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Sept 13 | Pan Dulce: Breaking Bread with the Past

  • Knox Hall Room 509, Columbia University 606 West 122nd Street New York, NY, 10027 United States (map)
Maria Cotera final-cropped.jpg

When: Thursday, September 13, 2018, 6:10-7:30 pm

Where:  Knox Hall, Room 509

In this presentation, Dr. Maria Cotera will share what she has learned in the process of collecting oral histories for Chicana por mi Raza, a digital humanities project that involves the collection, digitization, and display of archival materials and oral histories related to the development of Chicana Feminist thought and praxis over the long civil rights era. Over the course of the last nine years, Dr. Cotera and a small team of collaborators, students, and researchers, have developed an approach to oral history centered on a cross-generational transmission of knowledge between storytellers, researchers, and students that is shaped by a long tradition of Chicana memory work articulated in practices that range from altar building to conversations across the kitchen table. By re-imagining the archive as an active site of encuentro/encounter between the present and the past, and the oral history interview as a trans-generational diálogo/dialogue, the Chicana por mi Raza project engages a feminist praxis of digital scholarship that produces knowledge not only for scholarly communities but also for (and with) a broader public. 

Maria Cotera is an associate professor in the Departments of Women’s Studies and American Culture at the University of Michigan, where she also directs the Latina/o Studies Program. Her first book, Native Speakers: Ella Deloria, Zora Neale Hurston, Jovita González, and the Poetics of Culture, (University of Texas Press, 2008) received the Gloria Anzaldúa book prize for 2009 from the National Women's Studies Association (NWSA). Since 2009 she has been building Chicana por mi Raza, a digital archive documenting Chicana Feminist Praxis in the 1970s.