Linda Garcia Merchant
Linda Garcia Merchant is a doctoral student concentrating in U.S. Latina and Chicana Literatures, and Digital Humanities. Linda focuses on the restoration and reconstruction of the counter narrative as an aid in rehabilitating the discourse of resistance and social movement.
As the co-founder of the Chicana Por Mi Raza Digital Memory Collective, Linda and Dr. Maria Cotera of the University of Michigan have produced over 125 filmed oral history interviews and collected more than 7,000 documents and ephemera from iconic figures of the Chicana and Feminist movements. In April 2012 Linda, coordinating an effort with Dr. Andrea “Tess” Arenas of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Wisconsin State Historical Society began the Somos Latinas Oral History Project to collect and archive the historical narrative of Wisconsin Latina activism. In January 2014, Linda partnered with Dr. Elena Gutierrez of the University of Illinois Chicago to launch the Chicana Chicago/MABPW Collection project, collecting the histories of Latina leadership in Chicago.
An award winning Chicana filmmaker, her films Las Mujeres de La Caucus Chicana (The Women of the Chicana Caucus), Palabras Dulces, Palabras Amargas (Sweet Words, Bitter Words), Yo Soy Eva, and Thresholds are shown in courses on women of color feminism, global feminisms, queer and social movement both nationally and internationally. In 2014, Palabras was featured in Dr. Bill Johnson González’s article, “The Limits of Desire: On the Downlow and Queer Chicago Film” for GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. Linda is currently working on An Evening with La Tess, an experimental documentary on the life of award winning Chicana poet, activist and scholar Andrea “Tess” Arenas.
In 2017 Linda, as a Digital Scholar Incubator Fellow through the UNL Center for Research in the Digital Humanities, created the Scalar and Omeka research site, Chicana Diasporic: A Nomadic Journey of the Activist Exiled, a media rich, literary exploration of the political-ideological journey of the women of the Chicana Caucus of the National Women’s Political Caucus, 1973-1979. “Chicana Feminism Virtually Remixed,” the abstract on this research project, has been selected for publication in the Fall 2018 American Quarterly special edition on Digital Humanities.
Linda continues to write, guest lecture, and present on Chicana Feminism, Chicana Filmmaking, community archiving, visual historiography, and short form filmmaking. She has written articles and blogposts in Dialogo, Mujeres Talk, The Chicago Reporter, Viva La Feminista and La Bloga.