Cassandra: Research Update

April 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

Hi everyone. I have been a lot more successful on my second go at the chola research! I have actually found quite a bit of information–mostly journal and magazine articles–on the “chola.”  Since deciding to go back to my original line of inquiry I initially isolated my  topic to visual representations of Latina women in the 20th century–broad, I know. I have to rework my question but I keep getting distracted by certain  lines of information so I’m hoping I will magically refocus soon. While searching for some current representations of “chola” online I came across this song and a bunch of  (very) amateur videos made using it. It’s called “Lean Like a Chola” by a drag performer named Carmen  Lokz (it is actually a parody of a song titled “Lean Like a Cholo,” which is not a good song and unfortunately not a parody). What is so interesting about it  to me–aside from the catchy quality of the song–is that the lyrics mention every single stereotype of the chola (many negative). Rather than finding this in poor taste or offensive, I find it to be revealing. First, due to the fact that I have had a difficult time finding work that doesn’t lie within these stereotypes (which may prove to be an issue for any topic concerning a “group” of people). Secondly, I find it fascinating to that a drag performer is the one who sings this song. It reminds me of theorist Judith Butler’s theory on gender performativity, in which one calls attention to gender binaries through drag. I was thinking that the same thing could possibly be applied to cholas and the subversive characteristics of their appearance. This is just an initial idea, I haven’t actually worked it all out but there is something about the exaggeration of feminine characteristics, almost to a grotesque level, the thickly drawn on eyebrows, dark lip liner drawn outside of the lips, the hair, etc., which I find draws attention to the absurdity of gender stereotypes and expectations and even appears intentional in this way. Again, I may be getting sidetracked by theory, but I want to think about this a bit more as I think there may be some gem within this idea that will help me narrow my question.

Cassandra: Media Resources

April 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

I found two documentary-style videos in the Media Resource Center. I should also mention that after a discussion with Camille I am back to my first topic: Cholas. The first is titled “Chicana” a film by Sylvia Morales, produced in 1979 which is a composition of images/visual depictions of Chicana women  from photographs, art, murals, and documentary footage. The call number is DVD X6709. The second film about Chicana/Mexian-American women, more recently produced in 1992 by the National Women’s History Project,  is titled “Adelante Mujeres!” (call number DVD X6683). I have not yet been able to watch either film but I intend to visit the Media Resource Center to watch them this week–as both are showing as “available” on OskiCat.

Cassandra: Visual Resources

April 7, 2013 § Leave a comment

I have found several items of interest in relation to my topic.

First, from the Calisphere website I found a lot of WWII propaganda posters directed towards American workers. My favorite, because it is the most visually attractive and humorous, reads “A Day Missed” (over a cartoon-ish illustration of a man sleeping) “A Chance Lost” (over an illustration of that same man kicking cartoon-Hitler in the butt). I can not post the image here but here is the link if anyone is interested in checking it out: http://content.cdlib.org/ark:/28722/bk0007s854x/?query=hitler&brand=calisphere

Second, I found some great videos from the BAM/PFA website (none accessible from a personal computer). Many are simply old news broadcasts of the war effort, but an especially appealing resource id a film titled  “The last happy day”. It is described as an “experimental documentary” about the filmmakers cousin whom fled Hungary to live in Rome during WWII, was later hired by U.S. forces to reconstruct the bones of deceased American soldiers, and eventually moved to Brazil and gained fame by translating Winnie the Pooh into Latin. The film is full of home film/video and personal correspondence. It sounds great!

Last, I found a really great article and photo collection on the website of the magazine Spiegel titled “Out of the Ashes: A Look at Germany’s Postwar Reconstruction,” about the architectural rebuilding of Germany after the war. There are 21  photographs, many are  aerial  photos of  bomb damage, as well as the modern buildings that replaced them. This is the link to the photographs: http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/photo-gallery-a-century-long-project-fotostrecke-56372.html

for: Malia from: Cassandra

March 26, 2013 § 2 Comments

Hi Malia. I just exported the information from OSkiCat website so that you may choose whether or not any of these books interest you. The very last one, by Sarah Vowell is just for fun. I read “Assassination Vacation” and loved it. She writes  history with humor and apparently has written a book on Puritanism. If these are all off track or you’ve already browsed them just let me know and I can do more searching for you. I don’t have a lot of specifics to go on so I’ve been sort of generically searching keywords: Puritan and Migration, Puritan and Politics, Puritan and America….

  • LOCATIONS    Main (Gardner) Stacks

TITLE        England’s wars of religion, revisited / edited by Charles W.A.
               Prior and Glenn Burgess.
PUB INFO     Farnham, Surrey ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, c2011.
DESCRIPT     xiv, 335 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
NOTE         Introduction: religion and the historiography of the English
               civil War / Glenn Burgess — Sacred kingship in France and
England in the age of the Wars of Religion: from disenchantment
to re-enchantment? / Ronald Asch — The continental counter
reformation and the plausibility of the popish, 1638-1642 /
Robert Von Friedeburg — The mind of William Laud / Alan
Cromartie — Cannons and constitutions / Charles W.A. Prior —
               Prayer Book and protestation: anti-popery, anti-Puritanism and
               the outbreak of the English Civil War / Michael Braddick — Sir
Simonds d’Ewes: a “respectable conservative” or a “fiery
spirit” / J. Sears McGee — Wars of religion and royalist
               political thought / Glenn Burgess — Natural law and holy war
               in the English Revolution / Sarah Mortimer — Oliver Cromwell
on religion and resistance / Rachel Foxley — Oliver Cromwell
               and the cause of civil and religious liberty / Blair Worden —
               England’s exodus: the Civil War as a war of deliverance / John
Coffey — Restoration anti-Catholicism: a prejudice in motion /
Jeffrey R. Collins — Renaming england’s Wars of Religion /
John Morrill.
1 > Main (Gardner) Stack DA403 .E54 2011                  AVAILABLE

  • LOCATIONS    Main (Gardner) Stacks & Moffitt

AUTHOR       Zakai, Avihu.
TITLE        Exile and kingdom : history and apocalypse in the Puritan
               migration to America / Avihu Zakai.
PUB INFO     Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1992.
DESCRIPT     x, 264 p. ; 24 cm.
SERIES       Cambridge studies in early modern British history.
SERIES       Cambridge studies in early modern British history.
NOTE         Includes bibliographical references and index.
1 > Main (Gardner) Stack DA397 F75                        AVAILABLE
2 > Graduate Services    DA397 F75                        AVAILABLE

  • LOCATIONS    Moffitt

AUTHOR       Daniels, Bruce Colin.
TITLE        New England nation : the country the Puritans built / Bruce C.
               Daniels.
EDITION      1st ed.
PUB INFO     New York, New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
DESCRIPT     xii, 237 p. ; 25 cm.
NOTE         Includes bibliographical references and index.
NOTE         Introduction: New England, Puritans, and American history —
Protestant reform — Pilgrim beginnings — The great
               migration — New England blossoms — Subduing the land —
Subduing the Devil — Women in a man’s world — Men and
women — Subduing the Indians — The Devil strikes back —
Epilogue: A strange legacy.
NOTE         Out of European revolutions and social upheaval, an extraordinary
society of literate, pious, and prosperous English Puritans
flowered in seventeenth-century New England. This wonderfully
readable history recreates the world of Puritan New England and
places it in the broad sweep of history. The book provides a
fascinating look into Puritan society, with sailors, sinners,
women, children, and Native Americans joining the usual Puritan
ministers of the seventeenth century. Combining remarkable
primary sources with an enjoyable narrative, this book reveals
the New England Nation in its fullness and complexity, and
reveals striking parallels with the America of today.
1 > Moffitt              F7 .D36 2012                     AVAILABLE

  • LOCATIONS    Main (Gardner) Stacks

TITLE        Cromwell’s legacy / edited by Jane A. Mills.
PUB INFO     Manchester ; New York : Manchester University Press, 2012.
DESCRIPT     x, 306 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
NOTE         “Cromwell’s Legacy is an exciting collection of essays by
scholars who are well-known in their fields of research, most
of whom have a proven track record of making their scholarship
accessible to a wide student and general readership. This study
examines different ways in which Cromwell’s life and work
impacted on Britain and the rest of the world after his death.
Each contributor examines Cromwell’s legacy, including not only
the important central question of Cromwell’s impact on the
religious, military and political life of Britain after his
death but also Britain’s relations with Europe and future
developments in both North and South America. The structure of
this book has been designed to give as wide a coverage of time
and place as possible. This book not only sheds light on an
aspect of Cromwellian studies that has been comparatively
neglected, it will also stimulate further work on this
topic.”–Publisher’s website.
1 > Main (Gardner) Stack DA426 .C766 2012                 AVAILABLE

  • LOCATIONS    Main (Gardner) Stacks & Moffitt

AUTHOR       Vowell, Sarah, 1969-
TITLE        The wordy shipmates / Sarah Vowell.
PUB INFO     New York : Riverhead Books, 2008.
DESCRIPT     254 p. : map ; 22 cm.
NOTE         From the author of the “New York Times” bestseller “Assassination
Vacation” comes an examination of the Puritans, their covenant
communities, deep-rooted idealism, political and cultural
relevance, and their myriad oddities.
NOTE         To this day, America views itself as a Puritan nation, but author
Vowell investigates what that means–and what it should mean.
What was this great political enterprise all about? Who were
these people who are considered the philosophical, spiritual,
and moral ancestors of our nation? What Vowell discovers is
something far different from what their uptight shoe-buckles-
and-corn reputation might suggest. The people she finds are
highly literate, deeply principled, and surprisingly feisty.
Their story is filled with pamphlet feuds, witty courtroom
dramas, and bloody vengeance.–From publisher description.
1 > Main (Gardner) Stack F7 .V69 2008                     AVAILABLE
2 > Moffitt              F7 .V69 2008                     AVAILABLE

Cassandra Carrasco Oral History

March 17, 2013 § Leave a comment

I found an oral history titled “An Interview with Dr. Denes Bara” from a collection titled: Survival: Lives of Hungarians under Communist & Capitalist Governments (1956-2006). After some half-hearted search entries for my Chola project I switched to a search for German society post WWII. How German society rebuilt itself and sense of national identity after the war is an interest of mine. Anyways, this Hungarian project came up and I became very interested as just last night I had a long conversation with my grandmother-in-law about living in Budapest during the war and later under communist rule. I had mentioned to my husband that someone should be recording her stories and it just clicked with the ROHO search. I actually think that I should conduct this recording so I want to schedule an interview date with her. She just turned 87 and her mind is sharp, I think that her story would be an asset to both her family and any one interested in Hungarian, WWII, or Communist histories. So, I think I’d like to completely redirect my project to WWII Hungary…is it too late to do that?

Dr. Bara talks about his experience during WWII. His father survived a concentration camp only to die one-month after being freed by American forces. His sister and he both worked in labor camps and spent time in safe houses as well. He worked for a while in a hospital in the Jewish Ghetto in Budapest and told of a time the doctors there treated a wounded Nazi soldier. He actually referred to the soldier as “that poor soldier.” He also mentioned that many Jews in Budapest were not sent to extermination camps, as most in the rural areas had been and that they were “lucky” in that way. My grandmother-in-law spoke of an incident when several of her neighbors had been taken by Nazi soldiers and never came back. She was told they had been shot close to their home and disposed of. Dr. Bara speaks of similar incidences in which people were shot and thrown in the Danube. He, like my grandmother-in-law express sympathy for all involved in the war–not just “their people” or their side. I find this so interesting. The stories they tell don’t include judgments, just facts and impressions of specific events. There are no politics involved in their accounts. It makes me think about the difference between actual lived experience versus the grand narrative of History and how these two things are so completely different. It also makes me think that oral histories are essential for this very reason.

Newspaper Articles: Cassandra Carrasco

March 12, 2013 § 2 Comments

I found quite a few newspaper articles (mostly from the LA Times) on “cholos” but only a couple on “cholas.” I found a couple of aspects of my search findings interesting. One, the term “cholo/a” produced a lot of results in the early 20th century, 1903-1906 and then doesn’t reappear again in the 1980s. Secondly, The term is mainly associated with gang violence until the 1990s when several articles appear on the appropriation of “cholo fashion.” I’m not sure what to make of the lack of results for Mexican-American females. They are not widely featured in any of the stories—they seem to be ignored in the media. The one article I found that specifically addressed cholas is from the LA Times, titled “Gang Girls Get a Hint of What They Could Be,” (1983). The article is about am “image seminar” held at a community center that “helps” these young women find employment by explaining “appropriate” dress for work.  Essentially, if they look prettier: wear less makeup and put on dresses they can get (low) paying jobs at department stores. I’m not being reductive, that’s what the article is about: “George, the school’s makeup expert, suggested that fantastic opalescent eye shadow and dark lipstick are not as flattering as subtle shades.”  Wow—speechless. One, because the inherent sexism/racism/classism is so overt, and two, the lack of relevant coverage is strikes me as being symptomatic of the same sexism, racism, and classism. This brings me to the conclusion that my research topic is more important than I previously thought, but also presents the problem that there is a serious lack of information on it. I think I need to refocus, but I am not sure where to position myself.

Cassandra Carrasco–Ginsberg in Bancroft

March 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

I requested a box of correspondence between Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti (part of the City Light Books Collection). I went through a total of 7 folders filled with letters and postcards. It was sort of amazing, as I am a huge fan of Allen Ginsberg (I actually saw him read poetry at Fort Mason in Sf just a couple of years before he died). The letters contained a lot of logistical and publishing information: requests for books to be sent to various people, publishing and cover art instructions, his hopes that sales would increase due to various press (Time and Vanity Fair articles were noted), and repeated requests for royalties and cash, as Allen was most often “broke” (his word). His letters were postmarked from all over the world and he mentioned depression a number of times. I think my absolute favorite letter was one sent from New Delhi, India on February 25, 1962, in which he comments on the cheap morphine prices and that Gary Snyder (with him in India) is looking really old, which he attributes to marriage. I especially like his various suggestions for a new book title: “Poems of Thaw is, comparatively drear title. If poems are really lively why not something like Thaw Heads or Moscow Gold or Beat Moscow or Hip Moscow or Red Cats–yes RED CATS!” I was hoping to find some letters with unpublished prose or something in them–which I didn’t; however, his linguistic style is evident even when discussing business matters.