Stoll writes: “At a time when some predict that the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic could leave many unemployed for months or years, and when the working-class already endures the worst of everything, in a rolling crisis of despair, Modern Times doesn’t look like an excavated relic but a message from the dawn of the American Century to its dusk. The story of the Worker, played by Chaplin, and his homeless partner, the Gamin, played by Paulette Goddard, depicts alienation and disillusionment with capitalism, law enforcement, and the world of industrial work that had failed the working class.”
Prof. Huezo is one of our newest additions to our department and we are very excited to have her join us! She is a Professor of Central and Latin American History. Here is a brief conversation with her.
What courses do you hope to teach at Fordham?
Aside from UHC: Latin America, I am excited to offer courses on Power and Resistance in Latin America, Central American History (both the region and the diaspora), and on popular education.
2. What do you on your off-time/leisure?
In my free time I enjoy playing board games with my friends and family. I watch quite a bit of T.V. as well. Recently, I’ve been watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, reruns of Sister Sister, the Golden Girls, and Netflix shows like 3%. I also aspire to one day be a good baker but for now, I bake pre-made goods and watch baking shows on TV.
3. Why are you excited about coming to Fordham?
I went to catholic schools in the Bronx so I grew up hearing about Fordham but I decided not to apply. However, I have always been intrigued by the University’s mission. I am excited to work at a place that values the student and worker as a whole. More importantly, as a first-generation college student and SalviYorker, I look forward to teach, and learn from, the young scholars at Fordham University.
4. Please briefly tell us about your research?
My research focuses on Salvadoran community organizing during the twentieth and twenty-first century in both El Salvador and the United States. I pay particular attention to how Salvadoran communities have used popular education to challenge the politics of legality and belonging.
5. What thing would no one know about you that you would like to share?
On Saturday, August 3, 2019, in El Paso, Texas, a 21 year old white male brandishing a semi-automatic rifle walked into a Walmart known to be popular with Americans and a convenient destination for Mexicans crossing the nearby border for their weekly shopping excursion into the United States. He began to shoot, deliberately targeting people of apparent Mexican and Latin American descent. Twenty three people died in the shooting (the last dying in April of 2020), and another twenty three were injured. News organizations identified the dead as thirteen United States Americans, eight Mexicans, and one German citizen. A deeper look, though, reveals that of the thirteen Americans killed, eleven were of Latinx descent. As a result, the El Paso Walmart shooting was the worst mass murder of Latino people in modern American history.
The murderer has been identified as a white supremacist with a deep hatred of Latinos, someone who consumed white supremacist literature and wrote a manifesto at the time of the shooting. This is not a surprise, as in the last five years the United States also has suffered mass shootings of African Americans (Charleston, June 17, 2015) and Jews (October 27, 2018). In his manifesto, the shooter argued that Mexicans specifically, and Latinxs generally, are invading the United States, taking jobs away from U.S. citizens, and endangering the white majority populace. This rhetoric reveals anti-Latinx sentiments with roots deep in United States history. It also calls attention to the historical and continuous race-based and structural violence that affects minority communities in the U.S. and at the border.
Father McShane has suggested that the Fordham community commemorate and discuss these tragedies in November. For now, though, it is important to mourn the victims of August 3 and to remember how and why they died:
Andre Anchondo, 23
Jordan Anchondo, 24
Arturo Benavides, 60
Leonard Cipeda Campos, 41
Angelina Englisbee, 86
Maria Flores, 77
Raul Flores, 77
Guillermo Garcia, 36
Jorge Calvillo García, 61
Maribel Hernandez, 56
Adolfo Cerros Hernandez, 68
Alexander Gerhard Hoffman, 66
David Alvah Johnson, 63
Luis Alfonso Juarez, 90
Ivan Hilierto Manzano, 46
Gloria Irma Marquez
Elsa Mendoza Márquez, 57
Margie Reckard, 63
Sara Esther Regalado, 66
Javier Rodriguez, 15
María Eugenia Legarreta Rothe, 58
Teresa Sánchez de Freitas, 82
Juan Velázquez, 77
Father McShane asked the University Church to offer the Sunday (August 2) Mass on behalf of the victims and the El Paso community, an appropriate gesture for a community and a people very serious about their religious faith.
For our part, we mourn the dead and summon the living to reflect on what we can do to support our own communities. The El Paso Museum of History will display a digital memorial in remembrance of August 3. The public can join virtually by submitting pictures and memories on Digital El Paso at http://www.digie.org. We invite you to take part and encourage everyone to become active in supporting some of those organizations working on behalf of our communities in El Paso, the Southwest, and in New York. We can best honor the dead by fighting for and supporting justice at home and around the nation:
On July 7, 2020, Professor Christopher Maginn has just published an article in a special Early Modern Classroom supplement (2020) devoted to teaching in the era of COVID-19. Below is a link to the piece. Someone may find its discussion of pedagogy useful.
Westenley Alcenat, an assistant professor of History, Urban & American Studies at Fordham University, says black history curriculums in all schools are either “inadequate, inaccurate, or simply non-existent.”
“I went to high school in Minneapolis, actually, exactly in the same areas that were deeply affected by the George Floyd incident,” Alcenat told CBS News. “I can confidently tell you that much of what I know regarding American history within the context of what contributions or roles black people made to it… was not something that I really learned as much about in high school as something I learned in adulthood.”
Alcenat said African American history is often sequestered from the larger narrative of American history. Instead, children at all education levels should be learning about the contributions African Americans made throughout history.
“We are not taught enough about how black men and women put their lives on the line to create what we know today as the multiracial vision of American democracy,” Alcenat said.
“Given the type of society we’re striving towards, the type of society we’d like to be, let’s let our kids know very early on what [African Americans’] particular contributions really are,” he said.
In the wake of nationwide protests against racial injustice, new efforts are being made by many American institutions to advance diversity and equality and address longstanding biases. Companies are suddenly recognizing the need to rebrand products like Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s due to their racist imagery, the country band Lady Antebellumchanged its name, and NASCAR banned the Confederate flag.
While these changes may be welcome, some believe real progress can only be made if a fuller version of history is taught in schools.
“Without knowledge of history, how do you put together an empathetic, humane response to horrible situations like the George Floyd murder, which we know is a symptom of the larger historical forces of racism in this country?” Alcenat said. “It’s incredibly important that we try to provide a correctness to how it’s all being taught at the moment. Or else we risk not necessarily repeating history, we risk not knowing how to deal with ourselves when these moments of history come upon us.”
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On June 20, 2020, former Fordham history Professor Carina Rey, now at Brandeis University, published an op-ed piece in The New York Times called, “”Could the Police Kill Me, Too?’” You can read the piece on this link: https://nyti.ms/2Bma1UL
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We are excited to announce that the Peru Section of the Latin American Studies Association has awarded Prof. S. Elizabeth Penry’s new book, The People Are King: The Making of an Indigenous Andean Politics (Oxford University Press, 2019), the 2020 Flora Tristán Prize for the best book on Peru published in the previous year.
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