Affiliated faculty

Oregon Water Futures

UO Professor Alaí Reyes-Santos Collaborates with OEC to Elevate Water Justice

“A changing climate, aging infrastructure across the state, and lack of ongoing investment in clean water have left Oregon’s water systems stressed, putting our health, safety, economy and environment at risk. Communities of color, particularly those that are rural and low- income, are often on the front lines of these impacts, facing a wide range of threats, including rising utility rates, disparities in drought and flooding vulnerability, and exposure to nitrates, pesticides, and heavy metals. In some rural counties, Native peoples and communities of color represent 30–40 percent of the population, yet face significant barriers to participating in state policy and infrastructure discussions. In metropolitan areas such as Eugene, Salem, and Portland, low-income communities and communities of color find themselves at high risk for water insecurity and climate-related disasters as documented during wildfires and seasonal flooding events.” — Project Overview / Oregon Water Futures Project Report

September 27, 2021—In fall 2020 Alaí Reyes-Santos, a UO associate professor of indigenous, race and ethnic studies, along with others working collaboratively in the Oregon Water Futures Project, interviewed more than 100 people in Native, Black, Latinx, and migrant communities throughout Oregon, holding conversations with them about water challenges and culturally specific resiliency. They collected a range of stories that underscored the threats and impacts to Oregonians, particularly Native peoples and communities of color, of an aging water infrastructure, climate change, and lack of public investment in clean water. They found that many of the people they interviewed did not trust their drinking water, and that they often faced significant barriers in participating in policy discussions.

A synopsis of their findings, along with the full report, can be found at:  https://oeconline.org/new-report-elevates-water-justice-in-oregon/. The project website holds relevant op-eds, interviews, and report summaries in four languages.

Alaí Reyes-Santos

In a letter sent mid-September 2021, Prof. Reyes-Santos offers a gracious thank you to CLLAS and other UO units that supported her research on Oregon Water Futures. Starting out in 2019 as a collaborative effort with the Oregon Environmental Council (OEC), this project has since attracted “a historic 340 million dollar investment on water in the 2021 legislative session; with 1.5 million dedicated to engaging communities of color and other historically underserved communities in conversations about water in the state,” Reyes-Santos wrote.

CLLAS was among the first to provide seed funding for Prof. Reyes-Santos’s Oregon Water Futures Project, awarding her, along with the OEC, a CLLAS Faculty Collaboration Research Grant in 2019. Other UO funders include the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, the Center for Environmental Futures, and the Vice-Provost Office for Research and Innovation. The collaborative later received funding from Meyer Memorial Trust, the Collins Foundation, and the Lazar Foundation. The Meyer grant was renewed and now includes a collaboration with UO’s School of Law’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center. 

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Monday, September 27th, 2021 Affiliated faculty, Public Policy, Research No Comments

2021 CLLAS Notes Part 1

Editor’s note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve published our newsletter exclusively online for another edition. This is the first of three newsletter installments to be published over the next several weeks.

Gabriela Martínez

Director’s Letter
by Gabriela Martínez, CLLAS Director;
Professor, School of Journalism and Communication

This year has been unusual, yet productive and busy for CLLAS. The global pandemic made us shift gears, but it didn’t stop us from carrying out 14 scholarly and creative events and activities. In this letter I will only highlight a few of them. CLLAS also continued its support to graduate students and faculty through what were difficult times for conducting research. 

This was the second and concluding year of our 2019-2021 theme The Politics of Language in the Americas: Power, Culture, History, and Resistance. We got off to a great start addressing the 2020 election cycle with an event focused on the election and the Latinx Community through a public conversation with the executive director of CAPACES Leadership Institute, Jaime Arredondo.  

CLLAS celebrated Latinx Heritage Month in October. Award-winning filmmaker Alex Rivera delivered the CLLAS Distinguished Lecture, entitled The Border as a Way of Seeing. He also led a teach-in where students and other attendees collectively produced a short film about immigration and the border.

CLLAS hosted a successful symposium marking the culmination of our two-year theme. This two-day series of events — Languages on the Move: Linguistic Diaspora, Indigeneity, and Politics in the Americas — included three panels, a keynote address, and several musical performances. You can immerse yourself in the symposium through our symposium videos. I am grateful to our symposium organizers, associate professors Monique Balbuena (Comp Lit), Audrey Lucero (College of Ed), and Gabriela Pérez Báez (Linguistics).  

CLLAS organized a celebration for the launching of the new Latinx Studies minor, headed by CLLAS board member and associate professor Audrey Lucero (College of Ed).

CLLAS closed this academic year by launching a new initiative to further engage UO’s undergraduate student population: Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Project. This Award recognizes undergraduate excellent work in a variety of disciplines where they cover Latinx and Latin American social, cultural, and/or political issues. First year CLLAS Undergraduate Award Recipients are: Emily Chavez Romero – Latino Roots Film: Dreams that Cross BordersThomas Parker – Research Paper: Wild Tales; Caitlin Scott – Honor’s Thesis: Reinforcing Push Factors in the Northern Triangle: An Investigation of Trump’s Attempts to Deter Immigration through Humanitarian Aid Reduction; Eva Shannon – Art Cover: La cena miserable, Eduardo Kingman, Ecuador. CLLAS Undergraduate Award Honorable Mentions are: Taylor Henry – Art Cover: Manos de la protesta, Oswaldo Guayamin, Ecuador; Adrianna Vaca-Navarro – Honor’s Thesis: Chapter on immigration and border imperialism.

In addition to the highlights mentioned above CLLAS also hosted its yearly ongoing Graduate Colloquium and Faculty Grantees Research Presentations. 

CLLAS’s next two-year theme 2021-2023 will be Human and Environmental Crises in the Americas. 

Finally, I want to take this opportunity to say how much CLLAS has enriched my academic and professional life during the years that I have been directing it. I am stepping away from the directorship at the end of June 2021. During my tenure, CLLAS solidified and expanded its presence throughout campus, strengthened its community outreach throughout the state of Oregon, and continued successfully its support to students and faculty bridging Latinx and Latin American Studies. I feel honored to have served as director of this important Center, which has a bright future if the UO administration has the vision and willingness to support its growth. I hope that is the case. 

I’m grateful to all of the CLLAS staff, graduate employees, and student workers who worked during my time as director. I want to acknowledge their outstanding work and commitment to everything CLLAS stands for. I would like specially to thank Eli Meyer, Director of Operations; Feather Crawford, Event Coordinator; Christine Waite, Accountant; and last but not least, Alice Evans, our former Communications Specialist. They all have been excellent to work with, and I feel lucky to have had them as my team. I also want to thank all of my colleagues who served at different moments on the executive board. Their commitment to CLLAS and their advice and contributions helped me enormously as director and strengthened the CLLAS research and programmatic agenda over the years. In particular, I would like to thank executive board members and dear colleagues Lynn Stephen (anthropology) and Carlos Aguirre (history) for their unwavering support and mentorship.

Wishing everyone a wonderful summer!

Welcome to Our Next CLLAS Director 

Chris Chávez

I am pleased to welcome the next CLLAS Director, Dr. Chris Chávez. Chris Chávez is professor of Media Studies, Advertising, and Latinx Studies, tenured in the School of Journalism and Communication. He has been involved with CLLAS since he joined the UO in 2013, serving a three-year term as member of the executive board and actively participating in CLLAS research and programming activities. I am sure Chris will further strengthen and expand the significant work the center does on campus and extramural. I am happy to leave the CLLAS in such good hands! 

—Gabriela Martínez, Outgoing Director


Faculty Research

Visual Lexicon of Aztec Hieroglyphs

By Stephanie Wood, Center for Equity Promotion, College of Education

Forms of human expression have long been at the heart of research in the Humanities. Who adopted writing systems—from Mesopotamia to Mesoamerica—-along with explorations of when, where, why, and how, have captured the imagination of scholars for centuries. Yet, many questions remain and cry out for new attention. Maya hieroglyphs, in all their beautiful, three-dimensional, and lengthy texts have received much more attention than Aztec glyphs. 

CLLAS funding has underwritten work on the prototype of a digital collection of Aztec glyphs that will help advance scholars’ understanding of this unique, early writing system and provide a tool for the decipherment of unpublished manuscripts that feature such glyphs. Examples of Aztec hieroglyphic writing do appear on monuments and artifacts that have survived from pre-Columbian times, proving that it existed as a phonetic system prior to contact, but surviving manuscripts that employ a vast number of glyphs are either partially or entirely from post-contact times. For those interested in the revitalization of indigenous languages and in accessing Native points of view about settler colonialism, this body of material offers rich rewards. 

Wonderfully, hieroglyphic writing that is based on the Nahuatl language lived on for generations after the Spanish invaded and seized power five hundred years ago (1521). Dozens or hundreds of manuscripts painted across the sixteenth century by Nahua scribes —even as they also learned to write in Nahuatl using the imported Roman alphabet—remain to be carefully analyzed. If funding can now be obtained from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Visual Lexicon will incorporate thousands of glyphs from a number of manuscripts, such as the Codex Mendoza (from Mexico City, with two examples shown here), the Codex Xolotl (from Tetzcoco), and the Matrícula de Huexotzinco (Puebla). This image data set will facilitate not only an improved and expanded decipherment capability, but also a greater appreciation of the genius of Nahua literacy and its cultural expressions. 


CLLAS News & Updates

Michelle McKinley, Bernard B. Kliks Professor of Law at the UO Law School, received the Provost Senior Humanist Award at the Oregon Humanities Center for Fall 2021, as well as a residential fellowship at the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University. Professor McKinley also received a research grant from the American Philosophical Society. All these are for her new project: “Bound Biographies: Transoceanic Itineraries and the Afro-Iberian Diaspora in the Americas, 1550-1750.”

Isabel Millán, Assistant Professor, Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, was awarded a Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship for the upcoming 2021-2022 academic year.

Lynn Stephen, Phillip H. Knight Chair, Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences Department of Anthropology, won the 2020-2021 publication prize of the LASA Expert Witness Section for her article “Fleeing rural violence: Mam women seeking gendered justice in Guatemala and the U.S.,” published in the Journal of Peasant Studies, in 2019. It is one of the pieces Stephen wrote specifically to build an argument to help in gendered asylum cases.


Book Publications

Carlos Aguirre, Professor, Department of History.  Alberto Flores Galindo. Utopía, historia y revolución (Lima, La Siniestra Ensayos, 2020), coauthored with Charles Walker, University of California, Davis. The book addresses different aspects of the work and life of the late Marxist Peruvian historian Alberto Flores Galindo (1949-1990), including his role as a public intellectual, his views about Peruvian independence, his interpretations of political violence in the 1980s, his relationship with the Cuban revolution, and the way in which his passion for literature infused his work as a historian.

Amalia Gladhart

Amalia Gladhart, Professor of Spanish, Dept. of Romance Languages: Her translation of Jaguars’ Tomb, a novel by Argentine writer Angélica Gorodischer, was published in Feb. 2021 by Vanderbilt UP.

Abstract: Jaguars’ Tomb is a novel in three parts, written by three interconnected characters. Each of the three parts revolves around the octagonal room that is alternately the jaguars’ tomb, the central space of the torture center, and the heart of an abandoned house that hides an adulterous affair. The novel is both an intriguing puzzle and a meditation on how to write about, or through, violence, injustice and loss. Among Gorodischer’s many novels, Jaguars’ Tomb most directly addresses the abductions and disappearances that occurred under the Argentine military dictatorship of 1976–83.

Michelle McKinley, Bernard B. Kliks Professor of Law at the University of Oregon Law School. Her award-winning book Fractional Freedoms has been translated into Spanish. The citation is Libertades Fraccionadas: esclavitud, intimidad y movilización jurídica en la Lima colonial, 1600-1700. Valencia: Editorial Tirant lo blanch, 2021. Fractional Freedoms explores how thousands of slaves in colonial Peru were able to secure their freedom, keep their families intact, negotiate lower self-purchase prices, and arrange transfers of ownership by filing legal claims. Through extensive archival research, Michelle A. McKinley excavates the experiences of enslaved women whose historical footprint is barely visible in the official record.

Lynn Stephen, Phillip H. Knight Chair, Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences Department of Anthropology. Indigenous Women and Violence: Feminist Activist Research in Heightened States of Injustice. Lynn Stephen (Editor), Shannon Speed (Editor). Indigenous Women and Violence offers an intimate view of how settler colonialism and other structural forms of power and inequality created accumulated violences in the lives of Indigenous women. This volume uncovers how these Indigenous women resist violence in Mexico, Central America, and the United States, centering on the topics of femicide, immigration, human rights violations, the criminal justice system, and Indigenous justice. Taking on the issues of our times, Indigenous Women and Violence calls for the deepening of collaborative ethnographies through community engagement and performing research as an embodied experience. This book brings together settler colonialism, feminist ethnography, collaborative and activist ethnography, emotional communities, and standpoint research to look at the links between structural, extreme, and everyday violences across time and space. 


Journal and Book Chapter Publications

  • Amalia Gladhart, Professor of Spanish, Dept. of Romance Languages; Her short story “Misdirection” (set in the Andes) appears in The Common 21. 
  • Audrey Lucero, Associate Professor, Department of Education Studies Director, Critical & Sociocultural Studies program Director, Latinx Studies Program:
    Lucero, A., Bermúdez, B., Mitteis, M. (forthcoming). Crossing borders: The perspectives of transnational students in one Oregon high school. In R. Bussell (Ed.), A state of immigrants: New research on the immigrant experience in Oregon. Eugene, OR: University of Oregon. 
    Lucero, A., Donley, K., Bermudez Bonilla, B. (in press). 
    Holguin, C.M., Romero Montaño, L., Lucero, A., Dorantes, A., Taylor, A. (in press). Too Latinx or not Latinx enough? Racial subtexts and subjectivities at a predominantly white university. Journal of Latinos and Education. 
  • Michelle McKinley, Bernard B. Kliks Professor of Law at the University of Oregon Law School, “Juana de Godinez,” published in Freedom in Degrees: A Collective Biography of Black Women and Emancipation in the Americas, Tatiana Seijas, Terri Snyder and Erica Ball eds. Cambridge University Press, 2020, pp.110-128. 
  • Bronwen K. Maxson, MLIS, Coordinator, Undergraduate Engagement & Instructional Services Subject Specialist for Latin American Studies, Spanish & Portuguese:
    Hicks, A., Maxson, B. K., & Reyes, B. M. (in press). “Hay muchos Méxicos”: A new approach to designing international information literacy instruction opportunities. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 21(3). https://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/xmlui/handle/1794/25841 
  • Jessica Vasquez-Tokos, Department of Sociology, & Priscilla Yamin, Department of Political Science. The racialization of privacy: racial formation as a family affair Accepted: 7 December 2020/  Springer Nature B.V. part of Springer Nature 2021. https://rdcu.be/cms2d
  • Lesley Jo Weaver, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies Department of Global (International) Studies:
    2021 Weaver, Lesley Jo, Nicole Henderson, and Craig Hadley. The Social Meaning of Food Consumption Behaviors in Rural Brazil: Agreement and Intracultural Variation. Field Methods 33(4). https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1525822X21992162

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Spring 2021 CLLAS Notes Part 2

Spring 2021 CLLAS Notes Part 3

2021 CLLAS Graduate & Faculty Grant Recipients

CLLAS announces its 2021-22 graduate and faculty grant recipients. They are:

Graduate Grant Recipients

Summer Research Grant Awards

  • Marina Penalosa (Romance Languages)
    An Intellectual Field in Tension. The Other Borges
  • David Peña (School of Art and Design)
    Ecotone

Field Research Grants in Latin America

  • Alejandra Pedraza (Global Studies)
    Womanhood, remittances, and COVID-19: Insights from a migrant-sending community in rural Mexico
  • Elizabeth Sotelo (Romance Languages)
    Beyond Gender: Inequalities and Invisibilities Among Female Literary Chroniclers in Peru and Mexico
  • Magela Baudoin (Romance Languages)
    Poetry and Popular Song in Matilde Casazola and Violeta Parra: The Journey of the Seed
  • Marena Lear (Comparative Literature)
    Revolutionizing the Revolution: Cuban New Media and Independent Cinema

Faculty Awards

Faculty Latinx Studies Seed Grant

  • Daniel Gómez Steinhart (Cinema Studies)
    Cross-Border Hollywood: Production Politics and Practices in Mexico

Faculty Research Seed Grant

  • Maria Fernanda Escallón (Anthropology)
    “Becoming Heritage: Recognition, Exclusion, and the Politics of Black Cultural Heritage in Colombia”

Visual Lexicon of Aztec Hieroglyphs, a Stephanie Wood Work-in-Progress Report

April 7, 2021
12:00 pm

VIDEO

To view a recording of this remote event, FOLLOW THIS LINK.

This digital humanities project has as its focus the visual writing system developed by the Nahuas of central Mexico in pre-contact times and which lived on well after contact. This writing system bequeathed a rich historical and cultural corpus of manuscripts (codices) that infuse our knowledge of central Mexican indigenous peoples with respect for their ingenuity, diligent record keeping, appreciation for historical memory and narrative. 

Winner of the CLLAS Faculty Seed Grant, Stephanie Wood is the Director of the Wired Humanities Projects and a Research Associate with the Center for Equity Promotion (CEQP) in the College of Education at the University of Oregon.  Between 1992 and 2015, she taught on campus and directed dozens of theses in various departments, such as History, Latin American Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, International Studies, and Romance Languages. But for more than a decade, her principal focus has been externally-funded digital reference and curricular projects on under-represented aspects of history (Mesoamerican and Native American), primarily with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). She has been the Principal Investigator on eleven NEH projects and has held sub-awards on another two.

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Monday, March 29th, 2021 Affiliated faculty, Event Videos, Events No Comments

Historian Julie Weise’s grant will transform a podcast into a YouTube series

Editor’s Note: Julie Weise is a CLLAS affiliated faculty member. This article originated in Around the O.

Julie Weise

Around the O, March 2, 2020—Julie Weise, an associate professor of history, has been awarded a $50,000 public-engagement grant to take her Nuestro South project to the next level, building on a successful podcast series to create a five-part YouTube series.

The YouTube series will showcase the long history of Latinx life in the Deep South, celebrating 100 years of Latinx culture and contributions in the region. The grant was awarded by the Whiting Foundation.

Weise’s work will build on a previous seed grant she received in 2018, also from the Whiting Foundation, which was matched by the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. She used the funding to collaborate with a team of media-savvy Latinx community leaders and college students to create the Nuestro South podcast.

The podcast filters historical scholarship on Latinx people in the South through the lens of youth who are discovering and celebrating their roots in the region. 

“This new dimension in my career has been unexpected and wonderful as I work with brilliant partners to provide the region’s Latinx youth an opportunity to discover the histories of their forebears,” Weise said.

Phil Scher, divisional dean for social science in the College of Arts and Sciences, said the award stands out because it helps make research accessible to the general public.

“Professor Weise has achieved something important for any scholar: She has been able to take her academic research and scholarship to new audiences outside of the academy,” he said. “The Whiting is a wonderful acknowledgement of the kind of exemplary public engagement we value so deeply at the University of Oregon.”

Weise said that for the hundreds of thousands of Latinx youth living in the Deep South, many of whom are children of immigrants who settled during a wave of migration in the 1990s, it can be challenging to understand how they fit into the standard schoolbook history of a black-and-white South. Yet, the history of Southern Latinx communities dates back more than a century.

Her 2015 book, “Corazón de Dixie: Mexicanos in the U.S. South since 1910,” pioneered scholarship on this under-studied subject, illuminating the lives of Mexican merchants and laborers in interwar New Orleans, Mexican sharecroppers in the Mississippi Delta, bracero guest workers in Arkansas, migrant workers in rural Georgia and immigrant settlement in the exurbs of Charlotte in the 1990s. 

After her book was published, Weise did some radio interviews in the South. Among those who heard her was Erik Valera, a nonprofit leader and community activist in North Carolina. Valera reached out to Weise to say that he felt the stories and insight she presented were very important and that he wanted to explore how to make them accessible to others in the community.

“He said he wanted to see the histories from my book on the smartphone of every Latinx young person in the South,” Weise recalls. “As you can imagine, I pretty much fell off my couch. He had faith that the community really cared about this history, and he was right.”

This was the origin of the podcast and now the YouTube series.

With the new Whiting award, Weise and her collaborators will take an extended road trip around the South to shoot and edit the YouTube series. In each stop on their trip, college student hosts will interview Southerners about their and their families’ connection to local Latinx history, retell the stories of Mexican immigration to the area, and engage local young people in conversations about the past.

“The video series and accompanying social media engagement will give Latinx youth a platform to explore their identities, shape their narrative of belonging and see reflections of themselves in historical figures who worked, raised families and fought for justice in the U.S. South,” Weise said.

The Whiting Public Engagement Program is a national grant founded to champion the public humanities in all its forms and to highlight the roles scholars play in using the humanities to advance communities around the country. Weise’s grant was one of 14 awarded to scholars who are tackling pressing challenges in communities.

“The judges were deeply impressed with the way Dr. Weise has developed the Nuestro South collaboration,” said Daniel Reid, executive director of the Whiting Foundation. “They see her proposed next steps as a model for how to bring fresh scholarship to a public who will not only be interested but will be transformed by it.”

By Lisa Raleigh, College of Arts and Sciences

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Monday, March 2nd, 2020 Affiliated faculty, Research No Comments


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Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies Gift Fund

Access the above link for giving to the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies Gift Fund. Online gifts may be made using the form available at this link; all gifts are processed by the University of Oregon Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization responsible for receiving and administering private donations to the University of Oregon.

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