Professor Maria Cotera presented a talk earlier this month at Stanford about her Online Chicana Feminist History Archive Project, created with documentary filmmaker and producer Linda Garcia Merchant, of Voces Primeras. From the newsletter for the Clayman Center for Gender Research:
“Today we talk about Chicana feminism almost exclusively in the academy,” Maria Cotera told an audience in Margaret Jacks Hall, “but in the 1970s, it was happening in the streets.”
The goal of Cotera’s ambitious online archive project, “Chicana por mi Raza,” is to recapture the once vibrant movement for the social, political, and economic justice of Mexican American, Chicana, and Hispanic women in the United States. When it launches later this year, the website will house a rich archive documenting the development of Chicana feminist thought and action from 1960 to 1990. The efforts of her and of the project’s co-founder, Linda Garcia Merchant, have amassed thousands of newspapers, reports, leaflets, out-of-print books, pieces of correspondence, and oral histories, most of which have been missing from mainstream archives.
Silence of the archive
In her recent talk, “Liberating the Feminist Archive: Mapping Chicana Feminisms in the Digital Age,” Cotera, Associate Professor at the University of Michigan, previewed some materials from the database. She hopes that the site will “bring the history of Chicana feminism to a whole new audience, from public school educators to college students to established scholars.”