Director: Manuel M. Martín-Rodríguez, Ph.D.


            This project is born out of a desire to rewrite the history of Chicano/a literature by focusing not only on books published by Chicanos/as but on what Chicanos/as have read over different periods of time as well. As such, the genesis of the database is in Dr. Martín-Rodríguez's suggestion (in his book Life in Search of Readers, 2003) to undertake a type of literary history that could address multiple temporalities (texts that appear, disappear, and reappear at different times), reception and reader-response, transnational developments, a diverse linguistic and cultural capital, and the connections between Chicano/a literature and other literary traditions. To that end, the study of intertextuality promises to be a fruitful one, inasmuch as it will allow researchers to inventory references in Chicano/a literary works to other texts (from multiple traditions), and thus to explore what Chicano/a authors have read, and what literary texts they expect their readerships to be familiar with. The CLID is complemented by other research projects, including the Chicano/a Readership Oral Project (CROP, a collection of interviews with and essays by actual Chicano/a readers about their reading experiences), and Alternative Publications, an online press that facilitates and documents interaction between readers and texts. For more information, please visit:


            The CLID is structured to record different types of data and to produce different kinds of searchable materials. These include:


a chronological account of literary works published by Chicanos/as, including when they have been reprinted and by which presses,

a non-sequential table of references cited in works by Chicanos/as (including authors and books),

a catalog of types of references, currently distinguishing 35 different kinds,

a visual history of book covers and other illustrations, among others.


            Our goal is to produce a searchable database that will allow researchers to use different kinds of information, including (but not limited to):


which authors/works are quoted within a specific timeframe,

multiple references to a particular author or a set of authors,

complete set of references found in the works of any one Chicano/a writer,

what references to a particular national (regional, etc.) tradition can be traced in Chicano/a literature,

intertextual differences by genre, language, gender, among other parameters.



            The first phase of the database is well underway, and it canvases all creative works by Chicanos/as, regardless of genre. The second phase has barely started, but we are already recording references in scholarly editions, books and articles of Chicano/a literary criticism.


            Presently, the database information is stored in a large Microsoft Excel file, but this format is not conducive to the kind of visual/interactive presentation we desire. As a consequence, we are looking for partnerships to develop a proper type of interface that facilitates more rational storage and access. A list of database features and presentation needs is available upon request.