By Alexis Maxwell, Editor in Chief
The Mexican-American Literature Database is officially available for student and personal use!
The website was created after Hurricane Harvey hit the Lone Star College-Kingwood, leaving the campus and all technology, textbooks and other precious materials adrift and useless in floodwaters.
English Professor Icess Fernandez, the curator of the archive gave her reason as to way she desired to have these sources online. Fernandez is one of the advisers to The Howler.
“After Hurricane Harvey, it was very difficult for anyone to get textbooks, so I thought it would be easier to professors and students to have their class materials online,” she said.
Due to the loss of these class materials to lend out to students who needed them for their courses, there was a circulating thought that perhaps there was a better way to give students this information aside from the classic ink and paper way. Their answer was the Mexican-American Literature Database.
The material for the site was gathered by students in the previous Fall 2017 semester, who gathered information on the author, the book, and then had a formal interview with the author to enhance the experience a classic novel would not be able to give a reader.
“I loved participating in the project,” said Cara Young, a former LSC-Kingwood student Howler staffer. “It gave me a deeper understanding of the importance of tradition, identity and community when a generation is faced with acculturation and the effects of it on the generations.”
Author Lupe Mendez contributed a poem to the database called “When I Hear That They Want To Let Teachers Carry Guns”. He was approached by Lone Star Student-Kingwood students to be apart of the archive.
“It’s necessary to have the ability to store knowledge and history through stories, poems, and store them on the database,” Mendez said.
“It is an advantage for the campus and the students at large,” Mendez added.
Now there is no way to lose this information and it can be added on to by the next set of students and eventually the ones after them and so on.
In total, there are 16 authors to experience on the site, but their experience is not just limited to books, but also playwrights, performers, artists, social justice reformers and many other occupations that are well worth the time to experience.
Young posed a thought. “I hope that in some ways this helps and preserves the perspective of these authors and that the class opportunity to continue inspiring students.”
If you would like to visit this archive, here is the link to the Mexican American Literature Database.