Thursday, May 30, 2013

L.A. Food Culture and California Farm Work, 1950-1980

CSW's recent Cultural Politics of Seeds symposium, coorganized by Professor Allison Carruth, featured a UCLA Library Special Collections Exhibit in addition to the presentation panels. Titled "L.A. Food Culture and California Farm Work, 1950-1980," the exhibit was organized by students in Professor Carruth's English 184.7 class, Food Writing and Food Politics in the Information Age.

The students used two Special Collections: the Collection of Menus, which features restaurants in Los Angeles and Southern California, and the papers of Andy Zermeno, a political cartoonist for El Malcriado, a periodical produced by the United Farm Workers of America. The students also used the general map collection with the guidance of Jon Hargis, Map & GIS resource specialist in the CRIS department.

During the month of April, the class met in groups once per week to explore the materials they planned on highlighting and discussing in the exhibit. Some of the students also used materials in the LSC Reading Room outside of class time. The first class focused on an introduction to Library Special Collections and research using the collections, led by Heather Briston, Head of Public Services for Special Collections; an introduction to the maps, led by Hargis; and an introduction by Jennifer Osorio, the Subject Specialist for Literature. The students worked in groups to decide on their themes and materials and to do their research. Once the exhibit items and exhibit text were finalized by the students and Professor Carruth, Octavio Olvera, Visual Arts Specialist, Brandon Barton, Duplications Coordinator, and Briston worked on the digitization of materials for the student posters and slide presentation, as well as constructing and installing the physical exhibit for the day of the symposium.

Photos courtesy of the UCLA Library

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