Latino Americans: 500 Years of History hosted by IU East

Latino Americans: 500 Years of History hosted by IU East


Latino Americans: 500 Years of History is a public programming initiative produced by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA), and is part of an NEH initiative, The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square. Indiana University East is the proud recipient of a $10,000 ALA/NEH which will enable us to host a variety of programs throughout the 2015-16 school year.

We kick off our theme year on September 8th with the first of six episodes of the critically acclaimed PBS series Latino Americans. Films will be shown alternately at the Morrison Reeves Library and at IU East. Film discussions will be led by Dr. Christine Nemcik, who serves as the program scholar and is Assistant Professor of History and of World Languages and Cultures at IU East. A summary of each episode is available here: and the series is also viewable online

To learn more about members of the Latino community in the Wayne County area, there will be an oral history project, “Cultural Connections.” Immediately following each film and other programs, Latino participants will have an opportunity to pair with an IU East student and tell their stories, to be compiled into a larger oral history project detailing the Latino history of the local area. In addition, IU East will launch Los lobos rojos escriben, a writing program that connects IU East students with local youth and other members of the community to share stories through writing.

For those interested in writing and activism, there will be a presentation by Dr. Marjorie Agosin on Oct. 12. Author of I Lived on Butterfly Hill and winner of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, Agosin be on campus to speak about human rights and the memorialization of tragic events. A Chilean native who earned her Ph.D at Indiana University, Agosin’s family fled Chile in the wake of Pinochet’s administration. She has written extensively on the brutalities of the Pinochet regime and continues to advocate for women’s rights in her native country. In addition to her talk, Agosin will conduct a workshop on making arpilleras, which are tapestries intended as a form of protest. More information here:

A variety of special programs will be part of the Latino Americans theme year. At Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on October 24th at Morrisson Reeves Library from 2-3:30 participants will be able to build their own ofrendas (memorial altars) to the memory of their loved ones. There will be a chocolate tasting on January 16th at Morrisson Reeves Library and a seminar on Latinos and the local police on March 23rd, 2016. In May, Dia del Nino (Day of the Child) will be held at the Boys and Girls Club, with activities for children and their families. Starting in September 2015, you can tune in Thursdays at 9 pm to WCTV to see Vida! our community television series on Latino culture. Vida! features episodes on food, culture, history, and more.

From February 26th to March 25th, 2016 the Richmond Art Museum will host “Art is… Latin America”, an interactive cultural exploration program will focus on the art of several Latin American nations.  Children will engage in hands-on activities in small groups, recreating arts and crafts traditional or representational to the countries being studied. Teachers and homeschoolers may schedule field trips through RAM Education Director Lance Crow,

In addition to events, we have resources in the Campus Library to assist with research about Latinos. Latin American Women Writers contains 103,624 pages of prose, poetry and drama, all searchable and some including images of the original printed text. Its companion database, Latino Literature, comprises a similar amount of material. Both databases include works in Spanish, Portuguese and a limited number of English works. Sabin Americana includes a wealth of primary source documents in their original language that trace the history of the Americas. Feminism in Cuba includes documents covering the history of Cuban feminism from 1898 to 1958, a crucial period between the Spanish-American war and Castro’s revolution.

We’re excited to share what we have scheduled and invite campus and community members to participate. The schedule and additional resources are here: If you have questions you are welcome to contact us:

Leave a Reply