In this Book

Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton
summary
Since the recent republication of her novel The Squatter and the Don, María Amparo Ruiz de Burton (1832–95) has become a key figure in the recovery of nineteenth-century Mexican American literature. An aristocratic Californiana, she championed the rights of Mexican Americans in novels, plays, and letters. Her 1885 novel called attention to the illegal appropriation of Mexican land by the United States government, and she critiqued the political mores of America after the Civil War in light of the Mexican-American war. Her keen assessment of corporate capitalism at the end of the nineteenth century, frank acknowledgment of feminine desire, and deft insights about economic realities and class relations were unique among her American peers.

Using Ruiz de Burton’s work to analyze the critical schism conventionally imposed on nineteenth-century literary culture in America, the essays in this collection also draw connections between her work and the contemporary Chicana and Chicano canons. At once richly historical and critically nuanced, these essays appraise a politically complex Mexican American writer alternately celebrated as marginalized and censured for her identification with a social elite. This volume includes a section on pedagogy that offers a discussion of teaching approaches, syllabi, discussion questions, and assignments.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-8
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  1. Part 1: Locating Ruiz de Burton in the Nineteenth Century
  2. p. 9
  1. Returning California to the People: Vigilantism in The Squatter and the Don
  2. pp. 11-26
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  1. Remember the Hacienda: Land and Community in Californio Narratives
  2. pp. 27-55
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  1. The Symptoms of Conquest: Race, Class, and the Nervous Body in The Squatter and the Don
  2. pp. 56-72
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  1. Part 2: Reading Race and Nation in Who Would Have Thought It?
  2. p. 73
  1. Beasts in the Jungle: Foreigners and Natives in Boston
  2. pp. 75-94
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  1. Thank God, Lolita is Away from Those Horrid Savages: The Politics of Whiteness in Who Would Have Thought It?
  2. pp. 95-111
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  1. Captive Identities: The Gendered Conquest of Mexico in Who Would Have Thought It?
  2. pp. 112-132
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  1. Part 3: Critiquing the Conquest of California
  2. p. 133
  1. A Europeanized New World: Colonialism and Cosmopolitanism in Who Would Have Thought It?
  2. pp. 135-152
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  1. The Whiteness of the Blush: The Cultural Politics of Racial Formation in The Squatter and the Don
  2. pp. 153-168
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  1. Rescuing the Past: The Case of Olive Oatman and Lola Medina
  2. pp. 169-184
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  1. Part 4: Discovering Ruiz de Burton’s Theatrical Vision
  2. p. 185
  1. Precarious Performances: Ruiz de Burton’s Theatrical Vision of the Gilded Age Female Consumer
  2. pp. 187-205
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  1. Mine Is the Mission of Redress: The New Order of Knight-Errantry in Don Quixote de la Mancha: A Comedy in Five Acts
  2. pp. 206-224
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  1. Part 5: Teaching Ruiz de Burton
  2. p. 225
  1. Strategies for the Classroom
  2. pp. 227-244
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  1. Chronology of Events in the Life of Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton
  2. pp. 245-246
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  1. Ruiz de Burton's Litigation Correspondence and Letters
  2. pp. 247-252
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  1. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
  2. pp. 253-254
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  1. Letter from Henry Wagner Halleck to Pablo de la Guerra on California Land Commissioners’ Decisions to Confirm Lands
  2. pp. 255-256
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  1. Teaching Resource Bibliography
  2. pp. 257-270
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 271-286
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 287-290
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 291-303
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