The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) in partnership with The Mellon Foundation recently awarded a grant to the University of Houston’s Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project (Recovery) and Arte Público Press to host a two-year postdoctoral fellowship. The fellowship will center on data curation for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and it will be a step forward to make UH the home to the country’s first center for Digital Humanities Research specializing in U.S. Latina/o Studies.
According to Dr. Gabriela Baeza Ventura, associate professor of Spanish, Hispanic Studies Department, and executive editor, Arte Público Press, the Postdoctoral Fellow will work directly with Recovery in data curation and digital humanities projects that involve the written legacy of Latinas and Latinos produced in the United States from colonial times until 1960.
“Our hope is to create the first Digital Humanities Research Center for U.S. Latina/o Studies that will serve as the very first center with a postcolonial emphasis that will allow the development of digital humanities projects on the Latina/o written legacy that has been lost, absent, repressed or underrepresented in colonial structures of power, as has been the case with much of the material digitized by the Recovery, “says Dr. Baeza Ventura.
Drs. Gabriela Baeza Ventura and Carolina A. Villarroel, Brown Foundation Director of Research of the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage at Arte Público Press, are instrumental in the creation of this first Digital Humanities Research Center for US Latina/o Studies that will be housed within CLASS’ Arte Público Press offices.
“This will be a place where scholars and students from throughout the United States can receive support and training to access and participate in digital humanities in Latina/o Studies,” says Dr. Villarroel. “The center will create opportunities and facilities for digital publication of Latina/o-based projects and scholarship, including data curation, visualization, spatial analysis, metadata creation, digitization, workshops and classes in order to further opportunities for digital scholarship and publication in the humanities in general.”
Recovery has been at the cutting edge of the recuperation, restoration and inclusion of Latina/o written culture; preserving, digitizing, inscribing, creating expert content, creating access and working on the visibility of these materials and their inclusion in the culture and history of the United States. Since many of Recovery collections are in digital format this application of digital humanities tools and methods helps sustain and advance the future study of the Latina/o written legacy.
The Postdoctoral Fellow selected to work in the center is Dr. Lorena Gauthereau. Dr. Gauthereau earned her doctorate from Rice University in English and will join the Recovery this week to begin working on several digital humanities projects.
This fellowship supports opportunities for leadership, workshops, talks, presentations and publications. With this additional humanities focus, Recovery is again at the forefront of inclusion and advancement of U.S. Latina/o studies.
The center will be based at Arte Público Press where Dr. Nicolás Kanellos serves as the founder and director.