Our Scholars

Diane Beers & Deborah Fairman — Professors Diane Beers and Deborah Fairman, both of Holyoke Community College, have team taught several interdisciplinary courses focused on race and social justice.  Their Fall 2015 course  “America on Trial: Defining Moments in Modern U.S. History” addresses the “Zoot Suit Riots” and the Sleepy Lagoon murder trial, both of which are part of Episode III, which will be screened on October 21 at H.C.C.

Joel Blanco-Rivera is an Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Information Sciences and Technologies at the University of Puerto Rico. His current research interests include the documentation of the Puerto Rican diaspora in the United States, with a focus on Holyoke, MA; and the relationship between archives and transitional justice mechanisms in Latin America. His dissertation (University of Pittsburgh, 2012) was a case study of the work of the National Security Archive in Latin America and the use of government records in truth commission investigations and human rights trials.

Ginetta Candelario is Associate Professor of Sociology and Latin American & Latina/o Studies at Smith College and newly elected Vice President of the National Latin@ Studies Association. Her research interests include Dominican communities and identity formations, race and ethnicity in the Americas, Latina/o communities and identity formations, beauty culture, and Latin American and Latina feminisms. Professor Candelario has also collaborated for more than a decade with community-based organizations in Holyoke as a teacher, speaker, and board member. She is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships and has published widely on Dominican identity and Dominican feminism.

Mari Casteneda — Professor Mari Castañeda of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst has a lengthy publication record in Latina/ethnic media studies and global communications, and an abiding interest in the ways in which “engaged scholarship” can address inequality by incorporating community voices.  Facilitating a discussion of Episode VI from the series Latino Americans on September 17 will provide her with a way to bring discussion of contemporary media representations to a non-academic audience.

Mark Clinton & Frank Couvares — Professors Mark Clinton (Holyoke Community College) and Frank Couvares (Amherst College) teach an interdisciplinary, inter-institutional course called “The Immigrant City,” which is taught in part in downtown Holyoke and which uses the city as text.  They will facilitate discussion at a public screening of Episode II: Empire of Dreams of the Latino Americans series on April 16, 2016.

Raul Gutierrez —  Raul Gutierrez, Spanish Instructor in the Foreign Languages Department at Holyoke Community College, will lead the discussion of Episode I: Strangers in Their Own Land on September 16.

Luis Marentes — Professor Luis Marentes teaches at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst.  His research interests include Chicano literature and theory; borders, diaspora and migration, and culture and revolution.  He will facilitate discussion of Episode V, on October 17, which portrays the formation of a politicized “Chicano” identity in the 1960s and 1970s.

Manuel Matos — is a fourth year Ph.D. student in Sociology Department at UMass/Amherst. His work focuses on political sociology of land disputes between black communities and the states in Latin America.

Arlene Rodriguez — Vice President of Academic Affairs, Springfield Technical Community College.