In 2018-19, the Latinx Research Center is home to four writing-focused research groups
The Performance and Art in the Latinx Americas Working Group.
Co-sponsored as well by the Townsend Center for the Humanities, this WG’s active members are Juan Manuel Aldape, Marcelo Montalvo Garzo, Angela Marino, Laura E. Pérez, and is open to new membership. Meets the last Wednesday of every month, 3 to 4:30, in the second floor conference room. Current research projects focus on Indigenous epistemologies and dance; Latin American dance; festivals and revolution; and decolonial performance and visual art aesthetics among Latinx feminist and queer artists.
The English and Spanish & Portuguese Literary Studies Dissertating Working Group.
Under the direction of past Chair of the English Department, Professor Génaro Padilla, and Robert Reyes, the other members of this dissertation writing group are Frank Cruz, Matthew Gonzalez, and Carlos Macias Prieto. They meet Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the first floor, DR conference room.
Pa’ lante: Chicanx Latinx Honors Theses Working Group.
Under the direction of Dr. Pablo González, faculty of the Program of Chicana/o Studies, Department of Ethnic Studies.
The honors thesis writing group is a bi-monthly meeting place for Chicana/o/x and Latinx students who are under the supervision of Dr. Pablo Gonzalez. Each meeting consists of tips, approaches, methods to design, conduct, and write an original research project. While students meet every other week throughout the year, once they start writing their thesis, Dr. Gonzalez asks that they meet also with him individually every week, towards the completion of the honors thesis. This rigorous writing plan makes the group a demanding and intensive process for students who plan on pursuing a graduate degree in the near future. The honors thesis writing group began meeting at the Center for Latino Policy and Research in the Fall 2017 with five honors thesis students and Dr. Pablo Gonzalez. Eventually the group narrowed to three students working on three distinct projects. Patricia Hernandez, a Chicano Studies major and a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship for 2017 recipient, worked on and finished her honors thesis on Latina student mothers at UC Berkeley and several community colleges in Los Angeles, California. The ethnographic project looked at the barriers faced by Latina student mothers, the way they built support networks, or what Patricia referred to as comadrazgo, and the forms of resilience articulated by their everyday struggles as Latinas, mothers, and full time students. Emily Plummer, an honors student in the IAS department and a recipient of the UC Berkeley 2018 Library Research Prize, worked on her archival research project that looked at the impact Guatemalan refugee camps in Mexico had in the Guatemalan peace process during the 1980s and 1990s. The honors thesis gained high honors for her work which looked at the grassroots mobilization that occurred within refugee camps in Mexico by Guatemalan indigenous refugees. Finally, Adriana Soto, an honor student in Ethnic Studies, completed her thesis which traced the construction of Mexicans as criminals throughout 20th century immigration policy in the United States. Her thesis had an in depth analysis of the Johnson-Reed Act of 1924, the Bracero program, the Hart Keller Act of 1965, IRCA in 1986 and the IIRAIRA of 1996.
The current group of honors students consists of what Dr. Gonzalez feels is an equally strong set of projects. David Garcia Contreras, an honors student in Chicano Studies, is working on a project that looks at the experiences of Day Laborers in Oakland, California. David wishes to move on to Law school after Cal and the honors thesis project grounds his continued work with such advocacy centers like Centro Legal de la Raza. Alma Zarate, also a Chicano Studies honors student, will be conducting an ethnographic study on Los Angeles based street vendors. She will look at the ways they maneuver the strict public health restrictions, their battle for access, and the way they get criminalized by local government officials and law enforcement. Lulu Matute comes from American Studies as an Haas Undergraduate Research fellow, their work centers around the activism and lives of Honduran women in the United States in relationship to recent migration of Hondurans to the US and to political turmoil in Honduras. Originally a study on the impact Berta Caceres, the environmental justice Lenca leader assassinated years back, had on Hondurans in the US, the study now incorporates ways in which Honduran women survive and politicize themselves and their communities in the US and Honduras. Finally, Nancy Rios, an Ethnic Studies major and Haas Undergraduate Research fellow, will look at the ways in which Latina girls in Watsonville are criminalized by law enforcement officials, school officials and in particular parole officials. Nancy’s work is centered on her years of youth healing work that uses spoken word, poetry, and short story writing as a way of healing and analyzing the worldviews of young people in Watsonville. These projects will undoubtedly catapult these students to successful graduate careers.
The History and Social Sciences Working Group
Comprised of UCB, regional, and visiting faculty, and dissertating fellows, this group is directed by Professor Emeritus, David Montejano. Members are writing books and dissertations and share chapters and meet every first and third Friday of the month, 1 to 3 p.m., in the second floor conference room.