Agua Santa / Holy Water
Pat Mora University of Arizona Press, 2007 Library of Congress PS3563.O73A72 2007 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Drawing on oral and lyrical traditions, this book honors the grace and spirit of mothers, daughters, lovers, and goddesses. From a tribute to Frida Kahlo to advice from an Aztec goddess, the poems explore the intimate and sacred spaces of borderlands through many voices: a revolutionary, a domestic worker, a widow.
Barrio Dreams: Selected Plays
Silviana Wood; Edited by Norma E. Cantú and Rita E. Urquijo-Ruiz University of Arizona Press, 2016 Library of Congress PS3623.O6427A6 2016 | Dewey Decimal 812.6
During the advent of Chicano teatro, dozens of groups sprang up across the country in Chicano/a communities. Since then, teatristas have been leading voices in the creation and production of plays touching minds and hearts that galvanize audiences to action.
Barrio Dreams is the first book to collect the work of one of Arizona’s foremost teatristas, playwright Silviana Wood. During her decades-long involvement in theater, Wood forged a reputation as a playwright, actor, director, and activist. Her works form a testimonio of Chicana life, steeped in art, politics, and the borderlands. Wood’s plays challenge, question, and incite women to consider their lot in life. She ruptures stereotypes and raises awareness of social issues via humor and with an emphasis on the use of the physical body on stage.
The play Una vez, en un barrio de sueños . . . offers a glimpse into familiar terrain—the barrio and its dwellers—in three actos. In Amor de hija, a fraught mother-daughter relationship in contemporary working-class Arizona is dealt an additional blow as the family faces Alzheimer’s disease. In the tragedy A Drunkard’s Tale of Melted Wings and Memories, and in the trilingual (Spanish, English, and Yaqui) tragicomedy Yo, Casimiro Flores, characters love, live, die, travel through time and space, and visit the afterlife. And in Anhelos por Oaxaca, a grandfather travels back in time through flashbacks, as he and his grandson travel through homelands from Arizona to Oaxaca.
Part of Wood’s genius is the way she portrays life in what Gloria Anzaldúa called “el mundo zurdo,” that space inhabited by the people of color, the poor, the female, and the outsiders. It is a place for the atravesados, the odd, the different, those who do not fit the mainstream. The people who inhabit Wood’s plays are common folk—janitors, mothers, grandmothers, and teenagers—hardworking people who, in one way or another, have made their way in life and who embody life in the barrio.
"Made in Mexico, born in America," Barrio Princess shares heartwarming family stories, cultural tradition stories, learning English by total immersion, socialization as a minority, education, stories of her mother as a single parent, and women’s stories from a minority point of view.
In the wake of U.S. military intervention abroad and collapsing domestic economies, scholars have turned their attention to neoliberalism and militarization, two ideological and material projects that are often treated as coincident, though not interdependent. Bodies at War examines neoliberal militarism, a term that signifies the complex ways in which neoliberalism and militarism interanimate each other as they naturalize dis/empowering notions of masculinity and femininity, alter democratic practices, and circumscribe the meaning of citizenship and national belonging.
Bodies at War examines the rise of neoliberal militarism from the early 1970s to the present and its transformation of political, economic, and social relations. It charts neoliberal militarism’s impact on democratic practices, economic policies, notions of citizenship, race relations, and gender norms by focusing on how these changes affect the Chicana/o community and, more specifically, on how it shapes and is shaped by Chicana bodies. The book raises important questions about the cultural legacies of war and the gendering of violence—topics that reach across multiple disciplinary fields of inquiry, including cultural and media studies. It draws attention to the relationship between war and society, to neoliberal militarism’s destructive social impact, and to the future of Latina soldiering. Through Chicana art, activism, and writing, Rincón offers a visionary foundation for an antiwar feminist politic.
Demetria Martínez has entered the public consciousness by way of the heart. In 1994, she captured a Western States Book Award with her first novel, Mother Tongue, which went on to win widespread national attention. Now, in Breathing between the Lines, the writer returns to poetry, her first love. Many of the poems in this book touch on the themes from Mother Tongue, about an American activist who falls in love with a Salvadoran political refugee.
Weaving together threads of love and family, social conviction and activism, loss and renewal, Breathing between the Lines carries the reader deep inside the head and heart of a talented Chicana writer. Page by page, the journey is an exhilarating one. What we find at the end is up to us.
Chicana Feminisms: A Critical Reader
Gabriela F. Arredondo, Aida Hurtado, Norma Klahn, Olga Nájera-Ramírez, and Patricia Zavella, eds. Duke University Press, 2003 Library of Congress HQ1421.C492 2003 | Dewey Decimal 305.420973
Chicana Feminisms presents new essays on Chicana feminist thought by scholars, creative writers, and artists. This volume moves the field of Chicana feminist theory forward by examining feminist creative expression, the politics of representation, and the realities of Chicana life. Drawing on anthropology, folklore, history, literature, and psychology, the distinguished contributors combine scholarly analysis, personal observations, interviews, letters, visual art, and poetry. The collection is structured as a series of dynamic dialogues: each of the main pieces is followed by an essay responding to or elaborating on its claims. The broad range of perspectives included here highlights the diversity of Chicana experience, particularly the ways it is made more complex by differences in class, age, sexual orientation, language, and region. Together the essayists enact the contentious, passionate conversations that define Chicana feminisms.
The contributors contemplate a number of facets of Chicana experience: life on the Mexico-U.S. border, bilingualism, the problems posed by a culture of repressive sexuality, the ranchera song, and domesticana artistic production. They also look at Chicana feminism in the 1960s and 1970s, the history of Chicanas in the larger Chicano movement, autobiographical writing, and the interplay between gender and ethnicity in the movie Lone Star. Some of the essays are expansive; others—such as Norma Cantú’s discussion of the writing of her fictionalized memoir Canícula—are intimate. All are committed to the transformative powers of critical inquiry and feminist theory.
Contributors. Norma Alarcón, Gabriela F. Arredondo, Ruth Behar, Maylei Blackwell, Norma E. Cantú, Sergio de la Mora, Ann duCille, Michelle Fine, Rosa Linda Fregoso, Rebecca M. Gámez, Jennifer González, Ellie Hernández, Aída Hurtado, Claire Joysmith, Norma Klahn, Amalia Mesa-Bains, Olga Nájera-Ramírez, Anna Nieto Gomez, Renato Rosaldo, Elba Rosario Sánchez, Marcia Stephenson, Jose Manuel Valenzuela, Patricia Zavella
The Chicana Motherwork Anthology
Edited by Cecilia Caballero, Yvette Martínez-Vu, Judith Pérez-Torres, Michelle Téllez, Christine Vega; Foreword by Ana Castillo University of Arizona Press, 2019 Library of Congress E184.M5C394 2019 | Dewey Decimal 305.4886872073
The Chicana M(other)work Anthology weaves together emerging scholarship and testimonios by and about self-identified Chicana and Women of Color mother-scholars, activists, and allies who center mothering as transformative labor through an intersectional lens. Contributors provide narratives that make feminized labor visible and that prioritize collective action and holistic healing for mother-scholars of color, their children, and their communities within and outside academia.
The volume is organized in four parts: (1) separation, migration, state violence, and detention; (2) Chicana/Latina/WOC mother-activists; (3) intergenerational mothering; and (4) loss, reproductive justice, and holistic pregnancy. Contributors offer a just framework for Chicana and Women of Color mother-scholars, activists, and allies to thrive within and outside of the academy. They describe a new interpretation of motherwork that addresses the layers of care work needed for collective resistance to structural oppression and inequality.
This anthology is a call to action for justice. Contributions are both theoretical and epistemological, and they offer an understanding of motherwork through Chicana and Women of Color experiences.
Since the 1980s Chicana writers including Gloria Anzaldúa, Cherríe Moraga, Sandra Cisneros, Ana Castillo, and Alma Luz Villanueva have reworked iconic Mexican cultural symbols such as mother earth goddesses and La Llorona (the Wailing Woman of Mexican folklore), re-imagining them as powerful female figures. After reading the works of Chicana writers who created bold, powerful, and openly sexual female characters, Debra J. Blake wondered how everyday Mexican American women would characterize their own lives in relation to the writers’ radical reconfigurations of female sexuality and gender roles. To find out, Blake gathered oral histories from working-class and semiprofessional U.S. Mexicanas. In Chicana Sexuality and Gender, she compares the self-representations of these women with fictional and artistic representations by academic-affiliated, professional intellectual Chicana writers and visual artists, including Alma M. López and Yolanda López.
Blake looks at how the Chicana professional intellectuals and the U.S. Mexicana women refigure confining and demeaning constructions of female gender roles and racial, ethnic, and sexual identities. She organizes her analysis around re-imaginings of La Virgen de Guadalupe, La Llorona, indigenous Mexica goddesses, and La Malinche, the indigenous interpreter for Hernán Cortés during the Spanish conquest. In doing so, Blake reveals how the professional intellectuals and the working-class and semiprofessional women rework or invoke the female icons to confront the repression of female sexuality, limiting gender roles, inequality in male and female relationships, and violence against women. While the representational strategies of the two groups of women are significantly different and the U.S. Mexicanas would not necessarily call themselves feminists, Blake nonetheless illuminates a continuum of Chicana feminist thinking, showing how both groups of women expand lifestyle choices and promote the health and well-being of women of Mexican origin or descent.
Karin Rosa Ikas offers probing and insightful interviews with ten Chicana writers of diverse backgrounds: Denise Chávez, Gloria Anzaldúa, Lucha Corpi, Cherríe Moraga, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Mary Helen Ponce, Jamie Lujan, Demetria Martinez, Estela Portillo-Trambley, and Pat Mora. The interviews address such topics as personal background, education, sense of ethnic and gender identity, the origins and intention of published works, and general views on writing, culture, and art, revealing a rich multiplicity of Chicana voices and views in diverse genres including poetry, drama, and fiction. For each of these women, though, her identity as a Chicana and as a woman is critically important to her evolution and purpose as a writer. Chicana Ways documents the rich diversity and brilliance of contemporary Mexican American writing and is essential reading for anyone interested in multicultural and feminist literature.
Overflowing with powerful testimonies of six female community activists who have lived and worked in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, Chicanas of 18th Street reveals the convictions and approaches of those organizing for social reform. In chronicling a pivotal moment in the history of community activism in Chicago, the women discuss how education, immigration, religion, identity, and acculturation affected the Chicano movement. Chicanas of 18th Street underscores the hierarchies of race, gender, and class while stressing the interplay of individual and collective values in the development of community reform.
Highlighting the women's motivations, initiatives, and experiences in politics during the 1960s and 1970s, these rich personal accounts reveal the complexity of the Chicano movement, conflicts within the movement, and the importance of teatro and cultural expressions to the movement. Also detailed are vital interactions between members of the Chicano movement with leftist and nationalist community members and the influence of other activist groups such as African Americans and Marxists.
In Daughters and Granddaughters of Farmworkers, Barbara Wells examines the work and family lives of Mexican American women in a community near the U.S.-Mexican border in California’s Imperial County. Decades earlier, their Mexican parents and grandparents had made the momentous decision to migrate to the United States as farmworkers. This book explores how that decision has worked out for these second- and third-generation Mexican Americans.
Wells provides stories of the struggles, triumphs, and everyday experiences of these women. She analyzes their narratives on a broad canvas that includes the social structures that create the barriers, constraints, and opportunities that have shaped their lives. The women have constructed far more settled lives than the immigrant generation that followed the crops, but many struggle to provide adequately for their families.
These women aspire to achieve the middle-class lives of the American Dream. But upward mobility is an elusive goal. The realities of life in a rural, agricultural border community strictly limit social mobility for these descendants of immigrant farm laborers. Reliance on family networks is a vital strategy for meeting the economic challenges they encounter. Wells illustrates clearly the ways in which the “long shadow” of farm work continues to permeate the lives and prospects of these women and their families.
Musical sound has been central to heteromasculinist productions of nation and homeland, whether Chicano, Tejano, Texan, Mexican, or American. If this assertion holds true, as Deborah R. Vargas suggests, then what are we to make of those singers and musicians whose representations of gender and sexuality are irreconcilable with canonical Chicano/Tejano music or what Vargas refers to as “la onda”? These are the “dissonant divas” Vargas discusses, performers who stimulate our listening for alternative borderlands imaginaries that are inaudible within the limits of “la onda.”
Dissonant Divas in Chicana Music focuses on the Texan monument of the Alamo and its association with Rosita Fernandez; Tejano corrido folklore and its musical antithesis in Chelo Silva; the female accordion-playing bodies of Ventura Alonza and Eva Ybarra as incompatible with the instrumental labor of conjunto music; geography as national border, explored through the multiple national music scales negotiated by Eva Garza; and racialized gender, viewed through Selena’s integration of black diasporic musical sound. Vargas offers a feminist analysis of these figures’ contributions by advancing a notion of musical dissonance—a dissonance that recognizes the complexity of gender, sexuality, and power within Chicana/o culture.
Incorporating ethnographic fieldwork, oral history, and archival research, Vargas’s study demonstrates how these singers work together to explode the limits of Texan, Chicano, Tejano, Mexican, and American identities.
Environmental practices among Mexican American woman have spurred a reconsideration of ecofeminism among Chicana feminists. Christina Holmes examines ecological themes across the arts, Chicana activism, and direct action groups to reveal how Chicanas can craft alternative models for ecofeminist processes. Holmes revisits key debates to analyze issues surrounding embodiment, women's connections to nature, and spirituality's role in ecofeminist philosophy and practice. By doing so, she challenges Chicanas to escape the narrow frameworks of the past in favor of an inclusive model of environmental feminism that alleviates Western biases. Holmes uses readings of theory, elaborations of ecological narratives in Chicana cultural productions, histories of human and environmental rights struggles in the Southwest, and a description of an activist exemplar to underscore the importance of living with decolonializing feminist commitment in body, nature, and spirit.
El Milagro and Other Stories
Patricia Preciado Martin University of Arizona Press, 1996 Library of Congress PS3563.A7272M55 1996 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
Ticking clocks and tolling bells, scents of roses and warm tortillas: this is the barrio of years past as captured in the words of Patricia Preciado Martin. Cuentos, recuerdos, stories, memories—all are stirred into a simmering caldo by a writer whose love for her heritage shines through every page.
Reminiscent of Like Water for Chocolate, the book is a rich mix of the simplest ingredients—food, family, tradition. We see Silviana striding to her chicken coop, triggering the "feathered pandemonium" of chickens who smell death in the air. We meet Elena, standing before the mirror in her wedding dress, and Teodoro Sánchez, who sleeps under the sky and smells of “chaparral and mesquite pollen and the stream bottom and the bone dust of generations. There’s the monsignor sitting on the edge of a sofa, sipping Nescafé from a china cup, and here is Sister Francisca "with her warm, minty breath" warning us away from impure thoughts. Be on your best behavior, too, in Tía Petra’s Edwardian parlor—la Doña Petrita, descended from conquistadores, might just deliver a tap on your head with her silver-handled walking stick. Then, with Mamacita, spend a summer afternoon bent over your embroidery with trembling hand and sweaty upper lip, and all the while wondering what in the world it feels like to be kissed.
Intermingled with the author’s stories are collective memories of the barrio, tales halfway between heaven and earth that seem to connect barrio residents to each other and to their past. These cuentos are mystical and dreamy, peopled with ghosts and miracles and Aztec princesses dressed in feathers and gold. Come, sit down and have some salsa and a tortilla—fresh and homemade, it goes without saying; people who buy tortillas at the market "might as well move to Los Angeles, for they have already lost their souls." Then open the pages of this book. Help yourself to another feast of food and flowers, music and dancing, sunshine and moonlight—everything glorious and mundane, serious and humorous, earthly and spiritual, poignant and joyful, in la vida mexicoamericana.
A train station becomes a police station; lands held sacred by Apaches and Mexicanos are turned into commercial and residential zones; freeway construction hollows out a community; a rancho becomes a retirement community—these are the kinds of spatial transformations that concern Mary Pat Brady in Extinct Lands, Temporal Geographies, a book bringing together Chicana feminism, cultural geography, and literary theory to analyze an unusual mix of Chicana texts through the concept of space. Beginning with nineteenth-century short stories and essays and concluding with contemporary fiction, this book reveals how Chicana literature offers a valuable theoretics of space.
The history of the American Southwest in large part entails the transformation of lived, embodied space into zones of police surveillance, warehouse districts, highway interchanges, and shopping malls—a movement that Chicana writers have contested from its inception. Brady examines this long-standing engagement with space, first in the work of early newspaper essayists and fiction writers who opposed Anglo characterizations of Northern Sonora that were highly detrimental to Mexican Americans, and then in the work of authors who explore border crossing. Through the writing of Sandra Cisneros, Cherríe Moraga, Terri de la Peña, Norma Cantú, Monserrat Fontes, Gloria Anzaldúa, and others, Brady shows how categories such as race, gender, and sexuality are spatially enacted and created—and made to appear natural and unyielding. In a spatial critique of the war on drugs, she reveals how scale—the process by which space is divided, organized, and categorized—has become a crucial tool in the management and policing of the narcotics economy.
"Home Girls makes an original, bold, and significant contribution to feminist studies, Chicana/o studies, and literature. Quintana accomplishes what few critics in Chicana/o studies have done: she applies different interpretive paradigms to her reading of Chicana texts, blending ethnography with literary criticism, ideological analysis with semiotics. Her reading of literary texts is rich in texture and detail."
--Rosa Linda Fregoso, author of Bronze Screen: Chicana and Chicano Film Culture
Chicana writers in the United States write to inspire social change, to challenge a patriarchal and homophobic culture, to redefine traditional gender roles, to influence the future. Alvina E. Quintana examines how Chicana writers engage literary convention through fiction, poetry, drama, and autobiography as a means of addressing these motives.
Her analysis of the writings of Gloria Anzaldua, Ana Castillo, Denise Chavez, Sandra Cisneros, and Cherrie Moraga addresses a multitude of issues: the social and political forces that influenced the Chicana aesthetic; Chicana efforts to open a dialogue about the limitation of both Anglo-American feminism and Chicano nationalism; experimentations with content and form; the relationship between imaginative writing and self-reflexive ethnography; and performance, domesticity, and sexuality.
Employing anthropological, feminist, historical, and literary sources, Quintana explores the continuity found among Chicanas writing across varied genres--a drive to write themselves into being.
When Viviana Salguero came to the United States in 1946, she spoke very little English, had never learned to read or write, and had no job skills besides housework or field labor. She worked eighteen-hour days and lived outdoors as often as not. And yet she raised twelve children, shielding them from her abusive husband when she dared, and shared in both the tragedies and accomplishments of her family. Through it all, Viviana never lost her love for Mexico or her gratitude to the United States for what would eventually become a better life. Though her story is unique, Viviana Salguero could be the mother, grandmother, or great-grandmother of immigrants anywhere, struggling with barriers of gender, education, language, and poverty.
In I Don't Cry, But I Remember, Joyce Lackie shares with us an intimate portrait of Viviana's life. Based on hours of recorded conversations, Lackie skillfully translates the interviews into an engaging, revealing narrative that details the migrant experience from a woman's point of view and fills a gap in our history by examining the role of women of color in the American Southwest. The book presents Vivana's life not only as a chronicle of endurance, but as a tale of everyday resistance. What she lacks in social confidence, political strength, and economic stability, she makes up for in dignity, faith, and wisdom.
Like all good oral history, Salguero's accounts and Lackie's analyses contribute to our understanding of the past by exposing the inconsistencies and contradictions in our remembrances. This book will appeal to ethnographers, oral historians, students and scholars of Chicana studies and women's studies, as well as general readers interested in the lives of immigrant women.
Given the explosive creativity shown by Chicana writers over the past two decades, this first major anthology devoted to their work is a major contribution to American letters. It highlights the key issues, motifs, and concerns of Mexican American women from 1848 to the present, and particularly reflects the modern Chicana's struggle for identity. Among the recurring themes in the collection is a re-visioning of foremothers such as the historical Malinche, the mythical Llorona, and pioneering women who settled the American Southwest from the sixteenth to twentieth centuries. Also included are historical documents on the lives, culture, and writings of Mexican American women in the nineteenth century, as well as oral histories recorded by the Federal Writers Project in the 1930s.
Through poetry, fiction, drama, essay, and other forms, this landmark volume showcases the talents of more than fifty authors, including Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Ana Castillo, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Denise Chávez, Sandra Cisneros, Pat Mora, Cherríe Moraga, and María Helena Viramontes.
Chicana feminisms are living theory deriving value and purpose by affecting social change. Advocating for and demonstrating the importance of an intersectional, multidisciplinary, activist understanding of Chicanas, Intersectional Chicana Feminisms provides a much-needed overview of the key theories, thinkers, and activists that have contributed to Chicana feminist thought.
Aída Hurtado, a leading Chicana feminist and scholar, traces the origins of Chicanas’ efforts to bring attention to the effects of gender in Chicana and Chicano studies. Highlighting the innovative and pathbreaking methodologies developed within the field of Chicana feminisms—such as testimonio, conocimiento, and autohistoria—this book offers an accessible introduction to Chicana theory, methodology, art, and activism. Hurtado also looks at the newest developments in the field and the future of Chicana feminisms.
The book includes short biographies of key Chicana feminists, additional suggested readings, and exercises with each chapter to extend opportunities for engagement in classroom and workshop settings.
La Chicana is the story of a marginal group in society, neither fully Mexican or fully American, who suffer under triple oppression: as women, as members of a colonized culture, and as victims of a cultural heritage dominated by the cult of machismo. Tracing the role of Chicanas from pre-Columbian society to the present, the authors reveal the antecedents and roots of contemporary cultural expectations in Aztec, colonial, and revolutionary Mexican historical periods. A discussion of the contribution of modern Chicanas to their community and to feminism and a look at literary stereotypes and the emergence of Chicana literature to counter them round out this perceptive and sympathetic analysis.
Las hijas de Juan shatters the silence surrounding experiences of incest within a working-class Mexican American family. Both a feminist memoir and a hopeful meditation on healing, it is Josie Méndez-Negrete’s story of how she and her siblings and mother survived years of violence and sexual abuse at the hands of her father.
Méndez-Negrete was born in Mexico, in the state of Zacatecas. She recalls a joyous childhood growing up in the midst of Tabasco, a vibrant town filled with extended family. Her father, though, had dreams of acquiring wealth in el norte. He worked sun-up to sun-down in the fields of south Texas. Returning home to Mexico, his pockets full of dollars, he spent evenings drinking and womanizing.
When Méndez-Negrete was eleven, her father moved the family to the United States, where they eventually settled in California’s Santa Clara Valley. There her father began molesting his daughters, viciously beating them and their mother. Within the impoverished immigrant family, the abuse continued for years, until a family friend brought it to the attention of child welfare authorities. Méndez-Negrete’s father was tried, convicted, and imprisoned.
Las hijas de Juan is told chronologically, from the time Méndez-Negrete was a child until she was a young adult trying, along with the rest of her family, to come to terms with her father’s brutal legacy. It is a harrowing story of abuse and shame compounded by cultural and linguistic isolation and a system of patriarchy that devalues the experiences of women and girls. At the same time, Las hijas de Juan is an inspiring tale, filled with strong women and hard-won solace found in traditional Mexican cooking, songs, and storytelling.
Light in the Dark is the culmination of Gloria E. Anzaldúa's mature thought and the most comprehensive presentation of her philosophy. Focusing on aesthetics, ontology, epistemology, and ethics, it contains several developments in her many important theoretical contributions.
Ramon Arredondo and Trisha (Hull) Arredondo Indiana Historical Society Press, 2010 Library of Congress F548.9.M5A78 2010 | Dewey Decimal 305.896872073077
Born into the Mexican Revolution, Maria Perez entered an arranged marriage at age fourteen to Miguel Arredondo. The couple and their tiny daughter immigrated to the United States in the 1920s, living in a boxcar while Miguel worked for a Texas railroad and eventually settling in East Chicago, Indiana, where Miguel worked for Inland Steel. Their story includes much of early-twentieth-century America: the rise of unions, the plunge into the Great Depression, the patriotism of World War II, and the starkness of McCarthyism. It is flavored by delivery men hawking fruit and ice, street sports, and Saturday matinees that began with newsreels. Immigration status colors every scene, adding to their story deportation and citizenship, generational problems unique to new immigrants, and a miraculous message of hope.
The surprising truth about intermarriage in 19th-Century California. Until recently, most studies of the colonial period of the American West have focused on the activities and agency of men. Now, historian María Raquél Casas examines the role of Spanish-Mexican women in the development of California. She finds that, far from being pawns in a male-dominated society, Californianas of all classes were often active and determined creators of their own destinies, finding ways to choose their mates, to leave unsatisfactory marriages, and to maintain themselves economically. Using a wide range of sources in English and Spanish, Casas unveils a picture of women’s lives in these critical decades of California’s history. She shows how many Spanish-Mexican women negotiated the precarious boundaries of gender and race to choose Euro-American husbands, and what this intermarriage meant to the individuals involved and to the larger multiracial society evolving from California’s rich Hispanic and Indian past. Casas’s discussion ranges from California’s burgeoning economy to the intimacies of private households and ethnically mixed families. Here we discover the actions of real women of all classes as they shaped their own identities. Married to a Daughter of the Land is a significant and fascinating contribution to the history of women in the American West and to our understanding of the complex role of gender, race, and class in the Borderlands of the Southwest.
When we see children playing in a supervised playground or hear about a school being renovated, we seldom wonder about who mobilized the community resources to rebuild the school or staff the park. Mexican American Women Activists tells the stories of Mexican American women from two Los Angeles neighborhoods and how they transformed the everyday problems they confronted into political concerns. By placing these women's experiences at the center of her discussion of grassroots political activism, Mary Pardo illuminates the gender, race, and class character of community networking. She shows how citizens help to shape their local environment by creating resources for churches, schools, and community services and generates new questions and answers about collective action and the transformation of social networks into political networks.
By focusing on women in two contiguous but very different communities -- the working-class, inner-city neighborhood of Boyle Heights in Eastside Los Angeles and the racially mixed middle-class suburb of Monterey Park -- Pardo is able to bring class as ell as gender and ethnic concerns to bear on her analysis in ways that shed light on the complexity of mobilizing for urban change.
Unlike many studies, the stories told here focus on women's strengths rather than on their problems. We follow the process by which these women empowered themselves by using their own definitions of social justice and their own convictions about the importance of traditional roles. Rather than becoming political participants in spite of their family responsibilities, women in both neighborhoods seem to have been more powerful because they had responsibilities, social networks, and daily routines separate from the men in their communities.
Pardo asserts that the decline of real wages and the growing income gap means that unforunately most women will no longer be able to focus their energies on unpaid community work. She reflects on the consequences of this change for women's political involvement, as well as on the politics of writing about women and politics.
Mythohistorical Interventions explores how myth and history impacted the social struggle of the Chicano movement and the postmovement years. Drawing on archival materials and political speeches as well as music and protest poetry, Lee Bebout scrutinizes the ideas that emerged from the effort to organize and legitimize the Chicano movement’s aims.
Examining the deployment of the Aztec eagle by the United Farm Workers union, the poem Yo Soy Joaquín, the document El Plan de Santa Barbara, and icons like La Malinche and La Virgen de Guadalupe, Bebout reveals the centrality of culture to the Chicano movement. For Bebout, the active implementation of cultural narrative was strategically significant in several ways. First, it allowed disparate movement participants to imagine themselves as part of a national, and nationalist, community of resistance. Second, Chicano use of these narratives contested the images that fostered Anglo-American hegemony.
Bringing his analysis up to the present, Bebout delineates how demographic changes have, on the one hand, encouraged the possibility of a panethnic Latino community, while, on the other hand, anti-Mexican nativists attempt to resurrect Chicano myths as a foil to restrict immigration from Mexico.
Conquest usually has a negative impact on the vanquished, but it can also provide the disenfranchised in conquered societies with new tools for advancement within their families and communities. This study examines the ways in which Mexican and Native women challenged the patriarchal traditional culture of the Spanish, Mexican, and early American eras in California, tracing the shifting contingencies surrounding their lives from the imposition of Spanish Catholic colonial rule in the 1770s to the ascendancy of Euro-American Protestant capitalist society in the 1880s.
Negotiating Conquest begins with an examination of how gender and ethnicity shaped the policies and practices of the Spanish conquest, showing that Hispanic women, marriage, and the family played a central role in producing a stable society on Mexico’s northernmost frontier. It then examines how gender, law, property, and ethnicity shaped social and class relations among Mexicans and native peoples, focusing particularly on how women dealt with the gender-, class-, and ethnic-based hierarchies that gave Mexican men patriarchal authority. With the American takeover in 1846, the text’s focus shifts to how the imposition of foreign legal, economic, linguistic, and cultural norms affected the status of Mexican women, male-female relations, and the family.
Addressing such issues as divorce, legitimacy, and inheritance, it describes the manner in which the conquest weakened the economic position of both Mexican women and men while at the same time increasing the leverage of Mexican women in their personal and social relationships with men. Drawing on archival materials—including dozens of legal cases—that have been largely ignored by other scholars, Chávez-García examines federal, state, and municipal laws across many periods in order to reveal how women used changing laws, institutions, and norms governing property, marriage and sexuality, and family relations to assert and protect their rights. By showing that mexicanas contested the limits of male rule and insisted that patriarchal relationships be based on reciprocity, Negotiating Conquest expands our knowledge of how patriarchy functioned and evolved as it reveals the ways in which conquest can transform social relationships in both family and community.
Palm Frond with Its Throat Cut uses both humor and sincerity to capture moments in time with a sense of compassion for the hard choices we must make to survive. Vértiz’s poetry shows how history, oppression, and resistance don’t just refer to big events or movements; they play out in our everyday lives, in the intimate spaces of family, sex, and neighborhood. Vértiz’s poems ask us to see Los Angeles—and all cities like it—as they have always been: an America of code-switching and reinvention, of lyric and fight.
Motivated by a love of her Mexican American heritage, Patricia Preciado Martin set out to document the lives and memories of the women of her mother's and grandmother's eras; for while the role of women in Southwest has begun to be chronicled, that of Hispanic women largely remains obscure. In Songs My Mother Sang to Me, she has preserved the oral histories of many of these women before they have been lost or forgotten.
Martin's quest took her to ranches, mining towns, and cities throughout southern Arizona, for she sought to document as varied an experience of the contributions of Mexican American women as possible. The interviews covered family history and genealogy, childhood memories, secular and religious traditions, education, work and leisure, environment and living conditions, rites of passage, and personal values. Each of the ten oral histories reflects not only the spontaneity of the interview and personality of each individual, but also the friendship that grew between Martin and her subjects.
Songs My Mother Sang to Me collects voices not often heard and brings to print accounts of social change never previously recorded. These women document more than the details of their own lives; in relating the histories of their ancestors and communities, they add to our knowledge of the culture and contributions of Mexican American people in the Southwest.
Previous studies in the fields of applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, and gender studies have focused upon Chicano linguistic communities as a monolith or have focused entirely upon male-centered aspects of language use, leaving a tremendous gap in works about Chicanas, for Chicanas, and by Chicanas as they pertain to language-related issues. Speaking Chicana bridges that gap, offering for the first time an extensive examination of language issues among Chicanas. Flowing throughout this collection of essays are themes of empowerment and suppression of voice. Combining empirical studies and personal narratives in the form of testimonios, the editors expand the boundaries of linguistic study to include disciplines such as art, law, women's studies, and literature. The result is a multifaceted approach to the study of Chicana speech—one that provides a significant survey of the literature on Chicanas and language production. Ten contributors—from linguistic to lawyer, from poet to art historian—discuss language varieties and attitudes; bilinguality; codeswitching; cultural identity and language; language in literature and art; taboo language; and legal discourse. Speaking Chicana celebrates the complexity and diversity of linguistic contexts and influences reflected in Chicana speech. Various essays explore the speech of rural women; the evolution of linguistic forces over time; the influence of U.S. public education; linguistic dilemmas encountered by literary authors and women in the legal profession; and language used by pachucas and pintas.Speaking Chicana represents a significant contribution, not only to sociolinguistics, but also to other fields, including women's studies, Chicana/o studies, anthropology, and cultural studies. Contents
Part 1. Reconstruction: Language Varieties, Language Use, and Language Attitudes
1. Crossing Social and Cultural Borders: The Road to Language Hybridity, María Dolores Gonzales
2. Fighting Words: Latina Girls, Gangs, and Language Attitudes, Norma Mendoza-Denton
Part 2. Reflection: Testimonios
3. Speaking as a Chicana: Tracing Cultural Heritage through Silence and Betrayal, Jacqueline M. Martínez
4. The Power of Language: From the Back of the Bus to the Ivory Tower, Christine Marín
5. Challenging Tradition: Opening the Headgate, Ida M. Luján
6. Mexican Blood Runs through My Veins, Aurora E. Orozco
Part 3. Innovation: Speaking Creatively/Creatively Speaking
7. Searching for a Voice: Ambiguities and Possibilities, Erlinda Gonzales-Berry
8. Sacred Cults, Subversive Icons: Chicanas and the Pictorial Language of Catholicism, Charlene Villaseñor Black
9. Caló and Taboo Language Use among Chicanas: A Description of Linguistic Appropriation and Innovation, D. Letticia Galindo
10. Máscaras, Trenzas, y Greñas: Un/Masking the Self While Un/Braiding Latina Stories and Legal Discourse, Margaret E. Montoya
"The truth about Alicia was that she wasn’t that stable to begin with. So when she did what she did, no one was very surprised. Still it was shocking, the way she followed them from the hardware store to the woman's house, the way she broke the sliding glass door with the tire jack, the way she found them in bed. It was more than she could take, her being seven months pregnant and all. It only took two shots. . . . "
Alicia is not the only woman with problems. In these stories about contemporary and traditional Latinas, Ana Consuelo Matiella uses sensitivity and wit to address issues faced by women of color and women everywhere—issues largely having to do with love: between men and women, mothers and daughters, women and friends. In engaging stories about family myths, gossip, and lies, comadres converse over afternoon café con leche. "I'm sure that I was the only wife whose husband was teaching their daughter to do Cheech Marin imitations," remarks one of Matiella's characters. Another sings the praises of the chocolate milkshake diet: "That’s one advantage of living on the border. You get to try all the latest gringo inventions as soon as they hit the streets." Through encounters with angels, conversations with dogs, and relationships with men overly concerned with the dimensions of their manhood, Matiella offers a new exploration of the human condition—one showing us that if we cannot laugh at life, no matter how tragic the circumstances, we are surely doomed.
With humor and insight that come only through close observation of her fellow human beings, this gifted writer brings new twists to familiar scenes. The Truth about Alicia and Other Stories is an authentic portrayal of the world of contemporary Chicanas that will delight everyone who enters it.
2006 Independent Publisher Book Award for Story Teller of the Year
In this updated edition of Ana Castillo’s celebrated novel in verse, featuring a new introduction by Poet Laureate of Texas Carmen Tafolla, we revisit the story’s spirited heroine, known only as “Ella” or “She,” as she takes us through her own epic journey of self-actualization as an artist and a woman. With a remarkable combination of tenderness, lyricism, wicked humor, and biting satire, Castillo dramatizes Ella’s struggle through poverty as a Chicano single mother at the threshold of the twenty-first century, fighting for upward mobility while trying to raise her son to be independent and self-sufficient. Urged on by the gods of the ancients, Ella’s life interweaves with those of others whose existences are often neglected, even denied, by society’s status quo. Castillo’s strong rhythmic voice and exploration of such issues as love, sexual orientation, and cultural identity will resonate with readers today as much as they did upon the book’s original publication more than ten years ago. This expanded edition also includes a short preface by the author, as well as a glossary, a reader’s guide, and a list of additional suggested readings.
What Night Brings
Carla Trujillo Northwestern University Press, 2003 Library of Congress PS3620.R855W48 2003 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
What Night Brings focuses on a Chicano working-class family living in California during the 1960s. Marci—smart, feisty and funny—tells the story with the wisdom of someone twice her age as she determines to defy her family and God in order to find her identity, sexuality and freedom.
"I write what I eat and smell," says Diana García, and her words are a bountiful harvest. Her poems color the page with the vibrancy and sweetness of figs, the freshness of tortillas, and the sensuality of language.
In this, García's first collection of poems, she takes a bittersweet look back at the migrant labor camps of California and offers a tribute to the people who toiled there. Writing from the heart of California's San Joaquin Valley, she catapults the reader into the lives of the campesinos with their daily joys and sorrows.
Bold, political, and familial, García's poems gift the reader with a sense of earth, struggle, and pride—each line filled with the sounds of agrarian music, from mariachi melodies to repatriation revolts. Embodied with such spirit, her poems rise with the convictions of power and equality
The Mexican American woman zoot suiter, or pachuca, often wore a V-neck sweater or a long, broad-shouldered coat, a knee-length pleated skirt, fishnet stockings or bobby socks, platform heels or saddle shoes, dark lipstick, and a bouffant. Or she donned the same style of zoot suit that her male counterparts wore. With their striking attire, pachucos and pachucas represented a new generation of Mexican American youth, which arrived on the public scene in the 1940s. Yet while pachucos have often been the subject of literature, visual art, and scholarship, The Woman in the Zoot Suit is the first book focused on pachucas.
Two events in wartime Los Angeles thrust young Mexican American zoot suiters into the media spotlight. In the Sleepy Lagoon incident, a man was murdered during a mass brawl in August 1942. Twenty-two young men, all but one of Mexican descent, were tried and convicted of the crime. In the Zoot Suit Riots of June 1943, white servicemen attacked young zoot suiters, particularly Mexican Americans, throughout Los Angeles. The Chicano movement of the 1960s–1980s cast these events as key moments in the political awakening of Mexican Americans and pachucos as exemplars of Chicano identity, resistance, and style. While pachucas and other Mexican American women figured in the two incidents, they were barely acknowledged in later Chicano movement narratives. Catherine S. Ramírez draws on interviews she conducted with Mexican American women who came of age in Los Angeles in the late 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s as she recovers the neglected stories of pachucas. Investigating their relative absence in scholarly and artistic works, she argues that both wartime U.S. culture and the Chicano movement rejected pachucas because they threatened traditional gender roles. Ramírez reveals how pachucas challenged dominant notions of Mexican American and Chicano identity, how feminists have reinterpreted la pachuca, and how attention to an overlooked figure can disclose much about history making, nationalism, and resistant identities.
Women’s migration within Mexico and from Mexico to the United States is increasing; nearly as many women as men are migrating. This development gives rise to new social negotiations, which have not been well examined in migration studies until now. This pathbreaking reader analyzes how economically and politically displaced migrant women assert agency in everyday life. Scholars across diverse disciplines interrogate the socioeconomic forces that propel Mexican women into the migrant stream and shape their employment options; the changes that these women are making in homes, families, and communities; and the “structural violence” that they confront in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands broadly conceived—all within the economic, social, cultural, and political interstices of the two countries.
This reader includes twenty-three essays—two of which are translated from the Spanish—that illuminate women’s engagement with diverse social and cultural challenges. One contributor critiques the statistical fallacy of nativist discourses within the United States that portray Chicana and Mexican women’s fertility rates as “out of control.” Other contributors explore the relation between sexual violence and women’s migration from rural areas to urban centers within Mexico, the ways that undocumented migrant communities challenge conventional notions of citizenship, and young Latinas’ commemorations of the late, internationally renowned singer Selena. Several essays address workplace intimidation and violence, harassment and rape by U.S. border patrol agents and maquiladora managers, sexual violence, and the brutal murders of nearly two hundred young women near Ciudad Juárez. This rich collection highlights both the structural inequities faced by Mexican women in the borderlands and the creative ways they have responded to them.
Contributors. Ernestine Avila, Xóchitl Castañeda, Sylvia Chant, Leo R. Chavez, Cynthia Cranford, Adelaida R. Del Castillo, Sylvanna M. Falcón, Gloria González-López, Maria de la Luz Ibarra, Jonathan Xavier Inda, Rosa Linda Fregoso, Jennifer S. Hirsch, Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, Eithne Luibheid, Victoria Malkin, Faranak Miraftab, Olga Nájera-Ramírez, Norma Ojeda de la Peña, Deborah Paredez, Leslie Salzinger, Felicity Schaeffer-Grabiel, Denise A. Segura, Laura Velasco Ortiz, Melissa W. Wright, Patricia Zavella