Sembrando Raíces: Oral Histories of Latinos in Central Illinois

This two-day conference, on April 21st and 22nd, is being organized and supported by Illinois State University’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology, ISU’s Latin American and Latino Studies Program, in collaboration with the McLean County Museum of History, hosted by the McLean County Arts Center and University Galleries.

The first conference event will be a lecture at ISU’s University Galleries (11 Uptown Circle #103, Normal, IL 61761) at 3 PM with Ricia Anne Chansky, Ph.D. on memory, memorial, and the importance of documenting oral histories.

The second will be a presentation of local Latinx oral histories by ISU undergraduate sociology students at the McLean County Arts Center (602 N. East St. Bloomington, IL 61701) from 9 AM to Noon.

Students in Dr. Moro Toro-Mourn’s sociology capstone have conducted a series of oral history interviews with Latinx members of the Bloomington-Normal community and are eager to share their stories. The McLean County Museum of History will add the students’ compiled oral histories to the Museum’s archives. The students will present their capstone projects in two-panel presentations.
Panel 1: Emily Monroe, Connor Grande, Brytni Gillespie, Baleigh Jones, Lexi Juergens, Kacy Perfors, and Jayla Foster
Panel 2: Olivia Davis, Savannah Middleton, Sara Sexton, Casper Trainer,
Mckenzie Kibler, Caroline Gilmore

The lecture on Friday with Ricia Anne Chansky, Ph.D., aims to reconceptualize a memorial, how we memorialize it, and for what purposes we employ public memory. The discussion underscores the urgency for recording, preserving, and disseminating oral histories.

Ricia Anne Chansky, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of English at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, where she is also the Director of the Oral History Lab. Chansky is the Senior Climate Justice Fellow at the Humanities Action Lab, an Assembling Voices Fellow at the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics at Columbia University, and a Research Fellow at the Center for Research in Latin America and the Caribbean at York University. She directs research projects in Digital Humanities funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies. Her recent books include The Divided States: Unraveling National Identity in the Twenty-First Century, Mi María: Surviving the Storm, Voices from Puerto Rico, and Maxy Survives the Hurricane / Maxy sobrevive el huracán.

If you need a special accommodation to participate in this programming fully, contact the College of Arts and Sciences at 309-438-5669. Please allow sufficient time to arrange the accommodation. ISU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action university encouraging diversity. Questions? Please contact mitmorn@ilstu.edu.


Friday, April 21, 2023
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Cost: Free


University Galleries 11 Uptown Normal Normal Illinois 61761 3098270428

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