Pam Muñoz Ryan and Ashley Hope-Pérez win 2016 Américas Award

New York, New York – May 29, 2016 – Pam Muñoz Ryan, author of Echo, and Ashley Hope-Pérez, author of Out of Darkness, win the 2016 Américas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature. The award links the Americas by reaching beyond geographic borders and multicultural-international boundaries, focusing upon cultural heritages within the hemisphere.

Up to two annual book awards are given in recognition of U.S. published works that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States. An additional two titles may be recognized as Honorable Mentions, along with a list of Commended Titles. Books are considered for their distinctive literary quality, cultural contextualization, integration of text and illustration, and potential for classroom use.

The announcement was made today by the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP) during the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) meeting held May 27-30, 2016, in New York, NY.  The award-winning authors will be recognized at a ceremony held September 22, 2016, during Hispanic Heritage Month, at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Members of the 2016 Américas Award Selection Committee include Emily Chávez of Durham, NC; Denise Croker of Nashville, TN; Laura Kleinmann of Washington, D.C.; Paula Mason of Waukesha, WI; and Maria Sheldon of Santa Fe, NM.

The awards are administered by the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP) and coordinated by Vanderbilt University Center for Latin American Studies and Tulane University Stone Center for Latin American Studies. Generous support is also provided by Florida International University, Stanford University, University of Florida, University of New Mexico, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the University of Utah.

CLASP’s mission is to promote all facets of Latin American Studies throughout the world. Its broad range of activities include the encouragement of research activities, funding for professional workshops, advancement of citizen outreach activities, and development of teaching aids for the classroom. For complete annotations of all titles recognized by the Américas Award, as well as curricular resources for previous winning titles, visit www.claspprograms.org/americasaward.  Follow the Américas Award on Facebook at www.facebook.com/americasaward for current news and author highlights, and join the conversation using #AmericasAward16.

For reference, see the press release of this announcement.

Award Winners

Echo written by Pam Muñoz Ryan. Scholastic Press, 2015. ISBN: 978-0439874021

Echo, published by Scholastic Press, presents the moving, interwoven stories of three young protagonists who experience the early 20th century’s horrors of war, cruelty, and discrimination. Using music and creativity as a common thread, Muñoz-Ryan deftly ties together what would be an otherwise disconnected set of experiences separated by decades and continents. The resulting novel demonstrates to students that humanity’s similarities outweigh its differences. As committee member Maria Sheldon write, “Muñoz Ryan’s message in Echo sings right off the pages and into students’ imaginations” as the novel invites young readers to experience not only the turmoil of the young character’s lives, but also music’s extraordinary powers to heal, inspire, and connect.

Out of Darkness written by Ashley Hope-Pérez. Carolrhoda Lab, 2015. ISBN: 978-1467742023

Out of Darkness (Carolrhoda Lab, 2015), written by Ashley Hope-Pérez, is a book that destroys the reader while at the same time creating a sense of hope, a way out of the darkness. Ashley Hope Pérez has written just such a book. This young adult historical novel Out of Darkness begins with a real event: the explosion of the New London School in East Texas in 1937. Using this tragedy as a centerpiece, a metaphor, and a catalyst, Pérez weaves the fictional stories of two families brought together by forbidden love. Wash Fuller is an educated African American boy successfully navigating the complicated racial divisions of his community. Naomi Smith is a Mexican American girl, terrorized by the sexual advances of her white stepfather, yet compelled to live with him to protect her young twin siblings. This is not a story with a fairy tale ending, but there are moments of great beauty and pure joy as Wash befriends the twins and gradually falls in love with their big sister – all while they are surrounded by the gentle beauty of the East Texas woods. Written for the oldest of teens, Out of Darkness is as violent and cruel as the racially divided world it portrays, yet it also manages to guide readers onto a path out of the unimaginable: speaking truth to lies and writing the stories of those who do not survive.

Honorable Mentions

Growing Up Pedro: How the Martinez Brothers Made it from the Dominican Republic All the Way to the Major Leagues written and illustrated by Matt Tavares. Candlewick Press, 2015. ISBN: 978-0763668242

While there have been many Dominican baseball players in the major leagues, none have kindled the deep enthusiasm and allegiance in so many fans as pitcher Pedro Martinez. In his book, Growing Up Pedro: How the Martinez Brothers Made It from the Dominican Republic All the Way to the Major Leagues, Matt Tavares celebrates this larger-than-life baseball hero with meticulous paintings and simple words. Through realistic, almost cinematic paintings that reveal both the panoramic suspense and movement of the game, as well as the intensity as Martinezwinds-up to pitch, Tavares takes us into the world of the Martinez brothers as they make their way from a poor Dominican village into the world of the US Major Leagues. Without his brother Ramón, Tavares lead us to believe, there would be no Pedro. The relationship between the two brothers is the centerpiece of the book: whether throwing rocks at mangos as boys or pitching against each other in a historic game in 1996, the two brothers maintain their deep connection and give each other the strength they need to continue through injury and involuntary trades. Any true baseball fan will be thrilled at the page of Martinez’s stats in the back of the book, and aspiring pitchers will thrill at the visual interpretation of three of his classic pitches. From a small boy watching his big brother play in their village to the star pitcher that led the Red Sox to win the World Series in 2004, Tavares gives us a beautiful portrait of one of baseball’s most prized and beloved players. The book is also available in Spanish. (Grades 2-4)

Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh. Harry N. Abrams, 2015. ISBN: 978-1419716478

Author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh’s latest work presents an extraordinary blend of biography, art, and politics focusing on the life of José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1915), or Don Lupe, as he was known at the time. Posada is most famous for his socially-conscious depictions of calaveras, the often comic skeletons that are well-associated with Mexico’s Day of the Dead holiday celebration. This non-fiction picture book will appeal to a wide range of readers, with its engaging hand-drawn, digitally collaged depictions of Don Lupe, first as a child with a natural talent in drawing, and then throughout his adult life as an artist mastering the craft of lithography. Throughout, we see as Done Lupe continuously pursues his artistic passion while offering social commentary about the world around him. The full-page spreads inspired by Don Lupe’s work actively probe the reader to consider deeper meaning behind his artwork, such as critiques about social class, quickly changing technology, and violence during the Mexican Revolution. This superb work is easily adapted to a variety of classroom settings spanning subject areas such as history, art, and cultural studies. Additionally, Tonatiuh includes a detailed author’s note, glossary of terms, and bibliography for readers interested in diving further into Posada’s work. (Grades 3-6)

Commended Titles

Annotations for these titles available on the CLASP website.

A Handful of Stars written by Cynthia Lord. Scholastic Press, 2015. ISBN: 978-0545700276

Dream Things True: A Novel written by Marie Marquardt. St. Martin’s Griffin, 2015. ISBN: 978-1250070456

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael López. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, 2015. ISBN: 978-0544102293

Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Edel Rodriguez. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2015. ISBN: 978-1481435222

Finding the Music / En pos de la música written by Jennifer Torres and illustrated by Renato Alarcão. Lee & Low Books, 2015. ISBN: 978-0892392919

Island Treasures written by Alma Flor Ada and illustrated by Antonio Martorell and Edel Rodriguez. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2015. ISBN: 978-1481429009

Maya’s Blanket / La manta de Maya written by Monica Brown and illustrated by David Diaz. Lee & Low Books, 2015. ISBN: 978-0892392926

My Tata’s Remedies / Los remedios de mi tata written by Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford and illustrated by Antonio Castro L. Cinco Puntos Press, 2015. ISBN: 978-1935955894

Salsa: Un poema para cocinar / A Cooking Poem written by Jorge Argueta, illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh, and translated by Elisa Amado. Groundwood Books, 2015. ISBN: 978-1554984428

The Jumbies written by Tracey Baptiste. Algonquin Young Readers, 2015. ISBN: 978-1616204143

The Lightning Queen written by Laura Resau. Scholastic Press, 2015. ISBN: 978-0545800846

Two White Rabbits written by Jairo Buitrago and illustrated by Rafael Yockteng. Groundwood Books, 2015. ISBN: 978-1554987412

Contact

Keira Philipp-Schnurer
CLASP Outreach Committee Chair
University of New Mexico
kphilipp@unm.edu

Lisa Finelli
Co-Coordinator, Américas Award
Vanderbilt University
Lisa.finelli@vanderbilt.edu

Denise Woltering Vargas
Co-Coordinator, Américas Award
Tulane University
dwolteri@tulane.edu

Maymester: Field Investigations: Volcanoes, Rainforest, Caves and Beaches in Brazil

maymesterFollow the Maymester course led by Guil Gualda and Malu Jorge where students study Earth and Environmental processes and systems in the field, with an emphasis on field methods. In 2016, the course is held in Brazil, which gives students the opportunity to study a variety of topics in the Earth and Environmental Sciences, including past volcanic activity, surface geomorphology, cave geology, ecology of the rain forest, biological conservation, and human dimensions of conservation.

http://brazilmaymester.blogspot.com/

Reception; Film Screening to Kick-off Somos Nós Educator Institute

All members of the community are warmly invited for welcome drinks to kick off the 2016 Somos Nós: Diverse Brazil summer educator institute.  The reception will be hosted at Vanderbilt University with light appetizers and wine, and will be followed by a film screening of the film Central Station.  This event is free and open to the public.Brazil Institute

Sunday, June 12, 2016
Buttrick Hall, Vanderbilt
5:00pm Reception
5:45pm Film Screening

 

View the Brazil Institute Website to learn more about the teacher institute and to register!

 

 
CENTRAL STATION

 By JANET MASLIN

In Walter Salles’s ”Central Station,” a hit at Sundance and the winner of top honors at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, a cynical, joyless woman crosses paths with a lonely young boy. There’s plenty of room for sentimentality here, but the wonder of Mr. Salles’s film is all in the telling.

Beautifully observed and featuring a bravura performance by the Brazilian actress Fernanda Montenegro, it gracefully watches these oddly paired characters develop a fractious bond that winds up profoundly changing both of them. Mr. Salles’s background as a documentary filmmaker also gives this lovely, stirring film a strong sense of Brazil’s impoverished rural landscape once its principals take to the road.

Vinicius de Oliveira was a 10-year-old shoeshine boy when he encountered Mr. Salles at an airport and asked the man to help him buy a sandwich. Now he movingly plays the child named Josue who is foisted by fate onto this irascible older woman. Ms. Montenegro’s Dora is a former schoolteacher who earns her living writing letters for the illiterate at the Rio de Janeiro railroad station of the title. She spends all day listening to the heartfelt thoughts of strangers, writes them down and then makes cruel fun of them when she gets home. After joking about the letters with her kinder friend Irene (Marilia Pera of ”Pixote”), Dora never bothers to mail them. Then a letter by Josue’s mother permanently alters Dora’s world.

With suspicious little Josue in tow, the mother dictates a beseeching letter to her absent husband, then leaves the station and is killed by a bus. Suddenly, the boy knows no one and has no place to go. Despite her hardened bitterness and obvious loathing for children, Dora grudgingly takes him home, where Irene finds Josue adorable and is happy to help him. But Dora has other plans; she wants to sell Josue to an adoption racket and effectively trade him in for a new television set.

This scheme subsequently gets Dora into so much trouble that she abruptly decides to leave town. And she agrees to take Josue on a wild goose chase in search of his father, whom the boy says is a carpenter named Jesus. These are the events that send ”Central Station” off into the countryside, and take both these hard-bitten travelers into parts unknown.

Mr. Salles brings great tenderness and surprise to the events that punctuate this odyssey, from the boy’s drunken outburst on a bus to Dora’s shy flirtation with a trucker she meets along the way. By the time the travelers are caught up in a religious pilgrimage, the film has taken on a Felliniesque sense of spiritual discovery just as surely as Ms. Montenegro resembles Giulietta Masina in both feistiness and appearance. Her performance here is superbly modulated as Dora begins rediscovering herself in ways she could never have expected. Though eternally gruff, she finds herself regaining a long-lost faith in life and in the very humanity she scorned when those letter writers came her way.

The film eventually views these strangers’ faces in the rapt, joyous spirit that is the story’s greatest reward and that becomes Dora’s saving grace. And it is the filmmaker’s elegant restraint that makes such sentiments so deeply felt. Mr. Salles directs simply and watchfully, with an eye that seems to penetrate all the characters who are encountered on Dora’s and Josue’s journey. His film is also scored with a gentle piano melody that intensifies its embrace of the world that ”Central Station” sees.

http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9C0DE0DE1530F933A15752C1A96E958260 

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Comes to Vanderbilt

Sonia headshotThe Center for Latin American Studies and Peabody College’s Department of Teaching and Learning are proud to welcome Pulitzer-prize winning author Sonia Nazario to Vanderbilt University March 29-30, 2016. Nazario will speak about her book “Enrique’s Journey” as well as current issues regarding immigration.

Sonia Nazario is an award-winning journalist whose stories have tackled some of this country’s most intractable problems — hunger, drug addiction, immigration — and have won some of the most prestigious journalism and book awards.

She is best known for “Enrique’s Journey,” her story of a Honduran boy’s struggle to find his mother in the U.S. Published as a series in the Los Angeles Times, “Enrique’s Journey” won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 2003. I was turned into a book by Random House and became a national bestseller.

Her recent humanitarian efforts to get lawyers for unaccompanied migrant children led to her selection as the 2015 Don and Arvonne Fraser Human Rights Award recipient by the Advocates for Human Rights.  She was also named a 2015 Champion of Children by First Focus and a 2015 Golden Door award winner by HIAS Pennsylvania.

Nazario, who grew up in Kansas and in Argentina, has written extensively from Latin America and about Latinos in the United States. She has been named among the most influential Latinos by Hispanic Business Magazine and a “trendsetter” by Hispanic Magazine.  In 2012 Columbia Journalism Review named Nazario among “40 women who changed the media business in the past 40.”

She is a graduate of Williams College and has a master’s degree in Latin American studies from the University of California, Berkeley.  She has honorary doctorates from Mount St. Mary’s College and Whittier College. She began her career at the Wall Street Journal, and later joined the Los Angeles Times. She is now at work on her second book.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016CLAS Sonia Nazario JPG
Peabody Dean’s Diversity Lecture Series

11:45 a.m. Talk and Lunch Reception
RSVP Required here
Wyatt Center Rotunda

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Public Lecture and Reception

5:30 p.m. Talk and Q&A
7:00 p.m. Dinner reception
Casa Azafrán

Wednesday, March 30, 2016
MNPS Presentation and Book Signing

9:00-10:30 a.m.
Martin Luther King Magnet School

Publicity Flyer for these events here

For more information, please contact lisa.finelli@vanderbilt.edu

Sustainable Partnerships for Latin American LCTLs through Distance Learning

March 17-18, 2016

Organized and sponsored by the Centers for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University and the University of Utah, the goal of this workshop is to promote the creation of sustainable academic year programs in less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) of Latin America through course sharing using distance-learning technology. Presentations will outline successful partnership strategies for and challenges to distance LCTL instruction, and networking sessions will offer participants the opportunity to identify potential institutional collaborators. The workshop will be held at Vanderbilt University in Nashville March 17-18 2016.

Students from Vanderbilt, the University of Virginia and Duke University share a teleconferenced course on K'iche' Mayan.
Students from Vanderbilt, the University of Virginia and Duke University share a teleconferenced course on K’iche’ Mayan.

Rationale: Institutions struggle to establish and maintain high quality and robust academic year LCTL programs. Low enrollments threaten financial viability of these programs, and the scarcity of qualified and experienced native-language instructors limits their number. Longstanding programs have relied on U.S. Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships and National Resource Center (NRC) funding, which have supported LCTL instruction for decades. Given the precarious state of federal funding for international education, and the uncertainty of any single institutional FLAS award, even well-established LCTL programs remain at risk. Moreover, traditional models to deliver language instruction fail to address student access, including community colleges, Minority Serving Institutions, and other non-NRC institutions. Distance-learning technology now provides the opportunity to advance instruction of LCTLs nationwide through course sharing between US institutions.

Is this meeting for me? This workshop is intended to provide information and tools to administrators to decide whether they can develop programs for the instruction of LCTLs through distance learning.

 

For more information about this workshop visit: https://my.vanderbilt.edu/lctlworkshop2016/

See this workshop featured in the Vanderbilt University News here

Questions of Memory and History in Cuba and Sierra Leone

Emma Christopher they are we workshopOn February 8, 2016, CLAS welcomed Emma Christopher from the University of Technology Sydney to Nashville to present alongside screenings of her critically acclaimed documentary film They Are We. The film highlights the proud members of a small Afro-Cuban ethnic group in Central Cuba, the Gangá-Longobá, and how they became reconnected with their distant relatives and ancestors in Sierra Leone.

CLAS hosted a Black History Month educator workshop for K-16 teachers about integrating film, Afro-Cuban history, culture and identity into the classroom. Teachers attended a screening of They Are We, followed by a dynamic presentation from the filmmaker Emma Christopher entitled “Questions of Memory and History in Cuba and Sierra Leone,” which is available through CLAS Podcasts.  Jane Landers, Vanderbilt historian and director of the Ecclesiastical and Secular Sources for Slave Societies Digital Archive (ESSS), shared “Preserving Cuba’s African History Digitally.” Language Technology Specialist from the University of Oregon and CLAS Advisory Board Teacher, Stephanie Knight, shared free, interactive resources for use in the classroom.

Later that same day, the film was screened at Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center Auditorium followed by a reception. This event was sponsored by the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, Circum-Atlantic Studies Seminar, the Center for Latin American Studies, the Department of History and the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center.

PDFtoJPG.me-1BAHL2016-Christopher-web

Third Wave Coffee: The Changing Faces of Production and Consumption

NI_vucast_student

Nashville has become a hub for a new generation of “third wave” coffee houses. A panel will look at the production of high-end coffees in Guatemala and Nicaragua as well as trends in retail coffee as exemplified by Barista Parlor.

 

 

Bradley Wilson, Dept of Geography, University of West Virginia
Daniel Reichman, Dept of Anthropology, University of Rochester
Bart Victor, Owen School of Management, Vanderbilt University
Ted Fischer, Center for Latin American Studies, Vanderbilt University
Tom Eisenbraun, Barista Parlor

Thursday, February 11, 2016 5:30-7:30

Barista Parlor Golden Sound
610 Magazine Street
Nashville, TN 37203

Event Flyer

See photos from the event here

VIDEO: Making a Difference In Latin America

NI_vucast_studentSee how undergraduates and grad students work side-by-side with faculty to help solve problems and make a difference in Latin America. From a new product to combat malnutrition in children in Guatemala to a low-cost capsule for stomach cancer screening to preserving the history of slave societies, Vanderbilt helps find solutions, makes discoveries and changes lives. Vanderbilt ranks in the top 5 in the nation for Latin America studies programs.

Read More

Politics, Poetry, and the First Latin American Pope

NI_vunews_cardenalOne of Latin America’s greatest living poets, Father Ernesto Cardenal, delivered a public talk on “Politics, Poetry, and the First Latin American Pope” at the John Seigenthaler First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 5:30 p.m.

Cardenal, an acclaimed Nicaraguan poet, revolutionary and liberation theologian, discussed his latest published anthology of poems, 90 en los 90, social justice and liberation theology, and Pope Francis.

Cardenal is the author of more than 35 books. He was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1965 and went on to become an important leader in the Sandinista revolution. He served as minister of culture in Nicaragua from 1979 to 1988. He founded a communal society constructed on the principles of liberation theology for artists in the Solentiname Islands located in Lake Nicaragua.

Cardenal’s visit was sponsored by Vanderbilt University’s Center for Latin American Studies and the Divinity School.

“Ernesto Cardenal embodies the ideal of the Third World/Global South intellectual in a distinctly religious key: a highly creative artist in his areas of work, literature and the visual arts; a determined critic in society and culture, from the local to the global; and an unflinching voice in matters religious and theological, both within his church and at large,” said Fernando Segovia, Oberlin Graduate Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Vanderbilt.

“For Spanish Americans, poetry is a part of their daily existence, and few writers bring together everyday struggles and poetic transcendence as well as Ernesto Cardenal,” said Cathy Jrade, Chancellor’s Professor of Spanish. “Father Cardenal’s work speaks to the many overlapping efforts made at a university like Vanderbilt to challenge assumptions, engage the mind and elevate the spirit.”