The Chicano/a Studies Department organized a reception Wednesday featuring the publications and artistic productions of various faculty members.
“This event (allowed for the) interaction of colleagues and students, while recognizing the accomplishments of our faculty,” said Mary Pardo, Chicano/a Studies Department chair. “The dean offers a showcase like this for the entire college, so we thought it would be nice to have one just for our professors.”
The event, which honored faculty for their accomplishments in artwork, published books and music, was held in Sierra Hall’s Whitsett Room.
“(An event like this) makes me proud,” said Karin Duran, librarian for the Chicano/a Studies Department. “It’s wonderful to see that Latino scholars are producing so many important works.”
Duran said that over the years, she has seen the field of Chicano/a literary works expand. She also said it has improved greatly, and includes research in a wide array of areas.
“Our professors have published all sorts of subjects, such as education, sociology, language,” said Lara Medina, Chicano/a studies professor.
Medina’s publication “Las Hermanas” was among the works displayed. Her book focuses on the role of the Chicana as a religious and political activist in the Catholic Church.
“There has always been sexism and racism in the Church,” Medina said. “This book illustrates what’s going on.”
Examples of professor Yreina Cervantez’s artwork appeared in several publications and were on display at the reception.
She used bright colors to capture the essence of Chicana experiences in her work.
Cervantez is also known for her silkscreen images and murals.
“I’ve been painting my whole life,” Cervantez said. “This event allows us to discuss issues in our work with colleagues and students.”
Events like this allow professors to enhance what they are teaching in the classroom, Cervantez said.
“It’s great to have professors’ work being presented to students,” said Selene Salas, senior liberal studies and Chicano/a studies major. “It’s a great inspiration. It makes us think that we can do it, too.”
The two-hour event closed with three members of Conjunto Hueyapan, (“conjunto” meaning group and “hueyapan” meaning place near the big water) who performed a short set of songs.
Professors Isabel Herrera, Fermin Herrera, and Xocoyotzin Herrera presented a short lecture on the description of their musical genre, the son jarocho.
The son jarocho, which originated in the Veracruz region of Mexico, features syncopated rhythmic patterns and improvisations in vocals and music.
Among the books presented was professor Fermin Herrera’s “Concise English/Nahuatl-Nahuatl/English Dictionary.” Nahuatl is the language of the Aztec people of Mexico.
Herrera said it took him a few years to format the edition, and he is still compiling more terms.
“(I am) working on a comprehensive dictionary, but more immediately, I’m working on a Nahuatl textbook, ‘Intro to Classical Nahuatl,'” Herrera said.