Chicana Diasporic: A Nomadic Journey of the Activist Exiled

The Process of Chicana Diasporic

Chicana Diasporic was produced through the 2017 University Libraries’ Digital Scholarship Incubator (DSI) Fellowship, funded and supported by the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. DSI is a twelve-week summer fellowship focused on the process of creating student-led digital research and scholarship and includes exercises in 2 and 3d concept modeling and ideation. 

This research hub was produced using two open source products: the multi-modal annotative blogsite application Scalar along with the museum curatorial application Omeka‚Äč. These platforms allow for the analysis of the character, motivation, and origins, of the politically cultural work of hundreds of Chicanas, as members of many organizations along with their membership in the NWPC, over a period of six years (1973-1979) across the US and Mexico, occurring at events often at the same time, simultaneously, seemingly random and disconnected by geography, yet entirely connected by ideology.

As a Scalar site, Chicana Diasporic offers the visitor multiple entries to the experience of this group of highly motivated and prolific women—in the traditional Scalar book/chapter narrative, and as a non-linear material curiosity. Using the author’s personal narrative as the main thread, Chicana Diasporic is not just a presentation of a Chicana history, it is an interdisciplinary witness and articulation of Chicana process, an organic methodology--lived and applied.

One of the exercises for the Digital Scholar Incubator research project was to conceptualize my end product in 2 or 3 dimensions. Ideation is a recurring exercise to help DSI Fellows focus more on process than end product. I knew what my final product, a Scalar narrative site with a supporting Omeka collection site, would be. What I wasn’t sure of when I began this ideation, was how I could visualize the final product in a way that had the organic relationship all its elements as it did in my head, or as I had lived this work and experience.

My goal is to articulate the experience of six years of Chicana product, sometimes successful, often at great sacrifice, working between two dominant spaces—the Chicano and Women’s movement. Imagine explaining the work of dozens of Chicanas, in many organizations including the NWPC, over a period of six years (1973-1979) across the US and Mexico, occurring at events often at the same time, simultaneously, and yet seemingly disconnected by geography, almost random. Granted, displaying these events on a timeline and on a map, demonstrates a certain amount of scale, but it doesn’t reflect the immensity of their output, working together.

I have always seen what you will see in the footage, in my head. One of the narrative pages of this site offers a glimpse into the “not always linearity” of Chicana Thought. I offer this as one of the many traits that allows these women to produce in two movements, be involved in two international women’s conferences, get candidates elected to office, raise children, write books, graduate from college, have full time jobs and organize and march in a variety of demonstrations.

To see footage along with my description of this 3D Ideation. 

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