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Equity, Diversity, Inclusion: Hispanic Heritage Month

The National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers

2021 Hispanic Heritage Month Theme Announced

"The theme invites us to celebrate Hispanic Heritage and to reflect on how great our tomorrow can be if we hold onto our resilience and hope. It encourages us to reflect on all of the contributions Hispanics have made in the past, and will continue to make in the future. It is also a reminder that we are stronger together." 

 

Academic Focus

Chica Lit Popular Latina Fiction and Americanization in the Twenty-First Century

Hedrick, T. (2015). Chica Lit Popular Latina Fiction and Americanization in the Twenty-First Century. University of Pittsburgh Press. Ebook.

In Chica Lit: Popular Latina Fiction and Americanization in the Twenty-First Century, Tace Hedrick illuminates how discourses of Americanization, ethnicity, gender, class, and commodification shape the genre of "chica lit," popular fiction written by Latina authors with Latina characters. She argues that chica lit is produced and marketed in the same ways as contemporary romance and chick lit fiction, and aimed at an audience of twenty- to thirty-something upwardly mobile Latina readers. Its stories about young women's ethnic class mobility and gendered romantic success tend to celebrate twenty-first century neoliberal narratives about Americanization, hard work, and individual success. However, Hedrick emphasizes, its focus on Latina characters necessarily inflects this celebratory mode: the elusiveness of meaning in its use of the very term "Latina" empties out the differences among and between Latina/o and Chicano/a groups in the United States. Of necessity, chica lit also struggles with questions about the actual social and economic "place" of Latinas and Chicanas in this same neoliberal landscape; these questions unsettle its reliance on the tried-and-true formulas of chick lit and romance writing. Looking at chica lit's market-driven representations of difference, poverty, and Americanization, Hedrick shows how this writing functions within the larger arena of struggles over popular representation of Latinas and Chicanas.

 

Latinx Literature Unbound : Undoing Ethnic Expectation

Rodriguez, R. E. (2018). Latinx Literature Unbound : Undoing Ethnic Expectation (First edition.). Fordham University Press. Ebook.

Since the 1990's, there has been unparalleled growth in the literary output from an ever more diverse group of Latinx writers. Extant criticism, however, has yet to catch up with the diversity of writers we label Latinx and the range of themes about which they write. Little sustained scholarly attention has been paid, moreover, to the very category under which we group this literature. Latinx Literature Unbound, thus, begins with a fundamental question “What does it mean to label a work of literature or an entire corpus of literature Latinx?” From this question others emerge: What does Latinx allow or predispose us to see, and what does it preclude us from seeing? If the grouping—which brings together a heterogeneous collection of people under a seemingly homogeneous label—tells us something meaningful, is there a poetics we can develop that would facilitate our analysis of this literature? In answering these questions, Latinx Literature Unbound frees Latinx literature from taken-for-granted critical assumptions about identity and theme. It argues that there may be more salubrious taxonomies than Latinx for organizing and analyzing this literature. Privileging the act of reading as a temporal, meaning-making event, Ralph E. Rodriguez argues that genre may be a more durable category for analyzing this literature and suggests new ways we might proceed with future studies of the writing we have come to identify as Latinx.

 

Sovereign acts : contesting colonialism across indigenous nations and Latinx America

Negrón-Muntaner, F. (2017). Sovereign acts : contesting colonialism across indigenous nations and Latinx America. University of Arizona Press. Ebook.

This paradigm-shifting work examines the new ways colonized peoples resist subjugation and reclaim rights and political power--Provided by publisher.

Bestsellers

Mexican Gothic

Moreno-Garcia, S. (2020). Mexican Gothic (First edition.). Del Rey. Print. Fiction.

"The acclaimed author of Gods of Jade and Shadow returns with a darkly enchanting reimagining of Gothic fantasy, in which a spirited young woman discovers the haunting secrets of a beautiful old mansion in 1950s Mexico"-- Provided by publisher.

 

Luiselli, V. (2019). Lost children archive : a novel (First edition.). Alfred A. Knopf. Print. Fiction.

"From the two-time NBCC Finalist, a fiercely imaginative novel about a family's summer road trip across America--a journey that, with breathtaking imagery, spare lyricism, and profound humanity, probes the nature of justice and equality in America today. A mother and father set out with their kids from New York to Arizona. In their used Volvo--and with their ten-year-old son trying out his new Polaroid camera--the family is heading for the Apacheria: the region the Apaches once called home, and where the ghosts of Geronimo and Cochise might still linger. The father, a sound documentarist, hopes to gather an "inventory of echoes" from this historic, mythic place. The mother, a radio journalist, becomes consumed by the news she hears on the car radio, about the thousands of children trying to reach America but getting stranded at the southern border, held in detention centers, or being sent back to their homelands, to an unknown fate. But as the family drives farther west--through Virginia to Tennessee, across Oklahoma and Texas--we sense they are on the brink of a crisis of their own. A fissure is growing between the parents, one the children can feel beneath their feet. They are led, inexorably, to a grand, unforgettable adventure--both in the harsh desert landscape and within the chambers of their own imaginations. Told through the voices of the mother and her son, as well as through a stunning tapestry of collected texts and images--including prior stories of migration and displacement--Lost Children Archive is a story of how we document our experiences, and how we remember the things that matter to us the most. Blending the personal and the political with astonishing empathy, it is a powerful, wholly original work of fiction: exquisite, provocative, and deeply moving"-- Provided by publisher.

"A novel about a family of four, on the cusp of fracture, who take a trip across America--a story told through varying points of view, and including archival documents and photographs"-- Provided by publisher.

 

The poet X : a novel

Acevedo, Elizabeth (2018). The poet X : a novel (First edition.). HarperTeen. Print. Juvenile Fiction.

"Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, Xiomara Batista has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. She pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers--especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. Mami is determined to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, and Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. When she is invited to join her school's slam poetry club, she can't stop thinking about performing her poems"--Dust jacket.

eBooks

The Digital Edge: How Black and Latino Youth Navigate Digital Inequality

Watkins, S. (2018) The Digital Edge: How Black and Latino Youth Navigate Digital Inequality. Ebook. Cultural Studies.

How black and Latino youth learn, create, and collaborate online The Digital Edge examines how the digital and social-media lives of low-income youth, especially youth of color, have evolved amidst rapid social and technological change. While notions of the digital divide between the "technology rich" and the "technology poor" have largely focused on access to new media technologies, the contours of the digital divide have grown increasingly complex. Analyzing data from a year‐long ethnographic study at Freeway High School, the authors investigate how the digital media ecologies and practices of black and Latino youth have adapted as a result of the wider diffusion of the internet all around us--in homes, at school, and in the palm of our hands. Their eager adoption of different technologies forge new possibilities for learning and creating that recognize the collective power of youth: peer networks, inventive uses of technology, and impassioned interests that are remaking the digital world. Relying on nearly three hundred in-depth interviews with students, teachers, and parents, and hundreds of hours of observation in technology classes and after school programs, The Digital Edge carefully documents some of the emergent challenges for creating a more equitable digital and educational future. Focusing on the complex interactions between race, class, gender, geography and social inequality, the book explores the educational perils and possibilities of the expansion of digital media into the lives and learning environments of low-income youth. Ultimately, the book addresses how schools can support the ability of students to develop the social, technological, and educational skills required to navigate twenty-first century life.

 

The story of my teeth

Luiselli, V., & MacSweeney, C. (2015). The story of my teeth. Coffee House Press. Ebook. Fiction.

Luiselli follows in the imaginative tradition of writers like Borges and Márquez, but her style and concerns are unmistakably her own. This deeply playful novel is about the passion and obsession of collecting, the nature of storytelling, the value of objects, and the complicated bonds of family... Luiselli has become a writer to watch, in part because it's truly hard to know (but exciting to wonder about) where she will go next.” --The New York Times

"I was born in Pachuca, the Beautiful Windy City, with four premature teeth and my body completely covered in a very fine coat of fuzz. But I'm grateful for that inauspicious start because ugliness, as my other uncle, Eurípides López Sánchez, was given to saying, is character forming." Highway is a late-in-life world traveler, yarn spinner, collector, and legendary auctioneer. His most precious possessions are the teeth of the 'notorious infamous' like Plato, Petrarch, and Virginia Woolf.

Written in collaboration with the workers at a Jumex juice factory, Teeth is an elegant, witty, exhilarating romp through the industrial suburbs of Mexico City and Luiselli's own literary influences. Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City in 1983 and grew up in South Africa. Her work has been translated into many languages and has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Granta, and McSweeney's. Her novel, The Story of My Teeth, is the winner of the LA Times Book Prize in Fiction.

 

Tell me how it ends : an essay in forty questions

Luiselli, V., & Luiselli, V. (2017). Tell me how it ends : an essay in forty questions. Coffee House Press. Ebook. Social Conditions.

Structured around the forty questions volunteer worker Valeria Luiselli translates from a court system form and asks undocumented Latin American children facing deportation, Tell Me How It Ends humanizes these young migrants and highlights the contradiction between the idea of America as a fiction for immigrants and the reality of racism and fear—here and back home.

 

Ordinary Girls: A Memoir

Díaz, J. (2019). Ordinary Girls: A Memoir. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. Ebook. Biography.

In this searing memoir, Jaquira Díaz writes fiercely and eloquently of her challenging girlhood and triumphant coming of age.

While growing up in housing projects in Puerto Rico and Miami Beach, Díaz found herself caught between extremes. As her family split apart and her mother battled schizophrenia, she was supported by the love of her friends. As she longed for a family and home, her life was upended by violence. As she celebrated her Puerto Rican culture, she couldn’t find support for her burgeoning sexual identity. From her own struggles with depression and sexual assault to Puerto Rico’s history of colonialism, every page of Ordinary Girls vibrates with music and lyricism. Díaz writes with raw and refreshing honesty, triumphantly mapping a way out of despair toward love and hope to become her version of the girl she always wanted to be. Reminiscent of Tara Westover’s Educated, Kiese Laymon’s Heavy, Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club, and Terese Marie Mailhot’s Heart Berries, Jaquira Díaz’s memoir provides a vivid portrait of a life lived in (and beyond) the borders of Puerto Rico and its complicated history—and reads as electrically as a novel.

Online Videos

The Latino List, Vol. 1

The Latino List: Volume 1 (2011). Documentary.

HBO presents a unique glimpse into the vibrant and burgeoning culture of Hispanic America through a series of highly personal video portraits of Latinos who have richly contributed to the fabric of contemporary society. Funny, poignant and irreverent, The Latino List illuminates the Latino experience today, at a time when the Latino population in the US is booming. The Latino List: Volume 1 spotlights a diverse range of notables from music, science, journalism, theater, politics, business, and government. In intimate interviews with NPR correspondent Maria Hinojosa, these prominent Hispanic Americans discuss such subjects as the childhood inspirations that fueled their ambitions, how they achieved success, the evolving American cultural landscape they helped mold, the importance of preserving a distinct cultural identity for future generations to embrace, and the challenges of discrimination. The subjects share stories of growing up Latino in America, how their backgrounds shaped their philosophies and their feelings on a society where new opportunities abound, but challenges still exist. Hailing from a variety of backgrounds, including Cuban, Colombian, Honduran, Mexican, Puerto Rican, and more, each interviewee has a unique perspective on his or her American success story.

 

The Latino List, Vol. 2

The Latino List: Volume 2 (2012). Documentary.

The Latino List: Volume 2 features interviews with an extraordinary cross-section of Hispanic Americans who represent a variety of professions, disciplines, and backgrounds, each speaking to the unique struggles and triumphs he or she has faced. The film consists of intimate first-person vignettes, with each subject speaking simply and directly into the camera about a number of topics "” from the hot-button issue of immigration to childhood inspirations that fueled their ambitions, to the evolving American cultural landscape they helped mold, to the importance of preserving a distinct cultural identity for future generations. Volume 2 features activist Dolores Huerta, journalist Soledad O'Brian, NY Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, model and humanitarian Christy Turlington, actors George Lopez and Judy Reyese, former Telemundo president of entertainment Nely Galan, Univision network president Cesar Conde, and political figures like Raul Yzaguirre, the US Ambassador to the Dominican Republic. From sharing stories from their childhoods to talking about life-changing moments in their professional and personal lives, each of these individuals shares what it means to be Latino in America.

 

Voces. Latino vote : dispatches from the battleground

Latino Vote: Dispatches from the Battleground (2020). Documentary.

This film follows the efforts of community leaders working to ensure Latino voter turnout. How will these efforts impact the presidential election result, and will 2020 be a tipping point for the impact of the Latino vote?

 

Dolores

Dolores (2017). Biographical Film.

Dolores Huerta is among the most important, yet least known, activists in American history. An equal partner in co-founding the first farm workers unions with Cesar Chavez, her enormous contributions have gone largely unrecognized. Dolores tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice alongside Chavez, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the twentieth century - and she continues the fight to this day, at 87. With intimate and unprecedented access to this intensely private mother to eleven, the film reveals the raw, personal stakes involved in committing one's life to social change.

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