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Organization name: College of Southern Nevada
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College of Southern Nevada (Las Vegas, NV 89146-1139)
Lester Tanaka (Project Director: August 2014 to July 2018)
Valerie Hecht (Co Project Director: March 2016 to July 2018)

Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges
Education Programs

$116,806 (approved)
$86,035 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2015 – 4/30/2017

Linking with Latin America: An NEH Bridging Cultures Project

A two-year faculty project to develop course modules in Latin American and Caribbean studies at Community College of Southern Nevada in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Latin American Studies.

The Community College of Southern Nevada (CCSN) offers a two-year program of seminars, workshops, and curriculum development for a total of sixteen faculty members to examine the history and cultures of Latin America and this region's relationship with the United States. Co-directors from CCSN, Lester Tanaka (English) and Valerie Hecht (Spanish), work with Karen Goldman from the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at the University of Pittsburgh to lead faculty participants in a program of study and curricular development. In the first year, seminars begin with an overview of Latin American history and an examination of interdisciplinary approaches in Latin American studies before considering depictions of the Mexican Revolution in art and literature, migration, the Central American diaspora, Nevada's Hispanic history, and the situation of Latino communities in the state. Visiting scholars include faculty members from CLAS, as well as Sandi DiMola (law, Carlow University), Karina Zelaya (Central American studies, California State University, Northridge), Valentina Velazquez-Zvierkov (Spanish, Elmhurst College), Lynette Sawyer (Hispanic Museum of Nevada), and Arturo Vargas (Spanish, University of California, Davis). Readings include Eduardo Galeano, Memory of Fire; Mae Ngai, Impossible Subjects; Douglas Massey, Beyond Smoke and Mirrors; Mark Engler, "Science Fiction from Below"; Mariano Azuela, The Underdogs; Americo Paredes, "The Ancestry of Mexico's Corridos"; and Juan Gonzalez, Harvest of Empire; among other works. Seminars are supplemented by curriculum development workshops and by screening the 2008 science fiction film, Sleep Dealer, which explores the confluence of technology and immigration in a futuristic setting. The second year's seminars are planned in consultation with project coordinators and the first year's cohort of eight faculty members from the English, communication, art history, and foreign language departments, and the CCSN study abroad program. These participants serve as mentors for the second year's cohort of eight more faculty with similar backgrounds and roles. The project results in the development of curricular modules, the creation of a Latin American studies course for the honors program, and the collection of books, articles, and electronic resources useful to faculty members in revising their courses.