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Mythohistorical Interventions

The Chicano Movement and Its Legacies

Lee Bebout

Publication Year: 2011

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.

Published by: University of Minnesota Press

Series: Critical American Studies


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction: Mythohistorical Interventions at the Intersection of American Studies and Chicana/o Studies

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pp. 1-32

This book, at its core, is about stories, power, and the power of stories. In particular, Mythohistorical Interventions explores the role of myth and history in the social struggle of the Chicano movement and the postmovement era.1 ...

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1. Locating the Mythohistorical: Three Tales in the Struggle for Hegemony

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pp. 33-70

Looking to the Chicano movement and postmovement era, the mythohistorical is seemingly everywhere—in political speeches and plays, ballads and newspapers, on picket lines and in the academy. To understand this pervasive presence, one must understand why these locations and the narratives that course through them have been an essential part of the struggle. ...

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2. Hero Making in El Movimiento: Reies López Tijerina and the Chicano Nationalist Imaginary

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pp. 71-104

While social movements may turn to the mythohistorical as mobilizing forces, they may not do so in a clear, unified manner. During the Chicano movement, artists and activists drew upon a variety of images and narratives, ranging from a pre-Columbian indigenous past to the Mexican Revolution of the early twentieth century. ...

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3. Of Mothers and Revolucionarias: Movement Chicanas Fashioning a Feminism of Their Own

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pp. 105-148

Two women of the New Mexico land grant movement, and assuredly many others, challenged the gendered scripts of the Chicano nationalist imaginary. On June 5, 1967, Rosa Tijerina, along with other members of the Alianza Federal de Mercedes, took part in the infamous courthouse raid in Tierra Amarilla. ...

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4. Queer Genealogies: Chicana Lesbian Feminism and the Postmovement Era

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pp. 149-186

Sylvia Morales’s 1979 documentary Chicana is a touchstone for Chicana/o intellectual history and cultural production.1 The script by Anna NietoGomez explodes the traditional image that confined la Chicana to the role of passive, nurturing mother, offering a sweeping history of Mexicana-Chicana agency ...

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Conclusion: Echoes of El Movimiento and Other Mythohistorical Interventions

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pp. 187-196

Stretching more than a half-mile through the Tujunga Flood Control Channel, The Great Wall of Los Angeles inscribes a visual history onto the urban landscape of Los Angeles, California. Large concrete panels of the drainage canal form the canvas. ...

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pp. 197-200

Looking over the final drafts of Mythohistorical Interventions, two realizations have become readily apparent. I can trace the influence of many individuals in these pages. A phrase, a question, an observation, a kind word of encouragement surface in my memory as this project is marked by the confluence of so many lives and their impact on my own. ...


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pp. 201-228


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pp. 229-244


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pp. 245-248

E-ISBN-13: 9780816676811
E-ISBN-10: 081667681X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780816670871

Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 2011

Series Title: Critical American Studies
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OCLC Number: 742368495
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