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From This Wicked Patch of Dust Cover

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From This Wicked Patch of Dust

A Novel by Sergio Troncoso

In the border shantytown of Ysleta, Mexican immigrants Pilar and Cuauhtémoc Martínez strive to teach their four children to forsake the drugs and gangs of their neighborhood. The family’s hardscrabble origins are just the beginning of this sweeping new novel from Sergio Troncoso.

Spanning four decades, this is a story of a family’s struggle to become American and yet not be pulled apart by a maelstrom of cultural forces. As a young adult, daughter Julieta is disenchanted with Catholicism and converts to Islam. Youngest son Ismael, always the bookworm, is accepted to Harvard but feels out of place in the Northeast where he meets and marries a Jewish woman. The other boys—Marcos and Francisco—toil in their father’s old apartment buildings, serving as the cheap labor to fuel the family’s rise to the middle class. Over time, Francisco isolates himself in El Paso while Marcos eventually leaves to become a teacher, but then returns, struggling with a deep bitterness about his work and marriage. Through it all, Pilar clings to the idea of her family and tries to hold it together as her husband’s health begins to fail.

This backdrop is then shaken to its core by the historic events of 2001 in New York City. The aftermath sends shockwaves through this newly American family. Bitter conflicts erupt between siblings and the physical and cultural spaces between them threaten to tear them apart. Will their shared history and once-common dreams be enough to hold together a family from Ysleta, this wicked patch of dust?

Full Foreground Cover

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Full Foreground

Roberto Tejada

Poet Roberto Tejada uses lyrical poems to explore and give a voice to the troubles of global citizenship, US–Mexico relations, Latino identity, and the political emotion of queer sexualities. His collection provides a holistic ground-level view of pivotal world events from the mid 1990s to a more recent present.

Tejada’s innovative work dramatically widens the scope of Latina/o literature, showing us exactly what it can accomplish. The poems move very much like a three-act play, in which the first act is one of origins; the second, a staging of desire; and the third, a symbiosis. These acts magnify one another when unified. Each poem within the collection positions itself within the avant-garde, in which the artful use of language aims to dazzle, surprise, and enliven. The poems dance by, preserving a tension between hurry and delay, momentum and stasis, and every line is like a newly launched firecracker, sending out startling patterns of spark and flare.

Tejada’s exuberant language stretches the limits of selfhood and the way it is represented in poetry. He illuminates the tangled webs that are woven when identities are linked to sexuality, nationality, privilege, and temporality. The concerns and obsessions voiced here turn the construction of desire on its head, forcing us to ask ourselves what is worthy of our attentions.

Gender and Sustainability Cover

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Gender and Sustainability

Lessons from Asia and Latin America

Edited by Cruz-Torres, María Luz and McElwee, Pamela

This is one of the first books to address how gender plays a role in helping to achieve the sustainable use of natural resources. The contributions collected here deal with the struggles of women and men to negotiate such forces as global environmental change, economic development pressures, discrimination and stereotyping about the roles of women and men, and diminishing access to natural resources—not in the abstract but in everyday life. Contributors are concerned with the lived complexities of the relationship between gender and sustainability.

Bringing together case studies from Asia and Latin America, this valuable collection adds new knowledge to our understanding of the interplay between local and global processes. Organized broadly by three major issues—forests, water, and fisheries—the scholarship ranges widely: the gender dimensions of the illegal trade in wildlife in Vietnam; women and development issues along the Ganges River; the role of gender in sustainable fishing in the Philippines; women’s inclusion in community forestry in India; gender-based confrontations and resistance in Mexican fisheries; environmentalism and gender in Ecuador; and women’s roles in managing water scarcity in Bolivia and addressing sustainability in shrimp farming in the Mekong Delta.

Together these chapters show why gender issues are important for understanding how communities and populations deal daily with the challenges of globalization and environmental change. Through their rich ethnographic research, the contributors demonstrate that gender analysis offers useful insights into how a more sustainable world can be negotiated—one household and one community at a time.

Gender Violence at the U.S.-Mexico Border Cover

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Gender Violence at the U.S.-Mexico Border

Edited by Héctor Domínguez-Ruvalcaba and Ignacio Corona

The U.S.–Mexico border is frequently presented by contemporary media as a violent and dangerous place. But that is not a new perception. For decades the border has been constructed as a topographic metaphor for all forms of illegality, in which an ineffable link between space and violence is somehow assumed. The sociological and cultural implications of violence have recently emerged at the forefront of academic discussions about the border. And yet few studies have been devoted to one of its most disturbing manifestations: gender violence. This book analyzes this pervasive phenomenon, including the femicides in Ciudad Juárez that have come to exemplify, at least for the media, its most extreme manifestation.

Contributors to this volume propose that the study of gender-motivated violence requires interpretive and analytical strategies that draw on methods reaching across the divide between the social sciences and the humanities. Through such an interdisciplinary conversation, the book examines how such violence is (re)presented in oral narratives, newspaper reports, films and documentaries, novels, TV series, and legal discourse. It also examines the role that the media have played in this process, as well as the legal initiatives that might address this pressing social problem.

Together these essays offer a new perspective on the implications of, and connections between, gendered forms of violence and topics such as mechanisms of social violence, the micro-social effects of economic models, the asymmetries of power in local, national, and transnational configurations, and the particular rhetoric, aesthetics, and ethics of discourses that represent violence.

Gendered Scenarios of Revolution Cover

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Gendered Scenarios of Revolution

Making New Men and New Women in Nicaragua, 1975–2000

Rosario Montoya

In 1979, toward the end of the Cold War era, Nicaragua´s Sandinista movement emerged on the world stage claiming to represent a new form of socialism. Gendered Scenarios of Revolution is a historical ethnography of Sandinista state formation from the perspective of El Tule-a peasant village that was itself thrust onto a national and international stage as a "model" Sandinista community. This book follows the villagers´ story as they joined the Sandinista movement, performed revolution before a world audience, and grappled with the lessons of this experience in the neoliberal aftermath.

Employing an approach that combines political economy and cultural analysis, Montoya argues that the Sandinistas collapsed gender contradictions into class ones, and that as the Contra War exacerbated political and economic crises in the country, the Sandinistas increasingly ruled by mandate as vanguard party instead of creating the participatory democracy that they professed to work toward. In El Tule this meant that even though the Sandinistas created new roles and possibilities for women and men, over time they upheld pre-revolutionary patriarchal social structures. Yet in showing how the revolution created opportunities for Tuleños to assert their agency and advance their interests, even against the Sandinistas´ own interests, this book offers a reinterpretation of the revolution´s supposed failure.

Examining this community’s experience in the Sandinista and post-Sandinista periods offers perspective on both processes of revolutionary transformation and their legacies in the neoliberal era. Gendered Scenarios of Revolution will engage graduate and undergraduate students and scholars in anthropology, sociology, history, and women’s and gender studies, and appeal to anyone interested in modern revolution and its aftermath.

George Hunt Cover

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George Hunt

Arizona's Crusading Seven-Term Governor

David R. Berman

George W. P. Hunt was a highly colorful Arizona politician. A territorial representative and seven-time Arizona state governor, Hunt joined Woodrow Wilson in making the Democratic Party the party of Progressive reform. This political biography follows Hunt through his years in the territorial legislature, and then as governor. Author David R. Berman’s well-researched and detailed work features Hunt’s battles to stem the powers of large corporations, democratize the political system, defend labor rights, reform the prison system, abolish the death penalty, and protect Arizona’s interests in the Colorado River. He had a special concern for the down and out. He found the "forgotten man" long before Franklin Roosevelt.

Hunt was proof that style and physical appearance neither guarantee nor preclude political success, for the three-hundred-pound man of odd dress and bumbling speech had a political career that spanned the state’s Populism of the 1890s to the 1930s New Deal. Driven by causes, he was very active in public office but took little pleasure in doing the job. Called names by opponents and embarrassed by his lack of formal education, Hunt sometimes showed rage, self-pity, and bitterness at what he saw as betrayals and conspiracies against him.

The author assesses Hunt’s successes and failings as a political leader and take-charge governor struggling to produce results in a political system hostile to executive authority. Berman offers a nuanced look at Arizona’s first governor, providing an important new understanding of Arizona’s complex political history.

Global Maya Cover

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Global Maya

Work and Ideology in Rural Guatemala

Liliana R. Goldín

In the central highland Maya communities of Guatemala, the demands ofthe global economy have become a way of life. This book explores how ruralpeoples experience economic and cultural change as their country joins theglobal market, focusing on their thoughts about work and sustenance as a way oflearning about Guatemala’s changing economy.

For more than a decade, Liliana Goldín observed in highland towns boththe intensification of various forms of production and their growing links towider markets. In this first book to compare economic ideology across a rangeof production systems, she examines how people make a living and how theythink about their options, practices, and constraints. Drawing on interviews andsurveys—even retellings of traditional narratives—she reveals how contemporaryMaya respond to the increasingly globalized yet locally circumscribed conditionsin which they work.

Goldín presents four case studies: cottage industries devoted to garmentproduction, vegetable growing for internal and border markets reached throughdirect commerce, crops grown for export, and wage labor in garment assemblyfactories. By comparing generational and gendered differences among workers,she reveals not only complexities of change but also how these complexities arereflected in changing attitudes, understandings, and aspirations that characterizepeople’s economic ideology. Further, she shows that as rural people take ondiverse economic activities, they also reinterpret their views on such mattersas accumulation, cooperation, competition, division of labor, and communitysolidarity.

Global Maya explores global processes in local terms, revealing the interplayof traditional values, household economics, and the inescapable conditions ofdemographic growth, a shrinking land base, and a global economy always lookingfor cheap labor. It offers a wealth of new insights not only for Maya scholarsbut also for anyone concerned with the effects of globalization on the Third World.

The Gulf of California Cover

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The Gulf of California

biodiversity and conservation

Edited by Richard C. Brusca

Few places in the world can claim such a diversity of species as the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez), with its 6,000 recorded animal species estimated to be half the number actually living in its waters. So rich are the Gulf’s waters that over a half-million tons of seafood are taken from them annually—and this figure does not count the wasted by-catch, which would triple or quadruple that tonnage. This timely book provides a benchmark for understanding the Gulf’s extraordinary diversity, how it is threatened, and in what ways it is—or should be—protected.

In spite of its dazzling richness, most of the Gulf’s coastline now harbors but a pale shadow of the diversity that existed just a half-century ago. Recommendations based on sound, careful science must guide Mexico in moving forward to protect the Gulf of California.

This edited volume contains contributions by twenty-four Gulf of California experts, from both sides of the U.S.–Mexico border. From the origins of the Gulf to its physical and chemical characteristics, from urgently needed conservation alternatives for fisheries and the entire Gulf ecosystem to information about its invertebrates, fishes, cetaceans, and sea turtles, this thought-provoking book provides new insights and clear paths to achieve sustainable use solidly based on robust science. The interdisciplinary, international cooperation involved in creating this much-needed collection provides a model for achieving success in answering critically important questions about a precious but rapidly disappearing ecological treasure.

Hell of a Vision Cover

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Hell of a Vision

Regionalism and the Modern American West

Robert L. Dorman

The American West has taken on a rich and evocative array of regional identities since the late nineteenth century. Wilderness wonderland, Hispanic borderland, homesteader’s frontier, cattle kingdom, urban dynamo, Native American homeland. Hell of a Vision explores the evolution of these diverse identities during the twentieth century, revealing how Western regionalism has been defined by generations of people seeking to understand the West’s vast landscapes and varied cultures.

Focusing on the American West from the 1890s up to the present, Dorman provides us with a wide-ranging view of the impact of regionalist ideas in pop culture and diverse fields such as geography, land-use planning, anthropology, journalism, and environmental policy-making.

Going well beyond the realm of literature, Dorman broadens the discussion by examining a unique mix of texts. He looks at major novelists such as Cather, Steinbeck, and Stegner, as well as leading Native American writers. But he also analyzes a variety of nonliterary sources in his book, such as government reports, planning documents, and environmental impact studies.

Hell of a Vision is a compelling journey through the modern history of the American West—a key region in the nation of regions known as the United States.

High Country Summers Cover

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High Country Summers

The Early Second Homes of Colorado, 1880–1940

Melanie Shellenbarger

High Country Summers considers the emergence of the “summer home” in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains as both an architectural and a cultural phenomenon. It offers a welcome new perspective on an often-overlooked dwelling and lifestyle. Writing with affection and insight, Melanie Shellenbarger shows that Colorado’s early summer homes were not only enjoyed by the privileged and wealthy but crossed boundaries of class, race, and gender. They offered their inhabitants recreational and leisure experiences as well as opportunities for individual re-invention—and they helped shape both the cultural landscapes of the American West and our ideas about it.

Shellenbarger focuses on four areas along the Front Range: Rocky Mountain National Park and its easterly gateway town, Estes Park; “recreation residences” in lands managed by the US Forest Service; Lincoln Hills, one of only a few African-American summer home resorts in the United States; and the foothills west of Denver that drew Front Range urbanites, including Denver’s social elite. From cottages to manor houses, the summer dwellings she examines were home to governors and government clerks; extended families and single women; business magnates and Methodist ministers; African-American building contractors and innkeepers; shop owners and tradespeople. By returning annually, Shellenbarger shows, they created communities characterized by distinctive forms of kinship.

High Country Summers goes beyond history and architecture to examine the importance of these early summer homes as meaningful sanctuaries in the lives of their owners and residents. These homes, which embody both the dwelling (the house itself) and dwelling (the act of summering there), resonate across time and place, harkening back to ancient villas and forward to the present day.

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