February 2011 Newsletter (archive)

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Frank Bonilla Serigraph by Malaquias Montoya

Malaquias Montoya, Frank Bonilla, serigraph, 1995

It is with much sadness that we note the passing of Dr. Frank Bonilla at the age of 85 on December 28, 2010. Our condolences go to the Bonilla family. Frank Bonilla was one of the pioneers and founders of the field of Latino studies. A renowned scholar of Puerto Rico and its diaspora, he served as director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in New York for 20 years. In 1986 he co-founded and served as the first executive director of the Inter-University Program for Latino Research, which is currently headquartered at the Institute.

His obituary appeared in the January 7 edition of the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/07/nyregion/07bonilla.html?_r=2.

February Spotlight: Bilma Canales, CUSE Scholarship Recipient

Bilma Canales ND Student

This month´s spotlight introduces Notre Dame senior Bilma Canales, the first student to participate in the Julian Samora Library Internship Program in partnership with Notre Dame´s Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE). Bilma is an American studies major with a minor in Latino studies.

The summer 2010 internship allowed Bilma to develop research methods and travel to El Salvador to conduct oral history interviews, surveys, and observations. Her research takes a phenomenological and ethnographic approach to investigate how Salvadoran migration to the United States and remittances affect the everyday lives of people in El Salvador. Her research advances upon past research by focusing on the people that remain in the homeland, and not the migrants that leave the country, that only focused on the historical and economic aspects of immigration. By collecting oral histories in El Salvador, Bilma sought to record the personal experiences of Salvadorans and how immigration affected their cultural identities and tastes.

Reflecting on her summer research experience, Bilma notes:

In El Salvador, I interviewed people like the director of the Casa de la Cultura, a cultural arts center in San Miguel, as well as local community members such as the owners of stores and farmers in the countryside. I asked them questions about their own Salvadoran identity, their lives, and how the phenomenon of immigration has played a role in their lives… What struck me the most during my field research was how much immigration plays a role on identity and lives in El Salvador. Living here, we often only think of the immigrant who came to the United States and forget about the family and community they left behind.

Bilma describes how the Julian Samora Library Internship allowed her to prepare for the interviews and fieldwork:

At the Institute library I was able to look at examples of past Spanish-speaking interviews and what interview methods and type of interview questions seemed to get the best response from the interviewees. I was also able to meet with my thesis advisors Professor Jason Ruiz and Professor Cynthia Duarte and faculty at the Institute for Latino Studies like Professor Allert Brown-Gort and Professor Karen Richman. With their guidance, I finalized my list of questions, consent forms, and even the organizational method I would use during my stay in El Salvador. It was because of this internship that I was truly able to be prepared for my research in El Salvador.

Bilma plans to compare this research to oral histories she will collect in Houston, Texas, this winter from Salvadorans who have immigrated to the United States. The research gathered in El Salvador will be used for the development of Bilma´s senior thesis, “Salvadoran Immigration: Perspectives from the Two Homelands,” under the direction of Professor Jason Ruiz and secondary advisor Professor Cynthia Duarte.

For more information about how to design, fund, and conduct summer undergraduate research at Notre Dame please see CUSE´s website at http://undergradresearch.nd.edu/ or contact Dr. Cecilia Lucero (clucero@nd.edu) to discuss your ideas. Application deadlines are approaching. Students interested in the Julian Samora Library Internship Program in conjunction with CUSE should also contact archivist Tracy Grimm (tgrimm@nd.edu) to discuss ideas. The internship program specifically provides a research project component for undergraduate students to gain primary source research and analytical skills essential for graduate and professional degree studies.


Seminal Hispanic Theology Publications and Dissertations Donated
Rev. Virgilio P. Elizondo, fellow of the Institute for Latino Studies and professor of pastoral and Hispanic theology in the Department of Theology, recently donated to the Institute library nearly 100 bound dissertations and important works related to liberation theology and the study of Hispanic theology. These recent additions to the Julian Samora Library will provide both undergraduate and graduate students access to key scholarship in these fields.

Duarte Receives Latino Studies Course Development Grant
Institute Visiting Faculty Fellow Cynthia V. Duarte was awarded a course development grant from the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts. Her class, “Health and the Latino Paradox” is a service-learning course being offered this Spring semester in conjunction with Memorial Hospital´s Latino Initiative Program.

Cárdenas Receives Faculty Research Scholarship Program (FRSP) Initiation Grant
Institute Director Gilberto Cárdenas received an FRSP grant to establish a photographic archive. Working with the Institute´s Art Coordinator, Teresa Santos, Cárdenas will use the grant to establish a digital repository of his collection of 30,000-40,000 photographic images, currently in print, negative, and slide format. The images, previously unavailable to researchers, form part of the documentary record of the Chicano civil rights era and Latino history spanning a fifty-year period of from the early 1960´s to today. The collection originals will be deposited with the Julian Samora Library and Special Collections as part of the Gilberto Cárdenas Papers. The project database, made possible by the Art Image Library, will be available to researchers, historians, scholars, faculty, and students, including the national and international academy.

Julian Samora Library Leads Virtual Arts and Culture Project
This semester, in collaboration with the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning, the Snite Museum, and the Smithsonian Latino Center, the Julian Samora Library kicks off “Living La Vida Virtual: Exploring Art and Cultural Identity in a Virtual World.” The experimental project, with a theme of Latino arts and culture, seeks to present a variety of geographically dispersed cultural assets and learning resources in one virtual space that is an interactive learning environment. To be developed on Notre Dame´s Second Life island, Sophia, the project will include a virtual gallery, poetry café, and student project showcase. It will provide Notre Dame students experience working, creating, and learning in a virtual environment. Furthermore, the project will have ?intersections? with the Smithsonian´s Latino Virtual Museum (LVM) including ?in-world? class critiques by LVM staff and the lending of virtual cultural objects. The project is made possible in part thanks to the generous support of Notre Dame´s Center for Creative Computing and the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts.

ILS Hosts Visitors from the Smithsonian Institution
On January 25 the Institute welcomed Carmen Ramos, associate curator of art at the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian and Eduardo Diaz, Director of the Smithsonian Latino Center. Ramos and Diaz toured the Institute and Ramos spoke at the class Esthetics of Latino Art and Culture taught by Institute Director Gilberto Cárdenas.

Ethnolinguist from University of Chicago Speaks On Campus
This month´s Latino studies activities included a talk by Jonathan Rosa from the University of Chicago entitled “Spanglish-Only? US Language Ideologies and Latino Ethnolinguistic Identities.” Rosa analyzed the creation of a racialized pan-ethnic Latino category and its sociolinguistic emblems in the context of a Chicago public high school whose student body is more than 90 percent Mexican and Puerto Rican.

Brown-Gort Luncheon Keynote for Lake County Advancement Committee
On January 14 Allert Brown-Gort spoke on the current immigration debate at the monthly luncheon of the Lake County Advancement Committee (LCAC) in Schererville, Indiana. LCAC is an organization that works to identify and propose possible solutions to major social, economic, and policy issues impacting the citizens of Lake County, Indiana. Brown-Gort´s address gave a historical overview of immigration issues and touched on the economic impact of immigration, immigration and employment, and possible solutions.

Brown-Gort Presents at AGUILA Leadership Program
Institute Associate Director Allert Brown-Gort presented a workshop “Latino Community Leadership” at AGUILA Leadership Program´s annual conference in Lake Geneva,Wisconsin. AGUILA is a mentor-based leadership program with the mission of furthering community-based leadership. The conference, presented by the Chicago Area Council-Boy Scouts of America, facilitates the interaction of up-and-coming Latino leaders with experienced leaders with the goal of helping participants become more active leaders both within their organizations and the greater community.

Mexican Research Institute Donates Publications on the Study of Contemporary Mexican Society
The Centro de Estudios Espinosa Yglesias, based in Mexico City, donated

14 of their recent publications on the study of contemporary Mexican society to the Julian Samora Library. Concentrated on the fields of economics, sociology, education, political science, and the judicial system, the materials range in date from 2006 to 2010. An important theme in many of these publications is the effect of the nationalization of the banking system by President José López Portillo in 1982. As such this collection complements the significant collection that the Institute´s Library holds on Mexico´s national petroleum industry in the same era. These research materials will be particularly valuable to students and scholars of Mexico during the transformative 1980s.

On-Campus February Events

The Institute calendar of events is continually updated, so please be sure to check for up-to-date event information at latinostudies.nd.edu. Sign up to be on our Cultural Events and Programs Listserv (email: latino@nd.edu) or visit our web site to learn more about the listed events plus many others currently being scheduled.

Student Informational Session
Students, what are you doing this summer? Make plans before it´s too late! Join Courtney Maesel, Institute cultural programs and marketing coordinator, to learn more about Summer 2011 internship programs offered by the Institute and the Center for Social Concerns. Internships are offered in locations such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and Mexico. The informational session will take place at 3:00 pm on Thursday, February 3, at the Julian Samora Library West Lounge on the second floor of McKenna Hall.

Lecture by Dr. Desiree Qin
Dr. Desiree Baolian Qin will present a lecture entitled “Post-1965 New Immigration, Assimilation, and Mental Health.” Dr. Qin is assistant professor of human development and family studies at Michigan State University. After completing her doctorate degree at Harvard Graduate School of Education, she conducted postdoctoral research at New York University and was the minority postdoctoral fellow at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Qin´s research focuses on psychosocial adjustment of children and adolescents from immigrant families. The main goal underlying her work is to understand how immigration, culture, gender, and ecological contexts (e.g., family, school, and peer environments) impact adolescent development. The lecture will be at 10:30 am on Friday, February 4, at the Eck Visitor Center, with a light reception to follow.

Lecture on Ciudad Juárez by Verónica Leyva and Tony Nelson
Verónica Leyva, community organizer and native of Ciudad Juárez, and Tony Nelson, representative from the Mexico-US Solidarity Network, will present a lecture entitled “Ciudad Juárez: The Definitive Neoliberal City.” Faced with an unfathomable increase in violence and a hard-hitting economic crisis, Ciudad Juárez and other cities along the border are struggling to survive. Leyva will discuss the grassroots struggle at the border to confront militarization, violence against women, increased internal migration, and the ties between the narco conflict and free trade. In her talk she will analyze President Felipe Calderon´s army-led war on drugs and the millions of dollars promised in US aid for this war via the Merida Initiative. She will report on her own experience of the violent repercussions of these security initiatives for social struggles, women, and civil society along the border. This lecture will be held at 12:15 pm on Friday, February 4, at the Eck Visitor Center Auditorium. A networking reception will precede the lecture at 11:30 am.

Henkels Lecture by Dr. Anna M. Nogar
Dr. Anna M. Nogar will present a lecture as part of the Introducing Latino Scholars series entitled “Sor María de Jesus de Agreda in New Spain: 1628-2010.” Dr. Nogar is assistant professor of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of New Mexico. This talk traces and explains the evolution of a curious colonization narrative from its 17th-century origins in northern Mexico, up through its continued commemoration in the American Southwest in the 21st century. The narrative centers on a cloistered Spanish nun Sor María de Jesus de Agreda who traveled to the regions of Texas and New Mexico and converted the region´s Jumano tribe in advance of Franciscan missionaries. The lecture outlines this narrative´s secular and religious origins in Spain and New Mexico and correlates its extensive distribution with the dissemination of Sor María´s celebrated body of mystical writing. The lecture will take place at 4:30 pm on Thursday, February 17, in McKenna Hall Room 112-114, with a networking reception preceding the lecture at 4:00 pm.

Off-Campus February Events

O.B. Hardison Poetry Series: Naomi Ayala, J. Michael Martínez, and Valerie Martínez
Letras Latinas partners with the Poetry Society of America to present three contemporary Latino and Latina poets, who will read and discuss their work at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. The reading and discussion will be introduced and moderated by Letras Latinas director Francisco Aragón. The event will take place on Monday, February 28, at 7:30 pm at 201 East Capital Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003.

For more information: http://www.folger.edu/woSummary.cfm?cdid=1188&wotypeid=4&season=c&woid=617

Hold the Date: 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. “Suenos 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 programs and marketing coordinator will be arranging student discussions and workshops throughout the spring semester. To learn more about these and other events, please visit our website (latinostudies.nd.edu) or sign up to be on our Cultural Events and Programs Listserv (email: latino@nd.edu).