Since 1988, in the United States, the dates from September 15th to October 15th have been federally recognized as “Hispanic Heritage Month.”
Some readers will already know that the term “Hispanic” can be fraught, and that it carries historical and political connotations. Around this time last year, Thomas Bravo at The Daily Sundial interviewed members of the of Chicana/o and Latinx CSUN community, including Professors of Chicana and Chicano Studies, Dr. Denise Sandoval and Dr. Harry Gamboa, Jr.
The history, nuances, and difficulties around the terms are worth exploring. In some places, you’ll find “Latina/o/x Heritage Month” marking this season. Pero, ¿que es Latinidad? Who is (and isn’t) considered Latinx/a/o, and why?
In reality, this month can be a time to recognize these difficult questions, as well as the mosaics of indigeneity, migration, resistance, and tradition that underpin ideas of “Latino/a/x” or “Hispanic.”
The University Library honors this time of year by inviting you to celebrate the complexities and richness of Latinx identity and culture.
As the month progresses, you will find a number of ways to engage with the aspects of heritage and history. You might also notice, however, that most of these things are accessible in the Library all year round. 😉
In the second floor Library Exhibit Gallery, from today through July of next year, you can explore The Politics of Low & Slow, a beautiful exhibit focused on low rider Chicano and Chicana culture, curated by Dr. Denise Sandoval.
In a 2021 blog post for Cited at the Library, Reference and Instruction Librarian Wendy Nunez demonstrates how she used the library’s search tools to uncover information about her family’s hometown of Oaxaca: Family History: Finding Oaxaca – Cited at the Library
Within our collections and archives, you can find a wealth of local and global information reflecting the diversity of Latinx/o/a, Latin American, indigenous, afro-latinx, and Caribbean heritage. Some of these materials will be centered in physical and digital book displays in the Library, for students to browse and check out. Of course, these resources are just a reflection of complex realities and lived experiences.
Bravo, T. (2021). The Daily Sundial, “Hispanic Heritage month: Why some are skeptical about it, thanks to its problematic history.” https://sundial.csun.edu/166090/arts-entertainment/hispanic-heritage-month-why-some-are-skeptical-about-it-thanks-to-its-problematic-history/
Jennifer A. Ferretti, Cristina Fontánez Rodríguez, Yvette Ramírez, Amanda Toledo, and Gabby Womack. (Feb 2022). Transcript. “Latinidad” as Erasure: Words from a Critical Discussion on the Single Narrative of Latinidad — up//root (uproot.space)