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Latino Americans: 500 Years of History: Latino culture
The Olin Library received an NEH/ALA grant to create programming featuring the the PBS documentary series LATINO AMERICANS. This guide provides information on the films, resources available at the library as well as information about our grant programs.
Latinos in U.S. Sport is the first comprehensive exploration of Latino culture and its relationship to sport. Spanning a period of 500 years from the 16th century to the present, this book discussing a wide range of Latino communities, regions and sports. Using newspaper accounts and primary sources as well as dissertations and scholarly articles from history, education, sport business and other disciplines, the authors provide a thorough and enlightening account of this population's role in U.S. sport history. The authors discuss the evolution of sport, games and physical activity. They also examine the shifting perceptions both within and outside of the Latino community and the outcomes of these changes.
In 1939, a team of short, scrappy kids from a vocational school established specifically for Mexican Americans became the high school basketball champions of San Antonio, Texas. Their win, and the ensuing riot it caused, took place against a backdrop of shifting and conflicted attitudes toward Mexican Americans and American nationalism in the WWII era. “Only when the Mexicans went from perennial runners-up to champs,” García writes, “did the emotions boil over.” The first sports book to look at Mexican American basketball specifically, When Mexicans Could Play Ball is also a revealing study of racism and cultural identity formation in Texas. Using personal interviews, newspaper articles, and game statistics to create a compelling narrative, as well as drawing on his experience as a sports writer, García takes us into the world of San Antonio’s Sidney Lanier High School basketball team, the Voks, which became a two-time state championship team under head coach William Carson “Nemo” Herrera. An alumnus of the school himself, García investigates the school administrators’ project to Americanize the students, Herrera’s skillful coaching, and the team’s rise to victory despite discrimination and violence from other teams and the world outside of the school. Ultimately, García argues, through their participation and success in basketball at Lanier, the Voks players not only learned how to be American but also taught their white counterparts to question long-held assumptions about Mexican Americans.
Just ten years ago, discussions of Latina/o media could be safely reduced to a handful of TV channels, dominated by Univision and Telemundo. Today, dramatic changes in the global political economy have resulted in an unprecedented rise in major new media ventures for Latinos as everyone seems to want a piece of the Latina/o media market. While current scholarship on Latina/o media have mostly revolved around important issues of representation and stereotypes, this approach does not provide the entire story. In Contemporary Latina/o Media,Arlene Dávila and Yeidy M. Rivero bring together an impressive range of leading scholars to move beyond analyses of media representations, going behind the scenes to explore issues of production, circulation, consumption, and political economy that affect Latina/o mass media. Working across the disciplines of Latina/o media, cultural studies, and communication, the contributors examine how Latinos are being affected both by the continued Latin Americanization of genres, products, and audiences, as well as by the whitewashing of "mainstream"Hollywood media where Latinos have been consistently bypassed. While focusing on Spanish-language television and radio, the essays also touch on the state of Latinos in prime-time television and in digital and alternative media. Using a transnational approach, the volume as a whole explores the ownership,importation, and circulation of talent and content from Latin America, placing the dynamics of the global political economy and cultural politics in the foreground of contemporary analysis of Latina/o media.
Latinos constitute the fastest-growing and largest ethnic minority in the United States, yet less than one percent of network news coverage deals with Latinos as the focus of a story. Out of that one percent, even fewer stories are positive in either content or tone. Author of the acclaimed Brown Tide Rising: Metaphors of Latinos in Contemporary American Public Discourse, Otto Santa Ana has completed a comprehensive analysis of this situation, blending quantitative research with semiotic readings and ultimately applying cognitive science and humanist theory to explain the repercussions of this marginal, negative coverage.
The bandido, the harlot, the male buffoon, the female clown, the Latin lover, and the dark lady—these have been the defining, and demeaning, images of Latinos in U.S. cinema for more than a century. In this book, Charles Ramírez Berg develops an innovative theory of stereotyping that accounts for the persistence of such images in U.S. popular culture. He also explores how Latino actors and filmmakers have actively subverted and resisted such stereotyping.
In the first part of the book, Berg sets forth his theory of stereotyping, defines the classic stereotypes, and investigates how actors such as Raúl Julia, Rosie Pérez, José Ferrer, Lupe Vélez, and Gilbert Roland have subverted stereotypical roles. In the second part, he analyzes Hollywood's portrayal of Latinos in three genres: social problem films, John Ford westerns, and science fiction films. In the concluding section, Berg looks at Latino self-representation and anti-stereotyping in Mexican American border documentaries and in the feature films of Robert Rodríguez. He also presents an exclusive interview in which Rodríguez talks about his entire career, from Bedhead to Spy Kids, and comments on the role of a Latino filmmaker in Hollywood and how he tries to subvert the system.
Ilan Stavans's collection of essays on kitsch and high art in the Americas makes a return with thirteen new colorful conversations that deliver Stavans's trademark wit and provocative analysis. "A Dream Act Deferred" discusses an issue that is at once and always topical in the dialogue of Hispanic popular culture: immigration. This essay generated a vociferous response when first published in The Chronicle of Higher Education as the issue of immigration was contested in states like Arizona, and is included here as a new addition that adds a rich layer to Stavans's vibrant discourse. Fitting in this reconfiguration of his analytical conversations on Hispanic popular culture is Stavans's "Arrival: Notes from an Interloper," which recounts his origins as a social critic and provides the reader with interactive insight into the mind behind the matter. Once again delightfully humorous and perceptive, Stavans delivers an expanded collection that has the power to go even further beyond common assumptions and helps us understand Mexican popular culture and its counterparts in the United States.
In this broadly interdisciplinary book, experts from the fields of Latina/o studies, media studies, communication, comparative literature, women's studies, and sociology come together to offer the first wide-ranging look at the construction and representation of Latina identity in U.S. popular culture. The authors consider such popular figures as actresses Lupe Vélez, Salma Hayek, and Jennifer Lopez; singers Shakira and Celia Cruz; and even the Hispanic Barbie doll in her many guises. They investigate the media discourses surrounding controversial Latinas such as Lorena Bobbitt and Marisleysis González. And they discuss Latina representations in Lupe Solano's series of mystery books and in the popular TV shows El Show de Cristina and Laura en América. This extensive treatment of Latina representation in popular culture not only sheds new light on how meaning is produced through images of the Latina body, but also on how these representations of Latinas are received, revised, and challenged.
The quinceañera, the fifteenth birthday celebration for a Latina girl, is quickly becoming an American event. This legendary party is a sight to behold: lavish ball gowns, extravagant catered meals, DJs, limousines, and multi-tiered cakes. The must-haves for a "quince" are becoming as numerous and costly as a prom or wedding. And yet, this elaborate ritual also hearkens back to traditions from native countries and communities, offering young Latinas a chance to connect with their heritage. Writer Alvarez explores this celebration that brings a Latina girl into womanhood, attending the quince of a young woman in Queens, and weaving in interviews with other quince girls, her own memories of coming of age as an immigrant, and the history of the custom itself. The result is an enlightening, accessible, and entertaining portrait of contemporary Latino culture.
Winner, 2014 Distinguished Contribution to Research Award presented by the Latina/o Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association Los Angeles is the epicenter of the American gang problem. Rituals and customs from Los Angeles' eastside gangs, including hand signals, graffiti, and clothing styles, have spread to small towns and big cities alike. Many see the problem with gangs as related to urban marginality--for a Latino immigrant population struggling with poverty and social integration, gangs offer a close-knit community. Yet, as Edward Orozco Flores argues in God's Gangs, gang members can be successfully redirected out of gangs through efforts that change the context in which they find themselves, as well as their notions of what it means to be a man. Flores here illuminates how Latino men recover from gang life through involvement in urban, faith-based organizations. Drawing on participant observation and interviews with Homeboy Industries, a Jesuit-founded non-profit that is one of the largest gang intervention programs in the country, and with Victory Outreach, a Pentecostal ministry with over 600 chapters, Flores demonstrates that organizations such as these facilitate recovery from gang life by enabling gang members to reinvent themselves as family men and as members of their community. The book offers a window into the process of redefining masculinity. As Flores convincingly shows, gang members are not trapped in a cycle of poverty and marginality. With the help of urban ministries, such men construct a reformed barrio masculinity to distance themselves from gang life.