History Collective Researchers Win Implementation Grant

After two years of a successful NHPRC-Mellon planning grant, faculty affiliated with the Chican@ & Latin@ Studies Program, in partnership with the Wisconsin Latinx History Collective (WLHC), the Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS), and other collaborators, have secured continued funding from the National Archives to support the implementation phase of a 10-year project titled ¡Presente!: Documenting Latinx History in Wisconsin. Led by Profs. Almita Miranda (Geography/CLSP), Cheryl Jiménez Frei (History, UW-Eau Claire), Diego Román (Curriculum & Instruction), and Andrea-Teresa Arenas (Emerita in CLSP), the team will create a bilingual digital edition featuring primary sources and scholarly essays on diverse Latinx communities in Wisconsin. Using documents drawn from new oral history interviews, photographs, organizational papers, and materials from private collections, the digital edition will highlight the contributions and everyday life of Latinx residents in rural and urban regions of the state. Rooted in the public historical principle of shared authority, ¡Presente! invites faculty, students, and community researchers to share in the interpretative and meaning-making process of understanding the past. Such a process removes barriers that have excluded marginalized histories in official narratives of collective identity and history, allowing community partners to participate in documenting and interpreting their histories. The result will be a searchable, open-access repository holding as many as 3,000 historical primary sources on Latinx communities sorted through thematic sections, including migration, labor, education, politics and activism, arts and media, and community life. Using these materials, the team will organize community education events and prepare K-12 curriculum, university courses incorporating the collections, Story Maps, 3-D images, bibliographies, and other resources. Bringing together faculty and community researchers from various disciplines, the project will enrich public knowledge of the history, presence, and contemporary significance of Latinx populations in Wisconsin and the Midwest. The implementation grant will begin in the 2024-2025 academic year and may be renewed for up to ten years. In addition to the co-PIs, the DE research team includes Elena Casey (UW-Eau Claire), Yesenia Cervera (UW-Whitewater), Sergio González (Marquette University), Linda García Merchant (UH), Luis González-Quizhpe (Harvard), José Villagrán (UTSA), Daniel Hartwig (WHS), Paul Hedges (WHS), Abigail Norderhaug (WHS), Jennifer Skarbek (WHS), Peter Haney (UW-Madison), Vanessa Peña (UW-Madison), graduate and undergraduate research assistants, and community research partners.