Marissa López Teams up with 826LA on Summer Writers Workshop for Teens

August 10, 2021

Professor Marissa López’s digital humanities project, Picturing Mexican America, teamed up with 826LA to create a virtual summer writers workshop for middle- and high-school students.

826LA is a non-profit dedicated to developing the writing skills of students 6 to 18, and provides a variety of services such as tutoring, workshops, help for English-language learners and student publications. Professor López partnered with 826LA to create a virtual summer writing workshop based on research from her Picturing Mexican America project.

In the summer workshops, Professor López showed students photos of the city, uncovered in her research project, which are different from what is typically included in standard textbooks, and challenged them to think about questions such as “Who makes decisions about what gets remembered? How can we bring unseen or ignored things to light?” Over the course of the workshop, the students created written and visual works that explore the past, present, and future of Los Angeles.

In addition to Professor Professor López, two UCLA graduate students in English participated in the project. Gabriela Valenzuela taught the students to create their own maps of Los Angeles, and Efren Lopez led students in an exercise to consider what the future of Los Angeles might look like, and to imagine themselves as historical figures of the future. Read more about the workshop, and see some of the students visual work, here.