Recovery and Digital Humanities

Welcome to Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage’s new blog page!

The Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage (aka “Recovery”) has recently been awarded  grants from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. These grants will fund the Recovery’s recent initiative to create the first digital humanities program to focus on US Latina/o Studies.

Things to look for on the blog as Recovery moves forward include: bilingual posts on archival material, digital exhibitions of selected collections, digital humanities projects, collaborations across disciplines and institutions, digital humanities workshops, and more! Make sure to follow us on Twitter at @APPRecovery and like our page on Facebook.

Support Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage! Become a member. Be a donor. Make a difference. You can sign up for Membership by clicking  here.

Membership benefits include:

  • Five electronic books Recovery books
  • Latest Recovery publications
  • 20% discount on Arte Público Press books
  • Conference and special events discounts

News release: APP Digital

Cross posted from https://artepublicopress.com/news-release-app-digital/.

With support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the 2019-2020 Manifold Digital Services Pilot Program, Arte Público Press/Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage announce the launch of Arte Público Digital (APP Digital).

The Manifold platform displays iterative texts, powerful annotation tools, rich media, and robust community dialogue, transforming scholarly publications into interactive digital works. In 2019, Manifold selected the University of Houston’s (UH) Arte Público Press/Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage as one of ten groups to participate in the second round of its pilot program.

The first full manuscript published on APP Digital is Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage, Volume I, edited by Ramón Gutiérrez and Genaro PadillaFirst published in 1993, this volume was the first anthology on recovered literature scholarship produced by the Recovery Program, laying the foundation for what would become the premier center for research on Latino documentary history in the United States.

Amid the move toward online instruction, this digital volume offers a virtual option for content and assignments. Educators and students can create free accounts on APP Digital, which gives them access to highlighting, annotating, and sharing capabilities. Educators can create a private reading group and share an automatically generated invitation code that students can use to create annotations visible only to the class. Students may interact with questions the educator pre-adds to the margins, annotate the text with their thoughts and questions in the margins, and respond to their classmates’ annotations. The “Share” tool allows users to share a passage from the text on Twitter or generate a citation for the selected passage in APA, MLA, or Chicago styles. Recovery Volume I makes an excellent addition to US Latino, Mexican American, Ethnic, and American studies, history, or literature courses.

APP Digital is an extension of the US Latino Digital Humanities Program. In 2019, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded UH a grant to establish a first-of-its-kind US Latino Digital Humanities Program in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. The program will give scholars expanded access to a vast collection of written materials produced by Latinos and archived by the Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage (“Recovery”) program and UH’s Arte Público Press, the nation’s largest publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by Hispanic authors from the United States.

Fighting Fascist Spain: The Exhibit

black and white group photo

Worker Antifascist Culture in US Spanish-language Periodicals

By Montse Feu, Sam Houston State University

[Featured photo caption: España Libre, Feb. 16, 1962:1. Founders’ picture. From left to right: Jesús González Malo (11th first row); José Nieto Ruiz (4th second row​); Félix Martí Ibáñez (8th second row); Aurelio Pego (5th top row). Should readers identify people in photograph please email Montse Feu at mm017 (at) shsu (dot) edu. Thank you.]

Over the last decade and through several publications, I have shared the story of US Hispanic workers in their fight against fascism, which included fundraising for the victims, grassroots activism, and publication of periodicals. My book, Fighting Fascist Spain. Worker Protest from the Printing Press (2020), shows how workers’ print culture and politics, most prominently anarchism and socialism, shaped their antifascism. Likewise, my co-edited volume, Writing Revolution: Hispanic Anarchism in the United States (2019), examines the ways in which Spanish-language anarchist periodicals established and maintained transnational networks that fought for the emancipation for workers from the late nineteenth through twentieth centuries in the United States, and part of this fight was the eradication of fascism. With this in mind, I have recovered, transcribed, and compiled Spanish Civil War exile correspondence to show its effectiveness as a post-war communication method that antifascist leaders like Jesús González Malo employed to strengthen their resistance networks in the context of transnational anarchism in Correspondencia personal y política de una anarcosindicalista exiliado: Jesús González Malo (1950-1965) (2016).

I research this fascinating topic thanks to the Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage program, which welcomed me as a research assistant while I was working on my PhD coursework. Interested in learning more about Spanish Civil War exile in the United States, I had applied to the University of Houston. My interest, both academic and personal, developed from the fragmented stories of anarchists, the Spanish Civil War, fascist terror, and transatlantic travels to the Americas I heard as a child. My research assistantship mainly consisted of recovering and cataloguing two Spanish Civil War Periodicals: Frente Popular (1936-1939) and España Libre (1939-1977). One of the first texts I catalogued was a refugee narrative. It portrayed refugees in their miles-long walk toward France at the end of the Spanish Civil War. The piece especially caught my attention because it described their crossing of my native hometown near Barcelona. From that moment, disseminating such hidden stories of resistance has been my calling, the root of much of my happiness, and the greatest privilege I have experienced.

Fighting Fascist Spain: The Exhibit, sponsored by the Grants-in-Aid of the US Latino Digital Humanites (USLDH) program, visualizes the story of the Sociedades Hispanas Confederadas (SHC) as told in Fighting Fascist Spain (2020). When the Spanish Civil War broke out, about two hundred US Hispanic cultural and mutual aid societies came together in what became known as the Sociedades Hispanas Confederadas (SHC). The SHC was devoted to its antifascist cause, particularly through its activism and the publication of Frente Popular (1936-1939), which changed its name to España Libre (1939-1977), until democratic elections were held again in Spain. España Libre (1939-1977) was the longest sustained antifascist bilingual periodical in the United States. Twentieth century U.S. Hispanic workers had a clear transnational consciousness: old migrants and new exiles from European fascism coalesced in overlapping communities across the United States and were linked to similar antifascist networks in other countries. Along with affiliated associations, theater groups, rallies, and demonstrations, periodicals provided public spaces of protest and solidarity in the United States.

Fighting Fascist Spain: The Exhibit intends to recover and make available worker antifascist visual culture. As physical objects, images in US Spanish-language periodicals are fragile. This digital collection will document otherwise disappearing memories of local and global networks of political protest and solidarity. Visual sources recovered in The Exhibit comprise but are not limited to:

  • announcements and photographs of rallies and demonstrations, photographs and obituaries of demonstrators
  • announcements of cultural fundraisers and the antifascist plays, photographs and obituaries of participants
  • cartoons, and photographs and obituaries of artists

Fighting Fascist Spain: The Exhibit intends to support antifascist researchers, descendants, and the general interested public in their efforts to recover information on victims of fascism and their allies, rebuild broken family stories, and amplify the victims’ voice and perspective.


Montse Feu, P.hD is an associate professor at Sam Houston State University. Dr. Feu recovers the literary history of the Spanish Civil War exile in the United States, US Hispanic periodicals, and migration and exile literature at large. Her most recent book is Fighting Fascist Spain. Worker Protest from the Printing Press, (2020) You can find her online at: https://montsefeu.wixsite.com/montsefeu.

Recuperando las voces hispanas del periódico La Voz de Nueva York (1937-1939)

Por Ana María Díaz-Marcos, Universidad de Connecticut

Cuando era alumna graduada en la Universidad de Masachussetts en Amherst hace más de veinte años tuve la oportunidad de pasar unos días trabajando en la Biblioteca Pública de Nueva York. Mi maestro Antonio Fernández Insuela, de la Universidad de Oviedo, me había invitado a participar en un congreso que conmemoraba el sesenta aniversario del exilio republicano y me propuso presentar algún trabajo dedicado a la prensa escrita por los exiliados. Me fui a Nueva York con juvenil entusiasmo y tuve la suerte del principiante pues ahora, con muchos años de investigación a mis espaldas, sé que no siempre aparece tan rápido aquello que se busca. El primer día encontré una referencia que llamó poderosamente mi atención: “Voz (Nueva York, N.Y. 1937) Spanish Newspaper Co, 1937-1939”. Eran los años de la contienda española y yo había encontrado un tesoro, un periódico publicado allí mismo en español durante la guerra civil con una voluntad radicalmente antifascista, “palpitante de intenciones democráticas y justicieras”, como declara su primer editorial el 19 de julio de 1937 coincidiendo con el aniversario de alzamiento. Después de ese primer número de carácter especial, La Voz comienza a publicarse con regularidad a partir del 24 de agosto de 1937 hasta diciembre de 1939. A partir de ese momento el título pasa a ser La Nueva Voz y la historia de esa segunda época se vuelve incierta porque solamente hay unos pocos ejemplares dispersos. La Voz se vendió a 3 centavos durante esos dos años y se dirigía a un lector bastante concreto: la colonia antifascista formada por hispanos, inmigrantes y exiliados viviendo en ese momento en la costa este de Estados Unidos. Como proclama la publicación Frente Popular La Voz era el “legítimo vocero de la gran masa de la colonia de habla española de América”. Fue, sin duda, un periódico comprometido y combativo que se mantuvo fiel a sus ideales democráticos y principios políticos, como proclamaba en agosto de 1938: “Nuestro lema sigue siendo el mismo: POR LA JUSTICIA SOCIAL, POR LA DEMOCRACIA; CONTRA LA TIRANÍA Y EL FASCISMO”.

En aquel momento pude fotocopiar toda una serie de artículos antifascistas que se convirtieron en los materiales primarios para mi presentación en aquel congreso y también para el artículo que se publicó posteriormente en las actas. Esa carpeta con recortes desapareció en alguna de mis mudanzas de un lado al otro del Atlántico pero me quedó el deseo de retomar algún día esa publicación para prestarle más atención a su contenido político y a sus propuestas en materia de género sexual. De hecho, en enero de 1938 Federica Montseny hacía un emocionado llamamiento desde sus páginas a las mujeres americanas destacando su papel y deber en la lucha antifascista:

¡Mujeres de América! ¡Maestras, intelectuales, empleadas, periodistas, obreras! Donde quiera que estéis escuchadme (…) ¡Ayudadnos! ¡Movilizad vuestras conciencias! ¡Agitad a favor de España y las víctimas del fascismo donde quiera que estéis! Es vuestro deber de antifascistas, de madres, de mujeres dignas, en todo momento.

“La Voz.” Frente Popular. August 30, 1937. Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection, p. 4.

La beca que recibo a través del programa Recovering the US Hispanic Heritage me permite, finalmente, retomar este proyecto inacabado. La Voz publicó una “Página de la mujer” que contiene información sumamente relevante para entender el feminismo hispánico de los años treinta y la posición de la mujer en esa sociedad inestable y en proceso de lucha y afán de reinvención. Mi propósito es recoger, digitalizar y estudiar una serie de artículos publicados en el periódico por feministas y activistas hispanas y latinas. Muchas de estas escritoras e intelectuales publicaron en La Voz y muchos de esos textos (como el de Montseny) no han sido recogidos o reeditados desde entonces. En 1938, por ejemplo, se publicaron en esa “Página de la mujer” un buen número de artículos firmados por la sufragista mexicana Margarita Robles de Mendoza, fundadora de la Unión de Mujeres Americanas (1934) y residente en Nueva York en aquellos años. Robles de Mendoza escribió artículos sobre los derechos de las mujeres, la explotación de las obreras en las fábricas, el papel de las mujeres en la España republicana y en la lucha antifascista. Otras autoras como la feminista mexicana Blanca Lydia Trejo, la periodista Rosa Amelia Aparicio o la diputada socialista Margarita Nelken, que después se exiliaría y moriría en México, también publicaron en La Voz. Ese activismo intelectual y empeño antifascista implican un esfuerzo absolutamente revolucionario. Mi intención es hacer accesible esos artículos y diseminar las voces de estas intelectuales y activistas para lograr una mejor comprensión de las relaciones entre antifascismo y feminismo. Haciendo un juego de palabras: La voz otorgó voz a discursos antifascistas, feministas, comprometidos con la democracia que se articularon en español desde Nueva York como centro de irradiación y oposición al fascismo. Ahora, ochenta años después de que terminara esa guerra que fue la antesala de la Segunda Guerra Mundial pero también el comienzo de una larga dictadura en España, es un ejercicio necesario de memoria histórica recordar esas voces latinas comprometidas con la causa antifascista.

Díaz-Marcos, Ana María. “El periódico neoyorquino La Voz (1937-1939): Prensa y literatura frente al franquismo.” Sesenta años después: el exilio literario asturiano de 1939: actas del Congreso Internacional celebrado en la Universidad de Oviedo, 20, 21 y 22 de octubre de 1999. Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes.

Frente Popular. Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection. EBSCO.


Ana María Díaz-Marcos es profesora titular de Literatura Española en el Departamento de Literaturas, Culturas y Lenguas de la Universidad de Connecticut. Sus campos de trabajo son la literatura, el teatro, el feminismo histórico y los estudios de género. Su trabajo más reciente es Escenarios de crisis: dramaturgas españolas en el nuevo milenio que se encuentra disponible en acceso abierto.

Recovery Volume CFP

HISTORIES AND CULTURES OF LATINAS: SUFFRAGE, ACTIVISM AND WOMEN’S RIGHTS

The Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Board invites submissions for publication in a refereed volume on the histories and cultures of Latinas. We welcome submissions from archivists, community members and activists, critics, historians, librarians, linguists, scholars and theorists who recover, preserve and make available the histories and cultures of US Latinas up to the 1980s.

The volume will have five chronological/thematic sections:

  • Digital Humanities
  • History, collections and archives, folklore and oral histories
  • Print culture and periodicals, literature and theatre, visual representation and style
  • Curriculum development and pedagogical approaches, bilingualism and linguistics, education, language and translation, library and information science 
  • Methodological and theoretical approaches to recovered histories and cultures

Topics of engagement include, but are not limited to: colonial literature and history, the Latino Nineteenth Century, la voz del pueblo, representation of Latinas in popular culture, beyond borders and languages, community and activism, Latina memory, Latina agency, social and political roles, suffrage and feminism, food and labor, modernism, nationalism, revolution and identity.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS, STYLE AND LENGTH

Criteria for inclusion: 1) relevance to the histories and cultures of US Latinas up to the 1980s, 2) challenges to western-centrism and patriarchy, 3) analytical studies of recovered authors and texts.

Submissions under consideration for the volume must employ the author-date citation method along with other documentation formats in accordance with the MLA Handbook.  Submissions must conform to a word count of some 5000-6000 words or 20-25 pages in length, in English or Spanish.

TIMELINE AND SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

To be considered for publication, papers must be submitted as a Word digital document via email, including author’s name, professional affiliation, contact information and title of the article to both editors Montse Feu (mmf017@shsu.edu) and Yolanda Padilla (ypadilla@uw.edu) by August 30, 2020. After the peer-review process, and upon acceptance of selected papersauthors will receive revision requests by December 15, 2020.

Revised and completed papers along with any needed illustrations and figures (including any required permissions) should be finalized and sent to the co-editors by March 15, 2021. Expected publication date: September 2021.

Digital Projects at Recovery

Hello, readers!

This week many of the volunteers, interns, and employees at the Recovery Program are working from home. Together we are navigating the current situation brought about by COVID-19 and it has been comforting to be able to stay connected and continue to work on our projects during this time. In this blog post and the next, I would like to share a little about the ongoing projects at the Recovery Program.

***

Katerin Zapata, is a liberal studies major studying Spanish, sociology, and creative writing at the University of Houston-main campus. This semester she is working on two digital projects: an online interactive timeline and an online exhibit highlighting the work of LULAC, League of United Latin American Citizens. This is what Zapata has to say about her work in the Recovery Program:

thumbnail_screenshot of research poster

Conference Poster by Katerin Zapata

“My goal is to create interactive, visual tools that showcase the activism and resiliency of the most established Latinx organization, LULAC. LULAC has been working towards the freedom and justice of Hispanics since 1929 and continues to do so today. Hopefully, these tools will inspire others to digitize their own histories or contribute to this work. I interned with the Recovery Program/Arte Público Press last summer before my first year at UH and they called me back this semester and offered me a scholarship. I am learning about the process of research, of digitizing history, and a lot about Hispanic American history. I am growing immensely as a professional but also as an individual. The people at APP are hardworking, encouraging and so kind. Overall, it’s just an inspiring place to be. I am so grateful for this opportunity and I look forward to what the future holds for me at Arte Público and in the digital humanities.”

LULAC TIMELINE

LULAC Timeline by Katerin Zapata

***

Lorena Gauthereau is the Digital Programs Manager for the US Latino Digital Humanities program at Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage (Recovery). She received her PhD from Rice University in English. Previously, she served as the CLIR-Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Recovery. Theresa Mayfield, M.L.S., is the Local History Librarian for Moore Memorial Public Library in Texas City. Previously, she worked as an intern and then as a volunteer at Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage. Gauthereau and Mayfield created the Alonso S. Perales Correspondence Map.

pera0225_001 (2)While working with the Alonso S. Perales Papers to produce the first online collection for the Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Digital Archives, they came across a large stack of empty envelopes. Together, they considered what type of historical data these empty envelopes contained in their own right. Considering Perales’ huge influence as a co-founder of the League of the United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and as one of the most prominent civil rights leaders of the twentieth century, Gauthereau and Mayfield predicted that these envelopes could reveal the extent of his network. They wanted to create a visual representation of his reach during the 1930s-1950s. In order to do so, they worked with Rice University graduate student volunteers Sonia Del Hierro and Sophia Martinez, to scan the envelopes and document metadata such as the sender/receiver location and postmark date. Using Kepler Maps, Gauthereau and Theresa populated the map with this metadata. This map will also link to scanned images of the envelopes included on the Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Digital Archives site.

ASP Correspondence Map by Gauthereau & Mayfield

ASP Correspondence Map by Gauthereau & Mayfield

For more digital humanities projects at the Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Program, please visit Digital Projects – Arte Público .

Melinda Mejia is an instructor of English and Humanities at Houston Community College. She received her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University at Buffalo – SUNY in 2014. Her current projects include creating an Open Educational Resource in Mexican-American Studies and an article on the concept of translation in Maria Cristina Mena’s writing.

HILT 2020: Latinx Digital Praxis

***UPDATE: HILT 2020 has been cancelled due to COVID-19.***

HILT

Registration is open for Humanities Intensive Learning and Training (HILT) 2020. HILT is a 5-day training institute that includes keynotes, ignite talks, and local cultural heritage excursions for researchers, students, early career scholars and cultural heritage professionals who seek to learn more about Digital Humanities theory, practice, and culture. In addition to the conference’s day-time sessions, participants can enjoy opportunities to explore the city through local dining and special events.

This year, HILT will take place at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska, May 18-22, 2020. Scholarships to help defray costs are available for students and groups of 5 or more, as well as UNL faculty, staff, and students. (These cannot be combined.) To apply, click here.

Instructors

Carolina Villarroel, Ph.D., C.A. Brown Foundation Director of Research, Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage, University of Houston

Gabriela Baeza Ventura, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Spanish, University of Houston

Latinx Digital Praxis: From the Archive to the Digital

Latinx Digital Praxis: From the Archive to the Digital explores analog and digital methodologies to create scholarship and knowledge around the experiences of US Latinx peoples. Participants will be introduced to the process of developing toolkits and resources to explore archival sources of Latinx peoples while taking into account their historical, cultural and political context. Participants will be guided through processes involved in rescuing materials that have been or could fall through the cracks of the institutional apparatus to ask why and how we can rethink these processes in order to incorporate these underrepresented communities and their history within the institutional discourse. We will interrogate the lived experiences of transnational, exile, native, immigrant peoples which are crucial at the time of researching, reading, understanding and writing about them.

Questions that this course will cover include, but are not limited to:

  • How do we approach US Latinx experience?
  • How do we understand the importance of ethnic materials in the US?
  • How do we approach and incorporate languages other than English into DH?
  • How to identify materials for future projects (research, copyright issues, etc.)?
  • How do we create meaningful and respectful data?
  • How do we work with the community owners of the knowledge?
  • How do we create knowledge and scholarship based on these materials?
  • How do we engage our local and immediate communities?

We expect participants will complete this course with knowledge of how to use digital surrogates to expand access and dissemination of underrepresented collections, as well as develop  plans for community-building and partnerships that could help further the mission and scope of the projects. The course uses an interdisciplinary approach that at its very base questions archival politics and praxis. Additionally, participants will learn about strategies necessary to advocate for programming, grant writing, and faculty and student engagement (undergraduate and graduate).No prior technical knowledge is required in this course. Anyone with an interest in Latinx studies and digital humanities is welcome.This course is based on the work of the Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage program located at the University of Houston, one of the premier research programs for US Latinx scholarship with a trajectory of more than 27 years of locating, preserving, and making available the written legacy of Latinx in the US since colonial times until 1960.

For more information about HILT, including costs, please visit: http://dhtraining.org/hilt/conferences/hilt-2020/

Inspiration in the Archives: Leonor Villegas de Magnón

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Group of nurses from La Cruz Blanca

I am starting my third week as a volunteer at the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Program and I am happy to say this has already been a rewarding experience. I’ve learned to use Omeka (an open source web-publishing platform for the display of museum, archives, and scholarly collections and exhibitions) to contribute to  the program’s digital collections, Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Digital Collections, and I’m excited to jump into digital mapping soon, all in view of providing new learning tools and techniques for the courses I teach at Houston Community College. But the most rewarding feature so far has been sitting with and exploring archival material belonging to visionary Hispanics/Latin@s. For that reason alone, my time here has been inspiring and exciting and I am grateful for spaces and programs like these dedicated to the preservation and proliferation of the accounts and stories of our people which have too often been left by the wayside.

These last two weeks, I have been perusing the Leonor Villegas de Magnón Collection in order to complete a digital exhibit of this revolutionary woman and as part of my own research for the creation of a Mexican American Studies OER (Open Educational Resource). Born in 1876 in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Leonor Villegas de Magnón embodied a borderlands existence. In her early years, her family often traveled across the Rio Grande (Rio Bravo) as her father did business on both the Mexican and U.S. sides of the border. Two of her three siblings were born in the U.S. and she was educated in multiple U.S. schools as a child. Her perception of the world early on must have been one that saw borders for the man-made, political illusions that they are. In many ways, her life work suggests that she understood the two nations as one, linked by history, proximity, and human connections; she saw the possibility of true solidarity and camaraderie among the inhabitants of these two nations.

While Villegas de Magnón and her family enjoyed the privileges of bourgeoisie life, in part because of the succesful enterprises of her father, by the time of the Mexican Revolution (1910), Magnón was ready to abandon those comforts in view of the nascent revolutionary movement.  Influenced by what she saw as “the noble relationship between her parents and their laborers” (translation of Lomas), by the liberal and democratic ideals of the era, and by her own sense of justice, she was steadfastly committed to the true progress of Mexico defined by the progress of the disadvantaged and by the just treatment and compensation of the Mexican labor class (Clara Lomas, Introducción, xxi).

 

Nicknamed “La Rebelde” at birth, Villegas de Magnón fulfilled her moniker at every step. During the beginning of the Mexican Revolution, she wrote pieces supporting the revolutionary cause and stood firmly against the exploitation of the Mexican people under Porfirio Diaz. Later down the line, she wrote informational articles on the Revolution’s progress and events for La Cronica, El Progreso, and El Radical. But it was her role as nurse and leader of La Cruz Blanca Constitucionalista that anchored her to the cause and through which she became an indispensable figure of the Mexican Revolution. Villegas de Magnón founded La Cruz Blanca Constitucionalista, an organization of nurses formed in 1913 to treat the injured during the bloodiest years of the Mexican Revolution.

In her autobiography, Villegas de Magnón narrates the decisive moment in which she is called to serve as nurse by a “strange force that she does not resist,” thus fulfilling a vision that her mother had once described to her:

La Rebelde despertó de su intranquilo sueño al oír resonar los primeros tiros en ambos Laredos. Movida por una influencia extraña a la que no presto resistencia, se vistió precipitadamente. Con calma escribió en un sobre ya usado que encontró sobre de la mesa: ‘Hijitos cuando se levanten vayan a la casa de su tío, allí espérenme, volveré pronto’. Eran las seis de la mañana, las calles desiertas a esas horas no la desanimaron; se dispuso a ir inmediatamente a auxiliar a los heridos.

El problema que ya estaba trazado en su vida fue resuelto en pocos momentos, en los que ya estaban visualizados por aquella madre que vio a su hija enarbolando una bandera blanca, la hora había sonado y obedecía a su llamado. La Rebelde resuelta a cumplir este patriótico y piadoso deber no vaciló; sin esperar abordó un automóvil que en esos momentos pasaba por su casa al mismo tiempo que llegaba otro con un grupo de señoritas que venían huyendo de Nuevo Laredo para escapar de las balas, diciéndole que toda la población de Nuevo Laredo estaba ya cruzando el puente para el lado americano.

La Rebelde las hizo ver en el acto que era necesario regresar, se bajaron de su coche para abordar el de La Rebelde. (60-61)

Leonor Villegas de Magnón and Aracelito Garcia dredsed in white next to the flag of La Cruz Blanca (White Cross), 1914

Leonor Villegas de Magnón and Aracelito Garcia with flag of La Cruz Blanca, 1914. From Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage’s Leonor Villegas de Magnón Collection

La hora había sonado. It was time. Magnón hears the sounds of battle, the firing of guns,and she does not run from them but runs towards them with an almost impulsive resoluteness. She writes a short note to her children, instructing them to go to their uncle’s and assuring them that she will be back. She takes with her a group of brave women that eventually would become the first group of nurses of La Cruz Blanca Constitucionalista.

So begins this magnificent chapter in Mexican and Mexican American history; more importantly, so begins a chapter in women’s history that is often overlooked. I envision these women, heroes, rushing towards the battle sounds and feel pride and inspiration. And, I am reminded that the story of Hispanics/Latin@s has always been inspiring. It simply needs to be told. 

Stay tuned for a Leonor Villegas de Magnón exhibit at Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Digital Collections

Villegas, de Magnon, Leonor and Clara Lomas. La Rebelde. Houston, Texas: Arte Público Press. 2004. Print.

Melinda Mejia is an instructor of English and Humanities at Houston Community College. She received her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University at Buffalo – SUNY in 2014. Her current projects include creating an Open Educational Resource in Mexican-American Studies and an article on the concept of translation in Maria Cristina Mena’s writing.

Workshop: Introduction to Using Digital Tools in Recovery Research

laptop on left, open notebook on right

University of Houston Downtown
Thursday, February 20, 2020
Instructors: Gabriela Baeza Ventura, PhD; Carolina Villarroel, PhD, CA and Lorena Gauthereau, PhD

This workshop explores analog and digital methodologies to create scholarship and knowledge around the experiences of US Latinas/os. This workshop will provide an overview of how to use US Latina/o archival material to create digital projects and assignments in order to contest the historical record. Drawing from the rich collections at the University of Houston’s Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage, we will demonstrate free, easy-to-use software that can be used to create historical timelines, online exhibits of historical photographs/documents and dynamic story maps. We will emphasize methodologies that center US Latina/o experiences and ask participants to consider how the digital space can function as a site of resistance.

Some of the questions that this workshop will include, but are not limited to are the following:

  • How to identify materials for future projects (research, copyright issues, etc.)?
  • How do we create meaningful and respectful data?
  • How do we work with the community owners of the knowledge?
  • How do we create knowledge and scholarship based on these materials?
  • How do we engage local communities?

Participants will take part in a guided activity in which they brainstorm potential digital projects and assignments based on their own research interests. Participants will leave the workshop with knowledge of how to use Recovery’s databases, a list of digital resources, a digital bibliography, a list of free software and draft idea for a potential digital project. No prior technical knowledge is required in this course. Anyone with an interest in US Latina/o studies and digital studies is welcome. Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptops. Computers will not be provided.

This course is based on the work of the University of Houston’s Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage and the US Latino Digital Humanities programs located at the University of Houston.

Sign up for workshop by clicking here.

  • Conference participants $20
  • Non-conference participants $50

Spaces are limited. Deadline to sign up: February 14, 2019.

#GivingTuesday

Two hands holding a small gift wrapped in red and white holiday wrapping paper

If you missed #GivingTuesday, don’t worry–it’s not too late to donate to Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage and Arte Público Press!

Your donations help to support our mission to further children’s literacy, create materials for education at all levels and promote Latino culture as part of the national identity of the United States. Your donation is entirely tax-deductible.

You can donate by visiting the University of Houston College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences (CLASS) donation page at https://giving.uh.edu/class/.

Use the drop down menu under “I would like to make a gift to benefit the following:” to select Arte Público Press and enter a dollar amount. If you would like to further designate this gift specifically for Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage (Recovery) or the US Latino Digital Humanities program (USLDH), please do so in the text box.