EVENT: Digital Fridays w/ Paulina Hernández-Trejo, Urmi Parekh & Joshua Goldstein (Apr 28, 2023)

THIS Friday, join us for presentations featuring HASTAC Scholars Paulina Hernández-Trejo, Urmi Parekh and Joshua Goodstein

RSVP here to receive a link to this webinar.

Creating the Borderlands Folklore Digital Archive, Paulina Hernández-Trejo.

The Borderland Folklore Digital Archive is a project that aims to preserve Borderland folklore, mainly that of cultural hauntings through personal testimonies, literature, landscapes, newspaper clippings, music, and more. In this project, the Borderlands are categorized as the states along the U.S/Mexican border, and can also extend to an Anzaldúan psychological understanding of border lands that includes regions and spaces “wherever two or more cultures edge each other, where people of different races occupy the same territory” regardless of class. One of the most notable figures of this project will be la Llorona but will potentially also include ghosts in Chicanx literature, la Lechuza, el Chupacabra, ghosts, and many other haunted spaces that exist within Borderlands imaginary and folklore. In this Digital Friday showcase, I will be talking through how I developed my archive’s theoretical framework, archival methodology, collections, and the different components of putting together a folkloric archive.

Decolonizing the Syllabus, Urmi Parekh.

Who are we reading and why. This project started during my MA and is being expanded on through my PhD. The MA project focuses on the ‘curriculum,’ looking at the background of the authors of the assigned readings in the graduate English department. Building on that, I’m now looking at how those authors are being taught in the classroom (the pedagogy), and how do we navigate works of authors who have amazing scholarly presence but may also have certain aspects of them/their work challenged or questioned by others.

“Nobody But Me Was Going to Pick My ‘Image’”: Barbara Stanwyck, Lena Horne, and Star Contracts Under the Studio System, 1937-1948, Joshua Goodstein

The Hollywood studio system is often likened to a form of indentured servitude due to the level of control studios held over their contracted performers, often demanding exclusivity and disallowed creative risk-taking. However, there were actresses like Barbara Stanwyck who did not opt for long-term contracts, and as a result were granted more control over their star images and the characters they played. Looking at Stanwyck’s career in conversation with that of Lena Horne from 1937 through 1948, it becomes apparent that the freedom Stanwyck experienced as an A-list freelance actress was a luxury afforded to her in large part by her whiteness. The short-term contracts Stanwyck struck with studios in the 1930s and 40s were made possible due to her level of fame and popularity which was not afforded to actresses of color, even those considered “exceptional” like Horne. This paper explores how the prominence of romance in Hollywood musicals, the strict enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code, and Jim Crow laws in the southern United States all worked on structural levels across a variety of white supremacist institutions to limit the types of roles Horne could play and films she could perform in due to her Blackness; posing questions about the role of agency in feminist analysis.

Speaker Bios:

Paulina Hernández-Trejo (she/her/ella) is a MA English student at the University of Texas at San Antonio and a 2022-2024 HASTAC Scholars Fellow. Paulina was raised in the Juárez/El Paso Borderlands area, which greatly influences her current work. She specializes in Black, Asian American, Latinx, and Indigenous literatures in the United States, specifically focusing on migration literature and folklore & culture along the U.S./Mexican Borderlands. She is also a scholar in Digital Humanities, forging connections between her literary knowledge and DH work. Paulina has taken on many roles in her career(s) from 6th-grade core English teacher to community-based grant-funded projects with K-12 schools.

Urmi Parekh is a first year PhD student at Syracuse University. She did her undergrad in financial markets and decided to switch after being in the field for 3 years. Her research focuses on digital humanities, pedagogical practices, and transmodal writing studies. In her free time, she likes to read, go for walks, cook, and meditate.

Twitter: @Uparekh19

Joshua Goodstein (they/he) is a Media Studies graduate student at The New School and 2022-2024 HASTAC Scholars Fellow. They research movie musicals, camp and cult film, stardom, classical Hollywood, queer theory, and cultural studies. Their undergraduate thesis at Purchase College engaged theories of camp, cuteness, reflexivity, star image, and adaptation to explore how the Hollywood musicals of the 1970s-1990s depart from the conventions of the classical era and queer normative regimes of social abjection by ushering in new modes of emotional identification, deploying an aesthetic of sincerity that overlaps with the queer sensibility of camp. Major case studies included Little Shop of Horrors, The Wiz, and Evita. They were one of the co-founders of Purchase College’s bimonthly film journal Cinema-Roll. In addition to soliciting and editing student submissions, they wrote a column called The Recipe Box; which paired short essays on films like When Harry Met Sally and Monkey Business with original recipes inspired by the films. Also at Purchase, they were granted the Lucille Werlinich Senior Project Award and the 2022 Outstanding Senior Award for Cinema & Television Studies. Outside of academia, Joshua’s writing appears in publications such as The Week, HeyAlma, Film Cred, and Screen Speck; as well as on their newsletter For No One’s Consideration.

Instagram: @fakejoshuagoodstein // Twitter: @goodjscholar // Mastodon: https://h-net.social/@jgoodstein // Website: https://goodstein.hastac.hcommons.org/