UCLA Institute of American Cultures June 2019 Newsletter


UCLA kicked off its centennial on Alumni Day, May 18, 2019. More than 5,000 people were on campus for an all-day program that included a session on 50 years of ethnic studies at UCLA.

The directors of the ethnic studies centers and I led a roundtable discussion in the Chicano Studies Research Center library in Haines Hall. The room was full and the energy vibrant, as we discussed both the legacies as well as the present and future of our collective and impactful work as organized research units of the University of California.

By any measure, the record of our centers and the Institute of American Cultures is impressive, but what stood out to me that day were the interactions of people who had been touched by our centers over the years. Time and again, people commented on mentoring received and the connections of community on campus and beyond. Those bonds among students, with our staff and faculty members, and the intentional linkages with our respective communities speak to an engaged presence that our centers represent to generations of students.

It is wonderful to see so many of our alums thriving and to realize that our centers played a role in their formation. The centennial celebration and our fiftieth anniversary are powerful reminders how many of our center alums have been and are agents of positive change and social justice.


This year the UCLA Institute of American Culture is celebrating 50 years of ethnic studies at UCLA. The formation of these ethnic studies programs occurred during the tumultuous and highly charged socio-political dynamics of the 1960s that saw a demand for colleges and universities to confront bias. The past is constantly shaping our present and future. Please check out our website calendar for center 50th anniversary events.

American Indian Studies Center

American Indian Studies Symposium

The American Indian Studies Symposium, held on Thursday, May 30, 2019, highlighted current undergraduate and graduate critical research at UCLA. Thank you to students for their presentations, which demonstrated tremendous dedication to the advancement of American Indian and Indigenous scholarship and research at UCLA. We congratulate each of the students for their academic accomplishments and work! Dr. Mishuana Goeman and Dr. Paul Kroskrity (pictured) were among faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members who attended and supported the event.

IAC and Centers Host UC Regent

In May, UC Regent John Pérez visited the ethnic studies centers, touring each center and spending time with students, faculty and staff, learning more about our research, scholarship, projects, and events. Thank you to Regent Pérez for supporting our work and mission.

UC Regent John Pérez and Shannon Speed, American Indian Studies Center director with students.
UC Regent John Pérez and Karen Umemoto, Asian American Studies Center director, with students.
Regent John Pérez and Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies students.
UC Regent John Pérez and Chicano Studies Research Center students and staff.

Chicano Studies Research Center

“Escuchando la Frontera: Listening to Collections and Communities”

The UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center (CSRC), in collaboration with the UCLA Music Library and UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive, presents a symposium on June 5 in celebration of the Strachwitz Frontera Collection at UCLA. With over 215,000 songs celebrating North America’s Spanish-language musical heritage, the collection is a joint project of CSRC, the Arhoolie Foundation, and the UCLA Digital Library. Highlights of the symposium include roundtable discussions featuring writers, archivists, and educators discussing the value of the collection, a reception featuring the Steve Loza Group, and Arhoolie Foundation representatives who will discuss the collection and share recordings.

  • The AISC Library is open for study and reference hours! For Fall term, our new librarian, Joy Holland, is eager to have student and researcher feedback about preferred hours for the library. Email Joy at jholland@aisc.ucla.edu.
  • Congratulations to AASC Faculty Advisory Committee member Margaret Shih on her new appointment as Associate Vice Chancellor! She has been named the next associate vice chancellor for BruinX, the multidisciplinary research and development unit within UCLA’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
  • The Aztlán Anthology Series from CSRC Press has won a bronze medal for non-fiction book series in the 2019 Independent Publishers Book Awards. The series currently boasts six volumes; the most recent is The Aztlán Mexican Studies Reader, 1974–2016, edited by Héctor Calderón, professor in the UCLA Department of Spanish and Portuguese and faculty affiliate in the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies.
  • Congratulations to Professor Kelly Lytle Hernandez, director of the UCLA Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies, for receiving the Thomas E. Lifka Chair in History.

For Your Calendar: Upcoming Events

June 11, 4:30-6, Public Affairs 2343 Ethnocommunications Student Film Showcase

June 16, 10:30 AM-Noon, Schoenberg Hall Dept. of Asian American Studies Graduation

Sept. 14, 1-3:30 PM, Sacramento Buddhist Temple, Suyama Project

Oct. 31, Diasporic Formations of Chinese Overseas: The Coolie Trade and Builders of the Transcontinental Railroad

Nov. 2, Downtown LA, 50th Anniversary! Research, Community Engagement & Policy Conference

Nov. 15, Critics, Writers, and Students Remember David Wong Louie

Nov. 20, 3-5 PM, UCLA James West Alumni Center, IAC Fall Forum

Learn more about IAC and the ethnic studies centers

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