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History Happy Hour – Hispanic Influence on Northern Indiana

Stay connected with the stories of your state. Bring your own beverage and join us for a series of insightful conversations with some of Indiana’s most interesting scholars.

Hispanic Influence on Northern Indiana

Emiliano Aguilar, Ph.D. candidate at Northwestern University, joins us to discuss the effect Mexican and Puerto Rican communities have had on East Chicago. Highlighting research he has completed for his dissertation, Building a Latino Machine, he will discuss the Concerned Latins Organization as well as how the Latino community has transitioned into a Latino political machine and influenced Northern Indiana.

Free Program. Additional opportunities available to support IHS as we continue collecting, preserving, and sharing Indiana’s history.

Registration closes 2 hours prior to the start of the program.

Guest Bio

Emiliano Aguilar Jr. is a Ph.D. Candidate in History. A native to East Chicago, Indiana, he attended Wabash College in Crawfordsville, IN, and majored in English and History. After completing his undergraduate degree, Emiliano attended Purdue University Northwest and earned his M.A. in History.

Emiliano’s dissertation, “Building a Latino Machine,” focuses on how the ethnic Mexican and Puerto Rican community of East Chicago, Indiana navigated corrupt machine politics to pursue their inclusion into the city. The narrative will trace the transition of Latinos from cogs in the political machine to eventually becoming the machine itself. During this transition, these communities engaged in unethical political behavior, including kickbacks, ghost payrolls, patronage politics, and vote tampering. Journalists across the United States framed East Chicago in the 1970s as “the last political machine in America.” The project will extend the discussion of machine politics, labor’s influence, and corruption together to explore how a community pursued inclusion in a system notorious for backroom dealing in the Postwar Era. As the city underwent white flight and deindustrialization, the Latino community transitioned from cogs in the machine to building a Latino political machine, under the same corrupt practices of patronage as their predecessors.

His work has been featured in Belt Magazine, Immigration and Ethnic History Society’s Blog, and Indiana Historical Society Blog. He has spoken about his work and Latinx History in the Midwest on PATV Channel 18 and Valparaiso University’s Welcome Project. Look for his work in the forthcoming Latinx Placemaking in the Midwest: Building Sustainable Worlds (under contract with the University of Illinois Press) and Dispatches from the Rust Belt: Volume III, The Best of Belt Magazine 2020.

Outside of his research, Emiliano is an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, and graphic novels. Emiliano’s hobbies include homebrewing and tabletop gaming.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long does it last?

History Happy Hours are informal conversations with IHS staff and scholars that usually last around 60-minutes.

Do I need to be camera ready?

Nope. We will use the Zoom webinar platform, so you can join us from your kitchen table, couch, or the porch. Just make sure you’re ready to type, as we will make sure there is plenty of time for your questions through the chat feature.

What do I need to participate? 

History Happy Hour takes place virtually over Zoom. You can either join through an internet-connected device or calling-in via phone. We will send you a link and phone number through the email you used to register around two hours before the program begins. Don’t see the email? Make sure to check your spam or junk folder.

Do you have other History Happy Hours that I can watch?

We sure do! Check out all our past programs here. (Scroll down to the History Happy Hour menu to see the recordings.)

History Happy Hour – Hispanic Influence on Northern Indiana

Apr 7, 2022 - Jan 1, 1970 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Online, via Zoom
Register Here
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