Meet the Author:
Marilisa Jiménez García: “Side by Side: US Empire, Puerto Rico, and the Roots of American Youth Literature and Culture”
In Side by Side: US Empire, Puerto Rico, and the Roots of American Youth Literature and Culture, author Marilisa Jiménez García focuses on the contributions of the Puerto Rican community to American youth, approaching Latinx literature as a transnational space that provides a critical lens for examining the lingering consequences of US and Spanish colonialism for US communities of color.
Through analysis of texts typically outside traditional Latinx or literary studies such as young adult literature, textbooks, television programming, comics, music, curriculum, and youth movements, Side by Side represents the only comprehensive study of the contributions of Puerto Ricans to American youth literature and culture, as well as the only comprehensive study into the role of youth literature and culture in Puerto Rican literature and thought.
Considering recent debates over diversity in children’s and young adult literature and media and the strained relationship between Puerto Rico and the US, Jiménez García's timely work encourages us to question who constitutes the expert and to resist the homogenization of Latinxs, as well as other marginalized communities, that has led to the erasure of writers, scholars, and artists.
Author: Marilisa Jiménez García, assistant professor of English and Latino Studies at Lehigh University
Commentator: Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita, School of Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Marilisa Jiménez García is an assistant professor of English and Latino Studies at Lehigh University. She is also the founding director and principle investigator at the Institute of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (https://wordpress.lehigh.edu/cres/). Jiménez García’s research on Latinx literature have appeared in Latino Studies, CENTRO: A Journal of Puerto Rican Studies, The Lion and the Unicorn, and Children’s Literature. Her new book, Side by Side: US Empire, Puerto Rico and the Roots of American Youth Literature and Culture (University Press of Mississippi, March 2021) examines the history of colonialism in Puerto Rico through an analysis of youth literature and culture both in the archipelago and the diaspora. Jiménez Garcia has worked on projects with Teaching for Change, The Children’s Defense Fund, and Sesame Street.
Contact: [email protected]
Professor Emerita of Language, Literacy, and Culture, College of Education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Sonia Nieto’s research has focused on multicultural education and the education of students of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, with an emphasis on [email protected] students. She has written or edited 13 books and has received dozens of awards for her scholarly work, teaching, activism, and advocacy, including 9 honorary doctorates.
Contact: [email protected] Webpage: sonianieto.com
6 PM Eastern Standard TimeWHENLiquid error: undefined method `day' for nil:NilClassWHEREVirtual
Puerto Rican Heritage Cultural Ambassadors Program and Engagement through Education
Centro is the primary academic institute producing research on the conditions of stateside Puerto Ricans, preserving their heritage by maintaining a library and archives. Centro education programs focus on the development of curriculum and educational materials, such as videos, posters, and teaching guides, which disseminate and promote the use of historical and cultural heritage content for colleges, middle and high schools, and the general public. These tools help teachers and students learn about Centro’s vast archival collections and promote Puerto Rican studies. Our web-based open courseware, videoconferences, and other pedagogical resources provide the necessary supports for classroom success.
Centro’s Puerto Rican Heritage Cultural Ambassadors Program is a free, self-paced, multimedia online course in Puerto Rican history, culture, and traditions, with a focus on the migration experience of the stateside diaspora. The goal of the program is to inspire the next generation of Puerto Rican leaders to become a driving force of change for themselves and their communities. The program engages youth and educational institutions in promoting the teaching and learning of our heritage. Participants not only gain knowledge but also develop leadership, research, and presentation skills.
After enrolling online, participants complete a number of assignments that include viewing the Pioneers/Pioneros Documentary Series; complete reading assignments on Puerto Rican history, culture, and traditions; and learn key dates and historical events that have shaped the diasporic experience. At the end of each lesson, participants are required to complete and pass a short quiz. Upon successful completion of all required lessons, the participant receives a certificate of completion and designation as a Cultural Ambassador.
Beginning March 2018, participants who have completed the course will be eligible to enroll in the next series of lessons. In this series, participants will learn how to access and use our teaching guides, educational and curriculum tools, archival collections, and other library resources.
We are proud that the Puerto Rican Heritage Cultural Ambassadors Program has been incorporated in history courses in schools, colleges and libraries.
We encourage all educators to include this web-based open courseware in their curriculums.
Puerto Rican Heritage Cultural Ambassador Bootcamp
Centro will sponsor a one- day Cultural Ambassador Bootcamp with schools and other partners that would like to offer an intensive tutorial to review all components of the course.
Participants are required to complete the online course and then be prepared to demonstrate mastery at the Bootcamp. Facilitators modeled presentation and engagement techniques that participants could replicate with their peers.
Participants that complete both the online and the on-site components are awarded a Puerto Rican Heritage Cultural Ambassador Certificate.
Puerto Rican Heritage Teaching Toolkit
Pioneers/Pioneros: Documentary Series featuring Pura Belpré: Storyteller, A Revolt through Letters: Clemente Soto Vélez, the Legacy of Frank Bonilla, and Plena is Song; Plena is work. The documentaries tell the stories of important pioneers of the Puerto Rican diaspora. Each documentary has an accompanying teaching guide available online.
History of Puerto Ricans in the U.S. (Open courseware)
Open courseware makes core teaching materials available online. Our online course Teaching U.S. Puerto Rican History includes a comprehensive overview of the Puerto Rican experience in the United States, incorporating the most recent scholarship on the subject.
Puerto Rican Heritage Poster Series
Our poster series documents the history of Puerto Rican migration and the experiences and contributions of Puerto Ricans to U.S. society. The seven posters provide an attractive visual educational tool for teachers, professionals, and anyone interested in the great history of Puerto Rico. These posters are complementary to the courseware.
Puerto Ricans in the United States: A Brief Chronology
This booklet, based on the poster series described above, provides a complementary educational tool for teachers and others to use in the classroom or community settings, and to introduce students to major events, themes and concepts that are important to understand Puerto Rican history. The chronology also accompanies the courseware.
For more information on becoming a Cultural Ambassador please fill out the form below or email [email protected]