Encuentros: Students Add Latinx Stories to Memory Project
In Spring 2017, students in professor Kate Paarlberg-Kvam's History of Latinxs in the U.S class in the History Deparment continued a multi-year project to add Latinx voices as oral histories in the Skidmore Saratoga Project. Their work appears as The Encuentros Project.
(l to r) Isabelle Rojas, Lhia Hernandez, Elise Tierney,
Prof. Paarlberg-Kvam and Emilio Zalzman.
The Encuentros, or encounters, project is an exploration of the experiences and perspectives of Latinxs (a way to say “Latinas and Latinos” without reinforcing a gender binary) in our lives: family members, friends, fellow students, neighbors, professors, and co-workers.
After spending the past few months exploring histories of conquest, migration, acculturation,
and resistance, students have used this project as an opportunity to take what they
have learned and measure it against the lived realities of people in communities throughout
the United States. As part of that process, each student collected an oral history
from a person of Latin American descent, many of whom live in the Saratoga region,
live or work at Skidmore, or are in some other way connected to our community. The
Encuentros exhibit hosted by MDOCS presents these oral histories in order to deepen
our sense of the presence and the experiences of Latinxs at Skidmore and in Saratoga.
“One of the topics that keeps coming up in class," Prof. Paarlberg-Kvam comments, "is the way that dominant, Anglo understandings of Latinx lives are often reduced to tropes or caricatures – what you might get if you did a Google image search of ‘Latino,’ for example. Oral histories are such a rich resource, and can help illuminate the complex, multi-layered experiences of people who live and work here, but whose stories are too often made inaudible. The students did a great job gathering these histories, and we are grateful to the people who agreed to share their stories!”
Listen to the stories at ssmp.skidmore.edu/exhibits/show/encuentros_latinxs_in_the_us