The International Latino Book Awards has named “Day of the Dead in the USA: The Migration and Transformation of a Cultural Phenomenon, Revised and Expanded 2nd Edition,” by Professor of Journalism and Media Studies Regina Marchi, the recipient of awards in two categories, The Raul Yzaguirre Best Political/Current Affairs Book – English and The Dolores Huerta Best Cultural & Community Themed Book – English.
The judges of the Huerta award wrote, “Best we’ve seen on this topic. Excellent research. Superb text!”
2023 marks the 25th year of the International Latino Book Awards, and over 4,500 books were entered and judged by 221 judges who are professors, librarians, journalists and publishers. The ILBA awards are given by the non-profit organization Empowering Latino Futures (ELF).
Marchi said, “The second edition of the book is completely revised with about 50% new material, including more than 30 new interviews, dozens of new photos, and new sections on digital media and virtual celebrations, the impact of Hollywood films like Coco (2017) and the James Bond film Spectre (2015) on Day of the Dead, the proliferation of Day of the Dead imagery in popular video games, clothing, Barbie dolls, sporting events and many other forms of commodification. The book explores the role of the mass media, tourism and commercialization on this celebration, which in many ways is a very modern invention.”
The second edition of “Day of the Dead in the USA,” published by Rutgers University Press in 2022 combines a mix of ethnography, historical research, oral history, and critical cultural analysis to explore the manifold and unexpected transformations that occur when the tradition is embraced by the mainstream. The book provides insight into the power of art and ritual to create community, transmit oppositional messages, and advance educational, political, and economic goals.”
Marchi studies alternative forms of media, political communication, and civic engagement, focusing on populations historically marginalized from official politics and news media due to their race, ethnicity, social class, immigration status, gender or age. She has traveled extensively throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa observing a wide variety of media and cultural practices. Prior to life in academia, she worked as a journalist in the U.S. and Central America.
In 2021, Marchi received Rutgers University's highest teaching honor, the Warren I. Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching. She is an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies, the Center for Latin American Studies, and the Center for Race and Ethnicity.