Author Archives: Von Diaz

Cinco de Mayo Explored at CLACS

David hayes Bautista Cinco de MayoCinco de Mayo is celebrated across the U.S. as a festive Mexican holiday, but it also has deep historical and cultural significance. At a CLACS K-12 Outreach event, author David Hayes Bautista presented his recently published book, El Cinco de Mayo: An American Tradition, which looks at the shifting meanings of Cinco de Mayo in historical perspective.  According to the author, Cinco de Mayo’s roots are in U.S. Latino culture, not Mexican, and reflect the aspirations and cultural changes in this community. His work is particularly rooted in California’s Mexican cultural history, and he is working on curriculum that will be made available to the California school system.

The event also featured presentations by Elizabeth Frankel-Rivera, a 3rd grade teacher at PS 333, Manhattan School for Children, and Marisa Cadena Belski, a CLACS M.A. candidate and coordinator of the K-12 Outreach Program. Elizabeth talked about her experience teaching the class, and feeling personally connected to the subject because of her husband’s Mexican nationality. Her curriculum is intended for elementary school students.

Marisa’s curriculum is intended for 6th – 12th grade students, and is more contextual and thematic, and is complemented by online and video resources. “150 years later, there continues to be a lot of confusion about the importance of Cinco de Mayo. By focusing on this era, it opens a space for investigating the ‘parallel histories’ of the U.S. and Mexico,” she says.

As a complement to  David Hayes Bautista’s emphasis on California, both Elizabeth and Marisa created materials that put Cinco de Mayo in a national historical context. Learn more about K-12 Outreach initiatives at CLACS and review our extensive online curricular materials.

Focus on Faculty: Arlene Davila

Arlene DavilaArlene Davila is an award-winning Anthropologist and a CLACS affiliated faculty member. She teaches classes in Anthropology and Social and Cultural Analysis.  Her research focuses on race and ethnicity, media studies, globalization, visual culture, political economy, consumer culture, and Latinos in the U.S.

Originally from Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, Arlene has been committed to studying Puerto Rico since early in her academic and professional career.

She studied Anthropology at Tufts as an undergrad, and came to New York to focus on museum studies. She went on to work at the Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art (MOCHA), and later to El Museo del Barrio.  Throughout, she found she was increasingly interested in the politics of identity and representation, which led her to study Anthropology at CUNY.

After CUNY, her first teaching position was in Anthropology and Latino Studies at Syracuse University. She says she had been skeptical about academia, but was drawn to it after doing research for her first books on Puerto Rican culture.

“I was really hooked. Researching and interviewing people and doing ethnographies – that’s what made me stick to academia,” she said.
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Hot off the Presses: nexo 2011-1012

nexo - CLACS - 2011-2012

A coconut vendor surveys his prospects on Port-au-Prince Bay, near Léogâne, Haiti – Image courtesy of Kelly Stetter, CLACS MA student, 2011

nexo, the annual magazine that provides news about CLACS programs and articles by faculty and students, is now available in print and online.

In addition to exciting CLACS news and events briefings, this year’s nexo features articles spanning from Haiti to Uruguay that highlight “Cultural Producers, Regional Networks and State Reforms. Fabienne Doucet, Sarah Sarzynshi, Alexandra Falek, Cristel M. Jusino Diaz, and Sarah Szabo contributed article on these topics.

Visit the CLACS website to instructions on how to download or request a print version of nexo.

CLACS Alumni Profile: Franklin Moreno

Franklin MorenoCLACS Alum Franklin Moreno is the Schools Programs Manager at El Museo del Barrio, where he has worked since 2009.  El Museo del Barrio is a Latino cultural institution dedicated to promoting Latin American and Caribbean art and culture.

He was recently accepted to a PhD program in Human Development and Education at UC Berkeley, where he will be studying Cognition and Development with Elliot Turiel.

“I feel that museums offer so much, and have been creating spaces to approach education in a more flexible ways.  I’m trying to better understand the ways our minds develop to better understand trauma and education, and then connect that to museum practices,” he says.

At CLACS, Franklin’s research focused on museum studies and El Salvador. His thesis looked at El Museo de Arte de El Salvador (MARTE), where he explored the role of the museum in relation to post-war conflict and social and psychological trauma. He graduated from CLACS in January 2011.

He says his experiences at CLACShelped shape his career and future research.

“I am still working out a lot of ideas that came out of my time at CLACS, and  drawing on work by some of the authors I read,” he says.
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Announcing the 2012 Teacher Residency Program

The CLACS Teacher Residency Program is a unique opportunity for New York City educators interested in professional and curriculum development on Latin America and the Caribbean. The program aims to provide a space for teachers to grow their own knowledge base, gather and create accessible and engaging teaching materials, and share materials with other educators.

Are you a K-12 educator? You are eligible to participate in the Teacher Residency Program, through which you gain access to NYU faculty, staff, library and resources! Learn how to apply.

IndocumentalesThis year, CLACS will be running two concurrent Residency Programs, one on US-Mexico topics and one on Andean topics.  Past Residency Programs have focused on Teaching the Cold War and Latin America, and Latin American Migrations. The first section of the residency on US-Mexico topics will give teachers the opportunity to collaborate with the Indocumentales/Undocumentaries: US/Mexico Interdependent Film Series project, and will be run concurrently with a graduate-level design course entitled Public Project at the Pratt Institute.

K-12 TeacherResidency 2012 - the AndesParticipants pursuing the second residency theme, topics related to the Andes, will expand their own knowledge base, gather and create accessible and engaging materials for a Middle or High School audience, and share materials with other educators. Residents will have the opportunity to connect with programming initiatives stemming from the CLACS Andean Initiative. Topics of focus could include indigenous movements, colonization, multiculturalism, power, natural resources and land rights, quechua and kichwa languages.

Visit the Teacher Residency Program page on the CLACS website for more information and to apply.

Learn more about the CLACS K-12 Outreach Program and K-12 curricular materials.

CLACS Features Films by Award-Winning Peruvian Filmmaker Federico García

Federico Garcia - CLACS at NYU

Miryam Yataco, Pilar Roca, Federico García, and Sinclair Thomson at CLACS

Federico García is among the most prolific filmmakers of Peruvian cinematic history.  Several of Garcia’s films were shown as part of the Mundos Andinos series – a collaboration between CLACS at NYU and ILAS at Columbia University.  The filmmaker also attended the film screenings and participated in multiple panels to discuss the films within Peru’s broader historical context. These films are rarely shown in the United States, and it was even more exceptional to screen them with Federico García and his producer Pilar Roca’s participation.
Federico García - CLACS at NYUOn April 2, Mundos Andinos featured Kuntur Wachana (1977), which remains the only film to date made about Peruvian Agrarian Reform measures carried out by Gen. Juan Velasco Alvarado’s military regime.  The film tells the story of 1950s and 1960s campesino struggles.  Members of the   Huarán cooperative, a group who took over the hacienda at Huarán outside of Cusco city, financed the film and also acted as main characters.  Kuntur Wachana features primarily the Quechua language.  The Federico García was joined by Miryam Yataco, an educator in NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, for a presentation after the event. Continue reading

Cuba’s Omni-ZonaFranca Visits NYU

Omni Zona FrancaOmni-ZonaFranca is an innovative poetry, music and performance collective from Alamar, Cuba. In their first U.S. tour, this internationally renowned group performed for an enthusiastic audience in NYU’s Kimmel Center for University Life on March 28, 2012.

The group’s performance was an explosive ensemble of music and poetry, complimented by videos and interspersed with dance and dramatic performances. They also featured a typewriter symphony. Each episode in the show was seemingly spontaneous, but the fluidity made clear the performance was orchestrated.

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Felicidades to our Field Research Grant Winners

CLACS logoEach year, graduate students from CLACS and from across NYU apply for competitive grants to do research in Latin America towards Masters and PhD projects. Most of the grants awarded this year were made possible by the Tinker Foundation. A big congratulations to NYU graduate students who received field research grants!

Most students will be do their research this summer, and will be traveling to countries including Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Guatemala, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Mexico, Cuba, Argentina, and Spain. They will be posting about their experiences here on the CLACS blog – make sure to check back often to follow their progress.

2012 Grantees
Catalina Arango-Correa, Samantha Balaban, Tatiana Bessarabova, Rebecca Bintrim, David J Bowker, Isabel Cadenas Cañón, Leani Garcia, Claudia Garriga López, Tiana Bakic Hayden, Daniel Howell, Brett Lazer, Kevin McLoughlin, Wendi Muse, Stephanie Noach, Kristi Philips, Maria Rocio Pichon Riviere, Irma  Robles Moreno, Amanda Tollefson, Emmanuel Valeyos, and Robin Whitney.

2012 FLAS Fellowship Recipients
Emily Thompson, Kelly Stetter, Anthony Andersson, Jennifer Lila Trowbridge, Nathalie Bragadir, Daniel Howell (shared award with UCLA), and Charlie Uruchima (shared award with University of New Mexico).

Felicidades grantees!

Visit the CLACS website to learn more about Tinker field research grants and FLAS Fellowships. Read about past student research projects here on the CLACS blog.

CLACS Alumni Profile: Amy Risley

CLACS Alum Amy Risley

CLACS Alum Amy Risley

Amy Risley is an Assistant Professor in the International Studies department at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, and a CLACS alum. She graduated from CLACS in 1998 and focused her research on Latin American politics.

While at CLACS she received a Tinker Field Research Grant to do field research in Argentina, where she studied civil society and activism. She’s been interested in the topic ever since.

The good news is that Amy was recently offered a tenure track position at Rhodes College, so she’ll have the opportunity to continue the research she began at CLACS!

Amy was thrilled with her experience at CLACS, and says that the inclusion of Caribbean studies, in addition to South and Central American and Mexico, distinguishes CLACS from other Latin American studies programs.  She also liked the interdisciplinary nature of the program and the access she had to faculty.  “I took excellent courses from Jeff Goodwin, Christopher Mitchell, Marty Weinstein, Elisabeth Wood, and others.  I found everyone to be remarkably accessible and encouraging,” she says. “And, of course, the endless opportunities of New York City.  I was able to take a class at Columbia, intern at Trickle Up, and listen to so many fascinating speakers who were passing through.  It was just wonderful,” Amy says.

Visit the CLACS Alumni page on the CLACS blog to learn more about our alums. If you are a CLACS alum, please join the CLACS alumni network!

Focus on Faculty: Liliana Goldín

Liliana Goldín in the Central Highlands of Guatemala

Liliana Goldín in the Central Highlands of Guatemala, photo courtesy Flickr/McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research

Anthropologist Liliana Goldín is a CLACS affiliated professor in the Silver School of Social Work, and a faculty research associate at the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research. Her research focuses on the intersections of economy and culture in Guatemala, and the ways in which primarily Mayan populations of the Central and Western Highlands negotiate the impacts of globalization in relation to migration, labor, and consumption. 

Global Maya: Work and Ideology in Rural Guatemala In 2009, Goldín published Global Maya: Work and Ideology in Rural Guatemala, which was based on more than 10 years of field research in Guatemala.  The book uses an interdisciplinary approach, relying on both ethnographic research with rural Mayan communities and surveys, to document cultural and economic changes in the region.

Goldín says her aim was to show that ideas about making a living are constructed in the process of practice. “In a non-linear way, we are the result and the motivation of what we do and how we do it.  This empirical study of the workings of ideology and practice shows the ongoing transformations that are taking place in rural Guatemala in the context of global processes and local initiatives and responses,” she says.
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