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Chicano Studies

The Genesis of a Discipline

Michael Soldatenko

Chicano Studies is a comparatively new academic discipline. Unlike well-established fields of study that long ago codified their canons and curricula, the departments of Chicano Studies that exist today on U.S. college and university campuses are less than four decades old. In this edifying and frequently eye-opening book, a career member of the discipline examines its foundations and early years. Based on an extraordinary range of sources and cognizant of infighting and the importance of personalities, Chicano Studies is the first history of the discipline.

What are the assumptions, models, theories, and practices of the academic discipline now known as Chicano Studies? Like most scholars working in the field, Michael Soldatenko didn't know the answers to these questions even though he had been teaching for many years. Intensely curious, he set out to find the answers, and this book is the result of his labors. Here readers will discover how the discipline came into existence in the late 1960s and how it matured during the next fifteen years-from an often confrontational protest of dissatisfied Chicana/o college students into a univocal scholarly voice (or so it appears to outsiders).

Part intellectual history, part social criticism, and part personal meditation, Chicano Studies attempts to make sense of the collision (and occasional wreckage) of politics, culture, scholarship, ideology, and philosophy that created a new academic discipline. Along the way, it identifies a remarkable cast of scholars and administrators who added considerable zest to the drama.

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The Chinese in Mexico, 1882-1940

By Robert Chao Romero

An estimated 60,000 Chinese entered Mexico during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, constituting Mexico's second-largest foreign ethnic community at the time. The Chinese in Mexico provides a social history of Chinese immigration to and settlement in Mexico in the context of the global Chinese diaspora of the era.

Robert Romero argues that Chinese immigrants turned to Mexico as a new land of economic opportunity after the passage of the U.S. Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. As a consequence of this legislation, Romero claims, Chinese immigrants journeyed to Mexico in order to gain illicit entry into the United States and in search of employment opportunities within Mexico's developing economy. Romero details the development, after 1882, of the "Chinese transnational commercial orbit," a network encompassing China, Latin America, Canada, and the Caribbean, shaped and traveled by entrepreneurial Chinese pursuing commercial opportunities in human smuggling, labor contracting, wholesale merchandising, and small-scale trade.

Romero's study is based on a wide array of Mexican and U.S. archival sources. It draws from such quantitative and qualitative sources as oral histories, census records, consular reports, INS interviews, and legal documents. Two sources, used for the first time in this kind of study, provide a comprehensive sociological and historical window into the lives of Chinese immigrants in Mexico during these years: the Chinese Exclusion Act case files of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and the 1930 Mexican municipal census manuscripts. From these documents, Romero crafts a vividly personal and compelling story of individual lives caught in an extensive network of early transnationalism.

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The Chinese of Early Tucson

Historic Archaeology from the Tucson Urban Renewal Project

Focuses on an ethnographic collection gathered from a complex of Chinese dwellings, the importance of which lies in its size, diversity, good condition, and observable continuity of materials known from earlier periods of Chinese occupation in Tucson.

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Chiricahua Mountains

Bridging the Borders of Wildness

For many, these mountains represent the Apache stronghold of Geronimo. For others, they are a birdwatcher's paradise. But the Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona are more than this. They are a classic "sky island" of the desert, a rich storehouse of biologic diversity. On a journey undertaken in search of a pair of rare short-tailed hawks, Ken Lamberton takes readers on an excursion through these mountains, from their riparian canyons to their highest peaks. The Chiricahuas comprise the largest single range in southern Arizona, crisscrossed by more than 300 miles of trails. Lamberton is your guide along these trails, and his knowledge of the mountains and their natural history makes him a perfect hiking companion while Jeff Garton's stunning photographs enrich your visit. Lamberton shares insights about the geology, habitats, and diversity of wildlife in a place of such isolation that species must either adapt or become extinct. The Chiricahuas are one link in a chain of mountains connecting the Rockies to the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico, and some Madrean species reach the northernmost extension of their ranges here: birds like sulphur-bellied flycatchers, mammals like jaguarundis, and trees like the Apache pine. But this is not an untraveled wilderness. We learn why the Chiricahuas are so popular with birders, who flock to these mountains from around the world in the hopes of spotting some of the nearly four hundred avian species found here. We also learn something of the Chiricahua's rich human culture, from Apache warriors to European settlers. Gracing the text are more than a dozen black-and-white photographs by Jeff Garton that offer views of the Chiricahuas different from those usually found in tourist brochures: landscapes and riparian settings, rock formations and plant studies that give readers a lasting impression of the beauty and tranquility of this wilderness. Together words and images convey an intimate view of one of the Southwest's most exotic locations—stronghold, paradise, and everlasting island in the vast and rolling desert.

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Claiming Home, Shaping Community

Testimonios de los valles

Edited by Gloria H. Cuádraz and Yolanda Flores

To offer testimonio is inherently political, a vehicle that counters the hegemony of the state and illuminates the repression and denial of human rights. Claiming Home, Shaping Community offers the testimonios from and about the lives of Mexican-descent people who left rural agricultural valles, specifically the Imperial and the San Joaquín Valleys, to pursue higher education at a University of California campus.

While symbolically their journeys embody the master narrative of the “American Dream,” Claiming Home, Shaping Community does not echo the “rags to riches” trope reified in dominant culture, but rather, it asserts the need to rehumanize the purpose and heart of education. In each chapter, the narrators illustrate myriad supports that allowed them to move forward on their academic and professional journeys: hard work, affirmative action, inclusionary practices, mentors, and their communities’ cultural wealth. Each trajectory is unique, but put together as a collection, the commonalities emerge.

Denoting a sense of political and social urgency that responds to the current accentuated economic disparities between the have’s and the have-not’s, these essays illuminate the broader societal benefits of federal legislation and resources for state-funded public higher education and policies that broaden access and resources. Through telling their stories, the contributors to this volume seek to empower others on their journeys to and through higher education.

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Classic Maya Provincial Politics

Edited by Lisa J. LeCount and Jason Yaeger

Most treatments of large Classic Maya sites such as Caracol and Tikal regard Maya political organization as highly centralized. Because investigations have focused on civic buildings and elite palaces, however, a critical part of the picture of Classic Maya political organization has been missing.

The contributors to this volume chart the rise and fall of the Classic Maya center of Xunantunich, paying special attention to its changing relationships with the communities that comprised its hinterlands. They examine how the changing relationships between Xunantunich and the larger kingdom of Naranjo affected the local population, the location of their farms and houses, and the range of economic and subsistence activities in which both elites and commoners engaged. They also examine the ways common people seized opportunities and met challenges offered by a changing political landscape.

The rich archaeological data in this book show that incorporating subject communities and people—and keeping them incorporated—was an on-going challenge to ancient Maya rulers. Until now, archaeologists have lacked integrated regional data and a fine-grained chronology in which to document short-term shifts in site occupations, subsistence strategies, and other important practices of the daily life of the Maya. This book provides a revised picture of Maya politics—one of different ways of governing and alliance formation among dominant centers, provincial polities, and hinterland communities.

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Coconut Milk

Dan Taulapapa McMullin

Coconut Milk is a fresh, new poetry collection that is a sensual homage to place, people, love, and lust. The first collection by Samoan writer and painter Dan Taulapapa McMullin, the poems evoke both intimate conversations and provocative monologues that allow him to explore the complexities of being a queer Samoan in the United States.  

McMullin seamlessly flows between exposing the ironies of Tiki kitsch–inspired cultural appropriation and intimate snapshots of Samoan people and place. In doing so, he disrupts popular notions of a beautiful Polynesia available for the taking, and carves out new avenues of meaning for Pacific Islanders of Oceania. Throughout the collection, McMullin illustrates various manifestations of geopolitical, cultural, linguistic, and sexual colonialism. His work illuminates the ongoing resistance to colonialism and the remarkable resilience of Pacific Islanders and queer-identified peoples.

McMullin’s Fa’a Fafine identity—the ability to walk between and embody both the masculine and feminine—creates a grounded and dynamic voice throughout the collection. It also fosters a creative dialogue between Fa’a Fafine people and trans-Indigenous movements. Through a uniquely Samoan practice of storytelling, McMullin contributes to the growing and vibrant body of queer Indigenous literature.

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Colonial Itineraries of Contemporary Mexico

Literary and Cultural Inquiries

Edited by Oswaldo Estrada and Anna M. Nogar

The rewritings of the Mexican colonia discussed in this book question a present reality of marginalities and inequality, of imposed political domination, and of hybrid subjectivities. In their examination of the novels, films, poetry, and chronicles produced in and outside of Mexico since 2000, the critics included in Colonial Itineraries of Contemporary Mexico produce new interpretations, alternative readings, and different angles of analysis that extend far beyond the theories of the new historical novel of the eighties and nineties, and well beyond the limits of the novel as re-creative genre.

Through a transformative interdisciplinary lens, this book studies the ultra-contemporary chronicles of Carlos Monsiváis, the poetry of Carmen Boullosa and Luis Felipe Fabre, and the novels of Enrique Serna, Héctor de Mauleón, Mónica Lavín, and Pablo Soler Frost, among others. The book also pays close attention to a good sample of recent children’s literature that revisit Mexico’s colonia. It includes the transatlantic perspective of Spanish novelist Inma Chacón, and a detailed analysis of the strategies employed by Laura Esquivel in the creation of a best seller. Other chapters are devoted to the study of transnational film productions, a play by Flavio González Mello, and a set of novels set in the nineteenth-century colonia that problematize static notions of both personal and national identity within specific cultural palimpsests. Taken together, these incisive readings open broader conversations about Mexican coloniality as it continues well into the twenty-first century.

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The Colorado Plateau VI

Science and Management at the Landscape Scale

Edited by Laura F. Huenneke, Charles van Riper III, and Kelley A. Hays-Gilpin

Covering 130,000 square miles and a wide range of elevations from desert to alpine in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico, the Colorado Plateau has long fascinated researchers. The Colorado Plateau VI provides readers with a plethora of updates and insights into land conservation and management questions currently surrounding the region.

The Colorado Plateau VI’s contributors show how new technologies for monitoring, spatial analysis, restoration, and collaboration improve our understanding, management, and conservation of outcomes at the appropriate landscape scale for the Colorado Plateau. The volume’s chapters fall into five major themes: monitoring as a key tool for addressing management challenges, restoration approaches to improving ecosystem condition and function, collaboration and organizational innovations to achieve conservation and management objectives, landscape-scale approaches to understanding, and managing key species and ecological communities.

Focusing on the integration of science into resource management issues over the Colorado Plateau, this volume includes contributions from dozens of leading scholars of the region. The Colorado Plateau VI proves a valuable resource to all interested in the conservation management, natural history, and cultural biological resources of the Colorado Plateau.

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A Common Humanity

Ritual, Religion, and Immigrant Advocacy in Tucson, Arizona

Lane Van Ham

As debate about immigration policy rages from small towns to state capitals, from coffee shops to Congress, would-be immigrants are dying in the desert along the US–Mexico border. Beginning in the 1990s, the US government effectively sealed off the most common border crossing routes. This had the unintended effect of forcing desperate people to seek new paths across open desert. At least 4,000 of them died between 1995 and 2009. While some Americans thought the dead had gotten what they deserved, other Americans organized humani-tarian aid groups. A Common Humanity examines some of the most active aid organizations in Tucson, Arizona, which has become a hotbed of advocacy on behalf of undocumented immigrants.

This is the first book to examine immigrant aid groups from the inside. Author Lane Van Ham spent more than three years observing the groups and many hours in discussions and interviews. He is particularly interested in how immigrant advocates both uphold the legitimacy of the United States and maintain a broader view of its social responsibilities. By advocating for immigrants regardless of their documentation status, he suggests, advocates navigate the conflicting pulls of their own na-tion-state citizenship and broader obligations to their neighbors in a globalizing world. And although the advocacy organizations are not overtly religious, Van Ham finds that they do employ religious symbolism as part of their public rhetoric, arguing that immigrants are entitled to humane treatment based on universal human values.

Beautifully written and immensely engaging, A Common Humanity adds a valuable human dimension to the immigration debate.

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