On April 30, 2018, Dr. Karen Mary Davalos (University of Minnesota) visited colleagues working with the U.S. Latino Digital Humanities, an initiative between Arte Público Press and Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage at the University of Houston. The purpose of the visit was to consult about developing an online aggregator for Mexican American art.
Along with co-Principle Investigator, Constance Cortez (University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley), Davalos has launched a major initiative, Mexican American Art since 1848. This five-phase project will produce a searchable, shareable, online digital platform that aggregates information about Mexican American art, broadly defined, from existing collections (Phase 1) and newly identified collections (Phase 2) from libraries, archives, and museums across the nation. Once this digital platform is functional, the project will produce a multi-volume co-authored book about Mexican American art since 1848. Presently, Davalos and Cortez collaborate with a group of scholars, curators, and librarians at other universities who comprise the National Advisory Board.
Rhizomes, the online digital tool, addresses a growing population and emerging area of cultural and intellectual inquiry. According to the US Census, the Mexican-origin community comprises 11% of the nation’s total population, making it the second largest ethnic or racial group in the country. Mexican Americans are now found in all fifty states, distributed beyond the traditional southwestern geographic hub. With this demographic shift in the social fabric of the nation, the humanities have witnessed significant growth in recent decades in the study of Mexican American art. Rhizomes will have long-term value and allows for research on a scale once thought impossible for humanities scholars. Given the geographic scattering and varying cataloging methods, the tool promises tremendous gains for the interdisciplinary scholarly community, college students, K-12 teachers and students, and the general public.
For more information, please contact Karen Mary Davalos kdavalos [at] umn [dot] edu
Post written by Sara A. Ramírez,
Post-Doctoral Associate | Xican@ Art Since 1848
Chicano and Latino Studies Department
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Featured image: Dougie Padilla, Rio del Sur