Currently viewing the tag: "SALALM 58"

May 22, 2013, 9:00-10:30

Moderator: Holly Ackerman (Duke University)

Rapporteur: Tim Thompson (University of Miami)


  • Sacred Architecture in Latin America – Peter S. Bushnell, University of Florida
  • America, Their Roles in Founding and Leading Organizations to Fight for Indian and Black Human Rights and Development, and Their Use of Electronic Media in International Organizing — Wendy Griffin, Formerly Universidad Pedagógica Nacional Francisco Morazán

Wendy Griffin presented “The Overlap between the Human Rights Movements of Blacks and Indians in the Americas: The Afro-Indigenous Garifunas of Central America, Their Roles in Founding and Leading Organizations to Fight for Indian and Black Human Rights and Development, and Their Use of Electronic Media in International Organizing.”

Many indigenous groups in Honduras (Miskitos, Tawahkas, Pech, Tolupan, Chortis) formed ethnic federations in the mid-1980s, during the period of the Contra War. The Garifunas, however, had organized earlier and differently. In 1975, Garifuna activists founded the Organización Fraternal Negra de Honduras, a labor organization. Garifunas had long been active in the labor movement and had helped lead strikes against companies like United Fruit and Dole.

Indigenous and black groups came together between 1989 and 1992 to protest the celebration of the 500-year anniversary of European colonization in the Americas (the so-called Encuentro de Dos Mundos). A movement called La Resistencia Negra, Indigena y Popular was formed in order to organize counter-celebrations.

Griffin’s book The History of the Indians of Northeastern Honduras (1992) documents Indian resistance dating from the arrival of the Spanish to 1992. During this period, indigenous peoples resisted colonization in many ways, including armed rebellion, flight to the mountains, and legal appeals to the king or the court.

Within the history of armed rebellion in Honduras, ethnic conflicts have played a major role. For the Garifuna, the armed rebellion of Satuye against the English is a foundational event.

Garifuna activism and participation in ethnic federations has taken different paths, sometimes beginning in the form of religious groups, labor groups, or literacy campaigns. Garifunas first began to organize on the national level, then internationally. They first organized internationally as an Indian group focused on indigenous peoples of the Caribbean. Garifunas were also active in the now-defunct World Council of Indigenous Peoples, which had UN observer status.

Although Garifunas are of mixed descent and may not physically “look” indigenous, this part of their identity has important political ramifications. Without documentation of their claim to be indigenous, the Garifuna would not be protected under the provisions of the International Labor Organization Convention No. 169, which addresses indigenous land rights.

Groups like the Bay Islanders, who are not indigenous, have lost 75% of their land to tourism. In general, vested interests are always looking for ways to assert that Honduran Indians do not exist (e.g., stating that they lack proper identity cards through the Registro Nacional de Personas). Honduran law also fails to address things like communal property rights (Garifuna patronatos have corporate charters). Land rights continue to be a problem because the government asserts ownership over vital natural resources like trees and water.

During the question and answer period, Teresa Miguel Sterns (Yale Law Library) asked Wendy Griffin about the size of the worldwide Garifuna population. The estimate is 600,000 worldwide, with over 150,000 in the US. There are probably more Garifunas in New York City than there are people in Belize. The US has the world’s largest Garifuna population. The official estimate in Honduras is 50,000, but Garifunas say their numbers are closer to 100,000 because many Garifuna men are away part time, whether on ship or in the US. Garifuna make up 2% of the population of Honduras and 6% of the population of Belize. Although they are only 1% of the population of Guatemala, that country’s most recorded musical star is Paola Castillo, a Garifuna women who lives in New York. Garifunas often complain that they are invisible. They are assumed to be either US blacks, African blacks, or Caribbean blacks from places like Cuba or Puerto Rico. They lack access, vis-à-vis representation, to mainstream US media and tend to communicate primarily online (Garifuna TV, radio stations, and new sites). Garifuna musical artists tend not to have webpages, but Facebook pages. The blog and the page are important online resources for the Garifuna community.

Next, Peter Bushnell presented “Sacred Architecture in Latin America,” a tour of churches, cathedrals, synagogues, mosques, temples, and other sacred structures throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Bushnell had been to many of the sites personally, such as the Basilica de los Milagros de Buga in Colombia, which he visited as a member of the University of Florida Chamber Choir, the first North American choir to be invited to perform there.

Paramaribo, Suriname, provided one of the highlights of this virtual tour. There, the Neveh Shalom Synagogue and the Mosque Keizerstraat are located only about a block apart from one another. Latter Day Saints temples, Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Halls, and Central American indigenous temples were also featured during the tour.

The tour ended with a series of images from Cuba. In 2010, Bushnell helped lead the music for a service at the Santísimo Trinidad church in Morón. The companion diocese of Florida is the Episcopal diocese of Cuba, and the companion church of his Bushnell’s own community, Holy Trinity in Gainesville, is San Juan Bautista in Florencia. Episcopal priests in Cuba must often serve more than one congregation (the companion priest in this instance served three separate churches).

There were no questions


Tuesday May 21, 2:00-3:30 PM

Moderator: Lynn Shirey, Harvard University

Rapporteur: Sarah Buck Kachaluba, Florida State University

This session grew out of a discussion on H-Latam, which many SALALMistas belong to.  A historian with a specific research question asked if there were an online hub to identify key depositories and open-access search tools for Latin American resources (that would lead him to the resources on a specific topic that he was looking for).  Lynn Shirey (Harvard University) and others pointed out that generally requests on H-LATAM are for specific information and a general hub would have limited use for such requests.  Thus, Shirey, Rafael Tarrago (University of Minnesota), and others suggested to the person making the query that he or she talk to the Latin Americanist librarian at his or her institution.  The problem, however, is that this professor, and many others, probably does/do not have a Latin American specialist(s) at his/their institutions.

As this session was a round table discussion involving most of the audience, this report highlights major points made.

Lynn Shirey (Harvard) began the discussion pointing out that scholars seemed to know about LANIC and perhaps we should look at that as a model.  Librarians also mentioned SALALM and institutional repositories at different universities.  David Dressing (Notre Dame University) mentioned that there are wonderful digital libraries with primary source material available online but there is no one site that points to these different pages.  There is a need for a central hub to get to online, freely accessible, primary sources.  Some of the resources mentioned by Dressing and others included the Early American Digital Archive, Libreros Primeros at UT Austin, the University of New Mexico, Tulane, and Princeton University Libraries, the Cuban Heritage Collection at University of Miami, DLOC, and UTEP’s Bracero Project.  Dressing pointed out that LANIC is often referred to as a link farm and others agreed.  It is hard to keep a site of that scope up and it is overwhelming to search.  Dressing said that he had understood the query to be focusing on primary sources, and those present agreed that we would like to focus on helping users gain access to primary sources, which makes sense since the discussion and potential project had grown out of a research need and request from a Historian.  Sarah Buck Kachaluba (Florida State University) was also thinking that the portal would point to free webpages and  search engines for data, periodical literature, and or books, such as those offered by the UN, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, U.S. government, CEEIB, Redial, Redalyc, Scielo, Cibera, Latindex, CLACSO, and dissertation search databases.

At this point there was discussion and disagreement over whether we wanted to create a reference site (a portal into links) or a database in which you could actually search such resources.  Melissa Guy (Arizona State University) introduced Melissa Gasparato’s (Rutgers) idea of purchasing LibGuides or something similar that already existed, which could allow a few editors to create a central hub with this framework.  She pointed out that it would be important to distinguish between sources in English and other languages.

Allyson Williams (Inter-American Development Bank) said that it IS possible to have users from multiple institutions share editorship of a libguide.  Betsaida M. Reyes (University of Kansas) suggested using something like, which is a free platform to create websites which can work like libguides.

Lisa Gardinier (University of Iowa) said that she believed this was beyond the scope of a Libguide and at the same time she was concerned about creating a link farm that ended up looking like Yahoo Directories from the 1990s (which is outdated for students).  Lisa wanted to build a database in which students could search for sources.  Guy and Buck Kachaluba felt that was too ambitious.

Rafeal Tarrago (University of Minnesota) suggested that one way around the question of what kind of resource would we built or how it would be built would be to propose the idea to H-LATAM or another organization and offer SALALM’s assistance; let them worry about the cost and design and let us identify the resources.  Lynn Shirey (Harvard University) and Adán Griego (Stanford University) disagreed because this is an excellent opportunity for SALALM to gain visibility and to reach an audience beyond large ARL libraries with subject specialists.  Adán said we should create something – a Facebook page with links, a blog, something on the SALALM website with newsletter – of use especially for small and medium-sized undergraduate institutions without Latin American Specialist Librarians.  Rhonda Neugebauer (UC Riverside) added that this allows us to highlight SALALM as an organization and our expertise as librarians and scholars. Sarah Buck Kachaluba suggested that it would be nice to have a link to some kind of reference site from the SALALM Tab “Resources.”  Melissa Guy added that it’s best to get something out there and use our expertise to point to resources rather than build something which will take a long time and delay the project.  Lynn Shirey added that we didn’t need to do everything at this point – we could start with some of our own institutions’ primary-source repositories.

At Lynn Shirey’s suggestion we looked at WESS’s resource’s page ( to see if it would serve as a useful example for what we’d like to have on the SALALM Resources tab.  The main page of WESS links to separate pages (portals) for different regional and linguistic areas, such as British Studies, Iberian Studies, etc.; Contemporary Europe, which lists Selected Newspapers and News Services, Key Facts & Figures About Europe, National Resource Centers (Title VI NRCs) for Foreign Language, Area & International Studies; [Online] Texts & Text Collections; Guides to Library Resources, which includes links to a page with links to European Library Catalogs, a link to “Historical Research in Europe, which goes to a portal to identify and link to relevant Archives, a link to Indexes and Guides to Western European Periodicals, and a link to WESS Members’ Subject Guides, which goes to a page with links by region and subject; and Book Reviews, which links to two portals for European book reviews.  This is a complex network of webpages and links which are maintained by various WESS members.  It would be challenging to keep something like this up, and, in fact, many of the links need to be updated.  It is, nonetheless, a model worth investigating.

At the same time, we looked at the “Resources” tab of the SALALM website, which would seem to be the logical place to link to a search portal for “Online Research Resources.”  Right now, no such subcategory under Resources exists; subcategories include Salalm Wikis (including wikis on Bibliographic Instruction and [Locating and Evaluating Latin American] AudioVisual material), Institutional Information (including Latin American Collection Statistics for SALALM institutions and a page with links to Latin American National Libraries by country), Cost Data on Latin American Collections (listing costs of Latin American & Caribbean monographs and periodical subscriptions by country), Webinars (linking to SALALM-organized and sponsored webinars), Special Collections Resources, with information on the History of the Book in Latin America and Special Collections focusing on Latin America, and Promotional ToolKit, which provides important information about SALALM such as its purpose, some of its achievements, and its conferences for potential members.  Having a new link under “Resources” for an “Online Research Resources” tab makes sense and it could even incorporate the links from Latin American National Libraries and Latin American Special Collections.

David Block (University of Texas Austin) added that there were two strands to the original discussion on H-LATAM.  One was the query as to whether or not such a portal already existed.  The other was in response to the specificity of the Scholar’s question.  We were not ever going to be able to put together a comprehensive resource but we could at least provide a beginning that would be useful to ourselves and other librarians doing reference work and providing research assistance.   David suggested putting together a committee to identify the resources we are familiar with and create something.  Others, including Dressing and Paula Covington (Vanderbilt University) agreed that we should do something to help students and scholars without librarians to assist them to find primary source materials.  Paula imagined a scholar looking to find out where something is in an archive using this resource.  Steve Kiczek (University of California San Diego) checked to confirm that we are talking about highlighting primary sources that have already been scanned and are available online.  Philip McLeod (Emory University) added that he wanted to create a service/pointing to sources that would be used by scholars, not just librarians.  He liked the idea of partnering with H-LATAM to find out what scholars wanted from the resource, and put our name out there but also drew upon the critical mass of scholars tapping into H-LATAM to define the resource and promote ourselves.  Guy asked whether in thinking about going to H-LATAM we were taking one conversation, getting answers, and then developing a new conversation.  Neuberger liked the idea of asking scholars on H-LATAM what they were interested in accessing through such a resource.  Dressing pointed out that although we probably couldn’t create something comprehensive, it is often useful for students to be able to go somewhere and browse.

Shirey suggested that we focus for the time being on creating a portal/guide to digital primary source collections in SALALMista institutions.  Guy, Reyes, Buck Kachaluba, and Covington all pointed out that in order to have the resources included organized and presented in a consistent way, it would be best to have 2-3 “editors” in charge of shaping and adding to the resource.  At this suggestion, Shirey suggested the possibility of creating a sub-committee of approximately 3 people underneath the umbrella of the Reference and Instruction Committee to take on this project.  She would talk to Anne Barnhart (University of West Georgia) and Meagan Lacy (Indian University –Perdue University Indianapolis) to find out if Reference and Instruction was amenable to this and then take it to the Town Meeting.

Dressing, Neugebauer, and Tarrago, were all present at the Round Table discussion and members of the Reference & Instruction committee were interested in sitting on this sub-committee.


May 21, 2013, 2:00pm-3:30pm

Moderator: Meiyolet Méndez (University of Miami)

Rapporteur: Wendy Pedersen (University of New Mexico)


  • Undergraduate Scholars: A Partnership to Promote Undergraduate Research using Primary Sources — Maria R. Estorino, University of Miami
  • Bringing the Archive into the Classroom and the Student into the Archive – Dr. Michelle Maldonado, University of Miami
  • Integrating Archival and New Media Work in the Undergraduate Classroom – Dr. Lillian Manzor, University of Miami
  • Too much or too little? Special Collections and the Embedded Librarian Model – Meiyolet Méndez, University of Miami

María Estorino…presented “Undergraduate Scholars: A Partnership to Promote Undergraduate Research Using Primary Sources.” As Deputy Chair and Chief Operations Manager of UM Library’s Cuban Heritage Collection, she described CHC’s  Undergraduate Scholars program administered by the Center for Latin American Studies, funded by a generous grant from the Goizueta Foundation. The focus of Undergraduate Research is defined as “research that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to a discipline.” The expectation goes beyond doing research in the archives and all the way into knowledge creation – common for students in the sciences, but undergrads in the humanities rarely have the opportunity to do original research.

Awards are given in the form of stipends to faculty for either course revision or development of a new course. Funding is awarded for the course and then a stipend for the following semester is awarded for three student researchers selected from that class. Those student researchers then devise independent projects with their faculty mentors. Results have been wildly successful, as exemplified by Dr. Maldonado’s talk below. (María was appointed the Esperanza Bravo de Varona Chair of the Cuban Heritage Collection in June 2013. Congratulations!)

Dr. Michelle Maldonado, Associate Professor of Religious Studies…spoke on “Bringing the Archive into the Classroom and the Student into the Archive.” Receiving an Undergraduate Scholars award, Dr. Maldonado revised her Caribbean Religions course to focus on African Diaspora religions with particular emphasis on Cuba. She noted that, as a theologian, her own experience with primary sources was not extensive so this was professional opportunity for her as well. She brought her class into the CHC on 5 occasions, where they first received instruction on use of the Library website and then specifically on the CHC site. (Not only does she admit to having learned a few tricks herself, but Maldonado was surprised at most students’ demonstrated lack of research skills.)

Subsequently, they got three lectures from librarians addressing various aspects of the Collection, paralleling points in the course curriculum. Students were required to produce an essay after each session on what they learned in the Archives. This process integrated library visits into the course, as more than an “add-on” BI session. Working with the physicality of original documents gave the students a more immediate sense of the reality in their subjects. A number of students came back for not one or two, but several individual research sessions. Dr. Maldonado selected 3 students to mentor from this class in the following semester and 2 of them won awards in the Humanities category of UM’s Undergraduate Research, Creativity, & Innovation  Forum.

Dr. Lillian Manzor, Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Literature
told us about “Integrating Archival and New Media Work in the Undergraduate Classroom”. Manzor has led scholars, librarians, archivists and digital resource specialists the past 5 years to collect and develop multimedia resources to create the Cuban Theater Digital Archive, a digital partnership project between the UM Libraries and College of Arts and Sciences. CTDA provides resources for teaching and learning in the performing arts, also training for students in archival processing & research, metadata creation, filming, digital editing, and electronic publishing. The work archives materials that exemplify Dr. Manzor’s conception of the “embodied practices that shape theatrical production” and integrates service learning into the curriculum.

Meiyolet Méndez…related her experience in “Too much or too little? Special Collections and the Embedded Librarian Model.”  The question of one-shot instruction vs. embedded librarianship was tackled in an experiment working with two professors on two very different courses. Flexibility, broad collaboration and hybridity proved to be crucial elements for success; most sessions had to be tailored to the specific course.

In addition to Dr. Maldonado’s class mentioned above, Mei brought a history class into the CHC for 9 full class periods over the course of one semester. The undergraduates were offered meaningful guidance in how to find and appropriately use primary and secondary resources. A “show & tell” was prepared for each week’s lesson, often involving other library personnel brought in for their particular expertise. The libguide for this course was scrupulously updated after each session – and remains up. Students selected for Undergraduate Scholar stipends had 2 or 3 personal research consults over the course of the semester.


Alison Hicks (University of Colorado) asked Dr. Maldonado about selection of student scholars for stipend. In her case, 6 of the 35 fall semester students applied for the spring fellowship. Three were selected by the professor and two librarians. Two of them were able to use their registered independent study research as a senior thesis. Dr. Maldonado noted that whether or not the students later used the CHC archives, the overall quality of their research was much improved.

Kelsey Corlett-Rivera (University of Maryland) asked Dr Maldonado if all the students were seniors. They were a mixture of sophomores, juniors and seniors. The fellows selected were actually juniors.

Alison Hicks (University of Colorado) asked Dr. Manzor, María & Mei and the librarians about scaling – how they were able to give individual attention to that many students. “It’s hard, very time consuming,” was the definitive reply. Embedded librarianship being an iterative process, discussion and refinement follows every semester’s experience. The composition of the class is also a factor, in that a class of nine disinterested students are harder to teach than a class where six or eight out of twenty-two bring a different energy to the whole group. Testimony is Part of Assessment: the librarians obtain the final paper and conduct an exit interview with each student who has gone through this project, who is also required to submit a short summary of their experience. A profile of each Undergraduate Research Scholar is posted on the CHC website.

Tuesday May 21, 2013, 10:30-12PM

Moderator: Marisol Ramos, University of Connecticut

Rapporteur: Bridget Gazzo, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library


  • El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega and his Mestizo Attempt to Reconcile Two Mutually Opposing Worlds Steven A. Kiczek – Library & Information Access, San Diego State University, San Diego, California
  • Pomaism and Inversionism: An Exploration Of Guaman Poma’s Philosophical Thought Manomano M. M. Mukungurutse – Professor – Allegheny Community College and Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA.    Currently: A Nomadic-Independent Researcher and Writer

Steven A. Kiczek gave a detailed account of the life of Inca Garcilaso de la Vega (1539-1613), describing some of the formative experiences and fundamental challenges of his bi-cultural life.  Garcilaso de la Vega was born in Cuzco, the son of Chimpu Ocllo, an Inca princess and Sebastián Garcilaso de la Vega y Vargas, a Spanish Captain.  His parents named him Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, but later, in his middle-age, he took the name Garcilaso de la Vega. He

was able to claim an aristocratic lineage from both sides of his family, and his mestizo ancestry strongly affected his personal identity, thinking, attitudes and beliefs. Inca Garcilaso de la Vega attempted throughout his life, and in his writings, to balance and to do justice to both the Inca and Spanish sides of his background. Sometimes he was successful, sometimes not, but his mestizo identity was always a driving force in his life.

In his earliest years, up to 10 years of age, Inca Garcilaso lived with both his parents. The tattered remnants of the Inca royal family were welcome guests in the home of the elder Garcilaso de la Vega, who was substantially wealthy and who loved to host banquets. He was known for his generosity and kindness toward Indians, even though he was an encomendero. The Inca Garcilaso often remarked how his mother’s relatives would often reminisce over the lost days of glory and the Inca dominion. He internalized what he learned about his Inca heritage from the people themselves through their oral tradition. Most of Comentarios Reales de los Incas derives from the memory of his first 20 years in Cuzco.

Even though he first learned Quechua from his mother, he also learned Spanish at a young age. There was a special school for the sons of Spanish conquistadors and Indian women wherein they learned the rudiments of various subjects, especially Latin, Spanish and theology. He was also taught the martial and equestrian arts. He was impressed by the size of the Spanish Empire and their prowess in war, though he was always denouncing the greed and avarice of the Spanish and the destruction that they wrought in the Indian world. He was also impressed by their technology. Another major aspect of Spanish and European civilization that he greatly admired was language, writing and literacy. As much as he loved and admired Inca civilization, he was quite clear about the disadvantage that the lack of written language brought to the Incas, as compared to the Spanish.

In last decade of his life while living in Córdoba, Spain, he wrote his Comentarios Reales de los Incas in Spain for a Spanish audience, as an apologia (in the classical sense) for his Inca people and heritage. It consists of two parts, the first of which is dedicated to the Incas; the second part, which also carries the title Historia General del Perú, deals with the Spanish conquest. He portrayed the Incas, their empire and way of life, as something worthy of admiration and as something that Spaniards should appreciate, and he strongly urged that they respect the Incas/Quechuas as an advanced civilization.

In the matter of religion he was a convinced Christian and he believed that Christianity was the best way of life for his Inca/Quechua people, and for all Indians. But he did not believe that it should be accompanied by slavery and brutality. He stated quite clearly that such a policy and practice was disastrous for all involved. He advocated frequently for a peaceful and respectful method of evangelization, but he was also aware that this method did not always work well.

His double heritage, and his struggle to reconcile both sides, gave Garcilaso a certain advantage as he wrote his works. In fact, it was through writing history that he sought to achieve resolution.

In his examination of Guaman Poma’s work, The First New Chronicle and Good Government, Manomano Mukungurutse takes the view that Guaman Poma is fundamentally a philosophical inversionist.  In post-colonial theory, inversion refers to viewing the colonial experience through reversing the identity categories and the structures of domination, but keeping intact the overall structure and conventions of the system of knowledge it is supposedly challenging.  In his critique of the Spanish colonial trinity (religion, government, economics), Guaman Poma perpetuates the colonizer/colonized opposition and the resulting assumptions about identity and agency.  Manomano notes that, in addition, Guaman Poma describes daily life in a very detached way, almost like a painting, with no hypothesizing, no theorizing.


Marisol Ramos (University of Connecticut) opened the questions with a comment on the two presentations and how they illustrate each author’s effort to reconcile their two worlds.   Rafael Tarrago (University of Minnesota) commented that he liked the analysis of Guaman Poma from a philosophical point of view, a perspective he had not previously considered.  Manomano replied that it is a neglected area in Andean studies.

Ramos (University of Connecticut) asked Steve Kiczek if he thinks that Garcilaso succeeded in reconciling the two worlds.  Steve replied that he thinks Garcilaso did to the best of his ability, that he was not afraid to criticize each group for its wrongdoings.  He was strongly critical of the Spanish and the fact that their actions went counter to their religious practices, pointing out that they did not care about faith, only about enriching themselves.

Ramos (University of Connecticut) asked both presenters if – for their author- writing was a way of resistance.   Steve replied that he thinks that Garcilaso was trying to rectify the situation as best he could, that he was trying to make Europeans understand that the indigenous people aren’t savages.  Manomano also replied that yes, Guaman Poma was painfully aware of the dialectic of involvement/detachment.  He chose to describe what he saw objectively– to reveal the anatomy of the colonial situation — so that readers can form their own objections to colonial conditions.

Tuesday May 21, 2013, 10:30-12 PM

Moderator: Paloma Celis Carbajal, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Rapporteur: Michael Scott, Georgetown University


  • Nomadic/sporadic: the Pathways of Circulation of ‘Indigenous Video’ in Latin America Amalia Córdova – NYU Cinema Studies, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies-CLACS
  • Sistematización de la experiencia audiovisual de las comunidades wayuu aledañas al Rio Socuy David Hernandez Palmar – Realizador Audiovisual Wayuu
  • Independent Filmmaking & Distribution Amid An Evolving Digital Rights Landscape Nicole Karsin – Todos Los Pueblos Productions LLC; Producer & Director of We Women Warriors (Tejiendo Sabiduría)
  • Engaging video indígena in Academic Libraries, Daisy V. Domínguez – The City College of New York, CUNY, New York City

The order of the panel was in a different order than in the printed conference program.

Engaging “video indígena” in Academic Libraries – Daisy V. Domínguez, CUNY City College (starts around 9:24)

Domínguez began her presentation by talking about various scholarly definitions of video indígena. She stated that there is a great diversity within the genre, including: documentaries, dramas, comedies, etc. There is also variety in the amount of financial support. The Mexican government heavily supports video indígena, and in Bolivia, indigenous filmmakers are often refused government support, although they do sometimes receive foreign funding.  Some Bolivian filmmakers consider the entire process of making video indígena to be more important part than the end product. Using this as a basis in her presentation, Domínguez hoped to demonstrate how librarians can be part of the process helping to create and distribute video indígena.

In the first part of her presentation, Domínguez highlighted some of the challenges of collecting the genre. There may be some mistrust on the part of the filmmaker towards the researcher. The researcher often makes the assumption that indigenous knowledge can become part of her or his institution, without considering cultural and historical dynamics that may not be appropriate for scholarly dissemination and teaching. Another challenge is that it is often not profit-driven even though some filmmakers may seek wider distribution, so the actual acquisition may be difficult because of these distribution problems. For example, some Bolivian filmmakers from CAIB have achieved heightened distribution and fame because their connections with professors in the United States enable them to forgo more traditional routes of promotion and distribution. Some researchers offer translation services in exchange for the films, which allows the filmmakers to diverge from the traditional market system yet still have their films widely distributed.

Domínguez then shifted the focus of her talk to how to start collection video indígena and maintains currency in the genre. By introducing oneself at film festivals or even organizing your institution’s own film festival and searches, it is possible to create and maintain professional relationships that will ease the challenges of collection development. Working directly with the filmmakers themselves also avoids the traditional methods of production and distribution and opens a space for offering translations of the film or other services. Angela Carreño of NYU, for example, worked with filmmakers on the preservation of indigenous film during the First Nations/First Features Showcase in May 2005. Some of the filmmakers were hesitant to work with North Americans to help distribute and preserve their films, and this is why the project did not move forward at the time. More recent approaches include working with organizations in filmmakers’ home countries (Chiapas Media Project, etc.) rather than work with those based in North America.

For example, Third World Newsreel recently negotiated in the United States to promote and distribute the work of  CEFREC ( and CAIB in Bolivia, which together act as a means to educate new filmmakers and also advise and promote the genre both with and outside of the country. Negotiations for this began at the National Museum of the American Indian’s Biennial Film and Video Festival, which highlights the importance of creating these direct and personal relationships with the filmmakers themselves.

Yolanda Cruz, founder of Petate Productions, is an example of the diverse approaches of filmmaking and distribution within video indígena. She is a graduate of UCLA’s film school, and has negotiated her films to be distributed via Netflix, PBS, etc., and even in Russian translation.

One final challenge is cataloging video indígena. There are often no genre headings that reflect the indigenous aspect of the film, such as a “video letters,” which does appear. Netflix does not have subject divisions that reflect video indígena as a genre; Yolanda Cruz’s 2501 Migrants, for example, is classified as a Mexican/Latin American documentary, with no reference to the indigenous aspect of the film. The Library of Congress Subject Headings list includes subject headings dealing with indigenous themes, but not necessarily films made by indigenous filmmakers. Catalog librarians can help by proposing these headings to the Library of Congress.  Finally, Domínguez finished by reflecting on how she became interested in the genre after learning Quechua and starting her blog on the genre and translating her reviews into Spanish. She ended her presentation by showing a humorous clip from the Bolivian Quechua-language film Llanthupi Munakuy/Loving Each Other in the Shadows

Independent Filmmaking & Distribution Amid an Evolving Digital Rights Landscape – Nicole Karsin, Todos Los Pueblos Productions LLC

The next presenter was Nicole Karsin, director of the documentary We Women Warriors/Tejiendo sabiduría. She began by showing a 10-minute clip of the film, which is about three women who use nonviolent means to face the violence in Colombia. Karsin continued by discussing the difficulties of filming and distributing video indígena. She began by discussing the two different models that Domínguez presented, one more community and grassroots focused (Chiapas Media Project) and the other more commercial and traditional (Yolanda Cruz.) Karsin stated that she aligns herself more with the latter model. While she relied on the local communities for advice on safety issues and the like, she kept the artistic vision to herself instead of approaching in a more communitarian way.

Karsin continued that she understands the difficulty of community-based groups to obtain publicity and distribution in the United States because American broadcasting standards are high and often out of their economic reach.

It took seven years to finish We Women Warriors/Tejiendo sabiduría,  and funding always was an issue. But by chance Karsin happened to move back to Los Angeles for family reasons, and she began post-production work there at Documentary Lab. Through the connections she made in Los Angeles, she was able to finish the film in the best way she thought possible. These connections would likely not have been feasible had she tried to complete the film in Latin America.

Because of the move towards a more digital world, artistic rights and distribution channels are rapidly changing. Karsin mentioned Peter Broderick, owner of Paradigm Consulting, as a kind of distribution “guru.” Broderick believes there are two forms of distribution: the old model, which involves selling your rights to a North American company and having them take care of the rest, and the new model, which involves dividing up the rights into different forms of distribution (education, commercial, etc.) This way you can have revenue to live one while you complete your next film. When Karsin received her first distribution offer, she thought it sounded unfair after seven years of hard work. Indigenous video is growing in importance and popularity and we must find new ways to efficiently and fairly cover this current rights and distribution gap.

Sistematización de la experiencia audiovisual de las comunidades wayuu aledañas al Rio Socuy – David Hernández Wayuu, Director, Audiovisual Wayuu

David Hernández is a Venezuelan photographer, journalist, and documentary film producer/director who works particularly on documentaries about the Wayuu people. He began his talk by describing the current situation for the Wayuu people that live along the Rio Socuy, which is in the state of Zulia in northwestern Venezuela. The river was exploited by coal and oil companies, and as a result, was a major contributor to the pollution in Lake Maracaibo, which is no longer safe for swimming. In his work, Hernández has shown the Wayuu’s fight for land ownership and industrial regulation along the river. Video indígena is one way for the Other to declare autonomy and political action.

For Hernández, there are three parts to audiovisual media. The first is the creation of the work, the filming, and then the screening.  He also noted that the best way to spread knowledge about the film is through film festivals, museum, and libraries rather than through the more traditional commercial routes. The film’s audience is also very important; how many indigenous people actually see the final film? The film is about its audience as much as its subject.

Hernández also emphasized the importance of indigenous languages in video indígena. Castilian is often a second language for many indigenous people, and only using it leads to hegemony rather than true indigenismo. Countries that promote multilingualism are giving political agency to indigenous peoples.

He continued on to discuss the politics of aesthetics in filmmaking. Where is the camera located? What is the angle being used? These kinds of questions can help us realize the political perspective of the film.

The adjective “comunitario” is often used in conjunction with the genre, but even then there is too much emphasis on the director and producer, which comes closer to the hegemonic concept of “cinema.” Filmmakers need to use newer technologies to allow for truly “comunitario” way of creating video indígena. For example, it used to require many people to shoot underwater, but it now takes a case for the camera and nothing else (thus opening up the ability to shift perspective.) For his own work, people ask to clarify what genre a work belongs to; Hernández does not like to discuss this, he focuses on creating.

The question of accessibility is central to the future of video indígena. What is in the genre’s archive, how many are there, and how many are actually able to be projected? Filmmakers depend on libraries and museums for the preservation and conservation for the future and, more importantly, for the indigenous communities themselves.

The audiovisual result represents the people as much as a the oral tradition or a written text, and must be transmitted as such. These films can help all oppressed peoples in the name of gender, sexual, and ethnic and racial diversity. Essentially it becomes a new model of civilization and a new social discourse, making invisible people visible.

Nomadic/Sporadic: the Pathways of Circulation of “Indigenous Video” in Latin America – Amalia Córdova, NYU

Amalia Córdova began her talk by presenting a short history of video indígena. The traditional way of organizing film studies into genre and country does not fit with indigenous video; as it has always been transnational. There were some local and regional movements in the 1970s, based in the “New Latin American Cinema,” of authentic and “imperfect,” socially-committed film, and also in the growing number of pan-indigenous movements. The first Native American Film and Video Festival took place in New York at the Smithsonian in 1979, which led to the creation of the Film and Video Center, the first archive of early indigenous films. The genre took off with the 500th anniversary of the Encounter, when there were many video projects in response to the dominant discourse of Columbus as a “discoverer.”

In 1985, the Coordinadora Latinoamericana de Cine y Comunicación de los Pueblos Indígenas was created in Mexico City, although it is now based Santiago de Chile. It was founded by concerned and already-established documentarians, but is now completely run by indigenous people. Latin American governments also took place in creating video indígena, such Mexico’s “Transferencia de Medios Audiovisuales a Organizaciones y Comunidades Indígenas” (founded 1990) and Brazil’s “Video nas aldeias” (founded 1987.)

Next Córdova displayed a poster from a 1996 CLACPI film festival in Bolivia, which was the first festival in which a training program was launched as well; these developments take a long time. Even CLACPI has had to ask about the definition of indigenous video. It is a process. For CLACPI, it is largely the community that defines the genre, and an individual’s interaction with that community. It is meant to highlight the political, social, and cultural agendas of indigenous people, and requires the active participation of all those who appear on-screen.

The process itself is what makes video indígena difficult. They are usually documentaries and political in nature, as indigenous peoples have been displaced and oppressed for so long. Usually the films are in indigenous languages, and negotiating translation into Spanish can be understandably difficult and sometimes not possible. Often the films result from a workshop and are “imperfect” in the common way of thinking about aesthetics. Indigenous film and video often contain many points of view from the community. There is also often hybridity in the actual film; archival footage mixed with newly shot film, docudrama, musicals, etc.

Copyright can also be an issue; in many cases no one really “owns” an indigenous work, therefore negotiations for distribution and rights must be held in conjunction with the entire community. Sometimes the wishes of the subject must also be reciprocated; what does the “outsider” filmmaker bring to the community by making the film? Many filmmakers also work with local and non-commercial forms of distribution instead of more commercial routes. Different versions of the same film may also be created; some things in the film may be meant only for those in the community itself.

Next, Córdova showed a chart meant to clarify some of the particularities of obtaining indigenous video. It is best to start where you first heard of the film (film festival, website catalog, etc.) and then work from there (webmaster, festival organizer, etc.) Phone calls work well (as opposed to e-mail.) You can also help with improving the translations in exchange for the rights to display the film. Find other people to work with on campus. Finally, payment needs to be figured out as well. NYU has a form that explains all of these very clearly, just as an example. Also work with non-profit organizations and distributors as well as independent filmmakers to collect and promote video indígena.

“Video nas aldeias” has a set of 5 DVDs for sale, a simple example of easily attainable video indígena. CLACPI has created a series of DVD sets of the award-winning films from their festivals, so that the process from theatrical showings to video is easier for all involved. Festivals are essentially the channels in which indigenous films are being distributed. There is also an archive in La Paz that sends out films, culminating in the CLACPI festival in Spain.

The Smithsonian Native American Film and Video Festival is currently on hold because of some financial complications, but it did include an indigenous selector for the films. Córdova also provided a list of festivals, some of which were not explicitly indigenous, but all included some films made by and for indigenous filmmakers. There is great interest in increasing accessibility to video indígena, so seek help from people like the presenters at the talk today.


Jesus Alonso-Regalado (SUNY Albany): to Amalia Córdova: Can you share the information from today? A: Yes To Nicole Karsin: Many producers/directors use Vimeo to submit their work. Why is this as opposed to YouTube, etc.? A: Vimeo has better quality and has better privacy controls (password protected, etc.) Easier and more efficient to simply provide link for a festival submission instead of a DVD.

Librarian from IADB: Q: IADB does provide funding for films. Why not use them for funding? A (by Amalia Córdova): The problem is the word “development.” The indigenous video movement is careful about funding. But Petrobras, for example, is funding all the video work in Brazil. A (by David Hernández): Some organizations use this funding as a way to infiltrate their destructive agenda in these communities, so the filmmakers are very careful.  The issue is how to pay it back.

Lynn Shirey (Harvard): Bolivian director Jorge Sanjinés’s DVDs are difficult to get, and it is often difficult to even see his films at all. Can you tell us more about that? A (Amalia Córdova): The director questions the Hollywood forms of production and distribution, and he must either be present at the showing, or the film festival must be indigenous-focused. He avoid the commodification of his work.

Paloma Celis Carbajal (UW-Madison): Has anyone on the panel ever wanted to just upload a film online and have it “open source”? A kind of portal that will provide these films for free? A (Amalia Córdova): There is a portal that does this, Isuma TV.  The problem is sustainability: server space, translation, technology, etc. But even the upload can be difficult, depending on local technology. A: (David Hernández): Isuma TV is a great portal, but there needs to be more participation on all sides. In 2015 there will be a documentary film festival in Caracas, and a summit of indigenous filmmakers in Fortaleza. The key is accessibility.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 8:30am-10:00am

Moderator: Melissa Gasparotto, Rutgers University

Rapporteur: Emma Marschall, Tulane University


  • Not Ready for Prime Time: Measuring Publications/Citation Impact for Latin American Titles — Amelia Craig, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Subregional Headquarters, Mexico and Mirian Ramírez, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Biblioteca Hernán Santa Cruz
  • Seeking Stability Online: Analyzing the Online Availability of a Latin American Serials Collection — Lisa Gardinier, University of Iowa
  • Evaluating the Content of the Hispanic American Periodicals Index (HAPI): A Bibliometric Analysis of Latin American Serials — Bruce Bachand, University of Kentucky and Orchid Mazurkiewicz, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Documenting Pan-American Scholarly Communications: A Citation Study of Less Commonly Taught and Indigenous Languages — Marina Todeschini Crumbacher, University of New Mexico and Suzanne Schadl, University of New Mexico

Melissa Gasparotto introduces the first presenters and thanks them for their willingness to be the trial for virtual presentations at SALALM. Amelia Craig (United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Subregional Headquarters, Mexico) and Mirian Ramírez (United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Biblioteca Hernán Santa Cruz) — Not Ready for Prime Time: Measuring Publications/Citation Impact for Latin American Titles

Mirian introduces herself and Amelia over the Skype chat and begins the presentation using Skype chat and Prezi PowerPoint. They will be discussing the findings of their study titled “Study about the Impact of ECLAC Publications in Academics”. The purpose of their study was to gather information about coverage and impact of ECLAC publications. The study was conducted between 2003-2012 by searching 5 selected databases – Scopus, Scimago, Google Scholar, SciELO, and Publish or Perish. Findings show low coverage; almost none in the open access platform, SciELO. The study also finds that while there was poor ranking in the world, there was good ranking in Latin America. One of the limitations of this study was that it only measured the impact on academic, not on public policy or the political world, where CEPAL has an arguably greater audience. These findings lead to the following suggestions: to start a new internal discussion; come up with strategies to increase visibility; develop a methodology for continued impact assessment. A review team was formed to work on these issues. Mirian’s chat function is dropped due to technical difficulties. Amelia continues for her. CEPAL is trying to increase visibility in selected databases including: Econolit, ISIThomson, HAPI, Scopus, Dialnet, DOAJ, IBSS, Pais International, EBSCO Open Access Journals, CLASE, and Latindex. Mirian comes back online and begins again, stating that CEPAL has a long tradition of freely available information, but they are working to make this information more accessible and stable, by: reviewing international standards, including international and regional indexes, redesigning the journal website. They will also be taking steps to: evaluate alternative indicators for impact factors, implement a new institutional repository, working on new marketing strategies that utilize social media and apps, and the library is planning new services and user training on the impact of researchers’ publication.

Amelia takes over, saying that Mirian has presented a review of the pilot program, and she will continue by talking about alternative ways of thinking about impact factors beyond the traditional citation method. She reads a quote by Jason Priem about problems with traditional impact factors. The academic world has different ways of sharing data and sharing research, professor to professor, through gray literature that the sharing of information doesn’t wait for publication; it happens through networks of people; so it’s worth considering the impact of research before it hits the traditional publication model. Problems with traditional research include: it is slow and conventional, it is retrospective, the quantity of citations is valued over quality, there is no way to distinguish between positive and negative citations, the lack of context from on discipline to another, and there and language and regional biases and does not include publications in all regions. Amelia talks about tools that use traditional citation metrics: Google Scholar Citations, SCIMago, Publish or Perish, SciELO. She reiterates that there are scholarly citations in formats outside the traditional measures used by these tools: through blogs, shared software, repurposed data, public peer-review, pre-prints, record management tools, and twitter. Therefore, it is worth looking at alternative metrics, promoted by people like Jason Priem, readership and diffusion and reuse through the web; Impact Factor is an example of a tool created through a Sloane foundation grant, that does this; Altmetric looks at social media; Mendeley looks at tags, etc.; Plum Analytics looks at likes, tweets, etc. Amelia offers up there contact information and invites further discussion.

Melissa Gasparotto introduces the presenter. Lisa Gardinier (University of Iowa) — Seeking Stability Online: Analyzing the Online Availability of a Latin American Serials Collection

Lisa thanks Mirian and Amelia for doing this pilot program with the Skype presentation and for her opportunity to work with the Biblioteca Hernán Santa Cruz, where she worked on the project that she is presenting on. The Biblioteca Hernán Santa Cruz received 316 print-only periodical subscriptions. The study was to find out how many of these titles were available online, either in proprietary databases or freely accessible. The question was, if these resources were freely available online were they stable enough to stop receiving print copies of these titles? The CEPAL collection is mainly focused on the social sciences, economics, business, government documents, and includes formats such as academic journals, trade magazines, and government documents, received by subscription, exchange, and donation. The procedure was to check each title in the catalog, using Ulrich’s, although there were problems with title search, then searched by publisher. In the initial 2011 results, of the titles, 182 were from Latin America, 96 with some online availability, and 46 evaluated to be reasonably stable online.  At the time the study these titles where not broken down by region, but this was done for this presentation. Recommendations from this study include: need to update the catalog records for titles that were not being received; while 172 were available online, of those only 96 could be considered stable. This left 220 titles that could only be received in print. These titles were ranked, with the limitation of Lisa not being a digital preservation expert, so her professional judgment as a librarian was the key factor in ranking the stability of the online availability in the following categories: Yes/Probably/Maybe/No/Not satisfactory/By subscription. Latin American titles represent 46 of the 96 stable titles.

Currently in 2013, Lisa decides to revisit the findings that are relevant to Latin America for this presentation at SALALM.  She reviewed the academic journals and government documents from Latin America. In 2011, she had seen 40 academic journal titles and judged 26 of them to be stable; in 2013, 20 were still stable; 7 of these put their publications on Open Journal Source. She also checked holdings on Redalyc and SciELO. In terms of government publications, in 2011 Lisa was struck by the apparent transparency and availability of the Chilean government publications, citing an example of statistical information published by the Ministerio de Educación from 1986- in many formats; it was stable, had experienced titles changes and had two urls. 2011 coincided with the rise of the student movement. In 2013, there have been 4 education ministers since 2011.  The urls for the Ministerio de Educación are gone; the information only goes back to 2001; not captured by Internet Archive. Of the original 2011 study, 42 of the 316 titles were government documents; 26 of those were available on online; 12 were stable at the time. In 2013, only two have declined; of the instable government documents publications sites from 2011, 8 had improved. In conclusion Lisa there is stability and some stagnation, Latin American journals have support through open access, but the governments may not be ready to rely on online publication.

Melissa Gasparotto introduces the presenters. Bruce Bachand (University of Kentucky) and Orchid Mazurkiewicz (University of California, Los Angeles) — Evaluating the Content of the Hispanic American Periodicals Index (HAPI): A Bibliometric Analysis of Latin American Serials

Orchid notes this study is the result of an internship program with HAPI that Bruce did. This internship was set up to analyze the steady stream of new titles that are up for inclusion in HAPI, to find with titles represent the best candidates for inclusion. Most years, there are a number of titles that are indexed by HAPI that are ceased, so there is an opportunity to add new titles. Every year there are few days that HAPI staff considers the new titles and deliberates which to add based on fit with the existing titles, and strengths and weaknesses of coverage of subjects. The big problem is, for example, that if HAPI indexes 10 Brazilian economics journals, and in the new titles there are 2 new Brazilian economics journals, the decision may be made to exclude both, to favor a subject area that is not as well covered as Brazilian economics, even though they are both excellent. Currently, the process does not include a review of all 12 titles, the 10 already in HAPI, and the 2 new titles, as a whole, to evaluate the quality and choose the 10 best. In the long term, the potential consequence is that the subject coverage may not represent the best scholarship in that area. The internship was created to evaluate the titles indexed by HAPI for quality, excellence, and value. Orchid turns the presentation over to Bruce.

Bruce cites Jean-Claude Guédon’s definition of quality and excellence: Quality–Peer review, editorial board, style guide; Excellence–Impact factor, use. Bruce recognizes problems of cultural bias and industry practices that may affect these measures; many Lain American journals of high quality have low impact factors. Because of this, a third factor, that of value, defined as Journal’s influence relative to other titles in its field, was incorporated into the evaluation. The methodology for evaluation for HAPI’s 367 titles involved the use of the Latindex score (for quality) Impact Factor, Redalyc downloads, Global Use Measure, SciELO Visits (for excellence) and a survey of SALALM members (for value), although there were too few responses to incorporate this into study. The Latindex score found for 198 of the HAPI titles; Chile has the highest score, Mexico has the most titles rated, most in the near perfect, while at the same time having many in the lower ranks, more than most countries. This shows that Latindex is providing straightforward evaluation of quality of its own country’s production. Impact factor was available for 93 titles from the HAPI index; many came from SciELO and SCIMago. In these, the US publications had the highest impact factor (21 titles), followed by Brazil and Mexico. Providing the median, the impact factor for Latin American journals tended to be low. Also, the fact that only 25% of the titles in HAPI had information about the impact factor indicates that much citation work remains for Latin American bibliometric compilers. Readings are so few that we hesitate to draw conclusions. For one, it is quite likely that IFs range differently in each subject area, recalling Garfield’s statement that “the size of the scientific community that a journal serves significantly affects impact factor.” To test this, we compared the IFs for anthropology, economics, history, and the social sciences and humanities. When the IFs were averaged by subject area we discovered that economics journals have IFs that are, on average, twice as high as IFs for journals in anthropology, history, or the social sciences and humanities. Again, it is preferable to have more IF data before making such inferences, but preliminary findings seem to confirm Garfield’s observation. Despite the small sample size, we can be fairly confident that vast differences in excellence exist between titles ranked in the top 20 and those ranked in the bottom 20. It logically follows that those in the bottom 20 could become candidates for de-selection, or at least placed on a “need further investigation” list.

Bruce notes that they are running short on time and says he is going to skip through a few of the following slides. There are findings on excellence (based on use), based on Redalyc and SciELO; findings suggest that users of Redalyc are primarily Mexican and users of SCIelo are primarily Brazilians. The top ten titles by use in the respective databases reflect the regional bias; 8 of the top 10 are from that country. There is also information on the Global Use Metric, created for the purposes of this study by Bruce and Orchid, trying to get a handle on what regions the Redalyc downloads are coming from. The next slide discusses value. Bruce states that due to his background in anthropology, he has familiarity, through publication or serving on the board, with 4 titles in HAPI. What are the differences among these four journal titles? The crucial distinctions are: (1) feeder vs. synthesizer journals, and (2) invited vs. non-invited submissions (formally only), and (3) different degrees/levels/manners of cronyism.

We know that HAPI contains a large number of US titles, many with high IFs, and some of HAPI’s Latin American titles receive high marks in both quality and excellence. But a huge gap in our knowledge remains because no data or partial data are available for many titles. Even though HAPI comprises a miniscule slice of the Latin American serials universe, complete bibliometric data are available for only 10% of its titles. This makes it extremely difficult to develop an objective strategy for selecting and deselecting titles. Our overall impression is that HAPI’s content is very good, but there is ample room for improvement. HAPI most likely indexes a small number of titles that should be replaced with titles of higher quality/excellence relating to the same fields. The data we’ve collected helps us identify HAPI titles that should be safe from de-selection, but the absence of comprehensive data makes it difficult to confidently identify titles for de-selection. Going forward, we hope to combine the limited data we have with a strategy to assess the value. Our brief foray into the labyrinth of “value” suggests a new path for acquiring relevant qualitative information that could help HAPI make informed decisions about journal worth. This strategy would seek expert scholarly opinion on the nature of a specified group of journals within a narrowly defined field. With such information, the final piece of the evaluation puzzle would be in place. Because HAPI covers such a small slice of the Latin American literature, it is well-positioned to develop itself as a highly refined, authoritative information resource like none other for Latin America.

Melissa Gasparotto introduces the presenters. Marina Todeschini Crumbacher (University of New Mexico) and Suzanne Schadl (University of New Mexico) — Documenting Pan-American Scholarly Communications: A Citation Study of Less Commonly Taught and Indigenous Languages

Suzanne Schadl introduces Marina, a student in Latin American Studies, who worked on this project to evaluate how language materials are being used in dissertation research at UNM. This presentation represents a part of a larger research project. This study, as the others, found problems with the metrics; the study began by looking at Spanish and Portuguese materials to determine which departments where using these materials, and they found the problem that, being a part of Spanish America, there were students using Spanish and Portuguese materials from the perspective of the New Mexico locality; there is a large indigenous population and there is a large group of Native American studies.  This information is being separated for the larger study, but this presentation focuses on Navajo, Mayan, and Portuguese.

Marina continues to explain the methodology: checking citations in UNM dissertations in Google Scholar Index for these languages, as well as circulation statistics for these language materials at UNM. The goal was to understand usage and embeddedness of language materials in order to propose outreach and collection development practices. She outlines the community profile at UNM: Population Spanish Presence (35% @ UNM) and Native Presence (6% @ UNM); Student Success Services; Academic Emphasis on Latin American & Native American studies and Area and including Programmatic Support of the Latin American and Iberian Institute, the Institute of American Indian Research, the Indigenous Nations Library Program, and the Inter-American studies Library Program. Collection coverage of language includes: Portuguese 61,300 Volumes (only Portuguese); Navajo 924 Volumes (mixed Navajo and Bilingual); Mayan 478 Volumes (mixed Mayan language groups and bilingual). Methodology: Small Sample, limited to one year (2010); searched for words in the title or abstract Dissertations with Indigenous or Brazilian content. They found 15 total = 2 Brazilian and 13 Indigenous (mixed New Mexico Pueblo, Navajo, Apache, Latin American peoples) In these dissertations, they then conducted a citation analysis for foreign language usage and compared the citations against the collection in order to analyze the availability of the works cited. Circulation analysis for usage in general and citation index analysis on circulating titles in Google Scholar. The findings suggest that limited accessibility, defined as limitations in publications or in collections, lead to limited impact, defined as the repeatability of references in scholarly communications, but not limited usage.

Marina proceeds to break down the findings by language. Findings for Portuguese, Navajo, and Mayan, referring to the measurements for Citations in dissertations, Circulation of materials from the UNM collection, and Citation Indexing of the cited titles. What can librarians do?

Suzanne reviews the implications for alternatives to collection development. Work actively with local scholars, and organizations to get foreign language materials into their hands. Identify opportunities for building collections. Library hosted institutional repositories allow for individuals and organizations to determine what resources illustrate their organizational goals and priorities.  There is precedent for this practice in special collections (oral histories and interviews), with the example of the France V. Scholes Collection; the American Indian Oral history Collection and with projects that are ongoing, such as the Latin American and Iberian Institute’s Lobo Vault and the K’iche’ Maya Oral History Project.


Peter Johnson (Princeton University) states that Bruce is one of the SALALM scholarship awardees. Peter cites the case of Chile, a country that prides itself on access to education and information about Argentina. The fact that a decade of information can disappear, especially if paper publications are not available, this is a concern in this area of information and has implications for other Latin American countries.

Lisa Gardinier (University of Iowa) has heard that other colleagues are ceasing to collect print government collections. She was shocked to find that this information had disappeared in Chile. With academic journals, she feels that these are stable enough, especially with platforms like OJS.

Emma Marschall (Tulane) states that she doesn’t have a background in Government Documents and is not knowledgeable of how the governments of different Latin American countries make information available, in what formats and how it is distributed, and that this presentation opens the way for a discussion of that topic. She asks how we can become more informed about government publications as librarians.

Lisa Gardinier (University of Iowa) that it does seem that government publications were often irregular, this is continuing in online formats, and they are ceasing print publication and distribution, and online is unreliable.

Paul Losch (University of Florida) trying to bring together some of the points discussed in this panel and another panel on e-books, he posits that if freely available electronic information is considered to have increased value, through adding metadata, accessibility, maybe vendors can be encouraged to deal with these kinds of materials.

Allison Hicks (University of Colorado) has a question for Amelia. Have they encountered regional bias for Impact Story and have had any success introduction impact factor metrics to researchers? Amelia (very hard to hear) can’t say for sure, it would need more study, but believes that while there may be some bias towards the U.S. right now, there is potential for similar application in Latin America. She asks Allison to repeat the second part of the question.

Allison asks Amelia to write that study.

Amelia talks about potential to study the government documents, too and her experience when she was previously in Chile, where the question of whether or not to archive online government publications came up.

Allison repeats her question: have you had any success introduction impact factor metrics to researchers?

Amelia has not had much experience, but has some researchers who might be interested. She cites a study by Jason Priem that dispels the idea that there is an age-gap for researchers using Twitter as an academic tool, and believes that this supports the idea that many researchers would be interested in these newer tools and invites further conversation.

Melissa says that there is time for one more question, but there are no more questions. She asks that the presenters put their Power Points in the SALALM repository because they offer helpful models. Melissa thanks the presenters.

Monday, May 20, 2013, 4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

Moderator:      Irene Münster, University of Maryland, Shady Grove

Rapporteur:     Sarah Yoder Leroy, University of Pittsburgh


  • Contemporary Indigenous Scholarly and Cultural Dialog: A View from Latin American Serial Publications — Ruby Gutierrez, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Latin American University and Anthropological Libraries and Issues Related to Documenting the History, Cultures and Languages of Latin American Indians: Some Common Problems and Recommendations for Possible Solutions — Wendy Griffin, Formerly Universidad Pedagógica Nacional Francisco Morazán
  • Community, Relationship and Exchange – We (Librarians) Have It All! — Rachael Shea, COPACE, Clark University

After Irene Münster welcomed everyone and introduced the speakers, Ruby Gutierrez described 29 indigenous journals from Mexico, Central America, and South America.  The journals fall into four broad categories: academic journals, those from indigenous organizations or institutions, journals from indigenous groups, and cultural journals.  She began with an overview of the characteristics of these journals.  They are all in Spanish (or Portuguese if from Brazil) rather than indigenous languages.  Some are in print and some electronic, and the electronic ones are often in non-standard formats.  With the electronic journals, past issues might not be accessible.  Frequency varies, and a journal’s online presence is frequently not up to date, so when a journal no longer appears on a web site, it isn’t clear whether it still exists or not.  Ruby spent most of her time discussing examples of academic indigenous journals.  These started appearing when indigenous groups created their own intercultural universities, or in some countries, departments within existing universities.  They cover four main subject areas:  education, culture (including linguistics and language), sustainable tourism, and sustainable development.  She also spoke briefly of journals from indigenous organizations and groups (which cover a wide variety of subjects), showing examples from various countries.  She finished with a few examples of cultural journals. A primary concern regarding indigenous journals is preservation, especially of e-journals. These journals are not the sort that will become part of Redalyc or Scielo.  They are available now, but unless someone is willing to preserve them, they may disappear in a few years.

Wendy Griffin followed and speaking from her experience in Honduras, she discussed problems which persist for those researching Latin American indians.  She pointed out that research on indians has always been problematic, since tribes have almost always changed their names and the spelling of their names over the years, a problem when one is searching for information about a particular group.  These groups have often been written about in a language other than the language of the country where they live.  This is a particular problem with older books, many of which have not been translated from the original language, or made available in the area or even the country being studied.  A lot of the archaeology from these groups is in foreign museums where the collections remain un-digitized.  Wendy suggested that web pages documenting indigenous groups be held jointly by universities in the country and abroad, and that there be coordination of terms used referring to particular indigenous groups.  While finding documents is a major problem, another is the dissemination and preservation of research that is being done.  Her particular research interest is Honduras, and she finds that materials produced in Honduras are not getting to the U.S. and in some cases are not even being published.  No one is collecting manuscripts and unpublished books.  There is more available on the internet than in print (material which can be lost when a site is no longer maintained).  Non-print materials such as videos (many available on YouTube), oral history, television shows, and CDs exist, but aren’t being preserved in Honduran universities, so a wealth of information is in danger of being lost.

Rachel Shea began by speaking of being alive and well today thanks to a Huichol shaman.  She has studied Plant Spirit Medicine, and spent 12 years pilgrimaging in the Huichol tradition to a sacred site in Mexico.  During that time she had to unlearn how she viewed the world, and to learn in a new way.  What she hopes to bring to us is a way of engaging indigenous thought and action in the post-modern world in terms of libraries.  She firmly believes that significant information from indigenous cultures will be saved by the gods, elders, and shamans, when and how they see fit.  The question then becomes the purpose for our engagement with indigenous thought, if libraries are not needed for the preservation of this information.  Rachel believes that librarians operate more similarly to an indigenous culture than any other well established group in Western culture.  The basic tenets of indigenous cultures are community, exchange, and relationship.  Librarians are accomplished at all three, and we librarians understand and work within the framework of these values.  We all use the same cataloging system, but all have different collections and ways to display our collections that represent our library community.  We form community with our users, and pay attention to what they are searching for.  We engage in an exchange with them (for example, in a reference interview) to determine and understand what they need, and to find out where in the spectrum of what we know this need fits, continuing until we find the answer.  We are all about relationships–we form relationships with our users, with each other, and with the technologies we use.  In cataloging, subject headings and call numbers form a relationship when describing an item.  We have what it takes to form a viable community.  When things get difficult and fall apart, librarians have the tools we need to save our people.  She recommended that we read Information ecologies, by Bonnie Nardi and Vicki O’Day.

There were no questions



Monday, May 20, 4-5:30

Moderator:  Laura D. Shedenhelm – University of Georgia Libraries

Rapporteur:  Michael Hoopes, University of New Mexico


  • Presentación del libro: Palabras mayores, palabras vivas, tradiciones mítico-literarias y escritores indígenas en Colombia — Miguel Rocha, Universidad of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • La presencia de la cultura aborigen en las regiones de matrices africanas en Cuba — Miguel Viciedo Valdés, Biblioteca Pública Provincial Rubén Martínez Villena/Oficina del Historiador de la Habana, Cuba, and Tomás Fernández Robina, Universidad de La Habana/Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba José Martí
  • Mito, rito y arte rupestre: otros decires, otras escrituras, otras valencias — Fernando  Urbina Rangel, Universidad Nacional de Colombia
  • El Tondero y los desaparecidos que estaban de parranda — Daniel Orlando Díaz Benavides, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos

We apologize for any inconvenience, but technical difficulties with our taping equipment during this presentation inhibit a thorough report of the first presentations. Please contact individual presenters for additional information.  Thank you.

Miguel’s presentation begins with a discussion of the book Palabras, no llores, recently published in Colombia.  The book deals with the multi-ethnic and multi-lingual nature of the Colombian population initially recognized in the early 1990s. For the first time, the Colombian constitution of 1991 was published in multiple indigenous languages. Such a shift corresponded with an increased dialogue of indigenous recognition surrounding the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ first colonization effort in the Western Hemisphere. This movement gave birth to a number of indigenous-language publications, which meant that the indigenous populations were no longer looked at, but did the looking through their own literary outlets.

In the 60s, the Colombian government signed an accord with the Instituto Linguistico Verano, an institution of protestant missionaries devoted to educating Colombia’s indigenous population. Arriving in 1962, these missionaries sought to preserve indigenous languages. The main byproduct of this effort was the translation of the Bible into various indigenous languages.  Additionally, the Nicaraguan poet Ernesto Cardenal visited Medellin as a priest and began to explore the possibility of establishing an indigenous literary culture in Colombia and throughout Latin America. In 1963 Cardenal published an anthology of indigenous literature from throughout Latin America. Many publications and periodicals organized by Cardenal followed in the 60s and 70s. Cardenal was part of a non-anthropological camp that worked with indigenous languages.

In 2010, the Colombian government recognized the linguistic rights of all of the country’s communities, accompanied by an initiative to establish more libraries throughout the country that will promote indigenous-language materials. These laws will facilitate a stronger indigenous tradition in the arts. Today in Colombia 65 indigenous languages are spoken throughout 83-100 indigenous communities.

Another publication, Tengo los pies en la cabeza, is discussed for its discussion of the fight of one Colombian indigenous community against North American petroleum interests. Interesting is the fact that the book was funded in-part by a multinational company. Another book, a novel, La famosa Maria, is discussed for its discussion of colonial encounters with indigenous communities. A handful of other contemporary publications related to indigenous populations in Peru, Venezuela, and Chile are discussed as well.

Miguel concludes by inviting the audience to search the terms “biblioteca indigena Colombia” on Google, which will lead to a website offering free downloads of important pieces of literature related to the contemporary indigenous movement in Colombia.


Unidentified asks how the works of authors associated with the indigenous movement get their work to indigenous communities. Miguel explains that many books, such as Lenguage Creativo de las etnias indigenas de Colombia are published and distributed for free by Latin American banks and that other important studies done by anthropologists are most often distributed for free.

Jennifer Osorio (UCLA) asks to what degree contemporary indigenous literature is represented in Colombian libraries. Miguel states that public libraries are advancing at a steady rate in their collections, and the National Library is creating a strong collection of indigenous literature. The literature is still not effectively represented in bookstores or private libraries, however. Any lack of availability is in part due to the skill required to read such books, and bilingual readers are relatively few, given that the country’s fully indigenous population is around 2%.

Unidentified asks about a panel on indigenous literature he organized at a recent book fair. Miguel explains that the conference had a strong representation of indigenous populations from all over Latin America such as the Maya, Mapuche, etc. He states that a main theme of the panel was the emerging nature of contemporary indigenous literature that still lacks broad support from state institutions, but there is reason for continuing optimism.

Date: May 20, 2013, 2:00pm – 3:30pm

Moderator: Cecilia Sercan, Cornell University

Rapporteur: Christine Hernandez, Tulane University


  • Cosmovision, Indigenous Knowledge and Subsistence among Mesoamerican and South American Cultures — James J. Sheehy, Pennsylvania State University, Altoona
  • Land, Children and Politics: Native America and Aboriginal Australia 1900 – 1930 — John Maynard, University of Newcastle
  • Indigenous Law in the Americas — Teresa M. Miguel-Stearns, Yale University Law School

Dr. James Sheehy initiated the session with his presentation titled, “Cosmovision, Indigenous Knowledge and Subsistence among Mesoamerican and South American Cultures.”  He begins with a brief anthropological definition of cosmovision as a component of the broader domain of cultural ideology.  He notes that a people’s cosmovision can be manifested in and studied via its material culture.  An example he cites is that an analysis of certain artifacts can reveal aspects of ancient Maya cosmovision.

Cosmovision constitutes one form of indigenous knowledge that exists in human cultures.  Forms of indigenous knowledge differ across the various domains of culture.  Sheehy focuses on a specialized form of indigenous knowledge that concerns ecology and modes of subsistence production called Traditional Ecological Knowledge or TEK.  He notes that in modern Western European cultures, humans are considered apart from Nature which contrasts with the view held in many traditional cultures that humans play a vital role in daily and long term interactive processes with Nature that are essential to keeping the world and broader Universe going.  Studies of TEK are popular in the field of ecology studies at present though much of the data collected is qualitative rather than quantitative.  This is because TEK knowledge is derived from practice and experience over time.

As Sheehy explains, the conceptual framework used to study TEK in any one society is three-part and includes:  a people’s knowledge of nature (the environment in which they live); the cultural beliefs about the environment and humans’ place within it; and the everyday practices and experiences that people have as they extract and process food resources from their surroundings.  These three components of TEK overlap resulting in what Sheehy describes as a “cognized landscape or ethnoscape” which is an integration of a people’s observations of Nature, their beliefs regarding Nature, and their everyday experiences when implementing traditional knowledge and processing new knowledge acquired about their environment.  Sheehy continues commenting on the fact that TEK knowledge must obviously change across varying forms of landscape and terrain, and so must it change diachronically because different individuals with different daily experiences cause changes in conventional behavior and therefore future practices.

There are multiple levels of analysis in TEK.  They include:  1) a people’s local knowledge, 2) local forms of resource management implemented, 3) the social institutions that coordinate and regulate behavior regarding the environment, and 4) their cosmovision which is the belief system that shapes people’s perceptions of their environment.

The final half of Sheehy’s presentation is devoted to showing how an analysis of cosmovision can help explain the logic of TEK in two cultural examples.  He begins each case example with a review of pertinent creation mythology from each culture that specifically relates to the relationship of people with subsistence resources in their respective environments.  Afterwards, he explains how a particular cultural activity or set of activities reflects a people’s cosmological beliefs and how that knowledge and relationship between ideology and behavior is transmitted to future generations.

Sheehy proceeds to his first case study.  Here he looks at TEK as it relates to traditional maize agriculture as practiced by the Huasteca living in north-central highland Mexico.  He gives a quick and cursory review of Mesoamerican creation myths related to corn.  He uses schematics to illustrate the cycles of birth and rebirth as it relates to the maize agricultural cycle.  His discussion moves to an explanation of the Huastec “milpa” script which is a routine set of activities and decisions that a Huasteca farmer engages in when doing maize agriculture.  Children begin learning the milpa script early on by accompanying and helping their parents in the fields which is further reinforced by their interactions with other community members who transmit traditional knowledge and put it into practiced on a daily basis.  Sheehy reviews Mesoamerican creation myths and uses schematics to help illustrate how maize farming repeats creation myth episodes and thus, the growth of corn becomes a metaphor for the human life cycle.

Sheehy’s second example comes from Tukano-speaking people living in Amazonia.  He reviews the pertinent creation mythology of Tukano speakers and uses a schematic to illustrate the relationship of humans to the supernatural and their contract with the gods.  Tukano people have a reciprocal arrangement with their gods.  Humans must return to the earth those resources they take to sustain themselves.  Shamans manage this relationship by communicating and making offerings of other organisms to the gods in place of humans themselves.  When Tukano speakers become sick or suffer accidental death it is the reciprocal payment being made to balance the relationship.  Sheehy offers the example of the peach palm ritual as one culture form that expresses the Tukano peoples’ notions of renewal or repayment of their contract with their gods and the spirits of the rainforest and its creatures.

Dr. John Maynard followed Dr. Sheehy with his presentation entitled, “Land, Children and Politics:  Native America and Aboriginal Australia 1900-1930.”  The focus of Dr. Maynard’s talk was to present the results of his ongoing research project funded in 2011 to compare the histories of Native Americans and Aboriginal Australians during the first three decades of the twentieth century.  Dr. Maynard strongly makes the point that this period has all but been ignored by historians and scholars for both indigenous communities.  To better explain his stake in this research, Dr. Maynard gives us a brief personal background.

Essentially, Dr. Maynard describes himself as a high school drop-out who entered University at the age of 39.  He was drawn to studying the history of aboriginal activism because his grandfather was a well-known aboriginal activist during the 1920s.  His grandfather founded the Australian Aboriginal Progressive Organization and much of Dr. Maynard’s scholarly work has been dedicated to documenting his grandfather’s activism.  His more recent research was inspired by his experiences as a dock worker interacting with African Americans and West Indian men working on the freighters coming into port in Australia.

In 2011, Dr. Maynard won a grant to do research on the common experiences of Native Americans and Aboriginal Australians between 1900 and 1930.  As he notes, African American activism during the 1920s to 1960s was very visible to Australians, but the historical record regarding experiences of Native Americans during this same period was essentially unknown.  The same is true for aboriginal people.  He comments that in Australia, there is no acknowledgement of aboriginal people in the national history taught to school children.  They are either members of a “dead race” or people lost in the “Stone Age.”  As Dr. Maynard explains, his current work is to write the “missing histories” of both people during this thirty year period.  The remainder of Dr. Maynard’s presentation is devoted to a brief summary of some of his results providing examples and stories culled from archival sources on six points of comparison between the two communities.  These points include the following:  1) land, for both groups, Caucasians found ways to dispossess indigenous people of their lands; 2) children, aboriginal people would revolt when the Australian government took children away from their families while the Bureau of Indian Affairs has a well-documented history of doing the same among various Native American nations; 3) pan-indigenous movements were begun among both peoples after World War I; 4) Aboriginal and Native American men participated as soldiers in World War I and they were equally disappointed to find that the social situations of both communities were little changed when they returned home; 5) self-determination and activism became important goals for both groups at this time; and 6) control of and equal access to water became important sources of conflict and land loss for both groups.  In his concluding remarks, Dr. Maynard makes the important point that there are “indigenous voices buried in archives” and research like the kind he is doing is bringing those voices back to the present teach both indigenous and non-indigenous peoples their stories.

The final presentation, “Indigenous Law in the Americas,” was given by Dr. Teresa Miguel-Stearns.  She begins with a declaration that much of what has been written about indigenous law is often done by non-indigenous, legal scholars which often leaves it ethnocentric, even biased in its views.  The aim of Dr. Miguel-Stearns’ talk is to discuss how indigenous legal regimes in the Americas interact with national and international legal systems.  When a state or society allows the simultaneous use of two or more legal systems in a single state this situation is recognized as legal pluralism.  This may take the form of state and civil law being used side-by-side with traditional indigenous law or in other cases with religious law.

Using data from an Ottawa database on plural legal systems, Dr. Miguel-Stearns creates a color-coded chart of the globe showing where plural legalism exists.  Central and South America are indicated as having no plural legalism and Miguel-Stearns uses this to show how understudied this cultural phenomena is in Latin America. Legal pluralism from a socio-legal approach does not really define what “law” is, but attempts to bring indigenous law up to the same level as a Western legal regime, yet indigenous citizens would still be subject to civil and international law regimes; transformative legal pluralism aims to bring indigenous law up to the same level as a state legal system.  Miguel-Stearns notes that as indigenous communities see themselves as different they begin to exert their self-determination.  When states pursue a policy of non-interference in indigenous legal affairs, this tends to lead to increased claims of sovereignty, self-governance, and eventually autonomous legal authority on behalf of indigenous communities.

Indigenous law differs from Western legal regimes.  As Miguel-Stearns explains, norms and procedures in indigenous legal regimes are guided by world vision; they tend to be blended with religious and social mores lending indigenous law some measure of legitimacy.  This goes hand-in-hand with efforts to encourage indigenous justice.

The characteristics of indigenous justice include:  1) an accumulation of historical practices that are locally defined and applied to the entire community; 2) it is organized holistically rather than by subject and it is non-linear; 3) everyone in the community is involved in legal proceedings; 4) there exists a restorative principle with the goal of healing the victim and yet allow the offender to regain dignity and remain in the community; and 5) there exists a reparative principles where the offender makes amends and restitution.  Some of the advantages of indigenous legal systems for people are that they are quick, dynamic, free, and have the force of customary law.

There have been international efforts to recognize and encourage legal pluralism through conventions and declarations, though not by treaty.  Several countries (Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru) in Latin America have constitutions, constitutional amendments, or laws that recognize indigenous law or allow it to co-exist.  Some examples listed by Miguel-Stearns include the 1991Convenio 169 by the International Labor Organization; the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples passed in 2007 by the United Nations; and an American declaration of rights for indigenous people drafted by the Organization of American States ongoing as of 2012.

Dr. Miguel-Stearns finishes her presentation with a discussion of two case examples of legal pluralism in Latin America.  The first is in Colombia.  Colombia has a progressive constitution and is very active in granting rights to its indigenous people.  Indigenous laws can be in force internal to indigenous communities and in certain cases, individuals may be extradited back to a community for local trial.  Miguel-Stearns’ second example is Bolivia.  In general, the Bolivian government exerts much less state intervention in indigenous communities.  For example, witchcraft accusation and expulsion is a very popular means of settling disputes in Bolivian indigenous communities.   Indigenous law often imparts the death penalty to witches.  Expelled witches do not often seek civil authority to right their cases and they are less likely to want to return to their home communities.

Bolivia has enacted many reforms impacting indigenous peoples including its constitution enacted in 2008 which made indigenous law equivalent to the national legal regime, though it must remain within constitutional legal limits.  This means that there are some points of conflict between the two systems that need to be worked out.  These conflicts include:  1) the right to life common to state legal regimes versus the death penalty invoked by indigenous law; 2) laws written by national congresses favorable to indigenous people, should they be territorial or open to areas only outside of local communities; 3) reconciling the definition of crime in indigenous communities versus national communities; and 4) punishments vary between the two regimes as indigenous law often imparts death penalties, corporal punishments, and forced labor.

Dr. Miguel-Stearns finishes her presentation with a clip on the “circle of justice” from a YouTube video on indigenous justice in Potosi, Bolivia and a useful reference resource for scholars, the Inter-American Development of Indigenous Legislation databank that is current up to 2010.


Peter Johnson (Princeton University) poses a question to Dr. Maynard:  the Prime Minister of Australia issued an apology about the loss of traditional lands and before that several Supreme Court decisions leading to a significant return of land to traditional owners, how do you see these two law cases and apologies going to do to both different communities and diverse communities in Australia as well as the economic and political elite? Dr. Maynard responds, well the Marbay Decision (1980) affects a very small percentage of the aboriginal population to recover their traditional lands.  It affects only those who lived on traditional lands living in a traditional way unbroken, so there was miniscule benefit from the Land Rights Act.  People are still fighting.  As for Rudd’s apology, for older generations it was a major event.  The reality is that it was symbolic; there’s nothing coming out at the end of it.  The reality is that in all other ways the aboriginal [people] have very poor statistics in employment, housing, health, education, incarceration, any statistic one can name, aboriginal people will have shocking statistics.  That is where we are.  An apology is something we were hoping for, for a long time, but nothing has come out of it in the end. That is the reality of where we are today.  There are great differences in the aboriginal population from urban centers in se Australia to rural centers elsewhere. The reality is for aboriginal people in all of those locations [they] suffer equally in all respects and they are at a shocking disadvantage because the government’s gaze is to the north and central portions of the country.  The reality is that domestic violence, youth suicide, and substance abuse are all a national problem, but it is always the government [saying] “we know what’s best for you” rather than speaking with aboriginal people on the ground which is the major mode of operation for most governments.  I hope this answers your question.

Paula Covington (Vanderbilt University) questions Dr. Miguel-Stearns:  I notice there are a few books on lynching and indigenous practices.  I was wondering if you had run across anything in your research. Dr. Miguel-Stearns replies:  I did.  I have spoken to a couple of people about lynching.  And, in the clip right before the piece I showed you there is an interview with an indigenous leader who insists that lynching is not part of our [indigenous Bolivian] legal justice, and this is a new epithet.  My graduate student from Guatemala informed me that these lynchings are mob justice and has nothing to do with legal traditional justice despite what is portrayed by the national media as traditional justice.  They are getting short shrift on this. This is a good question because before I began my research that is what I had read in the media.

Wendy Griffin (Universidad Pedagógica Nacional de Honduras) makes an open statement toward Dr. Miguel-Stearns:  I’ll be talking about the INO convention 169, how it got started, and was written.  [The reason it] exists at all was because an anthropologist took a Canadian Indian to visit the Maori in New Zealand and when they got back to Canada the experience encouraged Canadian Indians to form a brotherhood and to ask for UN status and that led to the world council on indigenous people being founded and they worked with indigenous people to get the world council to write the ILO convention written and this has everything to do with the benefits being gained by Latin American Indians.

Christine Hernández (Tulane University):  I enjoyed all three of the presentations very much.  I wanted to say to Dr. Maynard that at the end of your talk you made the comment that you found indigenous voices buried in the archival materials that you were researching and I just loved to hear that because I am a curator of Special Collections and I love it when students and researchers can come in and do work with our collections and they can come at them from a different perspective and find new “stuff.”  They can work on different kinds of questions that you wouldn’t normally look for in a particular collection.  I was wondering if you, or any of the others, could comment afterwards a little bit about your process of how your finding or how you were determining the collections you looked into and if you were discovering new things, how you were able to do that or if you think there was something managers or curators like myself could do to help you find this kind of information that seemed to be buried or not quite obvious?

Dr. Maynard answered:  I’d just like to say that at the archives in the states that I have visited, I’ve gotten incredible assistance and help even before coming, on line I could pick things out ahead of time and just name the day and time to come see them .  To begin, looking at the histories of aboriginal and Native American people, for the time period I’m interested in, nobody has even bothered looking into, historians are interested in the battles and Little Bighorn and then go directly to Alcatraz.  I just came back from spending six days looking at records in Kansas City mainly because the Pine Ridge records are there.  There are some great stories there.  (Dr. Maynard summarizes the story of a boy in the Pine Ridge boarding school being beaten by a teacher in front of his father and the father summarily beats the teacher down afterward as an act of defiance.)  These are uplifting stories.  People think that Aboriginals and Native Americans as being assimilated; they are fighting for their culture and to protect their families

Christine Hernández replies:  from a curatorial process, I see you were able to make good use of newspapers and photographs.

Dr. Maynard:  Yes, especially in Australia.  Newspapers give the sentiment of the day.  This hasn’t changed but they are backed up by lots of documents.  The refreshing thing is that there are so many indigenous voices.  This is the driver for me.  I’ve had lots of connections over the last ten years with indigenous centers and visited many indigenous centers in the Dakotas, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Anonymous person in the audience remarks:  Carlisle?

Dr. Maynard:  No, but my wife has a good friend of mine who is a curator at the Smithsonian and took her to visit Carlisle.  There are lots of materials from the BIA about [boarding] schools and from the Human Rights Association that I’ve been looking at over the last two years.

Peter Johnson (Princeton University) then asks an open question to the panel:  In the last couple of years the European Union has been diligently working on legal instruments to assure the protection of intellectual property that is transmitted orally and its special importance in terms of medicinal plant use and related functions that involve oral traditions.  What extent in terms of your own research on different communities and areas, should this legislation be approved within the EU that the communities that you research would be able to pick it up and push it in terms of national agendas?

Dr. Maynard answers:  Certainly, with missing histories there is so much embedded in there that people are not aware of.  Even the people themselves do not know much about the first three decades of their own history.  So I’m sure the stuff that I’m putting together and I’m sure those who follow will produce stuff that communities can use.  First and foremost is the sense of inspiration, but whether they can get anything more from it, I’m not able to go there.

Dr. Miguel-Stearns asks Dr. Maynard about the accuracy of a particular documentary film about a national event in Australia related to Aboriginal people.  Dr. Maynard answers that the film was basically accurate about the horror of that period in Australian national history.  He notes that documentary films reach out to audiences.  He says, “I write for indigenous peoples; I don’t write for the Academy.  I get published widely in the Academy and that’s a bonus.  I want them to read it and enjoy it, but my audience is indigenous.  Second I want non-indigenous people to read it and learn about the history of their countries and what has happened to indigenous people.  Film documentaries are a way of reaching audiences that can be further explored.

Monday, May 20, 2:00-3:30

Moderator:   Gayle Williams, Florida International University

Rapporteur: Georgette Dorn, Library of Congress


  • Cuban Children’s Program / Operation Pedro Pan Records — Ximena Valdivia, Barry University and Rita M. Cauce, Florida International University
  • Interrogating Caribbean History Through a Journalist’s Eyes: The Bernard Diederich Research Collection — Brooke Wooldridge, Florida International University
  • In Search of the Ancestors, Cuban Genealogy Collections at FIU — Althea (Vicki) Silvera, Florida International University
  • Colección Díaz-Ayala: historia de Cuba y Latinoamérica a través de la música — Verónica González, Florida International University

Williams urged the SALALM attendees to visit the Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami and then introduced the four speaker speakers.

Presenters, Ximena Valdivia, and Rita Cauce described, with Power Point support, the records in the Cuban Children’s Program/Operation Pedro Pan which is held at their university. Valdivia described the oral interviews with Monsignor Bryan Walsh and James Baker, Head of the Ruston Academy, the originators, leaders and managers of Operation Pedro Pan. The speakers discussed and showed visual reproductions of some of the official records. The first Cuban children arrived in Miami on December 26, 1960. Between 1960 and 1962 about 14,000 children came, unaccompanied, from Cuba to the United States. Approximately 50% had no relatives in this country. During 1960-1962 about 1,000 Cubans were arriving every week without any money. Their arrival overwhelmed welfare agencies in Florida. One of the coordinators helping the refugees was Tracy Vorhees.  Walsh, Baker and Vorhees met with officials in Washington. D.C. to secure student visas for the children. They established links with welfare agencies throughout the United States to find places for the Cuban Children’s Program.

The experiment stopped after Fidel Castro established relations with and began receiving economic support from the then Soviet Union. He nationalized business, established CDRs and established youth groups. In 1961 he proclaimed the “Year of Education,” rewrote school curricula, and sent youths to the countryside.  In his interview Baker describes the parents’ despair as they hid their children in the countryside to avoid what they viewed as “communist indoctrination.” Monsignor Walsh mentioned in his interview that after the U.S. and Cuba broke diplomatic relations in 1962, the embassy was closed they could no longer secure student visas for the children whose parents were anxious to relocate the children in the U.S. The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 stopped all flights to the island.  In 1965 “freedom flights” began sporadically.  Monsignor Walsh kept good records. These include correspondence, financial records, photos, newspaper clippings and other items to document the largest migration of minors in the Western Hemisphere.  All the materials in the 400 boxes were cataloged.  Florida International included copies of materials created by Monsignor Walsh and Baker at Catholic Charities and materials from the Catholic Welfare Bureau. The most important part of the collection is the Case File. A separate Monsignor Walsh collection relates to reuniting children with their parents.

The second presentation by Brooke Wooldridge dealt with “Interrogating Caribbean History through a Journalist’s Eyes: The Bernard Diederich  Research Collection” at her university. Brooke Wooldridge began her presentation by discussing the Digital Library of the Caribbean which is an open access collaborative project. It has been growing for the last nine years. The project has 35 partners and contains 13,000 titles with 80,000 items. The DLC offers training programs, does educational outreach and collaborates with a number of scholars. Wooldridge then proceeded to describe the Diederich Collection.

Born in New Zealand in 1926, prolific journalist, Bernard Diederich, wrote for the “New York Times,” the Associated Press, and he was Head of the “Time Magazine” Bureau in Mexico City.  In 1943 he fought in the Pacific Theater with the US Merchant Marine during the Second World War. In 1949 a detour took him to Haiti and “he never really left the island” because it remained his main interest. He founded the newspapers “The Haiti Sun” and “Island Luminous.”  Issues of the “Haiti Sun” were digitized by Duke University. FIU plans to digitize the entire run.

Diederich covered thoroughly Haitian politics for more than three decades and wrote much about Papa Doc, the Tonton Macoutes, Baby Doc and other aspects of the contemporary scene. He covered the fall of Baby Doc and the 1965 civil war. He also wrote articles and books about Anastasio Somoza, Leonidas Trujillo, and also about the US invasion of Grenada. He was an eyewitness to important events and gave us the first draft of the history of Haiti.

In 1954 Diederich met and befriended Graham Greene in Haiti. He recently published a book on the noted British author [“The Seeds of Fiction: Graham Greene’s Adventures in Haiti”] Many of Diederich’s books on Haiti have been translated into Haitian Creole.

Diederich donated his collection to Florida International University and also gave the university the rights to reproduce his photographs. All the books have been cataloged and the rest of the collection continues being processed, beginning with the manuscripts.  The collection contains the newspaper “Island Luminous,” created by him and Adam Silva, ‘The Haitian Sun,” books, photographs, correspondence, cable reports, and archival materials, such as the initial article on the Tonton Macoutes which later became a book.

The university plans to digitize much of the materials in the collection and mount them on the web. It also has plans for several exhibitions to make this important collection known to the scholarly community.

The third presentation by Althea (Viki) Silvera, Head of Special Collections at FIU, described the collection of Enrique Hurtado de Mendoza, a major recent acquisition by the university.

Cuban-born Enrique Hurtado de Mendoza received a law degree from the University of Havana and in exile in the United States, worked for 20 years at the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C.  He then retired in Miami. He was a member of the Cuban Genealogy Club and through them gathered some of his materials.

On Hurtado’s first visit to FIU, he decided that this repository would “become the home” for his collection. He wanted to donate the collection before his death. However, before he could carry out his intentions, he became very ill and is currently in an assisted living facility. The university decided to buy the collection from Hurtado’s nephew.

There are several thousand books, including the whole set of the Garcia Caraffa’s “Diccionario heraldico de apellidos espanoles y americanos”;  the rare “Historia General de la Casa de Lara” (Madrid: 1694-97);  Alberto Ferrer Vaillant’s history and genealogy of Camaguey

Handwritten notes, typed correspondence, primary sources; (some genealogical charts go back ten generations); documents of Cuban history and genealogy; in sum a treasure trove of Cuban history and society.

Hurtado always wanted his books, manuscripts and documents to be available to the Cuban community of Miami. Cuban Genealogy Club member Lourdes del Pino began alphabetizing the genealogical charts. A detailed index to the collection is in preparation.

Fifty percent of the “really phenomenal collection” assembled by Enrique Hurtado de Mendoza documents Cuban genealogy and the other fifty percent is correspondence and personal notes including genealogical charts. FIU began scanning some of the materials.

The fourth presentation by Veronica Gonzalez, Florida International University addressed Cuban-born Cristobal Diaz-Ayala lived in Puerto Rico. He donated his collection to Florida International University. The last items arrived at FIU in 2004. The multi-format collection of more than 100,000 items, valued at more than one million dollars, includes discs, tapes, cassettes, CDs. printed materials, photographs, videos, as well as sheet music by composers. Diaz-Ayala owned one of earliest recordings of “La Paloma.” Some of the rare items are musical pieces recorded on wax cylinders from 1887-1915.

The collection was further enriched with a donation of LPs of Cuban and Latin American music, by Radio Marti.  There are more than 25,000 LPs, some are of Puerto Rican music. The commercial recordings are organized by record label, by artist, and by subcategories such as orchestra, etc.

The collection is not exclusively Cuban as it includes music from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Argentina and other countries. For example it has early recordings of Los Chalchaleros, the “Misa Incaica” in Kechua and Spanish, a Pablo Neruda’s  recording entitled “Cri du Chili,” and  “corridos” from the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) in a disc portfolio, including recordings by Pancho Villa.  Some of the documents are oral histories; one example is the oral histories from the Circulo de Musica of Caracas, recorded in 1967, and accompanied by a map.

The Florida International University offers three one-week grants annually to do research in the Diaz-Ayala collection.

Cristobal Diaz-Ayaal ceded all rights to the university. Much of the collection is accessible online.


Paul Losch (University of Florida) asked whether the early historical recordings in the collection were done in U.S. studios, principally in Los Angeles. Veronica Gonzalez responded that the first recordings were done in New York City, ten later in Havana and in Mexico City.  The Diaz-Ayala collection has more recordings done in Havana and Mexico City.

Edmundo Flores (Library of Congress) asked whether there is another collection like this in the world. Veronica Gonzalez answered that she believes that the University of California, Los Angeles, has the Fonoteca Collection, mostly Mexican music. The collection is available online. It is true that often Cuban singers recorded with Mexican orchestras and vice versa. She added that FIU hopes to continue adding to the Diaz-Ayala collection.

Gayle Williams added that she is involved in endeavoring/continuing to add materials to the Diaz-Ayala collection and it is in her budget.

Antonio Sotomayor (University of Illinois) commented that the Hurtado de Mendoza is truly extraordinary. He asked if there were any documents on the Audiencia de Santo Domingo in the Hurtado collection.V eronica answered, that yes, there are some such items. She drew attention to the fact that Hurtado had started an index of birth and death records in the “Diario de la Marina.” Lesbia Varona (Univesity of Miami) mentioned that there is an important index entitled “Familias Cubanas.” Gayle Williams added that the Hurtado de Mendoza collection only arrived in 2011. She agreed that the genealogical materials in this collection are unsurpassed. Sotomayor added that the Hurtado collection is not only important for genealogical research but also to study society, economic aspects, birth and death records, marriages, race, miscegenation and other aspects of Cuban history.