front cover of 500 Years of Chicana Women's History / 500 Años de la Mujer Chicana
500 Years of Chicana Women's History / 500 Años de la Mujer Chicana
Bilingual Edition
Martínez, Elizabeth "
Rutgers University Press, 2008
Named the 2009 AAUP Best of the Best - Outstanding Book Distinction

The history of Mexican Americans spans more than five centuries and varies from region to region across the United States. Yet most of our history books devote at most a chapter to Chicano history, with even less attention to the story of Chicanas.

500 Years of Chicana Women’s History offers a powerful antidote to this omission with a vivid, pictorial account of struggle and survival, resilience and achievement, discrimination and identity. The bilingual text, along with hundreds of photos and other images, ranges from female-centered stories of pre-Columbian Mexico to profiles of contemporary social justice activists, labor leaders, youth organizers, artists, and environmentalists, among others.  With a distinguished, seventeen-member advisory board, the book presents a remarkable combination of scholarship and youthful appeal.

In the section on jobs held by Mexicanas under U.S. rule in the 1800s, for example, readers learn about flamboyant Doña Tules, who owned a popular gambling saloon in Santa Fe, and Eulalia Arrilla de Pérez, a respected curandera (healer) in the San Diego area. Also covered are the “repatriation” campaigns” of the Midwest during the Depression that deported both adults and children, 75 percent of whom were U.S.–born and knew nothing of Mexico. Other stories include those of the garment, laundry, and cannery worker strikes, told from the perspective of Chicanas on the ground.

From the women who fought and died in the Mexican Revolution to those marching with their young children today for immigrant rights, every story draws inspiration. Like the editor’s previous book, 500 Years of Chicano History (still in print after 30 years), this thoroughly enriching view of Chicana women’s history promises to become a classic.
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Agua Santa / Holy Water
Pat Mora
University of Arizona Press, 2007
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.
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Amá, Your Story Is Mine
Walking Out of the Shadows of Abuse
By Ercenia "Alice" Cedeño
University of Texas Press, 2007

In the preface to her memoir, Ercenia "Alice" Cedeño recalls the secrecy and turmoil that marked her youth: "I spent most of my growing years mad at my mother and wanting her to change to fit in with the rest of the world," she writes. "When my sisters and I wanted her to visit our friends' mothers, she would say, 'Why do people need to know other peoples' lives?' Looking back, I wonder if she was really saying, 'I don't want them to know our business.' There was so much to hide."

Now bringing those hidden memories to light, Amá, Your Story Is Mine traces the hardship, violence, deceit, and defiance that shaped the identity of two generations of women in Alice's family. Born in the mountains of northern Mexico, Alice's mother married at age 14 into a family rife with passion that often turned to anger. After losing several infant children to disease, the young couple crossed into the United States seeking a better life.

Unfolding in a series of powerful vignettes, Amá, Your Story Is Mine describes in captivating detail a daring matriarch who found herself having to protect her children from their own father while facing the challenges of cultural discrimination. By turns wry and tender, Alice's recollections offer a rare memoir that fully encompasses the Latina experience in the United States.

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Barrio Dreams
Selected Plays
Silviana Wood; Edited by Norma E. Cantú and Rita E. Urquijo-Ruiz
University of Arizona Press, 2016
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.
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Barrio Princess
Growing Up in Texas
Consuelo Samarripa
Parkhurst Brothers, Inc., 2014

"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.

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Beyond Machismo
Intersectional Latino Masculinities
By Aída Hurtado and Mrinal Sinha
University of Texas Press, 2016

Long considered a pervasive value of Latino cultures both south and north of the US border, machismo—a hypermasculinity that obliterates any other possible influences on men’s attitudes and behavior—is still used to define Latino men and boys in the larger social narrative. Yet a closer look reveals young, educated Latino men who are going beyond machismo to a deeper understanding of women’s experiences and a commitment to ending gender oppression. This new Latino manhood is the subject of Beyond Machismo.

Applying and expanding the concept of intersectionality developed by Chicana feminists, Aída Hurtado and Mrinal Sinha explain how the influences of race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender shape Latinos’ views of manhood, masculinity, and gender issues in Latino communities and their acceptance or rejection of feminism. In particular, the authors show how encountering Chicana feminist writings in college, as well as witnessing the horrors of sexist oppression in the United States and Latin America, propels young Latino men to a feminist consciousness. By focusing on young, high-achieving Latinos, Beyond Machismo elucidates this social group’s internal diversity, thereby providing a more nuanced understanding of the processes by which Latino men can overcome structural obstacles, form coalitions across lines of difference, and contribute to movements for social justice.

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Bodies at War
Genealogies of Militarism in Chicana Literature and Culture
Belinda Linn Rincón
University of Arizona Press, 2017
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.
 
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Border Women
Writing From La Frontera
Debra A. Castillo
University of Minnesota Press, 2002

front cover of Breathing Between the Lines
Breathing Between the Lines
Poems
Demetria Martínez
University of Arizona Press, 1997
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.
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Chican@ Artivistas
Music, Community, and Transborder Tactics in East Los Angeles
Martha Gonzalez
University of Texas Press, 2020

As the lead singer of the Grammy Award–winning rock band Quetzal and a scholar of Chicana/o and Latina/o studies, Martha Gonzalez is uniquely positioned to articulate the ways in which creative expression can serve the dual roles of political commentary and community building. Drawing on postcolonial, Chicana, black feminist, and performance theories, Chican@ Artivistas explores the visual, musical, and performance art produced in East Los Angeles since the inception of NAFTA and the subsequent anti-immigration rhetoric of the 1990s.

Showcasing the social impact made by key artist-activists on their communities and on the mainstream art world and music industry, Gonzalez charts the evolution of a now-canonical body of work that took its inspiration from the Zapatista movement, particularly its masked indigenous participants, and that responded to efforts to impose systems of labor exploitation and social subjugation. Incorporating Gonzalez’s memories of the Mexican nationalist music of her childhood and her band’s journey to Chiapas, the book captures the mobilizing music, poetry, dance, and art that emerged in pre-gentrification corners of downtown Los Angeles and that went on to inspire flourishing networks of bold, innovative artivistas.

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front cover of Chicana Feminisms
Chicana Feminisms
A Critical Reader
Gabriela F. Arredondo, Aida Hurtado, Norma Klahn, Olga Nájera-Ramírez, and Patricia Zavella, eds.
Duke University Press, 2003
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

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Chicana Liberation
Women and Mexican American Politics in Los Angeles, 1945-1981
Marisela R. Chávez
University of Illinois Press, 2024

Mexican American women reached across generations to develop a bridging activism that drew on different methods and ideologies to pursue their goals. Marisela R. Chávez uses a wealth of untapped oral histories to reveal the diverse ways activist Mexican American women in Los Angeles claimed their own voices and space while seeking to leverage power. Chávez tells the stories of the people who honed beliefs and practices before the advent of the Chicano movement and the participants in the movement after its launch in the late 1960s. As she shows, Chicanas across generations challenged societal traditions that at first assumed their place on the sidelines and then assigned them second-class status within political structures built on their work. Fueled by a surging pride in their Mexican heritage and indigenous roots, these activists created spaces for themselves that acknowledged their lives as Mexicans and women.

Vivid and compelling, Chicana Liberation reveals the remarkable range of political beliefs and life experiences behind a new activism and feminism shaped by Mexican American women.

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Chicana Lives and Criminal Justice
Voices from El Barrio
By Juanita Díaz-Cotto
University of Texas Press, 2006

This first comprehensive study of Chicanas encountering the U.S. criminal justice system is set within the context of the international war on drugs as witnessed at street level in Chicana/o barrios. Chicana Lives and Criminal Justice uses oral history to chronicle the lives of twenty-four Chicana pintas (prisoners/former prisoners) repeatedly arrested and incarcerated for non-violent, low-level economic and drug-related crimes. It also provides the first documentation of the thirty-four-year history of Sybil Brand Institute, Los Angeles' former women's jail.

In a time and place where drug war policies target people of color and their communities, drug-addicted Chicanas are caught up in an endless cycle of police abuse, arrest, and incarceration. They feel the impact of mandatory sentencing laws, failing social services and endemic poverty, violence, racism, and gender discrimination. The women in this book frankly discuss not only their jail experiences, but also their family histories, involvement with gangs, addiction to drugs, encounters with the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems, and their successful and unsuccessful attempts to recover from addiction and reconstitute fractured families. The Chicanas' stories underscore the amazing resilience and determination that have allowed many of the women to break the cycle of abuse. Díaz-Cotto also makes policy recommendations for those who come in contact with Chicanas/Latinas caught in the criminal justice system.

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front cover of The Chicana Motherwork Anthology
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
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.
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Chicana Movidas
New Narratives of Activism and Feminism in the Movement Era
Edited by Dionne Espinoza, María Eugenia Cotera, and Maylei Blackwell
University of Texas Press, 2018

Winner, Best Multiauthor Nonfiction Book, International Latino Book Awards, 2019

With contributions from a wide array of scholars and activists, including leading Chicana feminists from the period, this groundbreaking anthology is the first collection of scholarly essays and testimonios that focuses on Chicana organizing, activism, and leadership in the movement years. The essays in Chicana Movidas: New Narratives of Activisim and Feminism in the Movement Era demonstrate how Chicanas enacted a new kind of politica at the intersection of race, class, gender, and sexuality, and developed innovative concepts, tactics, and methodologies that in turn generated new theories, art forms, organizational spaces, and strategies of alliance.

These are the technologies of resistance documented in Chicana Movidas, a volume that brings together critical biographies of Chicana activists and their bodies of work; essays that focus on understudied organizations, mobilizations, regions, and subjects; examinations of emergent Chicana archives and the politics of collection; and scholarly approaches that challenge the temporal, political, heteronormative, and spatial limits of established Chicano movement narratives. Charting the rise of a field of knowledge that crosses the boundaries of Chicano studies, feminist theory, and queer theory, Chicana Movidas: New Narratives of Activisim and Feminism in the Movement Era offers a transgenerational perspective on the intellectual and political legacies of early Chicana feminism.

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¡Chicana Power!
Contested Histories of Feminism in the Chicano Movement
By Maylei Blackwell
University of Texas Press, 2011

The first book-length study of women's involvement in the Chicano Movement of the late 1960s and 1970s, ¡Chicana Power! tells the powerful story of the emergence of Chicana feminism within student and community-based organizations throughout southern California and the Southwest. As Chicanos engaged in widespread protest in their struggle for social justice, civil rights, and self-determination, women in el movimiento became increasingly militant about the gap between the rhetoric of equality and the organizational culture that suppressed women's leadership and subjected women to chauvinism, discrimination, and sexual harassment. Based on rich oral histories and extensive archival research, Maylei Blackwell analyzes the struggles over gender and sexuality within the Chicano Movement and illustrates how those struggles produced new forms of racial consciousness, gender awareness, and political identities.

¡Chicana Power! provides a critical genealogy of pioneering Chicana activist and theorist Anna NietoGomez and the Hijas de Cuauhtémoc, one of the first Latina feminist organizations, who together with other Chicana activists forged an autonomous space for women's political participation and challenged the gendered confines of Chicano nationalism in the movement and in the formation of the field of Chicana studies. She uncovers the multifaceted vision of liberation that continues to reverberate today as contemporary activists, artists, and intellectuals, both grassroots and academic, struggle for, revise, and rework the political legacy of Chicana feminism.

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Chicana Sexuality and Gender
Cultural Refiguring in Literature, Oral History, and Art
Debra J. Blake
Duke University Press, 2008
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.

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Chicana Ways
Conversations With Ten Chicana Writers
Karin Rosa Ikas
University of Nevada Press, 2001
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.
 
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Chicanas of 18th Street
Narratives of a Movement from Latino Chicago
Leonard G. Ramirez
University of Illinois Press, 2011
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.
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front cover of The Chronicles of Panchita Villa and Other Guerrilleras
The Chronicles of Panchita Villa and Other Guerrilleras
Essays on Chicana/Latina Literature and Criticism
By Tey Diana Rebolledo
University of Texas Press, 2006

Although there have been substantial contributions to Chicana literature and criticism over the past few decades, Chicanas are still underrepresented and underappreciated in the mainstream literary world and virtually nonexistent in the canon. Writers like Sandra Cisneros, Ana Castillo, and Gloria Anzaldúa have managed to find larger audiences and critical respect, but there are legions of Chicana writers and artists who have been marginalized and ignored despite their talent. Even in Chicano anthologies, the focus has tended to be more on male writers. Chicanas have often found themselves without a real home in the academic world.

Tey Diana Rebolledo has been writing about Chicana/Latina identity, literature, discrimination, and feminism for more than two decades. In this collection of essays, she brings together both old and new works to give a state-of-the-moment look at the still largely unanswered questions raised by vigilant women of color throughout the last half of the twentieth century. An intimate introductory essay about Rebolledo's personal experiences as the daughter of a Mexican mother and a Peruvian father serves to lay the groundwork for the rest of the volume. The essays delve into the historical development of Chicana writing and its early narratives, the representation of Chicanas as seen on book covers, Chicana feminism, being a Chicana critic in the academy, Chicana art history, and Chicana creativity. Rebolledo encourages "guerrillera" warfare against academia in order to open up the literary canon to Chicana/Latina writers who deserve validation.

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front cover of Daughters and Granddaughters of Farmworkers
Daughters and Granddaughters of Farmworkers
Emerging from the Long Shadow of Farm Labor
Wells, Barbara
Rutgers University Press

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.

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Dissonant Divas in Chicana Music
The Limits of La Onda
Deborah R. Vargas
University of Minnesota Press, 2012

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.

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Ecological Borderlands
Body, Nature, and Spirit in Chicana Feminism
Christina Holmes
University of Illinois Press, 2016
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.
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front cover of El Milagro and Other Stories
El Milagro and Other Stories
Patricia Preciado Martin
University of Arizona Press, 1996
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.
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Entre Guadalupe y Malinche
Tejanas in Literature and Art
Edited by Inés Hernández-Ávila and Norma Elia Cantú
University of Texas Press, 2016

Mexican and Mexican American women have written about Texas and their lives in the state since colonial times. Edited by fellow Tejanas Inés Hernández-Ávila and Norma Elia Cantú, Entre Guadalupe y Malinche gathers, for the first time, a representative body of work about the lives and experiences of women who identify as Tejanas in both the literary and visual arts.

The writings of more than fifty authors and the artwork of eight artists manifest the nuanced complexity of what it means to be Tejana and how this identity offers alternative perspectives to contemporary notions of Chicana identity, community, and culture. Considering Texas-Mexican women and their identity formations, subjectivities, and location on the longest border between Mexico and any of the southwestern states acknowledges the profound influence that land and history have on a people and a community, and how Tejana creative traditions have been shaped by historical, geographical, cultural, linguistic, social, and political forces. This representation of Tejana arts and letters brings together the work of rising stars along with well-known figures such as writers Gloria Anzaldúa, Emma Pérez, Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Carmen Tafolla, and Pat Mora, and artists such as Carmen Lomas Garza, Kathy Vargas, Santa Barraza, and more. The collection attests to the rooted presence of the original indigenous peoples of the land now known as Tejas, as well as a strong Chicana/Mexicana feminism that has its precursors in Tejana history itself.

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front cover of Extinct Lands, Temporal Geographies
Extinct Lands, Temporal Geographies
Chicana Literature and the Urgency of Space
Mary Pat Brady
Duke University Press, 2002
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.

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front cover of Fertile Matters
Fertile Matters
The Politics of Mexican-Origin Women's Reproduction
By Elena R. Gutiérrez
University of Texas Press, 2008

While the stereotype of the persistently pregnant Mexican-origin woman is longstanding, in the past fifteen years her reproduction has been targeted as a major social problem for the United States. Due to fear-fueled news reports and public perceptions about the changing composition of the nation's racial and ethnic makeup—the so-called Latinization of America—the reproduction of Mexican immigrant women has become a central theme in contemporary U. S. politics since the early 1990s.

In this exploration, Elena R. Gutiérrez considers these public stereotypes of Mexican American and Mexican immigrant women as "hyper-fertile baby machines" who "breed like rabbits." She draws on social constructionist perspectives to examine the historical and sociopolitical evolution of these racial ideologies, and the related beliefs that Mexican-origin families are unduly large and that Mexican American and Mexican immigrant women do not use birth control.

Using the coercive sterilization of Mexican-origin women in Los Angeles as a case study, Gutiérrez opens a dialogue on the racial politics of reproduction, and how they have developed for women of Mexican origin in the United States. She illustrates how the ways we talk and think about reproduction are part of a system of racial domination that shapes social policy and affects individual women's lives.

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front cover of Forged under the Sun/Forjada bajo el sol
Forged under the Sun/Forjada bajo el sol
The Life of Maria Elena Lucas
Edited and with an Introduction by Fran Leeper Buss
University of Michigan Press, 1993
The compelling oral history of a remarkable woman's life and political struggle
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front cover of From Homemakers to Breadwinners to Community Leaders
From Homemakers to Breadwinners to Community Leaders
Migrating Women, Class, and Color
Norma Fuentes-Mayorga
Rutgers University Press, 2022
In From Homemakers to Breadwinners to Community Leaders, Norma Fuentes-Mayorga compares the immigration and integration experiences of Dominican and Mexican women in New York City, a traditional destination for Dominicans but a relatively new one for Mexicans. Her book documents the significance of women-led migration within an increasingly racialized context and underscores the contributions women make to their communities of origin and of settlement. Fuentes-Mayorga’s research is timely, especially against the backdrop of policy debates about the future of family reunification laws and the unprecedented immigration of women and minors from Latin America, many of whom seek human rights protection or to reunite with families in the US. From Homemakers to Breadwinners to Community Leaders provides a compelling look at the suffering of migrant mothers and the mourning of family separation, but also at the agency and contributions that women make with their imported human capital and remittances to the receiving and sending community. Ultimately the book contributes further understanding to the heterogeneity of Latin American immigration and highlights the social mobility of Afro-Caribbean and indigenous migrant women in New York. 
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front cover of Home Girls
Home Girls
Chicana Literary Voices
Alvina E. Quintana
Temple University Press, 1996
"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.
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front cover of I Don't Cry, But I Remember
I Don't Cry, But I Remember
A Mexican Immigrant's Story of Endurance
Joyce Lackie
University of Arizona Press, 2012

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.

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front cover of Infinite Divisions
Infinite Divisions
An Anthology of Chicana Literature
Tey Diana Rebolledo
University of Arizona Press, 1993
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.
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front cover of Intersectional Chicana Feminisms
Intersectional Chicana Feminisms
Sitios y Lenguas
Aída Hurtado
University of Arizona Press, 2020
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.
 
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La Chicana
The Mexican-American Woman
Alfredo Mirandé and Evangelina Enríquez
University of Chicago Press, 1981
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.
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Las hijas de Juan
Daughters Betrayed
Josie Méndez-Negrete
Duke University Press, 2006
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.

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front cover of Light in the Dark/Luz en lo Oscuro
Light in the Dark/Luz en lo Oscuro
Rewriting Identity, Spirituality, Reality
Gloria E. Anzaldua
Duke University Press, 2015
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.
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Maria's Journey
Ramon Arredondo and Trisha (Hull) Arredondo
Indiana Historical Society Press, 2010
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.
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front cover of Married To A Daughter Of The Land
Married To A Daughter Of The Land
Spanish-Mexican Women And Interethnic Marriage In California, 1820-80
Maria Raquel Casas
University of Nevada Press, 2009
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.
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Mexican American Women Activists
Mary Pardo
Temple University Press, 1998
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.
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front cover of Mexican Women and the Other Side of Immigration
Mexican Women and the Other Side of Immigration
Engendering Transnational Ties
By Luz María Gordillo
University of Texas Press, 2010

Weaving narratives with gendered analysis and historiography of Mexicans in the Midwest, Mexican Women and the Other Side of Immigration examines the unique transnational community created between San Ignacio Cerro Gordo, Jalisco, and Detroit, Michigan, in the last three decades of the twentieth century, asserting that both the community of origin and the receiving community are integral to an immigrant's everyday life, though the manifestations of this are rife with contradictions.

Exploring the challenges faced by this population since the inception of the Bracero Program in 1942 in constantly re-creating, adapting, accommodating, shaping, and creating new meanings of their environments, Luz María Gordillo emphasizes the gender-specific aspects of these situations. While other studies of Mexican transnational identity focus on social institutions, Gordillo's work introduces the concept of transnational sexualities, particularly the social construction of working-class sexuality. Her findings indicate that many female San Ignacians shattered stereotypes, transgressing traditionally male roles while their husbands lived abroad. When the women themselves immigrated as well, these transgressions facilitated their adaptation in Detroit. Placed within the larger context of globalization, Mexican Women and the Other Side of Immigration is a timely excavation of oral histories, archival documents, and the remnants of three decades of memory.

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meXicana Fashions
Politics, Self-Adornment, and Identity Construction
Edited by Aída Hurtado and Norma E. Cantú
University of Texas Press, 2020

2020 Second Place, Best Nonfiction Multi Author, International Latino Book Awards

Collecting the perspectives of scholars who reflect on their own relationships to particular garments, analyze the politics of dress, and examine the role of consumerism and entrepreneurialism in the production of creating and selling a style, meXicana Fashions examines and searches for meaning in these visible, performative aspects of identity.

Focusing primarily on Chicanas but also considering trends connected to other Latin American communities, the authors highlight specific constituencies that are defined by region (“Tejana style,” “L.A. style”), age group (“homie,” “chola”), and social class (marked by haute couture labels such as Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta). The essays acknowledge the complex layers of these styles, which are not mutually exclusive but instead reflect a range of intersections in occupation, origin, personality, sexuality, and fads. Other elements include urban indigenous fashion shows, the shifting quinceañera market, “walking altars” on the Days of the Dead, plus-size clothing, huipiles in the workplace, and dressing in drag. Together, these chapters illuminate the full array of messages woven into a vibrant social fabric.

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front cover of Mythohistorical Interventions
Mythohistorical Interventions
The Chicano Movement and Its Legacies
Lee Bebout
University of Minnesota Press, 2010
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.
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Negotiating Conquest
Gender and Power in California, 1770s to 1880s
Miroslava Chávez-García
University of Arizona Press, 2004
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.
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front cover of No Mexicans, Women, or Dogs Allowed
No Mexicans, Women, or Dogs Allowed
The Rise of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement
By Cynthia E. Orozco
University of Texas Press, 2009

Founded by Mexican American men in 1929, the League of United Latin-American Citizens (LULAC) has usually been judged according to Chicano nationalist standards of the late 1960s and 1970s. Drawing on extensive archival research, including the personal papers of Alonso S. Perales and Adela Sloss-Vento, No Mexicans, Women, or Dogs Allowed presents the history of LULAC in a new light, restoring its early twentieth-century context.

Cynthia Orozco also provides evidence that perceptions of LULAC as a petite bourgeoisie, assimilationist, conservative, anti-Mexican, anti-working class organization belie the realities of the group's early activism. Supplemented by oral history, this sweeping study probes LULAC's predecessors, such as the Order Sons of America, blending historiography and cultural studies. Against a backdrop of the Mexican Revolution, World War I, gender discrimination, and racial segregation, No Mexicans, Women, or Dogs Allowed recasts LULAC at the forefront of civil rights movements in America.

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front cover of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Faith and Empowerment among Mexican-American Women
By Jeanette Rodriguez
University of Texas Press, 1994

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the most important religious symbol of Mexico and one of the most powerful female icons of Mexican culture. In this study, based on research done among second-generation Mexican-American women, Rodriguez examines the role the symbol of Guadalupe has played in the development of these women. She goes beyond the thematic and religious implications of the symbol to delve into its relevance to their daily lives.

Rodriguez's study offers an important reinterpretation of one of the New World's most potent symbols. Her conclusions dispute the common perception that Guadalupe is a model of servility and suffering. Rather, she reinterprets the symbol of Guadalupe as a liberating and empowering catalyst for Mexican-American women.

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Palm Frond with Its Throat Cut
Vickie Vértiz
University of Arizona Press, 2017
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.
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The Panza Monologues
Written, Compiled, and Collected by Virginia Grise and Irma Mayorga
University of Texas Press, 2014

The Panza Monologues is an original solo performance piece based on women's stories about their panzastú sabes—that roll of belly we all try to hide. Written, compiled, and collected by Virginia Grise and Irma Mayorga and fashioned into a tour-de-force solo performance, The Panza Monologues features the words of Chicanas speaking with humor and candor. Their stories boldly place the panza front and center as a symbol that reveals the lurking truths about women's thoughts, lives, loves, abuses, and living conditions.

This second edition of The Panza Monologues presents the performance script in its entirety, as well as a rich supporting cast of dramaturgical and pedagogical materials. These include a narrative history of the play’s development by the playwrights; critical materials that enhance and expand upon the script’s themes and ideas (a short introduction to San Antonio, where the play was developed; playwright autogeographies; and a manifesto on women of color making theater); and a selection of pedagogical and creative ideas, including guidelines and advice for staging a production of the play and for teaching it in the classroom, community-making activities (screenings, hosting “Panza Parties,” community/group discussions), and creative writing activities connected to the play.

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front cover of Queering Mesoamerican Diasporas
Queering Mesoamerican Diasporas
Remembering Xicana Indigena Ancestries
Susy J. Zepeda
University of Illinois Press, 2022
Acts of remembering offer a path to decolonization for Indigenous peoples forcibly dislocated from their culture, knowledge, and land. Susy J. Zepeda highlights the often overlooked yet intertwined legacies of Chicana feminisms and queer decolonial theory through the work of select queer Indígena cultural producers and thinkers. By tracing the ancestries and silences of gender-nonconforming people of color, she addresses colonial forms of epistemic violence and methods of transformation, in particular spirit research. Zepeda also uses archival materials, raised ceremonial altars, and analysis of decolonial artwork in conjunction with oral histories to explore the matriarchal roots of Chicana/x and Latina/x feminisms. As she shows, these feminisms are forms of knowledge that people can remember through Indigenous-centered visual narratives, cultural wisdom, and spirit practices.

A fascinating exploration of hidden Indígena histories and silences, Queering Mesoamerican Diasporas blends scholarship with spirit practices to reimagine the root work, dis/connection to land, and the political decolonization of Xicana/x peoples.

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Scales of Resistance
Indigenous Women’s Transborder Activism
Maylei Blackwell
Duke University Press, 2022
In Scales of Resistance Maylei Blackwell narrates how Indigenous women’s activism in Mexico and its diaspora weaves in and between local, national, continental, and transborder scales. Drawing on more than seventy testimonials and twenty years of fieldwork spent accompanying Indigenous women activists, Blackwell focuses on how these activists navigate the blockages to their participation and transform exclusionary spaces into scales of resistance. Blackwell shows how activists in Mexico and those in the migrant stream that runs from Oaxaca into California redefined women’s roles in community decision-making. They did so by scaling down Indigenous autonomy to their own bodies, homes, and communities; grounding their political claims within Indigenous epistemologies and the gendered nature of social organization; and scaling up to regional, national, and continental contexts. This allowed them to place themselves at the heart of Indigenous resistance and autonomy, decolonizing gender hierarchies and creating new scales of participation. Blackwell reveals the importance of moving across different types of scale and contrasting colonial divisions of scale itself with Indigenous conceptions of scale, space, solidarity, and connection.
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The Shattered Mirror
Representations of Women in Mexican Literature
By María Elena de Valdés
University of Texas Press, 1998

Popular images of women in Mexico—conveyed through literature and, more recently, film and television—were long restricted to either the stereotypically submissive wife and mother or the demonized fallen woman. But new representations of women and their roles in Mexican society have shattered the ideological mirrors that reflected these images. This book explores this major change in the literary representation of women in Mexico.

María Elena de Valdés enters into a selective and hard-hitting examination of literary representation in its social context and a contestatory engagement of both the literary text and its place in the social reality of Mexico. Some of the topics she considers are Carlos Fuentes and the subversion of the social codes for women; the poetic ties between Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and Octavio Paz; questions of female identity in the writings of Rosario Castellanos, Luisa Josefina Hernández, María Luisa Puga, and Elena Poniatowska; the Chicana writing of Sandra Cisneros; and the postmodern celebration—without reprobation—of being a woman in Laura Esquivel's Like Water for Chocolate.

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front cover of Songs My Mother Sang to Me
Songs My Mother Sang to Me
An Oral History of Mexican American Women
Patricia Preciado Martin
University of Arizona Press, 1992
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.
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Speaking Chicana
Voice, Power, and Identity
D. Letticia Galindo
University of Arizona Press, 1999
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
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Testimonios of Care
Feminist Latina/x and Chicana/x Perspectives on Caregiving Praxis
Edited by Natalia Deeb-Sossa, Yvette G. Flores, Angie Chabram
University of Arizona Press, 2024
The first English-language collection of Latina/x caregiving testimonios, this volume gives voice to diverse Chicana/x and Latina/x caregiving experiences. Bringing together thirteen first-person accounts, these testimonios speak to the tragic flaws in our health-care system and the woefully undervalued labor of providing care to family and community.

The book opens with an introductory chapter by the three co-editors, and then is divided into three sections exploring the caregiver voice, community caregiving, and reflections that outline a Caregiver Bill of Rights and present a call to action. Throughout, contributors discuss kinship care, including formal and informal adoptions, community care, caregiving in professional health contexts, and the implicit caregiving inherent in teaching BIPOC students, which largely falls upon faculty of color.

Testimonios of Care gives voice to those who often are voiceless in histories of caregiving and is guided by Chicana and Latina feminist principles, which include solidarity between women of color, empathy, willingness to challenge the patriarchal medical health-care systems, questioning traditional gender roles and idealization of familia, and caring for self while caring for loved ones and community.

Contributors
yvonne hurtado allen
Angie Chabram
Natalia Deeb-Sossa
Yvette G. Flores
Inés Hernández-Ávila
ire’ne lara silva
Josie Méndez-Negrete
Maria R. Palacios
Hector Rivera-Lopez
Maria Angelina Soldatenko
Anita Tijerina Revilla
Mónica Torreiro-Casal
Enriqueta Valdez-Curiel
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Three Decades of Engendering History
Linda Heidenreich
University of North Texas Press, 2014

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The Truth about Alicia
and Other Stories
Ana Consuela Matiella
University of Arizona Press, 2002
"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.
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Watercolor Women Opaque Men
A Novel in Verse
Ana Castillo, introduction by Carmen Tafolla
Northwestern University Press, 2017
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.
 
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What Night Brings
Carla Trujillo
Northwestern University Press, 2003
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.
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When Living Was a Labor Camp
Diana García
University of Arizona Press, 2000

"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

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With Her Machete in Her Hand
Reading Chicana Lesbians
By Catrióna Rueda Esquibel
University of Texas Press, 2006

With the 1981 publication of the groundbreaking anthology This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa ushered in an era of Chicana lesbian writing. But while these two writers have achieved iconic status, observers of the Chicana/o experience have been slow to perceive the existence of a whole community—lesbian and straight, male as well as female—who write about the Chicana lesbian experience. To create a first full map of that community, this book explores a wide range of plays, novels, and short stories by Chicana/o authors that depict lesbian characters or lesbian desire.

Catrióna Rueda Esquibel starts from the premise that Chicana/o communities, theories, and feminisms cannot be fully understood without taking account of the perspectives and experiences of Chicana lesbians. To open up these perspectives, she engages in close readings of works centered around the following themes: La Llorona, the Aztec Princess, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, girlhood friendships, rural communities and history, and Chicana activism. Her investigation broadens the community of Chicana lesbian writers well beyond Moraga and Anzaldúa, while it also demonstrates that the histories of Chicana lesbians have had to be written in works of fiction because these women have been marginalized and excluded in canonical writings on Chicano life and experience.

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The Woman in the Zoot Suit
Gender, Nationalism, and the Cultural Politics of Memory
Catherine S. Ramírez
Duke University Press, 2009
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.

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Women and Migration in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands
A Reader
Denise A. Segura and Patricia Zavella, eds.
Duke University Press, 2007
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

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