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From the President

SALALM: A Big Extended Family

One of the reasons that SALALM is so unique is that we are like a big extended family.  When someone joins SALALM, she/he becomes a member of an extended family whose relatives are scattered all over Latin America, Europe, Canada and the United States.

When one of our members is ill or passes away, the whole family mourns.  Recently, two members of the SALALM family passed way: Howard Karno and tatiana de la tierra.  My personal connection with Howard Karno was somewhat sporadic and brief, mostly at SALALM receptions.  However, his warm and friendly presence together with his contagious laughter was always comforting and reassuring.   Our deep sentiments for this big loss are well expressed in David Block’s “Howard Karno – In Memoriam” post.

tatiana de la tierra.  Who will not remember her down-to-earth name and her affirming presence?  If you ever met tatiana once, you will never have forgetten her.  I met tatiana for the first time at the Buenos Aires book fair, where I learned that she was a compatriota bibliotecaria. However, she was much more than that.  She was an ingenious bi-cultural writer and activist, full of life. In her blog she described her own life as “a novel still being written.”   Adan Griego’s “Colombiana Salerosa – In memory of tatiana de la tierra” post, plus  her blog and this video on YouTube  gives tribute to the life of this remarkable multifaceted colombiana.

Another great loss for the SALALM family is Alan Moss.  Upon hearing of his passing, SALALM colleagues spoke of his camaraderie and described him as “a first-rate bibliographer with in-depth knowledge of publishing in the English-speaking Caribbean.”  These words were included in the “Alan Moss – In Memoriam” post written by Elizabeth F. Watson.

Ties Between Junior and Senior SALALM Members

Thinking about these losses made me reflect on the importance of the connection between junior and senior SALALM members.   Although we have always been proud of the strong ties between newer and older members of SALALM, I strongly believe that these ties need to be constantly nourished and strengthened.   Thus, I would like to make an explicit invitation to those members that have recently joined the organization to be active participants in SALALM.   Throughout the year, we might look for innovative ways of joining the talent and skills that new members are bringing to the organization with the experience and wisdom of senior members. At SALALM’s 58th conference we will include venues to strengthen junior-senior mentoring relationships.

The Theme for SALALM’s 58th Conference

Briefly, the general theme of the conference deals with the intersection of indigenism, pan-indigenism, and cosmovisionism within the context of indigenous studies in the Americas. We are interested in the exploration of indigenous peoples’ thought and action prior to, during, and after colonization.  We will attempt to approach this from indigenous peoples’ perspective.   The title of the conference, the description of the theme and the deadline for submissions can be found on the SALALM conference website.

The Venue

We are very fortunate to have been invited by the University of Miami Libraries and Florida International University Libraries to have the 2013 conference in Coral Gables.  I traveled to Miami in August, visited The Westin Colonnade Hotel, and met some members of the host institutions. I was amazed to learn about the rich history of this beautiful multicultural city. I also had the opportunity to see some of the unique collections held in the host institutions.  We will find ways to highlight some of these collections at the 58th SALALM conference in Miami.

New SALALM Officers

Congratulations to the newly elected SLALAM Officers, President-Elect Roberto Delgadillo and the Members at Large Paloma Celis-Carvajal and Daisy Dominguez.  I would like to thank Roberto Delgadillo for his invaluable six-year service as the Rapporteur General.  We welcome Suzanne Schadl  and  Craig Schroer who agreed to share the responsibilities of Rapporteur General.

Saludos para tod@s y mis deseos por un exitoso año académico,

Martha E. Mantilla
University of Pittsburgh

La Energaia Launches Unified Search

La Energaia a project that brings UNM’s Latin American and Iberian Institute (LAII) and Ibero- American Science and Technology Education Consortium (ISTEC) together with the University Libraries (UL) in the development of a user-friendly knowledge base on energy policy and dialogue in Latin America.

Made possible by a grant from the United States Department of Education’s TICFIA program, this project seeks to connect internet researchers in the United States with the vibrant flow of information on alternative and renewable energy in Latin America, especially in those areas where indigenous peoples are heavily impacted. La Energaia illuminates the advancements that many Latin American countries and organizations have pioneered to English speakers who would miss out on Spanish, Portuguese or Quechua discourse.

La Energaia’s challenge is to select, organize, manage and make discoverable — in English – documents and discussions from multiple sources. NotiEn, a digest written in English by our project journalists, analyzes energy issues and topics from the target languages. We match this more traditional form of producing secondary material with internet crawls and captures designed to save publications posted on Latin American social networking sites and blogs, and policy documents reprinted on electronic government pages.     Such a project requires diverse skills, including — in addition to grant organization and management — the ability to systematically research, crawl, capture, describe, archive and disseminate stories compiled within the LADB as well as in internet accessible policy documents, twitter posts (http://twitter.com/laenergaia) and blog entries, preferably within a seamless structure.

La Energaia’s  team, including Principal Investigators Susan Taino and Johan Van Reenen, Project Directors Nelmy Jerez  and Vickie Madrid Nelson, Technical Guru Renzo Sanchez-Silva,  Web Master George Lloyd Scott, NotiEn coordinator Carlos Navarro, Collections Manager Suzanne Schadl, and student researchers Hilda Paucar, Kira Luna  Aurora Cruz, Ana Berberana and Tanya Sewers, is currently on the brink of launching a unified search feature on the webpage at http://laenergaia.unm.edu/.

This search tool will enable visitors to search data selected and described over the past year from the above mentioned internet and social networking spaces. Team members have created English language metadata for these items, which we are currently merging with DRUPAL taxonomies to facilitate seamless retrieval from La Energaia collections in UNM’s institutional repository, Archive-It and the project’s customized Twitter API in Drupal.

Each of these collections has been available separately through links on the La Energaia page. The problem with this kind of organization is proverbial: It works only for those who know what they’re looking for. When the goal is to put information in the hands of people not even aware of the data’s existence, it is essential to create something better organized and more searchable through standard internet search engines.

Searchable subject specific databases that link users to multiple sources via metadata are nothing new. What is new is creating a discoverable database that can serve the purpose of alerting United States scientists to Latin American advancements within a freely accessible content management system. This system also enables La Energaia to retrieve free, but perhaps less accessible, tweets, posts and pages.  Not unlike the vertical file of the past, this project pulls data on Latin American energy into one space for interested researchers. But unlike the vertical file it does not limit access to those searching a singular topic.

Drupal’s Taxonomy helps to organize websites by attaching descriptive terms to pieces of content. La Energaia’s metadata leads people to find Latin America – Argentina – Buenos Aires, for example in simple search engine queries for “renewable energy” or “wind farms and their impact on indigenous peoples.” By separating countries as vocabulary fields and energy topics as terms and tags, La Energaia ensures that Latin American country names will not get tied up in broad searches for solar cells but that Latin America will become visible as a result of their search.

One need not know anything about La Energaia to find the data this project has compiled, but for librarians working with Latin Americanists, http://laenergaia.unm.edu/ should prove a useful tool and an ideal link for subject guides.

 

Suzanne M. Schadl
University of New Mexico

Northeast Meets Southwest to Celebrate the Latino/a Imaginary


University of New Mexico’s Illustrated Identities exhibit with Codex Delilah on the wall and Crickets in my Mind in display cases. Photo courtesy of Suzanne M. Schadl.

 

On March 5, 2011 the Inter-American Studies Program in University Libraries at the University of New Mexico (UNM) proudly opened Illustrated Identities: The Book in the Latino Imaginary. This exhibit, on display in Zimmerman Library’s Herzstein Latin American Gallery through May 30, contributes to an Albuquerque wide celebration entitled Latino/a Imaginary which will ultimately culminate in a bi-regional (Northeast/Southwest) conference entitled Latino Literary Imagination: East Coast/South West Dialog on Narrative Voices and the Spoken Word. llustrated Identities: The Book in the Latino Imaginary examines Latino/a or Chicano/a imaginations as expressed in books that traverse time and space, crossing and doubling back on boundaries that are both physically and culturally inscribed, and also tightly bound within one another. It features creative and critical texts in two distinct spaces.

The first area, just inside the door of the gallery, is designed to appear and serve as a living space. It harkens back to the earliest manifestation of the Nuyorican Poet’s Café, which first embraced and promoted Latino/a, Chicano/a talent in poet Miguel Algarín’s living room. The rasquache inspired space in this exhibit welcomes that same spirit of openness and appreciation for Latino/a Chicano/a and Hispano/a works. The book case, end table, treasure chest and chairs welcome the UNM community into the space to read, chat and, more importantly, to share their work and ideas. The space contains pieces from the University Libraries’ circulating collections as well as personal items from the homes of Inter-American Studies employees.

The second space, lining the corridor into the Latin American Reading Room, features items from the Center for Southwest Research (CSWR) and Special Collections. These pieces highlight pivotal mentors of Chicano/a and Hispano/a talent in New Mexico, including Rudolfo Anaya, Cecilio García-Camarillo and Delilah Montoya, a photographer and printmaker whose increasingly well-recognized Codex Delilah, Six Deer: A Journey From Mechica to Chicana, on display in this exhibit, follows the Chicana protagonist from Southern Mexico to Aztlán, which she situates within Albuquerque’s Sandia Mountains.

The broad success of Rudolfo Anaya’s novel Bless Me Ultima, published twenty years earlier than Delilah’s Codex, propelled Anaya to the forefront of the Latino/Chicano literary movement. Anaya encouraged New Mexican writers and introduced his students and his community to Chicano/a literature and criticism.  In 1997, he and his wife Patricia inaugurated the annual presentation of the Crítica Nueva Award, established to recognize the foremost scholars in Chicano/a literary criticism. The most recent recipient, Nicolás Kanellos, worked with the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Recovery Project, which is now partially available in the Arte Público database.

Anaya was not alone in his generous support for Chicano/a literature and criticism in New Mexico. Cecilio García-Camarillo, a noted Chicano activist and publisher of Chicano/a works, also worked within New Mexico to draw attention to Chicano/a literature and performing arts. Garcia-Camarillo’s radio program Espejos de Aztlán (Mirrors of Aztlán), and his work with La Compañía de Teatro de Albuquerque invigorated the Chicano/a arts movement in New Mexico. García-Camarillo’s work also addressed the complexities he recognized in Chicano/a communities throughout New Mexico and the United States.

His and Delilah Montoya’s artist book Crickets in My Mind, also on display in this exhibit, celebrates complexity and community in varied ways. This manifestation of literary and artistic Rasquachismo, a Chicano/a appropriated form that uses whatever materials the artists have on hand, defies simplistic classifications of text. The book itself is bound with horsetail donated by the Navajo Reservation and the Abeyta Ranch in Las Vegas, New Mexico. The paper too is derived from human hair, including that of the artist and several friends.

The text also reflects a collage of “odds and ends,” as the author notes. It includes a condensed interview, two previously published works, a previous conversation, a letter never mailed, and a recorded counseling session. These pieces introduce two diverging characters in the Chicano movement: Ramon the philosopher on the university campus and Reies Lopez Tijerina, the armed defender of Hispano lands. The narrator recounts his personal struggle to find himself in either of these divergent arms of the “movement.”

At times compulsory and at others elective, labels and identities, whether imposed or adopted, ultimately define communities. While the “movimiento” never really reflected one community of Chicano/as or Latino/as or Hispano/as, the marginalization of diverse individuals associated with each of these different groupings created conditions ripe for collaborations and/ or support across philosophies, spaces and identities. While “tweety bird” students, as Garcia- Camarillo calls them in Crickets in My Mind, may never have taken up arms to defend the homeland, they yearned to connect with Reies Lopez Tijerina by inviting him to campus.

It is fitting that Illustrated Identities: The Book in the Latino Imaginary embodies only one piece of a broad scale collaboration in which several Albuquerque institutions, including National Hispanic Cultural Center, the Tamarind Institute,  516 Arts and the Outpost Performance Space, address Latino/a, Chicano/a and Hispano/a creativities. Together these exhibits highlight the works of multiple artists and writers, including Pepón Osorio, Amalia Mesa-Bains, Elena Baca, Yreina Cervantez, Santos Contreras, Ramirez de Arellano, José Montoya, Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, Viva Paredes, Spain Rodriguez,  José  Bedia, Enrique Chagoya, Juan Sánchez  and the writings of Maria L. Leyba, Georgia Santa-Maria, Cathy Arellano, Jessica Helen Lopez and Andrea Serrano, as well as several formats like serigraphs, lithographs, photographs, drawings, paintings, installations, papel picado, corridos, poems, personal narratives and short stories.

In addition to its collaboration with several Albuquerque arts spaces, this exhibit is part of the Latino Literary Imagination: East Coast/South West Dialog on Narrative Voices and the Spoken Word, a bi-regional conference hosted at Rutgers University from April 7-8, 2011 and at UNM from April 14-15. This conference brings leading and emerging scholars, writers and poets together with critics to reflect on four decades of creativity, activism and scholarship. Its dialog across the imagined borders of Latino/a Northeast and Chicano/a Southwest celebrate difference and collaboration while also addressing multi-dimensional issues like marginalization, identities, convergences, divergences, subjectivities, and perhaps, most importantly, negotiated or contested boundaries – both physical and cultural.

For additional information on these events, please see http://516arts.org/flyers_brochures/2011/516ARTS.Latino-a.VisualImaginary.Guide.pdf and

http://latinocenter.rutgers.edu/news-and-events/events-calendar/latino-literary-imagination

Suzanne M. Schadl
University of New Mexico

 

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