‘SALALM Blog’ Archives
The couple next to me cannot contain their enthusiasm: Chile’s has won the Copa America. “I also had to watch the game in English,” says the LAN flight attendant, equally excited. I don’t want to ruin their festive moment with a comment on the dark history of the national stadium where the game was played, also used as mass detention center in the early days of the Pinochet dicatatorship.
Instead, I tell them I saw the results online while preparing for a trip to Lima’s Peru Service Summit that would match local publishers and software developers (among others) to meet with potential compradores. It’s not the first time that librarians have been labeled as buyers, as much as we would like to be known as agentes culturales, or profesionales de la informacion, maybe even intermediarios del conocimiento.
It’s been more than ten years since my last visit to Lima, which now-a-days seems to be a top culinary destination, according reports as varied as a business daily, and even a men’s magazine.
The morning will start in the Miraflores section of the Peruvian capital with a tour by a local limeña. She understands my bibliographic obsessions. The first visit will be to Promsex: Centro de Promocion y Defensa de los Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos, a well-established NGO that has issued several reports on women’s reproductive rights and LGBT issues. Their publications are now fully available online and are deposited at the country’s national library, much like any other local print publication with an ISBN. The limited print run of 500 copies is also distributed throughout the country, reaching those areas with limited internet access. We meet one of the group’s leaders who shares our concern for documenting the history of LGBT groups and other like entities.
The next stop will be the iconic El Virrey bookshop. My friend asks about some recent publications: Crónicas de la diversidad and Dulce Fanzin. The sales clerk recognized the first one, but the other one appears to have a somewhat erratic distribution, although it’s already been noted by other online publications. He directs us to La Libre, a book shop at Barranco, on the other side of town. Not wanting to wear out my host, I opt to come back later. I can spend hours on end, but there are more pressing matters, like a much deserved lunch break.
In search of a well-known restaurant, which is closed on Mondays, of course, we opted for another one across the street. There were only two tables left so the food must be good. The traditional lomo saltado, even with my dislike for onions, turned out to be as tasty as the one prepared by a good Peruvian friend back in California, “with the secret sazón of my grandmother,” she always noted.
The recent New York Times 36 hours travel section includes Barranco as one of the must-visit sections of Lima. We arrive one day too late, the independent presses have just had their first book fair and the bookshop we are searching for is closed on Mondays! What are we to do? Un buen cafecito…of course!
My friend suggests a traditional Barranco locale, where I ask for a café con leche. The owner says they don’t serve such a thing, nada mas café solo, he clariefies! That other one can be found by the opposite side of the park, without naming the well-known American chain with an “S.” Not my idea to savor something local, but we find a most unexpected place at an old train car converted into a coffee shop/restaurant where they do have café con leche.
The afternoon will end with a visit to Librería Inestable, already highlighted by Spain’s daily El País. I select several poetry chapbooks, some of which are missing a price. Since the owner is out of town, I will have to return a few days later.
For the next book hunting recorrido there will be three of us, Teresa Chapa (UNC-Chapel Hill) and Phil MacLeod (Emory), starting at Sur. We probably drove the sales clerk crazy with so many questions. The young man answered politely and patiently before we left, each with at least a book bag.
From there it would be to Barranco again, and La Libre has just opened for business. We spoke each other’s language…ours was probably their best sale ever. Hopefully it helped make up for the loss from a break-in of a few weeks earlier.
A Lima visit could not be complete without cebiche, and that was our next stop: Canta Rana just around the corner. Some local friends had other suggestions but that day we were lucky that Phil Macleod went ahead of us to get a table because there was already a growing line to find a seat. Even our lunch hour could not be complete without some book business. We were joined by the publisher of Paracaídas Editores. He was probably not expecting to sell all his books in one seating! Thanks to fellow SALALM member José Ignacio Padilla for the contact.
We are already running late for our next appointment on the other side of town at the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos where fellow SALALM librarian Virginia García is awaiting us. They also have a bookshop! From there, the taxi will bring us back to Miraflores to Contracultura, a graphic novel paradise where we will add more book bags. It’s past 7pm and the traffic is already heavy, if not would have visited one more shop before calling it a day.
Tomorrow is the start of two intense days of meetings with publishers at the Peru Service Summit. There will be the usual question about buying directly from a publisher and our explanation on the added services that a distributor can provide. Of course, there are always discoveries, like another independent press, with a most suggestive name Animal de invierno…or the press with profusely illustrated texts that are more than just another coffee table book.
Before embarking on the long flight back to California, there would be one more stop at our distributor’s office to review books not sent via our approval plan and check on new publishers discovered through a few days of book hunting in Lima. Both Teresa Chapa and Phil MacLeod will stay longer and visited a book shop recommended by Virgina at the Instituo de Estudios Peruanos. Communitas was not too far from our hotel and they both went on the day I was heading to the airport through an unending sea of Friday afternoon traffic. I am sure they will report on their treasure hunt!
Stanford University Libraries.
Dear colleagues, I was too shocked at our opening session to offer an acceptable thank you for honoring “Cite Globally, Analyze Locally: Citation Analysis from a Local Latin American Studies Perspective” with the José Toribio Medina Award. I share the award with a hard working student, Marina Todeschini, who collected an enormous amount of data to help me make a case for Spanish and Portuguese-language book collections at UNM. Claire-Lise Bénaud and Sever Bordeianu were patient editors and wonderful mentors. Marina and I could not have accomplished the research without generous funding from the Latin American and Iberian Institute and the Research Allocations Committee at UNM. We are also grateful to College and Research Libraries’ reviewers and editor, Scott Walter, for taking a chance on a very specifically focused article. Most importantly, we thank the committee and Jesus Alonso-Regalado (and any other unidentified nominator) for finding this article worthy of such distinction. We are humbled and I (Suzanne) am grateful to be part of this community. Obrigadão
Welcome to Princeton! This ready-reference guide will help you navigate the conference.
- There is a taxi stand on Nassau Street across from Nassau Hall (near Palmer Square), and also at Princeton Station (the “Dinky”), where taxis are available mostly during rush hour.
- See the Princeton public transit website for more information.
- The Central and 701 Carnegie shuttle lines run from Firestone Library through the heart of campus. May be convenient for attendees who are staying in the dorms.
- Summer schedules are available online. You can follow the shuttle routes in real time using the TigerTracker app.
Maps and tours
SALALM 60 conference map
- Google map of conference venues and local attractions.
Princeton Campus Tours
- The student-run Orange Key guide service provides year-round, one-hour campus tours. Reservations are not required for individuals or groups of fewer than 10. Please check the schedule for the beginning location of tours during the summer.
- See the campus tours website for more information.
- Conference participants will be able to enter Firestone and branch libraries by showing their conference name badge at the security desk.
- Hotel accommodations for SALALM 60.
- Dormitory accommodations for SALALM 60.
- Primary venue for the conference. Registration will be in the East Pyne Lobby.
Chancellor Green Hall
- The Libreros’ Exhibit will be held in the Chancellor Green Rotunda and “Upper Hyphen” (the corridor connecting Chancellor Green to East Pyne).
- Monday at 9:00am: McCosh 50 is the site of the Opening Session.
- Tuesday at 10:45am: McCormick 101 is the site of the keynote address. Tuesday at 3:00pm: Town Hall Meeting.
- Monday at 7:00pm: Prospect House is the site of the Host Reception.
- Tuesday at 6:00pm: Whitman College Class of 1963 Courtyard is the site of the Libreros’ Reception.
Chancellor Green Cafe
- Located on the lower level rotunda of Chancellor Green, Chancellor Green Cafe serves coffee, tea, and snacks. On Saturday and Sunday, the cafe will be open from 8:30am to 2:30pm.
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- 172 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
- (609) 683-1391
- Princeton’s independent bookstore.
- 122 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
- Labyrinth Books site
- (609) 497-1600
Mandalay Trading Co
- If you’re looking for gifts or trinkets, Mandalay Trading Company is the place to go! Stock up here on fun odds and ends.
- 26 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
- Mandalay Trading Co
- (609) 921-9068
- Open 24/7, the Wa, as it is affectionately called by students, is a place to grab quick snacks or food. Located by Princeton Station.
- 152 Alexander Street, Princeton, NJ 08540
- (609) 924-2845
Whole Earth Center
- “Princeton’s Homegrown Natural Foods Grocery.”
- 360 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08540
- Whole Earth Center site
- (609) 924-7429
Whole Foods Market
- 3495 U.S. 1, Princeton, NJ 08540
- (609) 799-2919
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- Frist Campus Center has a “food gallery” with a variety of fast-food options, as well as Café Vivian, a vegan-friendly restaurant offering organic, sustainable and local food in a relaxed, environmentally conscious atmosphere.
- Frist Campus Center Dining
- One of the favorite sandwich haunts of Princeton students! An essential Princeton experience.
- 242 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
- Hoagie Haven site
- (609) 921-7723
Infini-T Tea Cafe & Spice Souk
- A vegan cafe and tea shop, Infini-T prides itself on importing some of the most varied and iconic kinds of tea.
- 4 Hulfish Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
- Infini-T Cafe site
- (609) 454-3959
- A perfect spot for breakfast. Sit on Nassau Street and see the town come to life.
- 20 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
- Jammin’ Crepes site
- (609) 924-5387
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Despaña Restaurant & Tapas Cafe
- Looking for Iberian food? Look no further! One of Princeton’s only tapas cafes with Spanish cuisine, this is a fun place to try new flavors.
- 235 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08540
- Despaña site
- (609) 921-2992
- One of the few quality authentic Chinese restaurants in Princeton. Order your own dish or try eating family style.
- 238 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
- (609) 921-2388
- Vegan friendly.
- 19 Chambers Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
- Masala Grill site
- (609) 921-0500
Mehek Fine Indian Dining
- One of the hidden gems of Princeton; located below street level on Nassau, Mehek boasts some of the finest Indian cuisine in the town.
- 164 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
- Mehek site
- (609) 279-9191
- A high quality Italian restaurant on Witherspoon; lovely for a dinner with colleagues or friends. BYOB.
- 25 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
- Mezzaluna site
- (609) 688-8515
- If you’re looking to order in, try Naked Pizza. They have everything from standard to vegan options.
- 180 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
- Naked Pizza site
- (609) 924-4700
Mo C Mo C Japanese Cuisine
- Stop in for a Japanese dinner with friends. Vibrant atmosphere.
- 14 South Tulane Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
- Mo C Mo C site
- (609) 688-8788
- Korean cuisine. Closer to dorms.
- 244 Alexander Street, Princeton, NJ 08540
- (609) 924-9260
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Agricola Community Eatery
- Stocked with organically grown ingredients, the flavors of Agricola Community Eatery are fresh and unique.
- 11 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
- Agricola site
- (609) 921-2798
Mediterra Restaurant and Taverna
- Upscale restaurant with a Mediterranean vibe; perfect for an evening out. The excellent food is complemented by the atmosphere. If you choose to sit outside, you’ll have a lovely set of lights overhead and a fountain nearby.
- 29 Hulfish Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
- Mediterra site
- (609) 252-9680
- Upscale fusion cuisine.
- 66 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
- Mistral site
- (609) 688-8808
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Drinks, dessert, etc.
Alchemist & Barrister
- A cozy pub tucked into the streets of Princeton, A&B allows you to sit outside or in, and is well-known for its Tiger Burger. $$ (price range: $11-30)
- 28 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
- A&B site
- (609) 924-5555
The Bent Spoon
- You may have to wait in line for their ice cream, but it’s worth it. Vegan friendly. $$ (price range: moderate)
- 35 Palmer Square West, Princeton, NJ 08542
- Bent Spoon site
- (609) 924-2368
Chez Alice Gourmet Cafe & Bakery
- $$ (price range: moderate)
- 5 Palmer Square West, Princeton, NJ 08542
- Chez Alice site
- (609) 921-6760
House of Cupcakes
- Winner of TV’s Cupcake Wars, stop by House of Cupcakes for a wide variety of flavors and scents to satisfy your sweet tooth. $$ (price range: moderate)
- 32 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
- House of Cupcakes site
- (609) 924-0085
Small World Coffee
- Princeton’s favorite local coffee shop. Cash only. $ (price range: inexpensive)
- 14 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ 08540
- Small World site
- (609) 924-4377 ext. 2
Triumph Brewing Company
- Restaurant, bar, microbrewery. $$ (price range: $11-30)
- 138 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
- Triumph site
- (609) 924-7855
Yankee Doodle Tap Room
- Located at the Nassau Inn, the Yankee Doodle Tap Room is a convenient option for hotel guests. $$ (price range: $11-30)
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Princeton University Art Museum
- Saturday and Sunday from 2:00pm to 3:00pm: The museum offers a free one-hour highlights tour of its collections.
- McCormick Hall
- Princeton Art Museum
- (609) 258-3788
Princeton University Chapel
- Sunday at 10:00am: Ecumenical worship service.
- Chapel site
McCarter Theatre Center
- McCarter hosts a multitude of events from professional touring companies to annual events to Princeton University performance groups. Saturday, June 13, at 7:00pm: A performance of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro is scheduled (3.5 hours).
- 91 University Place, Princeton, NJ 08540
- McCarter site
- (609) 258-2787
- The first building to be constructed on Princeton University’s campus, Nassau Hall carries the history and import of the university. Located on the building’s exterior walls are class plaques to mark the departure of each graduating class.
- Princeton University’s main library. Conference participants will be allowed into Firestone and branch libraries by showing their conference name badge.
- These gardens, nestled in the heart of the university campus, are located outside Prospect House, the one-time home of President Woodrow Wilson.
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Grounds for Sculpture
- If you’re feeling adventurous (and have access to a car), the Grounds for Sculpture contains unique contemporary outdoor sculptures spread out over 42 acres.
- 80 Sculptures Way, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619
- Grounds for Sculpture site
- (609) 586-0616
- The final resting place for a President and a Vice President of the United States, most of the Presidents of the College of New Jersey/Princeton University and the Princeton Theological Seminary. Scattered throughout the cemetery are the graves of soldiers beginning with the Revolutionary War, professors, politicians, musicians, scientists, business executives, writers, a Nobel Laureate, a winner of Pulitzer Prizes as well as those who have called the Princeton area home.
- 29 Greenview Avenue, Princeton, NJ 08540
- Princeton Cemetery site
- (609) 924-1369
Princeton Garden Theatre
- Nonprofit, arthouse cinema.
- 160 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
- Garden Theatre site
- (609) 279-1999
Princeton Public Library
- According to Wikipedia, the most visited municipal public library in New Jersey, with over 860,000 annual visitors. Just around the corner from the Nassau Inn.
- 65 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
- Princeton Public Library site
- (609) 924-9529
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As the conference draws near, here are some updates on recent activity at the Secretariat.
- We are so looking forward to the Princeton Conference in June. It has been quite a while since Brazil was the focus of a SALALM conference, and as Luis González has explained so eloquently in his Presidential messages Brazil is a timely choice as it is undergoing fundamental changes. I am very impressed with the program, the choice of speakers, as well as the panel topics. Then again, it should come as no surprise since it has all been in the very capable hands of Luis, who is also a Brazilianist historian. As for the logistics, Fernando Acosta and his team at Princeton are doing a superb job. So far, everything has gone very smoothly. It is a joy to work with both of them, and I know they have prepared a very solid and memorable conference that we’re all looking forward to. Conference information packets were e-mailed in February and registrations have been coming in steadily to the Secretariat. As of yesterday, we have a total of 118 participants and 26 exhibitors. Please remember that pre-registration period for the SALALM 2015 conference ends tomorrow May 13. Registration fees and forms, including an Online Registration Form, are all available at http://salalm.org/Conf/registration/.
- In terms of membership numbers, as of today, we have 242 personal and 84 institutional members, including 23 sponsoring institutions. This is a total of 326 members overall. For comparison, we ended the 2014 fiscal year back on August 31 with a total of 227 personal and 91 institutional members, including 19 sponsors, for a total of 318. So we have already surpassed last year’s total membership. Thanks to all who renewed on time in the fall. A big thank you also to those personal members who helped us increase our institutional sponsorship this year by reminding their institutions to send in their payment promptly. This is no small feat in times of shrinking library budgets.
- I also want to let you know that we are finally up to date with incorporating all of the Executive Board decisions. All EB decisions up to the 2014 meeting in Salt lake City have now been added into the existing Code of Executive Board Decisions which you can find at http://salalm.org/about/organization/code-of-executive-board-decisions/
- Congratulations again to our newly elected SALALM leaders elected last month. Carol and I look forward to working with you in the coming years:
Vice President/President Elect: Daisy V. Domínguez
Executive Board Members At Large, 2015-2018: Alison Hicks and Ricarda Musser.
- As for future conferences, I had the chance to speak at length once again with Miguel Valladares, chair of local arrangements for 2016 in Charlottesville, and he and Paloma Celis our President-elect have a very special conference planned, in tandem with members of the Consortium for Latin American Studies Centers (CLASP) around the topic of the future of Latin American studies. In addition, Miguel, who can’t be accused of thinking small, is working on some very exciting plans regarding on-site events and partnerships. I can’t wait to hear more as their plans develop. With respect to the 2017 conference, there are two venues that are being explored, but we have no confirmation that either of them will pan out. If you think you might be able to host for 2017, please write to me soon. In advance, thanks to all who are interested and willing to expend some time even in the early stages of finding out if hosting is feasible at your institution. It is incredibly generous to do so.
- Finally, the Secretariat sent out in April the SALALM LVIII Paper: Indigenism, Pan-Indigenism and Cosmovisionism: The Confluence of Indigenous Thought in the Americas. This was the 2013 conference hosted by the University of Miami and the Florida International University. Congratulations to Martha Mantilla for completing this publication!
Stay tuned for more updates at the meeting next month. I look forward to seeing everyone again!
Macondo, that mythical place created by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and to which all of Latin America can claim as its own, was the invitado de honor at this year’s FilBo or the 28th International Bogota Book Fair.
One of the Fair’s peculiarities is that several publishers have a stand in more than one pabellón, at times confusing but often useful as items on display suit the intended audience (infantil, universidades, etc).
Overrun by teenagers and housing comic books and alternative graphic designers, Pabellón 1 seemed the place to be. Not sure if it was intentional but the religious publisher Ediciones Paulinas had a stand there as well, something worthy of magical Garcia Marquez capricho! Gabo himself would probably have responded to an upset visitor who noted: “that book is obscene,” referring to a hand-made/fanzine-like booklet with some erotic photos: algunos libros no pecan, pero incomodan.
Pabellón 3 housed not only university presses, independent publishers and some government agencies whose publications are not available for commercial distribution (Instituto Humboldt, Centro Nacional de Memoria Histórica) and the word library/librarian was key in getting a copy. For a country hoping to bring an end to decades of violence, the Unidad para la Atención y Reparación Integral a las Víctimas provided examples of tangible work in that healing process.
A year after his death, Garcia Marquez was present all over Filbo, beyond the special Macondo pabellón that hosted an exhibit of first editions of his works, panel discussions and a reading of the first chapter of One Hundred Years of Solitude. One of the panels included SALALM’s own José Montelongo discussing Gabo’s literary archives at the University of Texas.
The group of U.S. librarians hosted by FilBo could not be in better magical company as we made our way through the various pabellones.
While it may have sounded like a touch of magical realism, unfortunaley press reports noted that a first edition of Gabo’s best known works had been stolen from the special exhibit.
Adan Griego, Curator for Latin American Collections-Stanford University Libraries.
For most North American academic libraries Cuban books have taken a detour to Uruguay before arriving at our shelves. With changing relations between the United States and Cuba, there is already renewed scholarly interest in the Caribbean island. Hence a visit to the Montevideo bookshop where much of that research material is being sorted. Two days was barely sufficient to review missing titles from our collection. In the process, finding equally interesting research materials from other parts of Latin America.
The ferry across the Rio de la Plata was to take only two-hours, in the state of the art Papa Francisco Buquebus, prompting my Montevideo friends to call it a viaje santo. It was much longer and I missed a visit to the San Telmo open air market in Buenos Aires, where every visitor to the Argentine capital appears to end up on a late Sunday morning. Several years ago I found a vintage photo of 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.
The hotel is a few blocks away from that book corridor on Avenida Corrientes, between the Obelisk and Callao street, proof of what some press reports have noted : Buenos Aires has the highest person to bookstore ratio in the world.
What better way to spend a late autumnal afternoon than book-browsing. Last year, one of the first ones I saw was a book written by a friend. I could not bring myself to tell him it was on sale!
Even some of the side streets house book shops. The one-block Paseo Rivarola probably goes unnoticed by most visitors to Buenos Aires. In one of those symmetrical 1920 buildings is the Librería de Mujeres. I ring the doorbell and an older lady unlocks the door, immediately asking: Qué busca? I tell her I want to see everything. Still not quite convinced that a middle-aged man would find something of interest, she points to a few sections and off I go in my incessant note-taking of interesting book titles, until I realize I could take photos of several book covers at once and not have to worry about deciphering my less and less understandable handwriting.
The 41st Buenos Aires International Book Fair opens today and there is a sense of anticipation among the group of U.S. librarians attending this year. Prior to departing we received an avalanche of requests from publishers asking for a meeting. I opted to invite them to attend a session where we would explain the dynamics of book distribution and acquisition by public and academic libraries. They listened attentively to our presentation.
Large media groups command the most visible of the various pabellones, typical of any such event. But independent publishing seems to be alive and thriving in the Southern Cone (Todo libro [no] es politico; Sólidos Platónicos and Siete logos). It appears to be the same in Spain.
At a time when print publications struggle to stay afloat, it’s almost anachronistic to have a new cultural magazine aimed at the inmesa minoría, as the Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset would note. The recently launched Review: Revista de Libros, a Spanish translation of the New York Review of Books with original content in Spanish. The publisher says the premier issue has a print run of 15,000 copies and is selling well, even outside of Buenos Aires. During my long overnight trip back to the Northern hemisphere, while crossing the Equator, I will read a Spanish-version of Alma Guillermo Prieto’s piece on the disappeared Mexican student-teachers.
Waiting for the last connection of my flight to California I find one of the newspaper articles I saved from Argentine dailies: poetry appears to have as many readers as militants. Viva la poesía. Viva la Lectura. Vivan los Libros!
Adán Griego-Curator for Latin American Collections, Stanford University.
*Trip partially funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI and the Buenos Aires Book Fair.
To say that it was a manjar libresco would be an understatement: the 48th California Antiquarian Book Book Fair and the 2015 Artist Book Fair and Symposium, all within a few days, sometimes with overlapping schedules, was all a rare treat that only happens every other year in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Antiquarian Fair promised “collections and rare treasures of over 200 booksellers from 33 different countries…,” and indeed there were. On the high end, original manuscripts by Octavio Paz, or limited edition books with text by Pablo Neruda shared the exhibit hall with Latin American vintage travel brochures for as little as $35! One of the un-prized items was an oversize black and white photograph of Mexican revolutionaries witha semi-legible text: “V. Carranza.” The seller knew very little about the photograph until I gave some background. “If you have to ask how much it costs, you probably could not afford it,” I had been warned more than once by a veteran curator/librarian. The photo had no price tag and my friend was right!
Among the images of film celebrities there was a movie poster of Viva Zapata, which I used in class one year to point out Hollywood’s peculiar way of casting for the 1952 film, with a script written by John Steinbeck. I noted that Marlon Brando (Zapata) probably looked more like one of the students in class, while the real Zapata was most certainly darker than I. The student later thanked me in an evaluation for comparing him to such a handsome movie star!
The 5th Codex Artist Book Fair opened in the middle of a much needed rainstorm, no deterrent to the more than 1,100 enthusiastic attendees who showed up to admire the work of book artists from all over the world, with Latin America very well represented: from Lia-Libro de Artista, showcasing the work of 22 artists to Eckhard Froeschlin’s atelier in Matagalpa, Nicaragua or that of photographers like Jose Diniz (Brazil) and Patricia Lagarde (Mexico).
Books and art have often been a medium that brings attention to injustices and Codex 2015 was no exception. Mexican photographer Lorena Velázquez reminded us all of the recent disappearance of Ayotzinapa’s student teachers. The cartonero book makers were also present with a similar message clamoring for justice.
Human rights violations has also been the leit motif of CraftPressChile, with Indignity and Resistance as a third work in a series that keeps alive the memory of the desaparecidos and torturados during military rule in Chile.
The fairs were accompanied by a series of related events: an artist auction to raise funds for the families of the missing student teachers in Mexico or an exhibit on the art of Taller de Gráfica Popular artist Elizabeth Catlett catered to various audiences.
The Codex Artist Book Symposium featured author and essayist Alberto Manguel as main speaker. His early evening talk at the Book Club of California (A City Built on Books: Pedro de Mendoza and the Founding of Buenos Aires), was the right excuse to leave work early and the charla did not disappoint.
Adan Griego, Curator for Latin American Collections-Stanford University.
*Lorena Velázquez and Ayotzinapa photo by Yulia Akh
More than 20,000 book professionals descended into Guadalajara for a peregrinación del mundo del libro, as Madrid’s daily El País called the Feria del Libro (FIL). It is indeed a pilgrimage to the most important book event in the Spanish-speaking world, and there we were, over 100 librarians in the middle of it all!
For the second time in FIL’s 28 years Argentina was the featured country, bringing celebrations of Julio Cortazar’s centennial and homages to Juan Gelman and the ever-present Jorge Luis Borges. At a round table discussion on the author of Ficciones his widow commented on the most peculiar meeting of Mick Jagger (from the Rolling Stones) and Borges.
On opening day I overheard a group of students looking for Alfaguara, which in previous years had one of the largest FIL stands. I told them it was now part of Planeta. When I realized it was the wrong multinational publisher I chased after them to give the correct answer. Never say that accurate reference was lacking on a weekend! Off they went, to the Penguin Random House booth.
Another novedad at the exhibit hall was a more visible stand for Ediciones Era, one of Mexico’s leading independent publishers. True to its progressive voice, photos of the recently disappeared 43 student teachers and the words of David Huerta’s moving poem Ayotzinapa , were a constant reminder of a tragedy that has sparked civil society demonstrations all over Mexico. See English-language version.
In fact, that most tragic incident called the attention of the featured country’s delegation of artists, writers and publishers, which issued a statement of solidarity for the missing students. There was also a demonstration that left from the Fair to join another group at one of the main public spaces in Guadalajara. I was returning from an artist book exhibit downtown and was caught in the ensuring traffic jam. “Están en todo su derecho”, I remarked, when the taxi driver appeared impatient. “If our children were missing, we would be equally upset,” I added. The taxista agreed.
The many events held at FIL : (presentaciones de libro, foros, encuentros, congresos) included an homenaje to this year’s Librarian (Elsa Margarita Ramírez Leyva) and Bibliophile (Juan Nicanor Pascoe Pierce). Pascoe’s Taller Martín Pescador is familiar to many Special Collections in North America.
There was also a session with a literary translator, a vendor and a librarian (ME) to learn about publishing in the United States. For the section on libraries as a market for Spanish-language books I discussed distribution channels and differences in bibliographic materials acquired by academic and public libraries.
Special coverage from El País
*FIL logo (Feria Internacional del Libro)
*Jesus Alonso Regalado (Edicione Era stand)
Adan Griego, Stanford University Libraries.
Ecuador sits uneasily on a tectonic fault line. A catastrophic quake leveled the provincial city of Ambato in 1949. But temblors close to Quito like those of August 13th and 14th are rare occurrences. The last instrumentally-recorded event there was in 1990, and to go beyond that one would have to consult documents from the 19th century. With so little experience to rely on, Quiteños seemed at a loss to explain these seismic events.
For a better understanding, I went right to an unimpeachable source, cab drivers. Riding to dinner on the 13th, I learned that quakes are correlated with the weather. “It’s the humidity,” one driver assured me. The next day more sinister attributions came my way. “In your country they predict earthquakes, don’t they?” My negative response produced only disbelief and suspicion. In an attempt to disengage, I thought of other topics, like the Ebola outbreak. “You know how to predict that, too, don’t you?” I asked the driver to drop me at the next corner. Walking half a mile to my destination seemed a small price to pay.
Newspapers on the morning of the 14th pictured enormous dust clouds, the most prominent feature visible from the city center. From closer up came accounts of landslides, highway closures and the tragic death of a six-year-old, crushed by a fifty kilogram sack of rice that fell from a shelf in the family bodega. That afternoon the government dialed up a fierce charm offensive. President Correa and several functionaries made television appearances to laud disaster response and to point out how their preparedness had saved lives. They made no mention of the six-year-old.
Then at 11PM another quake– or perhaps an aftershock, accounts varied– shook the city. I was fast asleep but awoke long enough to look for my shoes in case the hotel ordered an evacuation. Two consecutive days of temblors clearly
worried people. “I’m not afraid” one bystander confided, ”but I’m wondering.”
I have lived and traveled in the Andes regularly since 1968, and this was my first experience with a seismic event. Quake and temblor, the expressions most often used to describe the phenomenon, now seem to me misapplied. Rather than trembling or quaking, the buildings I was in gently swayed, back and forth. Nothing fell from the shelves, no one ran into the streets, no sirens wailed. But movement was palpable, 5.1 on the Richter scale.
On the 15th terra firma returned. I left town that night with a group of tourists fresh from the Galapagos Islands. They hadn’t heard a thing.
There I was, humming the melody to Amor, amor by Andy Russell at a panel on Latin@ representation in mass media. Indeed, an innovative technique to engage the audience at an 8am presentation when some in attendance were still functioning in an earlier time zone 2 hours away.
This was one of the more than 100 panels encompassing 277 presentations as part of the inaugural International Latina/o Studies Conference. It had been in the planning since the 2012 Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Congress in San Francisco when a group of scholars met informally and envisioned a LASA-like conference focusing solely on US Latin@ issues.
The result was an overwhelming show of support with more than 500 participants addressing multiple aspects of US Latin@ culture. Many of those attending were younger scholars quite active in social media, as the Twitter Archive of #lschi2014 shows.
Current issues like immigration were certainly at the forefront, along with literature, popular culture and even libraries. With barely 3 information professionals and a library intern, our presence was felt throughout the 3 days of presentations beyond a roundtable discussion devoted to archives and libraries.
*At a panel on Latino masculinities and sexuality one of the presenters lamented the absence of an author’s literary archive whose life had to be re-constructed from oral histories of those who knew him. This was an excellent opening to suggest that those histories be deposited in a library and make them available to future researchers.
*The presentation showcasing a decade of La Bloga was another opportunity to insinuate the importance of archiving a born-digital resource when some of the panelists themselves were not sure how to access early postings of the site that has already reached the one-millionth visitor mark.
*At one of the final presentations on alternative venues of cultural activism, it became apparent that one of Stanford’s collections would be most useful to document the history of a recently deceased Chilean activist. By coincidence,an independent filmmaker in the audience also inquired about another part of that archive.
*Above all, the group realized the importance of libraries and would ensure that a permanent space on its future executive board include a librarian.
Planning is already underway for a future conference in two years. The location has yet to be decided but it’s never too soon to seek ways in which libraries and archives can have a presence among those many interesting panels.
A last minute visit to the Art Institute only a few blocks away surprised with an unexpected exhibit on Mexican graphic art. What May Come: The Taller de Gráfica Popular and the Mexican Political Print showcased the Institute’s extensive holdings from one of the best known groups of politically engaged artists in Latin America.
Curator for Latin American, Mexican American & Iberian Collections
Stanford University Libraries.