“Latino Americans: 500 Years of History,” a public programming initiative produced by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association, is part of an NEH initiative, “The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square.”
SUU is the only institution in the state of Utah to receive this award. As part of the grant, Portaro and Perkins, along with Mark Miller (history) and James McDonald (anthropology), will host scholar-led presentations of the six-part documentary series “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History.”
These screenings will take place each Tuesday from Sept. 22 through Oct. 13, commemorating National Hispanic Heritage Month.
This series will provide a much-needed curriculum and increase cultural awareness on SUU’s campus. Furthermore, the community as a whole will greatly benefit from the resources provided by this grant because the screenings will provide ample material for discussion about the influence and importance of Latinos in Utah and in the United States.
Through this series, hosts will connect students, faculty, staff, and the Cedar City community to the rich and varied culture that is not studied in-depth in secondary education in Utah. The primary goal for hosting the Latino Americans series at SUU is to help bring together students and community to discuss the importance of Latino cultural and historical contributions to Utah and the United States.
It is important to discuss these issues within the context of the Latino Americans series in order to reshape perceptions of what it means to be an American.
This series is also part of the Department of Languages and Philosophy’s continuing efforts to create inclusive events that highlight the diversity of the Spanish-speaking world – to cultivate a sense of pride about Latino history and contributions in the United States.
Each episode of the series will be screened in the Sharwan Smith Theater at 6 p.m. The screenings are free and open to the public.
The grant also provides funds for SUU to host Josefina Báez, a world-renowned Dominican-American author, performer, and founder of Ay Ombé Theatre. In the spring of 2016, she will lead a workshop on the intersections of creative writing and performance. This event is free and open to SUU students, faculty, and staff, as well as to the Cedar City community.
Schedule of screenings and presenters:
Sept. 22: “Prejudice and Pride, 1965-1980,” presented by Dr. Alexandra Perkins, Assistant Professor of Spanish.
Sept. 29: “The New Latinos, 1946-1965,” presented by Dr. Iliana Portaro, Assistant Professor of Spanish.
Oct. 6: “Peril and Promise, 1980-2000,” presented by Dr. James McDonald, Professor of Anthropology.
Oct. 13: “Foreigners in our Own Land, 1565-1800,” presented by Dr. Mark Miller, Professor of History.