Juan García Oyervides is a PhD candidate in the department of Spanish and Portuguese at CU Boulder. He studies Mexican and Latin American journalistic practices and their cultural influences in the region. He obtained a BA in Literature and Language at Universidad Finis Terrae, Chile. He's interested in independent publishing practices, and community-based knowledge production/distribution networks.
Students in the Engaged Arts and Humanities Graduate Student Scholars program participate in the development of a community-engaged scholarship "partner" project. Below, please read about Garcia Oyervide's project and his approach to this work.
I am working in partnership with the Museum of Boulder to organize and facilitate a community curated exhibition about Boulder’s diverse Latinx history. The project aims to expand the museum’s engagement opportunities with the Latinx communities in the Boulder area and provide a space where they can connect and learn from each other. Provisionally titled “Voces vivas: Latinx Histories of Boulder”, this engaged scholarship project explores the human and public aspects of history and historiography in the state at the same time it visibilizes stories of success and resilience of a community that is often affected by misrepresentation in the media and politics. This projected outcome for this project is a community-curated temporary exhibition with a duration of approximately six months.
This project uses a combination of tools and theories from different disciplines, including an approach grounded on critical race theory to discuss the participation of underrepresented groups in the state as well as the inherent diversity within the groups themselves. The use of public oral history in combination with existing models for community curation projects, such as The Community Curation Program is also connected to my expertise as a researcher of contemporary documentary narratives.
The creation of community-produced testimonies will develop authentic materials to initiate discussions in the community and the classroom. By using oral history as a research tool to bridge the gap between self-representation, historiography and autobiography, I seek to contribute to the expansion and validation of non written narratives in my field and within the larger community.
As a first generation Mexican American scholar, I have experienced xenophobia and racism as a result of generalizing, and hateful discourses perpetuated by the media and politics. As a member of this community, I expect to create a safe and inclusive space for reflection that would benefit the larger community by allowing members of the diverse Latinx communities in Boulder a space to represent themselves. In the future, I expect to continue working on similar projects as I continue to develop a scholarly agenda responsive to the social injustices that affect our society, and conducive to a climate of inclusivity and understanding.