Key Research Areas:
Migration and Family Histories
Politics and Activism
Arts and Media
Retrofitting Latinxs into the Wisconsin Historical Narrative
A university/community partnered research project led by Dr. Marla A. Ramírez and Dr. Almita Miranda. Financed by the Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Grant, this project has the three main goals: 1) increase primary sources on Latinxs in Wisconsin in the state archives; 2) train students and community members to conduct oral histories; and 3) make these histories widely accessible to students, researchers, and the general public. The project will contribute primary sources to the Wisconsin Historical Society through video and audio recorded oral history interviews that will be accessible to the community.
Rural Voices/Voces del Campo
An oral history project working to preserve and provide public access to oral histories documenting the experiences of Latinx populations in rural Western Wisconsin. The multidisciplinary project brings together faculty and students from Public History, Languages, Latinx and Latinx Studies, and Nursing programs at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. This project is an expansion of an oral history project documenting the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Latinx agricultural workers, who have become essential to Wisconsin’s signature dairy industry in Wisconsin. The expanded collection seeks to conduct oral histories with Latinx participants across rural Wisconsin on topics such as immigration, family, and identity.
A joint project between the Chippewa Valley Museum (CVM) and faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, currently working to collect oral histories and artifacts documenting the presence and contributions of Latinx artists in the Chippewa Valley. The collection provides an opportunity for Latinx artists to tell their stories and showcase their work, in fields such as music, plastic arts, textiles, culinary arts, folk art, and beyond. The project aims to strengthen relationships with Latinx artists and community organizations and broaden community understanding of Latin American cultures and traditions.
“Saraguros in Wisconsin”: Reclaiming Culture in the Diaspora
Originally from the Southern Andes of Ecuador, Saraguros are part of the Indigenous Kichwa nationality, the largest Indigenous group in the country. Since the 1990s, a growing Saraguro presence in rural Wisconsin, primarily working in the dairy industry, have made important contributions to our state. Drawing from Critical Latinx Indigeneities and Community Cultural Wealth, the work of Dr. Diego Román and Luis Gonzalez-Quizhpe explores how Kichwa Saraguro families are (re)creating their Indigeneity and reclaiming their Kichwa language in rural Wisconsin. Working with members of the Saraguro community living in various areas of rural Wisconsin, this project seeks to describe the practices that this community enacts to teach and learn what it means to be Saraguro in the diaspora. This work will include a curriculum packet for grades 9 -12 that will facilitate high school students’ introduction to one of Wisconsin’s most recent and important Latinx groups.
¡Presente! Documenting Latinx History in Wisconsin: A Collaborative Digital Edition
With funding from the NHPRC-Mellon grant, the WLHC is currently planning a collaborative digital edition on the Latinx presence in Wisconsin (WI). This collaborative digital edition seeks to expand both popular and scholarly understandings of the rich history and contemporary contributions of Latinx populations in Wisconsin. The DE will consist of a collection of mini editions featuring primary sources, including documents drawn from new oral history interviews, photographs, organizational papers, and private collections, based on thematic areas (e.g., immigration, education, family histories, activism) that highlight the contributions and everyday life of Latinx residents in rural and urban regions of the state. Fundamental to the project’s goals is creating and maintaining a searchable, open-access digital repository of collected historical primary sources, documenting Latinx history from the mid nineteenth century to the present.
Beyond archival preservation and open access, the project will utilize the digital platform to reach a broad audience and expand intellectual access by incorporating various educational initiatives. These include scholarly interpretation, contextualization, transcription, and translation of archival holdings; K-12 curriculum and university courses incorporating the collections; Story Maps; bibliographies and other research resources; and accessible, current public history scholarship on Latinx history. Bringing together an interdisciplinary group of university faculty, community members, students, and project advisors, this project will have a powerful impact on public knowledge of the history, presence, and contemporary significance of Latinx populations in Wisconsin and the Midwest.
Somos Latinas: Online Oral History Project
The Somos Latinas (We Women) History Project (2012-2016) was created to document the many significant and largely hidden contributions of Latinas in Wisconsin engaged in their communities to positively impact society in K-12 and post-secondary education, civil rights, women's rights, domestic abuse services, immigration reform, political representation, peace and justice, and other areas. The online collection currently includes 52 interviews from 37 Latinas from across Wisconsin. In this digital collection, interviews are presented in a viewer specifically designed for oral histories. This project is available through WHS: Somos Latinas Project Oral Histories.
Arenas Andrea-Teresa and Gómez Eloisa. Somos Latinas : Voices of Wisconsin Latina Activists. Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2018.
Sergio M. González. Strangers No Longer: Latino Belonging and Faith in 20th Century Wisconsin. University of Illinois Press, under contract.