Chicana por Mi Raza is a digital humanities project that involves the collection, digitization, and display of archival materials and oral histories related to the development of Chicana Feminist praxis over the long civil rights era. The project proposes both the collection of documents related to this history—photographs, posters, correspondence, written material (both published and unpublished), ephemera—and the development of a flexible user interface that can allow users, both professional and novice, to access these materials through interactive timeline and mapping utilities. While there are some archival holdings (mostly in California and the Southwest) documenting this period, the vast majority of archives related to the history of Chicana feminism are located in the basements, attics, and garages of women who were active during the civil rights era. This project seeks to address this problem by identifying key figures, conducting oral histories with them, and digitizing their archives in situ. The idea is to create a single digital access point that re‐unifies an archive that is currently dispersed; one that recreates the complex network that once existed among activists who were, like their archives are now, dispersed across a wide geographic field stretching from Chicago to Texas to California, and beyond.
The project team—which includes Maria Cotera, associate professor of American Culture and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan, independent filmmaker Linda Garcia Merchant, digital archivist Marco Seiferle-Valencia, and a rotating crew of undergraduate students—has collected and catalogued over 150 interviews and 10,000 documents from the personal archives of women in Texas, California, Illinois, New Mexico, Wisconsin and Michigan. We have developed a teaching module (syllabus, assignments, guidelines) to assist university and community-based oral history projects, as well as a series of partnerships with university collections and local history projects to explore how the archives we are collecting might interface with library holdings from across the country. For more on the Chicana por mi Raza project see our website (in development) Chicana por mi Raza Digital Memory Collective, which offers students, scholars, and members of the Chicana por mi Raza digital memory collective an opportunity to share their research and curations from the repository.
National Advisory Board
Vicki Ruiz (Dean of the School of Humanities, University of California, Irvine), Alma M. Garcia (Professor of Sociology, Santa Clara University); Dionne Espinoza (Associate Professor, California State University – East Los Angeles); Maylei Blackwell (Assistant Professor of Chicano Studies and Women’s Studies, UCLA), Elena Gutierrez (UIC), Marisela R. Chávez (Assistant professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies, California State University at Dominguez Hills); Sylvia Morales (Associate Professor, School of Film and Television, Loyola Marymount University), Lisa J. Hernandez (Associate Professor, St. Edward’s University)
National Center for Institutional Diversity, Third Century Learning Initiative, Institute for Research on Women and Gender – University of Michigan, Center for the Education of Women, University of Michigan, I‐CHASS: Institute for Computing in Humanities and Social Sciences — University of Illinois Urbana‐Champaign