Redpath Book Display: Hispanic Heritage Month

On June 20th, 2020 Quebec’s National Assembly declared the month of October Hispanic Heritage Month. This coincides with Canada’s Latin American Heritage Month Act, which was sanctioned by Parliament in 20198. Both acts recognize the many contributions of both Hispanic and Latin American individuals to the social, economic and political development of the province and the country. The McGill Library is joining the celebrations with our October book display, which features books and films written by Hispanic and Latin American authors.  You can view the physical display on the main floor of the Redpath Library or check out our online version.

Hispanic and Latin American: Is there a difference? 

While many people tend to use terms like Hispanic, Latin American, Latino/a, or Latinx interchangeably, they represent different cultural or ethnic origins. Here is a quick primer:  

Hispanic: A person of Spanish or Spanish-speaking origin or ancestry. This includes Spain as well as Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America.  

Latin American: A person from the Latin American region regardless of language.     

Latino or Latina: In English North America, a person of Latin American origin or ancestry living the USA or Canada. The term was adopted by the community as a rejection the word Hispanic for the latter’s connection to Spain and Spanish colonization.  

Latinx: A gender-neutral option for Latino and Latina.  

There are even more descriptors individuals in these communities may prefer to use. Some would rather identify with their country of birth or ancestry and choose to use terms like Boricua (from Puerto Rico) or Chicano (Mexican-American). Others choose descriptors that reflect the intersection of their ethnic and racial identities like in the case of Afro-LatinasAfro-CaribbeanLatinasians (Latin Americans of full or partial Asian descent) or Indigenous Latin Americans

 Below is a video that better explains the complexities on these identities:  

Redpath Book Display: Indigenous Awareness

This year McGill celebrated its 10th annual Indigenous Awareness Weeks, from September 13th – 24th and we are also marking the 20th anniversary of the First Peoples’ House Pow Wow, which took place virtually on September 24th, 2021. On Thurssday, September 30th, Canada is recognizing the first-ever National Day of Truth and Reconcilitiation. In honour of these events, the Humanities and Social Sciences Library held a physical book display in the Redpath Library for the month of September to celebrate Indigenous voices. We have now moved that display to our online Redpath Book Display space for all to enjoy.  

This display was created by Librarians and Staff in our Indigenous Issues Interest Group, we recognize that McGill University is located on unceded territory and this list was put together by workers who are settlers and grateful guests on this land. If anyone has any comments or suggestions to improve this display, please feel free to send us an email at hssl.library@mcgill.ca.  

Here are some of the wonderful texts you can find in our Indigenous Awareness display

One Drum: Stories and Ceremonies for a Planet by Richard Wagamese 

One Drum draws from the foundational teachings of Ojibway tradition, the Grandfather Teachings. Focusing specifically on the lessons of humility, respect and courage, the volume contains simple ceremonies that anyone anywhere can do, alone or in a group, to foster harmony and connection. 

Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq

Tanya Tagaq explores a world where the distinctions between good and evil, animal and human, victim and transgressor, real and imagined lose their meaning, but the guiding power of love remains. Haunting, brooding, exhilarating, and tender all at once, Tagaq moves effortlessly between fiction and memoir, myth and reality, poetry and prose, and conjures a world and a heroine readers will never forget. 

Being Together in Place: Indigenous Coexistence in a More Than Human World by Soren Larson and Jay Johnson 

Being Together in Place explores the landscapes that convene native and non-native people into sustained and difficult negotiations over their radically different interests. Using ethnographic research and a geographic perspective, this text shows activists in three sites learning how to articulate and defend their intrinsic and life-supportive ways of being – particularly to those who are intent on damaging these places. 

A Clan Mother’s Call: Reconstructing Haudenosaunee Cultural Memory by Jeannette Rodriguez

A Clan Mother’s Call articulates Haudenosaunee women’s worldview that honors women, clanship, and the earth. Over successive generations, First Nation people around the globe have experienced and survived trauma and colonization. Extensive literature documents these assaults, but few record their resilience. This book fulfills an urgent and unmet need for First Nation women to share their historical and cultural memory as a people. It is a need invoked and proclaimed by Clan Mother, Iakoiane Wakerahkats:teh, of the Mohawk Nation. 

Redpath Book Display: E-Scholarship

As members of such a large (and busy) University, it can be easy to forget one of McGill’s main purposes as an institution: scholarship. With over 48,000 thesis and dissertations, a fantastic way to look back on the rich history of our University’s academic excellence is through e-scholarship; the complete archival data basis of McGill thesis and dissertations, spanning from 1833 to present day.

In order to celebrate another year of scholars completing their studies at McGill, the Humanities and Social Sciences Library created a virtual book display featuring a few thesis published this past year. These are especially impressive, as some are from scholars whose works were successful even in unprecedented times. Access this display to see some of the fantastic thesis here.

E-scholarship is an excellent– and underutilized – resource. Created in 2005 in order to increase accessibility to the thesis archives, the e-scholarship institutional repository ensures that research produced at McGill is visible, free, accessible, disseminated, and preserved for future interests – all while maintaining researchers copyright.

“My favorite part about e-scholarship – beyond the fact that it’s open access of course – is the history” Jessica Lange, e-scholarship librarian added, “you can delight in interesting gems [in the archives]. McGill research is really imbedded in the history of Montreal. You might find stories or projects that tell you more about the history of this city than you were expecting; stories you can’t find other places.”

One of the benefits of this free history is the quantity of famous or successful works in the collection. To view some of the more well-known alum on record, such as Harriet Brooks, Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, and  John O’Keefe , visit the Highlights from McGill theses and dissertations.

To learn more about e-scholarship and to access the database, visit e-scholarship at McGill.

Have any questions? Contact escholarship.library@mcgill.ca for concerns on e-scholarship or hssl.library@mcgill.ca for other assistance.