This project was conducted for the Race and Oral History Course at UCSD in the Spring of 2019. This post is a reflection on the limits of oral history and ways to overcome them through an engagement with the letter. The letter I chose was written by a Mexican mother to Detainee Allies.. She is 37 years and had been living in San Diego for 19 years before being detained. In this post, you will find a reflection on how to rethink oral history thanks to an artifact. I will provide a personal analysis of the letter, highlighting sections that articulate the following themes: endless violence, militarized border, family, vulnerability and confinement. The goal of this project is to amplify the voice of one detainee confined at Otay Mesa Detention Center. Closed from the outside world and deprived of face-to-face interactions, detainees have resorted to letter writing to speak out and to convey their humanity. Reading their letters creates a form of encounter that approximates an oral history interview. Read More →

Dear future students of the Race and Oral History in San Diego Course (HIUS 120), This class is going to be an amazing challenging and rewarding experience. It was definitely the best class I took as UCSD. The race and Oral History in San Diego course is a project class. This course is putting together lecture, readings and community work. You will be required to do the readings, an oral history and a group project. Even if it seems a lot, everything is linked. The readings help you to push your thinking forward and to improve your community work. This class can be overwhelming ifRead More →

On May 2nd, our HIUS120 class went on a field trip at Chicano Park in Barrio Logan. Professor Luis Alvarez did a quick presentation of the history of this site that highlighted the history of this place and then we got the opportunity to experience it. As Favianna Rodriguez said during a workshop at UCSD: « culture is power ». Through art, this community manage to take back a meaningful and symbolic place. This culture appropriation is the symbol of their fight but also of their hopes. In the art pieces you can find on the wall, you can find historical reminders but also strong political message.Read More →