Ahead at Spring 2011

Selected Upcoming Lectures

  • A lecture by Dr. Desiree Qin, assistant professor of human development and family studies at Michigan State University, entitled "Immigrant Families and Mental Health" will be presented on Friday, February 4, at the Eck Visitor Center at 11:00 am with a snack lunch at noon.
  • A lecture by Dr. Anna M. Nogar, assistant professor of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of New Mexico, will be presented on Thursday, February 17, in McKenna Hall room 112-114 at 4:30 pm with a networking reception preceding at 4:00 pm.
  • A lecture by Dr. Richard Lou, professor and chair of the Department of Art at the University of Memphis, will be presented on Thursday, March 24, in McKenna Hall room 112-114 at 4:30 pm with a networking reception preceding at 4:00 pm.
  • A Henkels Lecture by Lisa Peñaloza, professor of marketing in the Department of Humanities, Markets, and Culture in the EDHEC Business School, Lille, France, will take place on April 26 in McKenna Hall 210-214 at 4:30 p.m. with a networking reception preceding at 4:00 pm.

Upcoming Annual Events

  • The 13th annual celebration of Brazilian Carnaval will take place on Friday, March 4, at 8:00 pm in the South Dining Hall, University of Notre Dame. Vibrant Brazilian dance rhythms will transport revelers to the streets of Rio de Janeiro. The family-friendly event is free and open to the public.
  • The annual Latin Expressions event will take place Friday, April 1. Additional details forthcoming.
  • The Latino Youth Leadership Conference "Sueños sin Fronteras: Making College Dreams a Reality" will take place on Saturday, April 9. "Sueños sin Fronteras" brings South Bend high school and eighth-grade students to the campus of Notre Dame to learn more about the realities of college. It is a conference initiated, planned, and run entirely by Notre Dame students and focuses on leadership, self-esteem workshops, and real university experiences.

The Cultural Events and Program Coordinator will be arranging student discussions and workshops throughout the spring semester. To learn more about these and other events, please visit our website ( or sign up to be on our Cultural Events and Programs Listserv (email: