Ernesto Martinez

NALAC awards artist grant to Ernesto Martínez

February 20, 2019—Ernesto Javier Martínez has been awarded a $5,000 NFA Artist Grant from the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC). An associate professor in the UO Department of Ethnic Studies, Martínez is one of 43 grantees from among 400 applicants to be selected for the 13th cycle of the NALAC Fund for the Arts grant program.

Ernesto Martínez

According to the grant program manager, “These 43 recipients are recognized for their artistic excellence in pursuit of social justice through the arts and were selected from a pool of over 400 applications by a national peer panel process involving 45 arts experts representing diverse disciplines, regions and ethnicities.”

Martínez received the grant “to support the continuation of the Femeniños project, a children’s book and short film series highlighting the experiences of queer Latino/x boys and the families who bear witness to their lives.

This project began in 2017 as a collaboration with the San Francisco-based children’s book author Maya Christina González and has expanded to work with the Los Angeles-based independent film director Adelina Anthony and Oregon-based Hollywood film director Omar Naim. Through the Femeniños project, the artist aims to empower queer Latinx youth through stories that capture their imaginations, embody their cultural roots and represent queer lives in a positive light.”

CLLAS is one of several UO units that have provided grant support to Professor Martínez for his work on this project. In 2018, Martínez published the children’s book When We Love Someone We Sing to Them,which reframes a cultural tradition to include LGBTQ experience. La Serenata is a film adaption of the book. 

“Both the screenplay and the book,” Martínez said, “tell the story of a Mexican-American boy who learns from his parents about serenatas and why demonstrating romantic affection proudly, publicly, and through song is such a treasured Mexican tradition. One day, the boy asks his parents if there is a song for a boy who loves a boy. The parents, surprised by the question and unsure of how to answer, must decide how to honor their son and how to reimagine a beloved tradition.”

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Ernesto Martínez, “The Femeniños Project: Literature and Visual Media for Queer Latino/x Youth”

March 7, 2019
3:30 pmto5:00 pm

Diamond Lake Room, Erb Memorial Union (EMU 119)

CLLAS Research Series Presentation

“The Femeniños Project: Literature and Visual Media for Queer Latino/x Youth.” 

Ernesto Javier Martínez, associate professor, Department of Ethnic Studies, will present his recent work with the Femeniños Project, a multi-genre storytelling initiative that brings together award-winning filmmakers, writers, illustrators, and musicians to help mitigate the severe underrepresentation of Latino/x youth in contemporary cultural production and to proactively challenge the harm inflicted upon queer youth of color when their humanity is distorted in the mainstream imagination. 

Ernesto Martinez

CLLAS awarded its first Latinx Studies seed grant (2018-19) for research or creative projects to Professor Martinez, for his proposal, “A Child Should Not Long for Its Own Image: Literature and Visual Media for Queer Latinx Youth.” The project included four components: (1) the production of the short film La Serenata; (2) the premier screening of the film at the University of Oregon, followed by a discussion with the director and fellow collaborators; (3) a community conversation about queer Latinx youth with teachers and parents in the Eugene/Springfield area; and (4) free distribution of the bilingual children’s book When We Love Someone, We Sing to Them to local schools, libraries, and community centers.

La Serenata is a film adaption of a children’s book that Martínez wrote, entitled When We Love Someone, We Sing to Them, published in 2018 by Reflections Press. “Both the screenplay and the book,” Martínez said, “tell the story of a Mexican-American boy who learns from his parents about serenatas and why demonstrating romantic affection proudly, publicly, and through song is such a treasured Mexican tradition. One day, the boy asks his parents if there is a song for a boy who loves a boy. The parents, surprised by the question and unsure of how to answer, must decide how to honor their son and how to reimagine a beloved tradition.”

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New children’s book, movie put a song in professor’s heart

Ernesto Martínez

Editor’s note: CLLAS is one of several UO units that awarded research funds to Prof. Ernesto Javier Martínez in support of this creative work. Martínez received the inaugural CLLAS Faculty Latinx Studies seed grant award.

A new book and film have a University of Oregon professor singing a happy tune.

December 10, 2018 (from Around the O)—Ernesto Javier Martínez, an associate professor of ethnic studies at the UO, is a scholar of queer ethnic literature and the author of “When We Love Someone We Sing to Them.” It’s a children’s book about a young Mexican-American boy who is learning from his musician father why serenading is such an important tradition in their family.

“The boy asks his father if there’s a song to sing for a boy who loves another boy, and the story follows their journey of finding a song and having the courage to express affection publicly,” Martinez said.

Martínez, who identifies as a queer Chicano Puerto Rican man, said he grew up singing in a trio with his father and brother, so from a very early age he understood the important role music played for Latinx immigrant families in sharing history, providing comfort and reinforcing community. 

“But very quickly I started to feel a little bit alienated from it because there weren’t songs for boys who loved boys, and at one point I even stopped singing,” Martínez said. He added that he felt a bit of trauma in being a part of a musical tradition that applauded his singing voice but remained uninterested in his queer experiences and desires.    › Continue reading

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Producing Literature & Film for Queer Latinx Youth

October 13, 2018
5:00 pmto7:00 pm

EMU—145
Crater Lake South Room

Producing Literature & Film for Queer Latinx Youth

A Film Discussion and Book Celebration

Join us for a discussion of the groundbreaking new bilingual queer Latinx children’s book When We Love Someone We Sing To Them, and get a “sneak peak” of our new short film La Serenata. Light refreshments provided.

  • Maya Christina González, award-winning queer Chicana Illustrator, author, progressive educator and publisher. www.reflectionpress.com
  • Adelina Anthony, critically acclaimed and award-winning Two Spirit Xicana Lesbiana actor, writer, director, producer, and teaching artist.
  • Ernesto Javier Martínez, queer Chicano-rican educator and writer, ethnic studies professor at the UO.

Sponsored by the Department of Ethnic Studies, College of Arts & Sciences, Division of Equity & Inclusion, Wayne Morse Center for Law & Politics, Center for the Study of Women in Society, and the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies.

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Three CLLAS affiliated faculty members win Fund for Faculty Excellence Awards

Rocio Zambrana / photo by Alice Evans.

June 19, 2018—Three CLLAS affiliated faculty members are among the 15 UO faculty members selected for the prestigious Fund for Faculty Excellence Awards for 2018-19, which were announced this week by UO Provost Jayanth Banavar.

The three scholars are:

  • Christopher Chávez, associate professor, advertising
  • Ernesto Martinez, associate professor, ethnic studies
  • Rocio Zambrana, associate professor, philosophy

Professor Zambrana is a current member of the CLLAS Executive Board. Professors Chávez and Martinez have previously served on the Board.

From the Around the O article: “The Fund for Faculty Excellence Awards was established in 2006 through the support of Lorry Lokey and increases the academic quality and reputation of the University of Oregon by highlighting and supporting world-class research and teaching.

“The fund is designed to recognize, reward and retain nationally competitive faculty members who have a record of excellence in research, scholarship, creative accomplishment and education. More than 150 faculty members have now received the award.

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

For the full article and the full list of 15 recipients, go to: Around the O / Fund for Faculty Excellence.

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2019 Judge Yassmin Barrios Lecture / photos by Jack Liu

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