Conmemorando a la Comunidad: Latinx Experiences at Trinity University is a digital humanities project created during the summer of 2023 as a partnership between The Mexico, the Americas, and Spain (MAS) program and the University Archives. Research grants were awarded for two students and mentorship through the Mellon Initiative and Murchison Research Fellowship.
The research team consists of Dr. Dania Abreu-Torres, Director of the MAS program and professor in Modern Languages; Abra Schnur, University Archivist; and students Lee Denney and Seb Mora.
The purpose of the project is to design a space to share archival research and personal narratives with current Latinx students, faculty, and staff, as well as present histories and discoveries with which they can identify. We hope that by sharing, this starts to create a sense of belonging with people who came before them.
It was also created to invite alumni, faculty, and staff to revisit their experiences at Trinity in a common history of resiliency and validation through action. It will serve as a starting point to collaborate with similar projects around San Antonio and relate the Trinity experience with the larger Latinx community in the city.
The website currently features three exhibits
- A timeline of notable Latinx events from the years 1942-1989
- An analysis of the various study abroad programs in Latin America between the 1940s-1980s
- An overview of the interdisciplinary programs and centers focused on Latin American studies between the 1960s-2010s, aside from the MAS program
In addition to the exhibits, the website will also serve as the portal to the oral history interviews being conducted for this project. Over the summer students conducted five interviews with alumni and faculty. They will continue to interview during the fall semester and begin the transcription process.
The team has already had multiple opportunities to share their research and findings. Students have presented as part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium, as well as in a session at the Texas Oral History Association, and part of Trinity’s Latinx Heritage Month programming which featured a panel of some of the alumni interviewed. Research and items from the archives were showcased at the September Humanatea hosted by the Humanities Collective.
Having just been awarded a Summerlee Foundation grant to support student training in oral history methodology, this project aims to continue for two more years to develop a diverse collection of interviews and historical interpretations.