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Land, Gender, and the Politics of Identity Formation: Uncovering Hispana/Mexicana Voices in the Southwest


Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/13166

Land, Gender, and the Politics of Identity Formation: Uncovering Hispana/Mexicana Voices in the Southwest

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dc.contributor.author Roybal, Karen R.
dc.date.accessioned 2011-08-31T16:16:19Z
dc.date.issued 2011-08-31
dc.date.submitted July 2011
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1928/13166
dc.description.abstract The southwestern United States has an exceptional history that makes the region a prime focus for study concentrating on culture, tradition, language and land. As an area closely tied to the concept of conquest, the Southwest has had its share of issues related to colonization, imperialism, Manifest Destiny, and cultural erasure. This study focuses on the Southwest as a region that is closely linked to the land as it relates to the formation of identities of its people. Mexican Americans in the Southwest have historically experienced struggle, particularly after 1848 and the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, when native Californios, Nuevo Mexicanos, Tejanos and others were thrust into American citizenship without many of the benefits afforded other citizens. They were also at the center of a battle for their land—land that was highly contested as the ideological concept of Manifest Destiny promoted the idea of westward expansion and takeover of “undiscovered,” “unclaimed,” and “virgin lands.” This study provides a comparative analysis of Hispana/Mexicana testimonios herederas, a concept I use to identify the shared, or inherited, history of women’s struggle and resistance across historical contexts. The specific testimonios examined develop from the cultural production of María Amparo Ruiz de Burton, Jovita González, Fabiola Cabeza de Baca and Eva Antonia Wilbur-Cruce. By using an interdisciplinary approach, this dissertation demonstrates the diverse range of historical materials that can be used in academic research related to Hispana/Mexicana land-related struggles. These include ethnographic, autobiographic, historical, and literary materials, all of which help to re-imagine traditional conceptions of identity, gender, history, and culture. The hybrid methods employed by the Hispanas/Mexicanas reveal what Chicana feminist Emma Pérez (1999) calls the “third space[s],” where social, individual and community commentary emerge(s). This study demonstrates that women were active agents in land struggles long before the Chicano movement and Chicana identity politics. Specifically, it suggests that female agency was present in the fight for land in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries across the Southwest, in California, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The analysis demonstrates that the women do not follow dominant narratives despite their social status as elites. This action indicates that, as a whole, Hispanas/Mexicanas pushed back, forcing contemporary scholars to acknowledge that regardless of class level, they actively engaged in the land struggle early on. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, University of New Mexico Land Grant Studies Program, Hispanic Women's Council en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Land en_US
dc.subject Gender en_US
dc.subject Politics en_US
dc.subject Identity en_US
dc.subject Southwest en_US
dc.subject Culture en_US
dc.subject Autobiography en_US
dc.subject Testimonio en_US
dc.subject Feminist en_US
dc.subject Nineteenth Century en_US
dc.subject Twentieth Century en_US
dc.subject California en_US
dc.subject Texas en_US
dc.subject New Mexico en_US
dc.subject Arizona en_US
dc.subject Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton en_US
dc.subject Jovita Gonzalez en_US
dc.subject Fabiola Cabeza de Baca en_US
dc.subject Eva Antonia Wilbur-Cruce en_US
dc.subject History en_US
dc.subject Hybrid en_US
dc.subject Elite en_US
dc.subject Testimonios herederas
dc.subject.lcsh Land tenure--Southwest, New--History--19th century
dc.subject.lcsh Land tenure--Southwest, New--History--20th century
dc.subject.lcsh Hispanic American women--Social conditions--History--19th century
dc.subject.lcsh Hispanic American women--Social conditions--History--20th century
dc.subject.lcsh Hispanic American women--Economic conditions--History--19th century
dc.subject.lcsh Hispanic American women--Economic conditions--History--20th century
dc.title Land, Gender, and the Politics of Identity Formation: Uncovering Hispana/Mexicana Voices in the Southwest en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
dc.description.degree American Studies en_US
dc.description.level Doctoral en_US
dc.description.department University of New Mexico. Dept. of American Studies en_US
dc.description.advisor Melendez, A. Gabriel
dc.description.committee-member Aleman, Jesse
dc.description.committee-member Trujillo, Michael L.
dc.description.committee-member Diaz, Rose
emb.embargo.terms 2017-07-31
emb.embargo.lift 2017-07-31

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