Today in Texas, over 1500 colonias in the counties along the Mexican border are home to some 400,000 people. Often lacking basic services, such as electricity, water and sewerage, fire protection, policing, schools, and health care, these "irregular" subdivisions offer the only low-cost housing available to the mostly Hispanic working poor.
This book presents the results of a major study of colonias in three transborder metropolitan areas and uncovers the reasons why colonias are spreading so rapidly. Peter Ward compares Texas colonias with their Mexican counterparts, many of which have developed into fully integrated working-class urban communities. He describes how Mexican governments have worked with colonia residents to make physical improvements and upgrade services-a model that Texas policymakers can learn from, Ward asserts. Finally, he concludes with a hard-hitting checklist of public policy initiatives that need to be considered as colonia housing policy enters its second decade in Texas.
The U.S.-Mexico borderlands have long supported a web of relationships that transcend the U.S. and Mexican nations. Yet national histories usually overlook these complex connections. Continental Crossroads rediscovers this forgotten terrain, laying the foundations for a new borderlands history at the crossroads of Chicano/a, Latin American, and U.S. history. Drawing on the historiographies and archives of both the U.S. and Mexico, the authors chronicle the transnational processes that bound both nations together between the early nineteenth century and the 1940s, the formative era of borderlands history.
A new generation of borderlands historians examines a wide range of topics in frontier and post-frontier contexts. The contributors explore how ethnic, racial, and gender relations shifted as a former frontier became the borderlands. They look at the rise of new imagined communities and border literary traditions through the eyes of Mexicans, Anglo-Americans, and Indians, and recover transnational border narratives and experiences of African Americans, Chinese, and Europeans. They also show how surveillance and resistance in the borderlands inflected the “body politics” of gender, race, and nation. Native heroine Bárbara Gandiaga, Mexican traveler Ignacio Martínez, Kiowa warrior Sloping Hair, African American colonist William H. Ellis, Chinese merchant Lee Sing, and a diverse cast of politicos and subalterns, gendarmes and patrolmen, and insurrectos and exiles add transnational drama to the formerly divided worlds of Mexican and U.S. history.
Contributors. Grace Peña Delgado, Karl Jacoby, Benjamin Johnson, Louise Pubols, Raúl Ramos, Andrés Reséndez, Bárbara O. Reyes, Alexandra Minna Stern, Samuel Truett, Elliott Young
In the continuing redefinition of the American West, few recent writers have left a mark as indelible as Cormac McCarthy. A favorite subject of critics and fans alike despite—or perhaps because of—his avoidance of public appearances, the man is known solely through his writing. Thanks to his early work, he is most often associated with a bleak vision of humanity grounded in a belief in man's primordial aggressiveness.
McCarthy scholar Barcley Owens has written the first book to concentrate exclusively on McCarthy's acclaimed western novels: Blood Meridian, National Book Award winner All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing, and Cities of the Plain. In a thought-provoking analysis, he explores the differences between Blood Meridian and the Border Trilogy novels and shows how those differences reflect changing conditions in contemporary American culture.
Owens captures both Blood Meridian's wanton violence and the Border Trilogy's fond remembrance of the Old West. He shows how this dramatic shift from atavistic brutality to nostalgic Americana suggests that McCarthy has finally given his readers what they most want—the stuff of their mythic dreams.
Owens's study is both an incisive look at one of our most important and demanding authors and a penetrating analysis of violence and myth in American culture. Fans of McCarthy's work will find much to consider for ongoing discussions of this influential body of work.
Contributors. Norma Alarcón, Héctor Calderón, Angie Chabram, Barbara Harlow, Rolando Hinojosa, Luis Leal, José E. Limón, Terese McKenna, Elizabeth J. Ordóñez, Genero Padilla, Alvina E. Quintana, Renato Rosaldo, José David Saldívar, Sonia Saldívar-Hull, Rosaura Sánchez, Roberto Trujillo
Along the U.S.-Mexico frontier, where border crossings are a daily occurrence for many people, reinforcing borders is also a common activity. Not only does the U.S. Border Patrol strive to "hold the line" against illegal immigrants, but many residents on both sides of the border seek to define and bound themselves apart from groups they perceive as "others."
This pathfinding ethnography charts the social categories, metaphors, and narratives that inhabitants of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez use to define their group identity and distinguish themselves from "others." Pablo Vila draws on over 200 group interviews with more than 900 area residents to describe how Mexican nationals, Mexican immigrants, Mexican Americans, African Americans, and Anglos make sense of themselves and perceive their differences from others.
This research uncovers the regionalism by which many northern Mexicans construct their sense of identity, the nationalism that often divides Mexican Americans from Mexican nationals, and the role of ethnicity in setting boundaries among Anglos, Mexicans, and African Americans. Vila also looks at how gender, age, religion, and class intertwine with these factors. He concludes with fascinating excerpts from re-interviews with several informants, who modified their views of other groups when confronted by the author with the narrative character of their identities.
Located less than a mile from Juárez, the Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for Visual Arts at the University of Texas at El Paso is a non-collecting institution that serves the Paso del Norte region. In Curating at the Edge, Kate Bonansinga brings to life her experiences as the Rubin’s founding director, giving voice to a curatorial approach that reaches far beyond the limited scope of “border art” or Chicano art. Instead, Bonansinga captures the creative climate of 2004–2011, when contemporary art addressed broad notions of destruction and transformation, irony and subversion, gender and identity, and the impact of location on politics.
The Rubin’s location in the Chihuahuan desert on the U.S./Mexican border is meaningful and intriguing to many artists, and, consequently, Curating at the Edge describes the multiple artistic perspectives conveyed in the place-based exhibitions Bonansinga oversaw. Exciting mid-career artists featured in this collection of case studies include Margarita Cabrera, Liz Cohen, Marcos Ramírez ERRE, and many others. Recalling her experiences in vivid, first-person scenes, Bonansinga reveals the processes a contemporary art curator undertakes and the challenges she faces by describing a few of the more than sixty exhibitions that she organized during her tenure at the Rubin. She also explores the artists’ working methods and the relationship between their work and their personal and professional histories (some are Mexican citizens, some are U.S. citizens of Mexican descent, and some have ancestral ties to Europe). Timely and illuminating, Curating at the Edge sheds light on the work of the interlocutors who connect artists and their audiences.
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