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

Tuesday, June 29th, 2021 Affiliated faculty, News, Publications, staff, Uncategorized



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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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