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American Quarterly 54.4 (2002) 719-729

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In the Spirit of Ernesto Galarza:
Recent Publications in Chicano Studies

Alberto Lopez Pulido
Arizona State University, West Campus

The Chicano Studies Reader: An Anthology of Aztlán, 1970-2000. Edited by Chon A. Noriega, Eric R. Avila, Karen Mary Davalos, Chela Sandoval, and Rafael Pérez Torres. Los Angeles: Chicano Studies Research Center Publications, 2001. 640 pages. $ 19.95 (paper).
Mexican Americans and Health: ¡Sana! ¡Sana! By Adela de la Torre and Antonio Estrada. Tucson, Ariz.: The University of Arizona Press, 2001. 157 pages. $14.95 (paper).
Chicano Popular Culture: Que Hable el Pueblo. By Charles M. Tatum. Tucson, Ariz.: The University of Arizona Press, 2001. 212 pages. $14.95 (paper).
Mexican Americans and Economics: Quest for Buenos Días. By Arturo González. Tucson, Ariz.: The University of Arizona Press, 2002. 147 pages. $14.95 (paper).

In the early 1980s, I was a graduate student at the University of Notre Dame working under the direction and guidance of the late Julian Samora. As the first Mexican American sociologist in the history of this country, Samora personally mentored hundreds of students in the fields of sociology, history, political science, English, and law through the [End Page 719] Mexican American Graduates Studies Program which he had founded and sustained for several years. Among his many roles as a Notre Dame faculty member, Samora served on the editorial board for the University of Notre Dame Press. He was an integral and active member of the press and is credited for supporting numerous groundbreaking publications in the fields of Chicano and ethnic studies. I personally have vivid memories of Julian pouring over manuscripts as he prepared for editorial meetings with the press. One of the most important works that Samora helped bring to publication was the research and scholarship of Ernesto Galarza.

Galarza was an activist who through his research advocated for the rights of workers and their unionization efforts from the 1940s to the 1960s. On numerous occasions, Samora shared with me how Galarza (with advanced degrees from Stanford and Columbia) had forgone any permanent academic appointment due to his activist work and community organizing for farm workers and, as a result, experienced a great deal of resistance by the powers that be. It was precisely because of his politics and distrust of university institutions that Galarza struggled to find support for his scholarship in higher education. 1 Of his numerous publications on farm labor and Mexican-American communities, only two were supported by an academic press, both published by the University of Notre Dame Press as a result of the intercession and advocacy of Julian Samora. Both Spiders in the House and Farm Workers and Agri-business in California shed critical light on the plight and struggles of farm workers and had a scholarly and political impact on society beyond the traditional academic setting. 2 Galarza's advocacy scholarship, marked by a dichotomous and at times adversarial relationship between community advocacy and academic scholarship, established and determined the direction for Chicano scholarship in the years to follow.

Students of color throughout American universities began to organize and protest against the normative order and its supporting institutions during the 1960s, and it was Chicana and Chicano students at the University of California, Los Angeles committed to the struggles of the Moviemento who took it upon themselves to organize and publish Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies in 1970. For the next fifteen years, the journal would construct a space for multidisciplinary inquiry and serve to establish and legitimize Chicano and ethnic studies in higher education. In recognition of its thirty years of existence, the [End Page 720] editors of Aztlán recently published a comprehensive anthology entitled The Chicano Studies Reader: An Anthology of Aztlán, 1970-2000. This anthology brings together twenty-one critical essays that have shaped the development of Chicano studies over the past thirty years. It documents pivotal scholarly research relevant to, or informed by, the Chicano experience.

In the fall of 2001, the University of Arizona...


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