Affiliated faculty

Ernesto Martínez’s short film “La Serenata” an award finalist

July 31, 2019—Ernesto Martínez’s short film, La Serenata, is a finalist in the Imagen Foundation Short Film and Web Series Awards.

You can support this film by voting below and inviting friends and family to vote as well (one vote per 24 hours). You could also watch the film at this site: https://www.imagen.org/vote/short-films/

Film synopsis: two parents struggle with their beloved Mexican musical tradition when their son requests a love song for another boy.  

Ernesto Martínez is an associate professor in the UO Department of Ethnic Studies. CLLAS supported Martínez’s work on this film and a related children’s book with its inaugural Latinx Studies Seed Grant.

Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Maria Provides Ethnic Studies Lesson

From Oregon Quarterly, Summer 2019
https://around.uoregon.edu/oq/puerto-rico-s-hurricane-maria-provides-ethnic-studies-lesson

Alai Reyes-Santos / credit: Julia Wagner, University Communications

When UO ethnic studies associate professor Alaí Reyes-Santos flipped on the late-night news on September 19, 2017, she saw something she’d been dreading since childhood: a category four hurricane was barreling toward Puerto Rico from the southeast.

“My mother always warned me that if a hurricane started in the southeast and curved up, it would wipe out the entire island,” remembers Reyes-Santos, a native Puerto Rican who hails from a small town in the Cordillera Central mountain range.

Reyes-Santos stared in horror at the screen, transfixed by the arc of Maria’s storm graphics spiraling from sea to the country’s southeastern shore.

“There was nothing I could do from thousands of miles away, I felt powerless,” she recalled recently from her small office on the outskirts of the UO campus.

For the rest of this article, go to: https://around.uoregon.edu/oq/puerto-rico-s-hurricane-maria-provides-ethnic-studies-lesson

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Kristin Yarris featured in the inaugural “UO Authors, Book Talks” series

November 6, 2019
5:00 pmto6:30 pm

Knight Library
Browsing Room

https://around.uoregon.edu/content/faculty-books-be-featured-uo-authors-book-talks-series

Around the O, October 17, 2019—Kristin Yarris will be the first faculty member featured in the inaugural “UO Authors, Book Talks” series that begins next month.

Kristin Yarris

Yarris, an associate professor of international studies, will read excerpts from her book “Care Across Generations,” followed by a discussion on the pivotal roles Nicaraguan grandmothers play in intergenerational care and transnational migration.

The debut for Yarris and “UO Authors, Book Talks” will be Nov. 6 in the Knight Library Browsing Room. The event is a recognition of University of Oregon faculty members and their books.

The second “UO Authors, Book Talks” will take place Feb. 12 in the Browsing Room. It will feature Kirby Brown, associate professor of Native American literatures, and his book “Stoking the Fire: Nationhood in Cherokee Writing, 1907-1970.”

“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate scholarly work than to put a spotlight on our faculty authors,” said Patrick Phillips, UO’s provost and senior vice president. “UO authors provide a tremendous impact with their original scholarship, and their dedicated efforts enhance the reputation of the entire university by showing the world the important contributions we make to a wide variety of fields.”

The events are sponsored by the Office of the Provost, UO Libraries, and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Yarris, who also directs the UO Global Health Program, spent a year in Managua, Nicaragua, working with Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes, a migrant justice organization. The work included taking testimonials from migrants who returned home and their family members to develop ways to better protect Nicaraguans working in Costa Rica and Mexico through changes in policy.

Through these testimonials, Yarris was able to meet 24 families and work with many of them to produce material for her dissertation, which later turned into the book. “Care Across Generations”takes a close look at grandmother care in Nicaraguan transnational families.

University Communications sat down with Yarris to discuss her experiences and her book. Portions of the interview have been edited for brevity and clarity.

Q: How did you find yourself in Nicaragua?

A: When I was a public health student at UCLA, I taught medical Spanish and was able to meet students who made service learning trips for medical students to go to Latin America. I went with them to Honduras once and then twice to Nicaragua as a translator for volunteer medical brigades. Through that work, I met nonprofit health organizations in Nicaragua, was able to understand the historical and cultural context better, and wanted to go back.

I got involved with a social justice organization, Witness for Peace Southwest, which advocates for change in U.S. policy toward mainly Latin America and the Caribbean. I was a volunteer and then became a member on their board of directors. That opened up opportunities for me to work in Managua.

Q: Did you receive any other cultural misconceptions around your book and the roles of grandmothers?

A: One thing that has been challenging for me — in writing the book, talking about the book, in teaching my students — is U.S. students, audiences or publics tend to jump to the conclusion that awful patriarchy exists (in other places) and we have it so good (in the U.S.) where there are no problems with gender and equality, which obviously isn’t true.

What I’ve tried to do in the book is be sensitive in talking about the layers of social, historical, cultural, economic and legal configurations that leave grandmothers particularly vulnerable to being threatened by children’s fathers who take the remittances mothers send home and why that might be happening.

Q: Would you mind explaining the relationship with fathers more?

A: It’s hard because it’s a real thing. Feminists in Nicaragua have this saying, “El machismo mata,” which means machismo kills. Which is true; there are very high rates of femicide. Women die at high numbers in Nicaragua at the hands of intimate partners, husbands, the fathers of their children. Yes, it’s a real thing. But I also don’t want to paint all Nicaraguan men with that brushstroke that they’re violent or don’t care about their children, because obviously that isn’t true.

There have been misconceptions about men, their roles, and why I didn’t talk to more men. The truth is, often they weren’t around. The households are matrifocal. I tried to get men’s voices, but the truth is that most of the care in these families is done by women.

The other misconception that I’ve had to be careful to not fall into the trap of is that mother migrants abandon their kids. I go through painstaking measures in the book to not paint mothers that way. I try to describe the factors pushing mothers to migrate and the steps they take to send remittance home for their kids. All of the mothers in my book care about their kids and are thankful their mothers can care for them. They’re waiting for when the “grand bargain” pays off, and they can be with their kids again.

Q: As you continue your work in academia, are you seeing your book complement the research you are conducting?

A: Yes, definitely. After the book, my next project was funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation studying transit immigration in Central America through Mexico. The research questions I asked were less about families in migration but still about the role of migration and family care.

I spent a few summers in Sinaloa, Mexico, looking at how women were informally mobilizing along freight train lines to provide care for families in migrant situations. I’m currently working on a local project looking at networks of volunteers, refugee asylum seeker resettlements and sponsorship work in Lane County.

Q: You touched on this, but given our political climate, have you faced challenges discussing migration with students?

A: I’ve been glad that I teach classes on migration, that I have a book on migration and that my book is ethnographic. When students and other people read ethnographic work about migrants and their families, it humanizes things in a way that politics, media or tweets dehumanize and desensitize people.

Human stories help people and students ask questions like, “Why is it so hard for people who are here lawfully to bring their children with them lawfully?” They don’t realize that it is so difficult, it takes 10 years or other miscellaneous reasons why people are leaving to create a better life for their children.

—By Jessica T. Brown, University Communications

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Thursday, July 4th, 2019 Affiliated faculty, Books No Comments

The Migrant Caravan: From Honduras to Tijuana

The Migrant Caravan: From Honduras to Tijuana
An Analysis by the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies Fellows (2018-2019)

Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies School of Global Policy and Strategy
University of California San Diego 9500 Gilman Drive # 0519
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519

This PDF is a recent report about the migrant caravan published by the Center for U.S.-Mexicana Studies, which granted permission for CLLAS to disseminate via our website.

The report talks about the conditions that produced the caravan in Central America, responses from civil society in Mexico and the U.S., explains what asylum is and how and why people seek it and some stories about asylees, and then political responses in Mexico to the caravan.

This report includes pieces by CLLAS founding director Lynn Stephen, Philip H. Knight Chair, Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences, Professor of Anthropology, and James Daria, a PhD student at University of Oregon in cultural anthropology and a previous CLLAS Graduate Student grantee and Faculty/Student Collaborative grantee.

See their articles on these pages:

  • “The Northern Triangle of Central America: Violence, Displacement, and Refuge,” by James Daria / p. 4
  • “The Response of Civil Society on Both Sides of the U.S.-Mexican Border,” by James Daria, Carolina Valdivia, and Abigail Thornton / p. 22
  • “The Path to Legal Safety: A Mismatch between the Law and the Practice.” by Lynn Stephen and Teresita Rocha Jiménez / p. 32

Following on the 2018-19 AY visits by Judge Yassmin Barrios and Dana Frank (professor of history emerita, University of California, Santa Cruz), this report should be of particular interest to the CLLAS community of faculty, staff, students, and community members.

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Carlos Aguirre, Laura Pulido, and Sarah Wald among the 2019 recipients of UO’s Fund for Faculty Excellence awards

Editor’s Note: During winter and spring terms 2019, Professor Carlos Aguirre served as interim director of CLLAS. We are delighted that he is among those who were awarded a 2019-20 Fund for Faculty Excellence Award. We also would like to congratulate CLLAS affiliated faculty Laura Pulido and Sarah Wald, and other UO colleagues receiving the award.

From Around the O: 2019 Fund for Faculty Excellence award recipients announced

Fifteen UO faculty members have been selected for the prestigious Fund for Faculty Excellence awards.

Carlos Aguirre

The Fund for Faculty Excellence was established in 2006 with the generous support of Lorry I. Lokey and increases the university’s ability to highlight and encourage world-class research and teaching. Since 2006, more than 160 faculty members have received the awards, recognizing their excellence in creative accomplishment, education, research and scholarships.

“I am thrilled to celebrate our excellent faculty,” said Provost and Senior Vice President Jayanth Banavar. “Their scholarly and research efforts have great impact, and they inspire our students and all of us.”

Candidates are nominated by deans, with suggestions from faculty members and unit heads, and nominations are reviewed by the Fund for Faculty Excellence awards committee before a final determination is made by the provost. The award provides faculty members with a $20,000 salary supplement or $30,000 for research support.

Recipients of the Fund for Faculty Excellence awards for 2019-20 are:

Latinx Environmentalisms Book Party

November 21, 2019
4:00 pmto5:30 pm

Save the Date: Latinx Environmentalisms Book Party 11/21 4:00-5:30

We are delighted to invite you to a book party celebration and talk with the co-editors for Latinx Environmentalisms: Place, Justice, and the Decolonial on November 21, 2019 from 4:00 to 5:30 pm in the EMU Maple Room. Light refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Please share widely with colleagues, students, and friends.

We hope that you will be able to join us for this wonderful event!

All the best,

David Vázquez and Sarah Wald

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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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CLLAS Common Reading Brunch with author Helena María Viramontes / Photos by Mike Bragg / Courtesy of the UO Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

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