Some resources on racism in Latin America

Screenshot - 070720 - 11:46:38As mentioned in the article Estudios sobre el racismo en América Latina by María Dolores París Pombo, studies about racism in Latin America have only started to become prominent since the Eighties. París Pombo argues that this may have to do with the underlying “official” narrative, in some Latin American countries, that the mestizo (the person of combined Indigenous and European descent) and the mulato were the quintessential incarnations of national identities, chosen as such in an attempt to defend and differentiate those nations from the metropolis. For many Latin American intellectuals, racism was just a rare phenomenon. This is, of course, not truly the case and studies on racism (and also on endoracismo, the kind of unconscious and self-imposed racism that manifests as a rejection of your own identity and the undervaluation your own historical past, that has permeated in in several indigenous communities) have consolidated ever since but in different ways in different countries, depending on how they each are trying to come to terms, or not, with their own colonial historical memories and their current realities.  Continue reading

Ernesto Cardenal: a cultural icon of the Nicaraguan revolution

Ernesto Cardenal, Nicaraguan poet, priest and revolutionary, died on the 1st of March aged 95. He wrote numerous works of poetry, as well as essays and memoirs. His poetry embraced a great variety of topics, including but not limited to history, social justice, politics, love, mysticism and astronomy. Continue reading

Over a hundred years’ wait: the complete works of José Hernández

An illustration of Martín Fierro by Mario Zavattaro, the only artist who illustrated the whole 33 “cantos” of the work in the 1930s (S743:3.b.9.82)

José Hernández (1834-1886) is considered the founding father of Argentinian literature. His epic poem Martín Fierro is regarded as the zenith of the literatura gauchesca genre (which focuses on the figure of the gaucho) that flourished in 19th century Argentina, along with the formation of modern Argentina and the Argentinian national identity.

Doing a search of José Hernández as an author on the catalogue (for the University Library’s holdings only) brings up 24 items as a result. Fifteen of them comprise different editions of the poem in its two parts: El gaucho Martín Fierro (UL’s earliest edition is dated 1894) and La vuelta de Martin Fierro (earliest UL’s edition is from 1892). Other four items are translations of the same work: in English, translated by C. E. Ward (743:36.c.95.133), Walter Owen (743:36.c.90.1) or Frank Gaetano Carrino (S700:01.c.1.244 ), or in German, translated by Alfredo Bauer (743:36.c.95.365). Continue reading

Not one ‘shhhh’: children making cardboard books at the University Library

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Children proudly showing their work

On Thursday 1st of August the University Library opened its doors to an enthusiastic bunch of children aged 7-13 invited to create their own books at the Cardboard publishing in the courtyard event, part of the Summer at the Museums series.

The morning and afternoon workshops in the North Courtyard were led by Dr Lucy Bell and Dr Partrick O’Hare, researchers from the Cartonera Publishing project  (cartón meaning cardboard in Spanish), of which Cambridge University Library, the British Library and Senate House Library are partners. Continue reading