Research

Fair Trade Rebels: UO graduate Lindsay Naylor has a new book on coffee production in Chiapas

Fair Trade Rebels: Coffee Production and Struggles for Autonomy in Chiapas, by Lindsay Naylor. Diverse Economies and Livable Worlds Series. (University of Minnesota Press, 2019)

Lindsay Naylor is an assistant professor, Department of Geography & Spatial Sciences, College of Earth, Ocean, & Environment at the University of Delaware. As a graduate student at the University of Oregon, she was the recipient of a 2010 CLLAS Graduate Student Research Grant for “Harnessing Multiple Movements: The Intersection of Fair Trade and the Zapatista Movement in Chiapas, Mexico.”

Naylor’s new book is titled Fair Trade Rebels: Coffee Production and Struggles for Autonomy in Chiapas.

Synopsis: Is fair trade really fair? Who is it for, and who gets to decide? Fair Trade Rebels addresses such questions in a new way by shifting the focus from the abstract concept of fair trade–and whether it is “working”–to the perspectives of small farmers. It examines the everyday experiences of resistance and agricultural practice among the campesinos/as of Chiapas, Mexico, who struggle for dignified livelihoods in self-declared autonomous communities in the highlands, confronting inequalities locally in what is really a global corporate agricultural chain.

Based on extensive fieldwork, Fair Trade Rebels draws on stories from Chiapas that have emerged from the farmers’ interaction with both the fair-trade-certified marketplace and state violence. Here Lindsay Naylor discusses the racialized and historical backdrop of coffee production and rebel autonomy in the highlands, underscores the divergence of movements for fairer trade and the so-called alternative certified market, traces the network of such movements from the highlands and into the United States, and evaluates existing food sovereignty and diverse economic exchanges. Putting decolonial thinking in conversation with diverse economies theory, Fair Trade Rebels evaluates fair trade not by the measure of its success or failure but through a unique, place-based approach that expands our understanding of the relationship between fair trade, autonomy, and economic development.

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Spring 2019 CLLAS Notes

0519-CLLAS-newsletter_FINAL

The 2019 spring edition of CLLAS Notes, our twice-yearly newsletter, is now available online and in print.

History professor Carlos Aguirre reviews his tenure as CLLAS interim director and takes us on a look ahead at the new two-year plan for CLLAS, a series of initiatives and events under the theme “The Politics of Language in the Americas.”

Learn about Judge Yassmin Barrios’s visit to the UO campus in March and her lecture on “Justice and Reparation in Guatemala,” where she talked about her experience with the High Risk Crime Tribunal over which she presides. Check out the accounts of graduate student research in Peru and Guatemala and faculty research in Bolivia. Read about CLLAS founding director Lynn Stephen’s experience as the president of the Latin American Studies Association.

CLLAS event planner & project manager Feather Crawford fills us in on the January CLLAS Town Hall with Mae Ngai, the 2018-19 Wayne Morse Center Chair. And thanks to Crawford’s excellent reporting, you can find out more about why migrants are fleeing Honduras when you read her account of historian Dana Frank’s detailed talk held in April.

The 2019 Spring edition of CLLAS Notes, Volume 10, Issue 2 includes:

  • Letter from Interim Director Carlos Aguirre
  • “Justice and Reparation in Guatemala”—Judge Yassmin Barrios’s lecture about justice & human rights in Guatemala
  • “Lynn Stephen Completes Her Tenure as LASA President”
  • Faculty Research—“Strugging with Sustainability: Guarayo Cultural and Environmental Management Challenges”
  • Graduate Research—“Responses to Gendered Violence in Costa Rica and Guatemala”
  • Graduate Research—“Sounds of Power: Peruvian colonial pipe organs in the interplay of cultures”
  • Graduate Research—“Environmental Justice and the Local Effects of Glacier Melt in the Peruvian Cordillera Huayhuash”
  • News & Book Notes
  • Event Reports
  • 2019-20 Grant Recipients

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CLLAS 2019 Tinker & Research Grant Awardees

2019-2020 CLLAS Research Support

CLLAS recently announced the recipients of its 2019-20 Graduate Student Research Awards, Tinker Grants, Faculty Collaboration Grant, and Latinx Studies Seed Grant. They are as follows:

Graduate Student Research Grants

  • “Inner Exile in Formation and Sustenance of Racial, Sexual, and Gendered Communities in Chile and Argentina.” Jon Jaramillo, Romance Languages.
  • “The Politics of Seeking Shelter: Gender-Based Violence and the Right to Safety Among Low-Income Women in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.” Emily Masucci, Anthropology.
  • “Complicating Vulnerability: Gendered Disaster Narratives, Ice Loss, & Resilience in the Peruvian Cordillera Blanca.” Holly Moulton, Environmental Studies.

Faculty Collaboration Research Grant

  • “Oregon’s Water Future: Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, and Community Resilience.” Alai Reyes-Santos, Ethnic Studies, in collaboration with Oregon Environmental Council (OEC).

Second Year Latinx  Studies Seed Grant

  • “Decolonial Environmentalisms: Race, Genre, and Latinx Literature.”David Vazquez, English.

Third Year Tinker Foundation Grants

Tinker Field Research Grants are open to students across all academic disciplines and graduate degree programs to assist master’s and doctoral students with travel and field-related expenses for brief periods of field research in Latin America. Administered by CLLAS, the program is funded by the Tinker Foundation, with matching funds from CLLAS, the UO Office of Academic Affairs, and the Graduate School.

  • “Recalling Runaways: Studies of Slavery and Absenteeism in Cuba.” Aziza Baker, History. 
  • “Nepantleres: LGBTQ+ Migrants’ Transborder Experiences.” Polet Campos-Melchor, Anthropology.
  • “Transmission of Traditional Botanical Knowledge Among the Shuar of Amazonian Ecuador.” Sara Khatib, Anthropology.
  • “A Case Study of Two Guatemalan Organizations Demanding Justice for the 41 girls.” Carla Osorio Veliz, Geography. 
  • “Small-Scale Farmers’ Vulnerability to Climatic Changes in the Chinantec Region, Mexico.” Adriana Uscanga Castillo, Geography. 
  • “Electoral Revolutions: A Comparative Study of Rapid Changes in Electoral Participation.” Alberto Lioy, Political Science.   

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Latinx album covers invite people to look at art in a new way

https://around.uoregon.edu/content/latinx-album-covers-invite-people-look-art-new-way

From Around the O / March 4, 2019—Music and art have long-shared a history of collaboration, from turn-of-the-century sheet music illustrations to the vibrant psychedelic album cover designs of the trippy ’60s and beyond.

A slice of that history has makes up the visual artistry of Latinx artists, who are the subject of an interactive exhibition at the UO’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art titled “Visual Clave: The Expression of the Latino/a Experience through Album Cover Art: 1940-90.” The installation features 40-50 original album covers that are, in some cases, paired with the original artwork that was created to produce the album cover.

The inspiration for the exhibit, and the culmination of more than a decade of research and collecting, is the 2005 book “Cocinando: 50 Years of Latin Album Cover Art”by Northampton, Massachusetts-based Cuban-American author, musician and artist Pablo Ygnasio. The result is a pared-down selection culled from a larger East Coast show that distills the essence of the Latinx experience in its many forms.

The co-curator of the exhibit is Phillip Scher, UO professor of anthropology and folklore and public culture and also divisional dean for social sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. Scher has collaborated with Ygnasio on projects since their college days together and explained that although the work is certainly diverse, much of what was produced for the mass market in the early days was largely controlled by big music industry companies like RCA, Decca and Capitol Records.

“Record producers and record labels understood the popularity of popular music — there had been a big mambo craze — they understood that it sold records, but they were still largely controlling the recording marketing and distribution process,” Scher said. “The artists might have been contracted, who themselves may not have been from the (Latinx) community.”

The exhibit hall

That began to change, however, in the 1960s and ’70s as Latin American musicians and emergent independent record labels such as Faniabegan to hand over more control to the musicians as well as to the artists who designed the cover art.

That also meant taking control of the messaging.

Latinx artists not only used albums as an outlet to express themselves artistically but also oftentimes as a means of conveying provocative commentary on Hispanic topics of resistance or issues of a political, economic or cultural nature.

“You begin to see covers themselves reflecting more of what the musicians want to say about their music, their community, their relationship to the American experience,” Scher said. “There’s a variety of ways in which taking control of the process of production yields really different artwork.”

Indeed, the exhibition, which is grouped by themes, embraces everything from dance and food, “Spanglish”, lowriders and borders, and life in the barrio to protest, resistance and spirituality, to name a few. A section celebrating female artists provides imagery and context to those strong Latinas who persevered, despite pressure to “stay out of the macho world of salsa and ranchera” and to not speak to women’s issues and perspectives.

Likewise, a 1971 Izzy Sanabria album cover designed for the iconic Willie Colónrecord “La Gran Fuga/The Big Break”, also known as the “Wanted by the FBI,” features a mug shot of Colón and uses satire to break negative stereotypes of the “bad Latino.” That includes humorous quotes such as “armed with a trombone and considered dangerous” and “Occupation: singer, also a very dangerous man with his voice.” Ironically, Colón went on to a career in law enforcement.

Although it’s not featured in this grouping, Scher cited an example of subtle messaging in popular crossover musician Desi Arnaz’ album Babalú. It’s unlikely that the predominently Anglo-American audience tuning in to the 1950s era comedy sitcom “I Love Lucy” suspected that Arnaz’ signature, conga-infused song was a ceremonial drumming ritual designed to invoke the spirit of Babalú-Ayú.

“What he is essentially approximating there is an Afro-Cuban religious ceremony, in which the spirits are invoked by calling them out and drumming in certain patterns to have the spirits arrive, to come to the ritual and participate,” Scher explained. “And sometimes that participation meant essentially spirit possession. People were singing that and had no idea what they were singing about.”

Because the exhibition also embodies multiple disciplines — Latin Americaninternationaland ethnic studieshistorymusicartfolklore, and anthropology— “the teaching potential is tremendous,” Scher said. As they view the artwork and peruse the program, museum visitors listen to piped-in Latin music selections drawn from each of the albums on display and can also take a turn at playing the claves, an important percussion instrument used in African, Brazilian and Cuban music.

Overall, Scher hopes that the takeaway for people is that they will think differently about pop cultural ephemera.

“For many people and for many ways, popular culture is a really viable way of communicating through artistic expression and reaching a lot of people, communicating the most pressing types of issues that confront a particular community,” he said.

Ygnasio and Scher will present a curator’s lecture, part of the CLLAS Spring 2019 Research Presentation Series, on April 11. The exhibition runs through April 21.

By Sharleen Nelson, University Communications

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Friday, March 1st, 2019 Art, Music & Culture, Funding, Research No Comments

“Visual Clave” CLLAS Research Series: Faculty Collaboration Research Grant

April 11, 2019
3:30 pmto5:00 pm

Ford Lecture Hall
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (JSMA)
1430 Johnson Lane
University of Oregon campus

CLLAS Research Series: Faculty Collaboration Research Grant

The Expression of the Latino/a Experience Through Album Cover Art: 1940-1990, a Conversation between Philip W. Scher and Pablo E. Yglesias, Co-curators of the Exhibition” 

This CLLAS Research Series presentation will discuss the cultural and political dimensions of Latinx presence in the US seen through Latin album cover art. 

Visual Clave is connected to the exhibit with the same title and has been organized by Philip W. Scher, UO Professor of Anthropology and Folklore and Public Culture and Divisional Dean for Social Sciences, and Pablo E. Yglesias, a Northampton, MA-based Cuban-American researcher, writer, musician, artist, and DJ. The exhibit could be seen at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art through April 21, 2019 and is supported by AUO’s College of Arts and Sciences, CLLAS, and a JSMA Academic Support Grant.

Visual Clave is organized by Philip W. Scher, UO Professor of Anthropology and Folklore and Public Culture and Divisional Dean for Social Sciences, and Pablo E. Yglesias, a Northampton, MA-based Cuban-American researcher, writer, musician, artist, and DJ. An expanded version of the exhibition was on view previously at the Student Union Art Gallery at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst; the Bronx Music Heritage Center, NY; and Picture Farm Gallery, Brooklyn, NY. Visual Clave takes its inspiration and intellectual structure from Yglesias’ book Cocinando: 50 Years of Latin Album Cover Art (Princeton Architectural Press, 2005). 

All album covers reproduced courtesy of their respective record labels.

The talk is at 3:30 p.m. on April 11 in the Ford Lecture Hall at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Live music by Malanga starting at 4:30. Light refreshments to be served. 1430 Johnson Lane, University of Oregon campus. jsma.uoregon.edu 541.346.3027

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CLLAS Faculty Research Grants deadline

April 5, 2019
12:00 pm
Faculty Research Grants: Deadline April 5, 2019
CLLAS offers both Faculty Collaborative Research Grants and the Faculty Latinx Studies Seed Grant. Application deadline for faculty grants is: 12:00 p.m. (noon), Friday, April 5, 2019.

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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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2019 Judge Yassmin Barrios Lecture / photos by Jack Liu

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