November 2011 Newsletter (archive)

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Don’t miss the Day of the Dead festivities Tuesday, November 1, 6:00–9:00 pm, Hesburgh Center Great Hall. See details below.

November Spotlight: Playwright and Institute Fellow Anne García-Romero

Anne Garcia-Romero

In this issue of New Horizons we turn the spotlight on playwright Anne García-Romero, a fellow of the Institute and Moreau Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre. García-Romero is the organizer of “Latina Theater Today: New Voices Conference,” a one-day conference on contemporary Latina theater to be held Thursday, November 17. The conference will feature two panels of leading theater professionals and scholars exploring the current state of Latina theater. The first panel will delve into new play development and contemporary Latina/o theater in the United States, and the second will examine the work of numerous twenty-first century Latina playwrights.

The conference will include a performance of García-Romero’s latest play, Provenance. García-Romero describes the play as follows: “When two sisters receive a stolen painting created by their Mexican great-grandfather, the women clash over whether to keep or sell the valuable artwork.” Chuck Graham of the Tucson Citizen writes of her work, “García-Romero has a writing style that comfortably contains the literary spirit of Gabriel García Márquez, Jorge Luis Borges, and others.”

García-Romero’s plays, which include Earthquake Chica, Mary Peabody in Cuba, Desert Longing, Juanita’s Statue, and Santa Concepción, have been developed and produced most notably at the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater, Arielle Tepper Productions’ Summer Play Festival (Off-Broadway), the Mark Taper Forum, Hartford Stage, Borderlands Theater, and South Coast Repertory.

García-Romero is currently developing a screenplay adaptation of her play Mary Peabody In Cuba with actor/director/producer Andy Garcia and Spanish film producer Nacho del Pozo. She has also written for Peninsula Films, Elysian Films, and Disney Creative Entertainment.

“As a scholar-artist, I was keenly interested in working in an institution which championed research excellence, intellectual rigor and artistic achievement and Notre Dame clearly offered all of this and more,” Garcia-Romero said in a recent interview in the Observer. “As a bi-cultural Latina, I was encouraged by Notre Dame’s commitment to cultural diversity. As a Catholic, I was also really interested in the opportunity to engage in a dialogue about issues connected to education in the Catholic tradition.”

For more information about the “Latina Theater Today” conference see For more information about Anne García-Romero’s work in general see her website


Tejano Power!
José E. Limón, Notre Dame Professor of American Literature and ILS Faculty Fellow, has published a new essay, “This is Our Música, Guy! Tejanos, and Ethno-Regional Musical Nationalism” in Transnational Encounters: Music and Performance at the US-Mexico Border, edited by Alejandro L. Madrid (Oxford University Press, 2011). This collection of essays resulted from a session at the 2009 IUPLR Siglo XXI Conference held at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Father Elizondo’s International Travels
This month Institute Fellow and Professor of Pastoral and Hispanic Theology Rev. Virgilio Elizondo travelled internationally in pursuit of several activities that help advance the University’s Catholic mission worldwide. October 7–9 he attended the International Consultation of Jesuit Relief Services on the spirituality of refugee workers. October 20–23 Fr. Elizondo traveled to Milan, Italy, to attend the International Congress of Evangelization and Catechetics of the Italian Bishops Conference entitled “Popular Religiosity and Evangelization.” He then traveled to Paris to participate in his ongoing theological reflection group. His month of travels concluded with a trip to Washington, DC, October 27–28 to attend the Board of Directors meeting of Mexican and Americans Thinking Together (MATT).

Richman and Ghilarducci’s Research Noted in Wall Street Journal Article
An October 5, 2011, article in the Wall Street Journal cited the research of Institute Academic Director Karen Richman and Teresa Ghilarducci, a labor economist at the New School for Social Research. The article, “Reaching Out to Latinos,” examined the trend of large financial-services companies making a greater effort to understand the investing and saving habits of Latinos, believing that they will become an important segment of the US investor base.

Duarte Presents at American Studies Association Conference
Institute Assistant Professional Specialist Cynthia Duarte recently presented her research, co-authored with Institute Research Director Juan Carlos Guzmán, at the annual American Studies Association Conference October 20–23 in Baltimore, MD. The title of their paper was, “Are Latinos Moving Up or Just Moving? A Preliminary Analysis of Latinos in Suburban Chicago.”

Cárdenas Presents Hesburgh Lecture in Ohio
Institute Director Gilberto Cárdenas gave a joint lecture entitled “Immigration” to Ohio State University-Mansfield and North Central State College on October 18, 2011. The lecture was part of the Hesburgh Lecture Series sponsored also by the Mansfield Notre Dame Club.

Julian Samora Library Welcomes Librarian Chiayi Tsui
Librarian Chiayi Tsui, a recent graduate of Indiana University Bloomington’s Library of Science masters program, has been granted a three-month fellowship at the Julian Samora Library to gain experience working in a specialized library. Tsui will primarily assist with the input of finding aid information into Archivists’ Toolkit, an open-source database application for description and management of archival and special collections materials. She will also assist archivist Tracy Grimm with a variety of day-to-day responsibilities such as instructional sessions, research inquiries, and field surveys of privately held collections. Prior to coming to the Institute Tsui spent the summer at Notre Dame Special Collections. With a background in the visual arts, she especially appreciates the opportunity to work with the JS Library’s collections of artists papers.

Library Develops Day of the Dead iPad App
The Institute’s Julian Samora Library has developed an iPad app to share a rich archive of sights, sounds, and interviews about the Day of the Dead tradition. Using past Day of the Dead celebrations at Notre Dame as a basis, the app is intended to be a visually rich (and fun) teaching and learning tool that provides an overview of the Day of the Dead as an ancient but evolving cultural celebration. The interactive multimedia app—watch out for the spinning skull!—features interviews, photographic documentation, and film footage. Co-directed by archivist Tracy Grimm and visiting faculty fellow, artist and filmmaker Joe Segura, the project was developed in cooperation with the Snite Museum of Art with the assistance of Notre Dame’s Academic Technologies Unit. The app was developed almost entirely by Notre Dame and Indiana University at South Bend (IUSB) students. Lead developer Kevin Li (ND ’11) conceived of the application design and developed the app. Christian Stephanie Aguilera (ND ’13), Maclovio Cantú IV (IUSB ’12), and Stephanie Pedicini (ND’12) wrote content, created videos, and assisted with the programming. The app is currently available only on the Notre Dame campus as we await licensing to make it available as a free download from iTunes. For more information please contact Tracy Grimm at

Library Hosts Adelante America Students
On October 27 the Julian Samora Library held a primary source research workshop for middle school students enrolled in La Casa de Amistad’s Adelante America afterschool program. Founded by Fr. John Phalen, CSC, in 1973, La Casa is a community organization to empower the Latino community in the South Bend area by providing educational, cultural and advocacy services. For the past two years Adelante students have visited the library for a hands-on workshop on using historical documents related to South Bend’s Latino community and the civil rights movement. The workshops are a collaboration between the Library and Professor Marisel Moreno’s class, “Migrant Voices: Latino/a Literature Through Community-Based Learning.”


On-Campus Events


Día de los Muertos / Day of the Dead Celebration
Please join us Tuesday, November 1, 2011, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm in the Hesburgh Center Great Hall, University of Notre Dame, for the Día de los Muertos / Day of the Dead Celebration, featuring an ofrenda (altar) by internationally known artist Ana Teresa Fernandez. (This year’s ofrenda, installed in the Hesburgh Center Great Hall, will be available for viewing from October 24 to November 3.) Doors will open at 6:00 pm with refreshments available from 6:00 to 6:30 pm. The artist will give a presentation at 6:45 pm. There will be music and dance by Mariachi ND, Ballet Folklorico Azul y Oro, and Coro Primavera de Nuestra Señora throughout the evening. New this year will be a film screening at 7:45 pm following the artist’s talk. The film, Cine Indigenista: El Dia En Que Vienen Los Muertos, was recently re-released by Mexico’s National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples (CDI) as part of a series of films about indigenous peoples spanning the past 50-plus years. This event is free and open to the public. For more information please see

Naturalization Ceremony
The University will host a naturalization ceremony on Friday, November 4, at 11:00 am, in Washington Hall. The ceremony is sponsored by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the US Department of Homeland Security and by the Office of the President, the Office of Public Affairs, and the Institute for Latino Studies of the University of Notre Dame, with the participation of community partners including La Casa De Amistad. The 150 new citizens to be naturalized represent 42 countries of origin, with 37 from Mexico alone. The ceremony is open to the public and a free but ticketed event. Tickets are limited, so please contact the Institute at 574-631-4440 to reserve and learn how to pick up your ticket.

Second Junior Faculty Mentoring Workshop
The Institute has organized a series of mentoring workshops for Moreau and Peters Postdoctoral Fellows, ILS and Kellogg Institute junior faculty, and other interested junior faculty and postdoctoral fellows in the College of Arts and Letters. Our first workshop focused on challenges of publishing in journals and books. The second workshop will focus on teaching. The workshop will take place on Friday, November 4, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm in DeBartolo 232, followed by a reception in 230 McKenna Hall. The panelists for the second workshop are Professors George Lopez, Carolyn Nordstrom, Richard Pierce, Valerie Sayers, and Kevin Barry. Senior faculty will lead two panels on “How Great Teaching Can Help Your Scholarship and Career” and “Strategies for Efficient and Effective Teaching.” All faculty are invited to attend the workshops and reception.

Noted Author Oscar Casares Reading
Author Oscar Casares will read from his acclaimed novel, Amigoland, and Brownsville, his collection of stories, on November 15. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Casares now teaches creative writing at the University of Texas and directs their new Master of Fine Arts Program in English. Amigoland and Brownsville have earned him fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Copernicus Society of America, and the Texas Institute of Letters. This talk will be held in McKenna Hall room 210-214 on Tuesday, November 15, at 4:30 pm with refreshments preceding from 4:00 to 4:30 pm.

Conference on Contemporary Latina Theater
The conference “Latina Theater Today: New Voices” will convene on Thursday, November 17, McKenna Hall room 210. The conference will bring together two panels of leading theater professionals and scholars to explore the current state of Latina theater and feature a performance of Provenance by Anne García-Romero. The performance, directed by Kevin Dryer, will be staged in the Philbin Studio Theater of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at 7:30 pm. Please visit for details or call 574-631-3796.

Dylan Miner Exhibition
For the month of November the Institute’s Galería América will be the site of an exhibition by artist Dylan Miner. Miner holds a PhD in the history of art from the University of New Mexico and has published and lectured extensively, with two books forthcoming. Currently, Miner teaches in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University, coordinates the Michigan Native Arts Initiative, and curates at the MSU Museum.

Carteles Navideños de la DIVEDCO de Puerto Rico / Christmas Posters from Puerto Rico’s DIVEDCO
During the Christmas holiday season the Institute is pleased to be exhibiting 40 silkscreen prints produced by Puerto Rico’s Division of Community Education (DIVEDCO). From the early 1950s until it was disbanded in 1990, DIVEDCO produced at least two commemorative Christmas posters each year. As a group, these can be seen as powerful symbols of the program’s embrace of local traditions and its attempts to maintain Puerto Rico’s cultural integrity in the face of the ever-increasing influence of the United States. The posters featured in the exhibition come from the collection of Professors Thomas Anderson and Marisel Moreno. A comprehensive exhibition of DIVEDCO posters and books from the same collection will be featured at the Snite Museum of Art from January through March 2012. The exhibition will be held in the Institute’s Galeria América during the month of December. Watch your email and check the Institute’s upcoming December newsletter for opening reception details.

Off-Campus Events

Institute Joins Smithsonian in “Virtual” Day of the Dead Celebration?
The Institute will participate in the Smithsonian’s Latino Virtual Museum’s (LVM) second annual Day of the Dead celebration in the virtual world Second Life October 31 through November 2. Designed to teach cultural practices and provide artist, curator, and historian interaction with virtual visitors from around the world, this three-day event features an All Souls procession, concerts, films, interactive games, build-your-own altars, learning altars, curriculum-related materials for classroom use, and much more. A highlight of the celebration will be when the University of Notre Dame takes on (and defeats) the Smithsonian home team in the annual Ball Game Tournament. Come give us a cheer on November 2, 3:00 pm EST! For more information on the LVM and how to attend this event from the safety of your computer please see

Brown-Gort to Present Hesburgh Lecture in Baltimore
Institute Associate Director Allert Brown-Gort will deliver a Hesburgh Lecture at the Notre Dame Club of Maryland on November 2. The talk will explore issues surrounding the immigration debate. The event will be held at the Engineer’s Club, 2 West Mt. Vernon Place, Baltimore. The event begins at 6:00 pm, with dinner at 7:00 pm. Cost is $40 per person. For more information and to make a reservation contact Bill Boland ’60 at

Lecture on Civil Rights
Professor Lynn Hudson of Macalester College will present the lecture “Bodies in Water: Desegregrating American Swimming Pools” on November 10. The history of the civil rights movement—and desegregation in particular—has often been told as a story of rights denied. The 1954 Supreme Court decision of “Brown vs. Board of Education” looms large in traditional versions of this story. Instead of focusing on schools, this talk considers another space where bodies were segregated: public swimming pools. An examination of the history of pools reveals a different way to understand the timing and the significance of the fight against segregation. This is the final lecture in the series “RACE: Critical Reflections on Culture, Power, and Change.” This lecture will be held at the South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center, Natatorium (1040 W Washington St) at 6:00 pm with refreshments preceding at 5:30 pm. It is free and open to the public.

Latino/a Poetry Now: Rosa Alcalá, Eduardo C. Corral & Aracelis Girmay
Letras Latinas partners with the Poetry Society of America and the Woodberry Poetry Room at Harvard to present the first installment of a multi-year initiative that will showcase newer voices in Latino/a poetry at institutions of higher learning throughout the United States. Alcalá, Corral, and Girmay will present their work and take part in a discussion afterwards moderated by Letras Latinas director Francisco Aragón. The reading will take place at 6:00 pm on November 8 at Harvard University. For more information:

State of Latino Chicago 2
On Wednesday, November 16, there will be a panel discussion of the Institute’s recent report on the economic contribution of Latinos to the metropolitan Chicago Economy. The report, The State of Latino Chicago 2010: The New Equation, is a follow-up to the Institute’s 2005 report The State of Latino Chicago: This is Home Now. The report examines the economic contribution of Latino spending power in metropolitan Chicago and compares the cost of public services rendered to Latinos with the tax revenues collected from them. The panel of discussants includes Eduardo Arnal Palomera, Consul General of Mexico in Chicago, Ngoan Le, Vice President of Program, Chicago Community Trust, and William Testa, Vice President and Director of Regional Research, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The panel discussion will begin at 9:00 am in the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Conference Center Auditorium. If you wish to attend, please register at