DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > DePaul community invited to contribute to Chicago immigration anthology

DePaul community invited to contribute to Chicago immigration anthology

16th Street Murals
(DePaul University/Maria Toscano)
DePaul faculty Chris Solis Green and Amy Tyson are inviting fellow faculty, staff and students to contribute to the newest Big Shoulders Books publication, “Chicago Mosaic: Immigration Stories of Objects Left, Lost, or Kept.”

Set to publish in 2023, “Chicago Mosaic” will feature true stories about an object left behind, lost or one that remains and is a meaningful part of one’s Chicago immigration story. This object can be anything from a naturalization form to a wedding gown.

“Objects hold memory and memories lead to stories,” Tyson says. “Sharing and listening to people's stories builds much-needed bridges. These days, stories are too often told, made up or circulated about immigrants. Those stories affect how the wider public views public policies and laws that have real consequences for immigrants and refugees today. This anthology puts the focus on immigrants themselves, raises their voices and shares their stories. They take the floor.”

Those interested can write their own story, be interviewed by one of the editors about their story, or interview someone else about their story. Submissions can range from 25 to 1,000 words. To get the process started, those interested in contributing should fill out this Google Form​ by June 15, with final story submissions due by Aug. 1. Any questions can be directed to editors Solis Green and Tyson​.

“We are eager to hear from those in our DePaul community, but also from those outside DePaul,” Solis Green notes. “We are trying to get the word out to anyone who has a Chicago immigration story to tell. If someone has an object and a story — even if it has been passed down from one’s great-grandparents — we hope they’ll consider submitting. If it would help to have the ‘call for contributors’ translated into another language, please reach out to us, and we can get that process started.”

The spirit of the anthology is reflected in the following quote from Chilean politician and poet Pablo Neruda’s book ‘Memoirs’, they say.

“I want to live in a world where beings are only human, with no other title but that, without worrying their heads about a rule, a word, a label. I want people to be able to go into all the churches, to all the printing presses. I don’t want anyone ever again to wait at the Mayor’s office door to arrest and deport someone else. I want everyone to go in and come out of City Hall smiling. I want the great majority, the only majority, everyone, to be able to speak out, read, listen, thrive. I have never understood the struggle except as something to end all struggle. I have never understood hard measures except as something to end hard measures…I still have absolute faith in human destiny, a clearer and clearer conviction that we are approaching a great common tenderness.”

Big Shoulders Books is a unique press in DePaul’s Department of English with a mission to give voice to issues and communities in Chicago that might not normally have a voice. The books are then given away for free. Big Shoulders Books is supported by the generosity of Bill and Irene Beck, the latter a former adjunct faculty member in DePaul’s Department of Women’s and Gender Studies.