. Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Books That Matter: Latinx

An anti-racist social justice bookshelf that highlights specific books as a way to increase visibility and include everyone!

Titles on This Page

Latinx Authors

Danzirly by Gloria Muñoz

Palm Frond With Its Throat Cut by Vickie Vértiz

Meditación Fronteriza: Poems of Love, Life, and Labor by Norma Elia Cantú

Journey of Dreams by Marge Pellegrino

Our Sacred Maíz Is Our Mother: Indigeneity and Belonging in the Americas by Roberto Rodríguez

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

Snake Poems: An Aztec Invocation by Francisco X. Alarcón

In the Shadows of the Freeway: Growing up Brown & Queer by Lydia R. Otero

Chican@ Artivistas Music, Community, and Transborder Tactics in East Los Angeles by Martha Gonzalez

Calling the Soul Back: Embodied Spirituality in Chicanx Narrative by Christina Garcia Lopez 

A Good Map of All Things: A Picaresque Novel by Alberto Álvaro Ríos

Federico: One Man's Remarkable Journey from Tututepec to L.A. by Federico Jiménez Caballero

x/ex/exis: poemas para la nación by Raquel Salas Rivera

Empowered! Latinos Transforming Arizona Politics by Lisa Magaña and César S. Silva

Transversal: Poems by Urayoán Noel

The Real Horse: Poems by Farid Matuk

Occupying Our Space: The Mestiza Rhetorics of Mexican Women Journalists and Activists, 1875–1942 by Cristina Devereaux Ramírez

La Calle: Spatial Conflicts and Urban Renewal in a Southwest City by Lydia R. Otero

Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario

 

Nonfiction Latinx Stories

La Raza Cosmética: Beauty, Identity, and Settler Colonialism in Postrevolutionary Mexico by Natasha Varner

Occupying Our Space: The Mestiza Rhetorics of Mexican Women Journalists and Activists, 1875–1942 by Cristina Devereaux Ramírez

Indigenous Women and Violence: Feminist Activist Research in Heightened States of Injustice by Lynn Stephen and Shannon Speed

Empowered! Latinos Transforming Arizona Politics by Lisa Magaña and César S. Silva

Intersectional Chicana Feminisms: Sitios y Lenguas by Aída Hurtado

The Sovereign Street: Making Revolution in Urban Bolivia by Carwil Bjork-James

Sugarcane and Rum: The Bittersweet History of Labor and Life on the Yucatán Peninsula by John Robert Gust and Jennifer P. Mathews

Soldiers, Saints, and Shamans: Indigenous Communities and the Revolutionary State in Mexico's Gran Nayar, 1910–1940 by Nathaniel Morris

Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities by Arturo J. Aldama and Frederick Luis Aldama

A Land Apart: The Southwest and the Nation in the Twentieth Century by Flannery Burke

Land Uprising: Native Story Power and the Insurgent Horizons of Latinx Indigeneity by Simón Ventura Trujillo

Painting the Skin: Pigments on Bodies and Codices in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica by Élodie Dupey García and María Luisa Vázquez de Ágredos Pascual

All They Will Call You: the Telling of the Plane Wreck at Los Gatos Canyon by Tim Z. Hernandez

Cuba, Hot and Cold by Tom Miller

Moquis and Kastiilam: Hopis, Spaniards, and the Trauma of History

Our Sacred Maíz Is Our Mother: Indigeneity and Belonging in the Americas by Roberto Rodríguez

The Chicana Motherwork Anthology: porque sin madres no hay revolución edited by Cecilia Caballero

Rewriting the Chicano Movement: New Histories of Mexican American Activism in the Civil Rights Era by Mario T. García and Ellen McCracken

Mexican Workers and the Making of Arizona by Luis F. B. Plascencia and Gloria H. Cuádraz

Teaching Gloria E. Anzaldúa: Pedagogy and Practice for Our Classrooms and Communities by Margaret Cantú-Sánchez, Candace de León-Zepeda, and Norma Elia Cantú

A Desert Feast: Celebrating Tucson's Culinary Heritage by Carolyn Niethammer

La Calle: Spatial Conflicts and Urban Renewal in a Southwest City by Lydia R. Otero

 

Fiction Latinx Stories

Long Stories Cut Short: Fictions from the Borderlands by Frederick Luis Aldama

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

Journey of Dreams by Marge Pellegrino

Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario

Latinx Authors

Danzirly by Gloria Muñoz

Call Number: PS3613.U67 D3613 2021

ISBN: 9780816542338

Publication Date: 2021

Danzirly is a striking bilingual poetry collection that fiercely examines the nuances of the American Dream for Latinx people in the United States. With a backdrop of stringent immigration policies, the #MeToo movement, and the increasingly tangible threat of climate change, this collection considers multigenerational Latinx identities in a rapidly changing country and world. Through the author’s Colombian American lens, the poems explore the intersections of culture, gender, history, and intergenerational grief. Danzirly does not shy away from confronting traditional gender roles, religion, and anxieties surrounding climate change and the digital age. Gloria Muñoz addresses Latinx stereotypes and powerfully dismantles them in poetic form, juxtaposing the promised wonders of a life in America with the harsh realities that immigrants face as they build their lives and raise their families here. 

Palm Frond With Its Throat Cut by Vickie Vértiz

Call Number: PS3622.E78 A6 2017

ISBN: 9780816535118

Publication Date: 2017

Palm Frond with Its Throat Cut uses both humor and sincerity to capture moments in time with a sense of compassion for the hard choices we must make to survive. Vértiz’s poetry shows how history, oppression, and resistance don’t just refer to big events or movements; they play out in our everyday lives, in the intimate spaces of family, sex, and neighborhood. Vértiz’s poems ask us to see Los Angeles—and all cities like it—as they have always been: an America of code-switching and reinvention, of lyric and fight.

Meditación Fronteriza: Poems of Love, Life, and Labor by Norma Elia Cantú

Call Number: PS3553 A555 A6 2019

ISBN: 9780816539352

Publication Date: 2019

This collection is a beautifully crafted exploration of life in the Texas-Mexico borderlands. Written by Norma Elia Cantú, the award-winning author of Canícula, this collection carries the perspective of a powerful force in Chicana literature—and literature worldwide. The poems are a celebration of culture, tradition, and creativity that navigates themes of love, solidarity, and political transformation. Deeply personal yet warmly relatable, these poems flow from Spanish to English gracefully. With Gloria Anzaldúa’s foundational work as an inspiration, Meditación Fronteriza unveils unique images that provide nuance and depth to the narrative of the borderlands.

Journey of Dreams by Marge Pellegrino

Call Number: PZ7.P36368 Jou 2009

ISBN: 9781847800619

Publication Date: 2009

This is the story of how one family survives the Guatemalan army's "scorched earth" campaign in the 1980s and how, in the midst of tragedy, suspicion, and fear, their resilient love and loyalty - and Papa's storytelling - keeps them going. On their harrowing journey as refugees to the United States, the dramatic ebb and flow of events are mirrored in the tapestries of one daughter's dreams.

Our Sacred Maíz Is Our Mother: Indigeneity and Belonging in the Americas by Roberto Rodríguez

Call Number: E98.F7 R64 2014

ISBN: 9780816530618

Publication Date: 2014

Not so many peoples were created as a result of war or invasion, they are people of the corn, connected through a seven-thousand-year-old maíz culture to other Indigenous inhabitants of the continent. Using corn as the framework for discussing broader issues of knowledge production and history of belonging, Rodriguez looks at how corn was included in codices and Mayan texts, how it was discussed by elders, and how it is represented in theater and stories as a way of illustrating that Mexicans and Mexican Americans share a common culture. Rodriguez argues that, given the restrictive immigration policies and popular resentment toward migrants, a continued connection to maíz culture challenges the social exclusion and discrimination that frames migrants as outsiders and gives them a sense of belonging not encapsulated in the idea of citizenship.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

Call Number: PS3554.I259 B75 2007

ISBN: 9781429560573

Publication Date: 2007

Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd who—from the New Jersey home he shares with his old world mother and rebellious sister—dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love. But Oscar may never get what he wants. Blame the fukú—a curse that has haunted Oscar’s family for generations, following them on their epic journey from Santo Domingo to the USA. Encapsulating Dominican-American history, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao opens our eyes to an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and explores the endless human capacity to persevere—and risk it all—in the name of love.

Snake Poems: An Aztec Invocation by Francisco X. Alarcón

Call Number: PS3551.L22 S63 2019

ISBN: 9780816538430

Publication Date: 2019

Alarcón was a stalwart student, researcher, and specialist on the lost teachings of his Indigenous ancestors. He first found their wisdom in the words of his Mexica (Aztec) grandmother and then by culling through historical texts. During a Fulbright fellowship to Mexico, Alarcón uncovered the writings of zealously religious Mexican priest Hernando Ruiz de Alarcón (1587–1646), who collected (often using extreme measures), translated, and interpreted Nahuatl spells and invocations.

In the Shadows of the Freeway: Growing up Brown & Queer by Lydia R. Otero

Call Number: HQ73.3 U6 O84 2019

ISBN: 9787341180011

Publication Date: 2019

Raised in an adobe house built by their mother, the author takes readers to a mid-20th century barrio that existed on the social margins of Tucson, Arizona despite sitting a little more than a mile away from the central business district. Born in 1955, and nicknamed La Butch by their family, Lydia Otero knew they were queer the moment their consciousness had evolved enough to formulate thoughts. The author witnessed how the steady expansion of Interstate 10 (I-10) separated and isolated a barrio of brown and poor residents from the rest of the city.  This book, which combines personal memoir and family history with historical archives, offers more self-disclosure than Otero's previous works, as the author's experiences of childhood take center stage. Otero reveals the day-to-day survival mechanisms they depended upon, the exhilaration of first love, and the support the author received from key family members as they tried to gain a sense of belonging in a world mired in dislocation.

Chican@ Artivistas Music, Community, and Transborder Tactics in East Los Angeles by Martha Gonzalez

Call Number: ML3917.U6 G69 2020

ISBN: 9781477321126

Publication Date: 2020

As the lead singer of the Grammy Award–winning rock band Quetzal and a scholar of Chicana/o and Latina/o studies, Martha Gonzalez is uniquely positioned to articulate the ways in which creative expression can serve the dual roles of political commentary and community building. Drawing on postcolonial, Chicana, black feminist, and performance theories, Chican@ Artivistas explores the visual, musical, and performance art produced in East Los Angeles since the inception of NAFTA and the subsequent anti-immigration rhetoric of the 1990s. Showcasing the social impact made by key artist-activists on their communities and on the mainstream art world and music industry, Gonzalez charts the evolution of a now-canonical body of work that took its inspiration from the Zapatista movement, particularly its masked indigenous participants, and that responded to efforts to impose systems of labor exploitation and social subjugation. The book captures the mobilizing music, poetry, dance, and art that emerged in pre-gentrification corners of downtown Los Angeles and that went on to inspire flourishing networks of bold, innovative artivistas.

Calling the Soul Back: Embodied Spirituality in Chicanx Narrative by Christina Garcia Lopez

Call Number: PS153.M4 L656 2019

ISBN: 9780816542581

Publication Date: 2019

Calling the Soul Back focuses on the embodied aspects of spirituality integrating body, mind, and soul. Centering the relationship between embodiment and literary narrative, Christina Garcia Lopez shows narrative as healing work through which writers and readers ritually call back the soul—one’s unique immaterial essence—into union with the body, counteracting the wounding fragmentation that emerged out of colonization and imperialism. Calling the Soul Back explores the spiritual and ancestral knowledge offered in narratives of bodies in trauma, bodies engaged in ritual, grieving bodies, bodies immersed in and becoming part of nature, and dreaming bodies. Reading across narrative nonfiction, performative monologue, short fiction, fables, illustrated children’s books, and a novel, Garcia Lopez asks how these narratives draw on the embodied intersections of ways of knowing and being to shift readers’ consciousness regarding relationships to space, time, and natural environments.

A Good Map of All Things: A Picaresque Novel by Alberto Álvaro Ríos

Call Number: PS3568.I587 G66 2020

ISBN: 9780816541034

Publication Date: 2020

A Good Map of All Things is home to characters whose lives are interwoven but whose stories are their own, adding warmth and humor to this continually surprising communal narrative. The stories take place in the mid-twentieth century, in the high desert near the border—a stretch of land generally referred to as the Pimería Alta—an ancient passage through the desert that connected the territory of Tucson in the north and Guaymas and Hermosillo in the south. Ríos has created a whimsical yet familiar town, where brightly unique characters love fiercely and nurture those around them. The people in A Good Map of All Things have secrets and fears, successes and happiness, winters and summers. They are people who do not make the news, but who are living their lives for the long haul, without lotteries or easy answers or particular luck. Theirs is the everyday, with its small but meaningful joy. Whether your heart belongs to a small town in Mexico or a bustling metropolis, Alberto Álvaro Ríos has crafted a book that is overflowing with comfort, warmth, and the familiar embrace of a tightly woven community.

Federico: One Man's Remarkable Journey from Tututepec to L.A. by Federico Jiménez Caballero

Call Number: E99.M693 J56 2021

ISBN: 9780816540785

Publication Date: 2021

As a child growing up in a small rural town in southern Mexico, Federico Jiménez Caballero faced challenges that most of us cannot imagine, let alone overcome. From a young age, Federico worked tirelessly to contribute to his large family. Finding himself in the middle of a village-wide catastrophe, he was exiled to a boarding school in Oaxaca City where he was forced to become independent, resilient, and razor-sharp in order to stay afloat. Through his incredible people skills, Federico found himself excelling in his studies and climbing the ranks in Oaxaca City. He always held a deep love and respect for his Mixtec Indigenous roots and began to collect Indigenous jewelry and textiles. Carrying his passion for Indigenous jewelry with him from Oaxaca, Federico owned a series of shops in Los Angeles and sold jewelry at flea markets to well-known Hollywood stars. Over the years, he cultivated relationships and became a philanthropist as well as the owner of a museum in Oaxaca City. This book is the inspiring first-person account of eighty years in the life of a man who moved from humble beginnings to the bright lights of Hollywood, following his passion and creating long-lasting relationships as he climbed the ladder of success.

x/ex/exis: poemas para la nación by Raquel Salas Rivera

Call Number: PQ7442.S225 X49 2020

ISBN: 9780816544073

Publication Date: 2020

Written in the early days of the rise of world-wide fascism and the poet’s gender transition, x/ex/exis: poemas para la nación/poems for the nation accepts the invitation to push poetic and gender imaginaries beyond the bounds set by the nation. From teen dysphoria, to the incarceration of anticolonial activists Oscar López and Nina Droz Franco, to the entanglement of church and state, these poems acknowledge the violence of imposed binaries. For Salas Rivera, the x marks Puerto Rican transness in a world that seeks trans death, denial, and erasure. Instead of justifying his existence, he takes up the flag of illegibility and writes an apocalyptic book that screams into an uncertain future, armed with nothing to lose. In today's post-disaster Puerto Rico, Salas Rivera’s words feel visionary, mapping a decolonizing territory, a body, and identity of both soil and heart. 

Empowered! Latinos Transforming Arizona Politics by Lisa Magaña and César S. Silva

Call Number: F820.M5 M34 2021

ISBN: 9780816542246

Publication Date: 2021

Empowered! examines Arizona’s recent political history and how it has been shaped and propelled by Latinos. Lisa Magaña and César S. Silva argue that the state of Arizona is more inclusive and progressive than it has ever been. Following in the footsteps of grassroots organizers in California and the southeastern states, Latinos in Arizona have struggled and succeeded to alter the anti-immigrant and racist policies that have been affecting Latinos in the state for many years. Empowered! shows innovative ways that Latinos have fought these policies. It raises important arguments about those who stand to profit financially and politically by stoking fear of immigrants and how resilient politicians and grassroots organizers have worked to counteract that fear mongering. Recognizing the long history of disenfranchisement and injustice surrounding minority communities in the United States, this book outlines the struggle to make Arizona a more just and equal place for Latinos to live. 

Transversal: Poems by Urayoán Noel

Call Number: PS3614.O39 T73 2021

ISBN: 9780816541805

Publication Date: 2021

Transversal takes a disruptive approach to poetic translation, opening up alternative ways of reading as poems get translated or transcreated into entirely new pieces. In this collection, Urayoán Noel masterfully examines his native Puerto Rico and the broader Caribbean as sites of transversal poetics and politics. Featuring Noel’s bilingual playfulness, intellect, and irreverent political imagination, Transversal contains personal reflections on love, desire, and loss filtered through a queer approach to form, expanding upon Noel’s experiments with self-translation in his celebrated collection Buzzing Hemisphere/Rumor Hemisférico. Poems are presented in interlocking bilingual versions that complicate the relationship between translation and original, and between English and Spanish as languages of empire and popular struggle.  Transversal seeks to disrupt standard English and Spanish, and it celebrates the nonequivalence between languages.

The Real Horse: Poems by Farid Matuk

Call Number: PS3613.A8756 A6 2018

ISBN: 9780816537341

Publication Date: 2018 

Matuk invites readers into a shared practice of thinking and feeling that interrogates the confounding intersections of gender, race, class, and national status not as abstract concepts but as foundational intimacies. Matuk’s interrogations of form cut a path through the tangle of a daughter’s position as a natural-born female citizen of the “First World” and of the poet’s position as a once-undocumented immigrant of mixed ethnicity whose paternity is unavoidably implicated in patriarchy. Rejecting nostalgia for homelands, notions of embodied value, and specious ideas of freedom, these luminously multifaceted poem sequences cast their lot with the lyric voice, trusting it to hold a space where we might follow the child’s ongoing revolution against the patrimony of selfhood and citizenship.

Occupying Our Space: The Mestiza Rhetorics of Mexican Women Journalists and Activists, 1875–1942 by Cristina Devereaux Ramírez

Call Number: PN4974.W6 R36 2015

ISBN: 9780816530748

Publication Date: 2015

Occupying Our Space sheds new light on the contributions of Mexican women journalists and writers during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, marked as the zenith of Mexican journalism. Journalists played a significant role in transforming Mexican social and political life before and after the Revolution, and women were a part of this movement as publishers, writers, public speakers, and political activists. However, their contributions to the broad historical changes associated with the Revolution, as well as the pre- and post-revolutionary eras, are often excluded or overlooked. Grounded in the overarching theoretical lens of mestiza rhetoric, Occupying Our Space considers the ways in which Mexican women journalists negotiated shifting feminine identities and the emerging national politics of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. 

La Calle: Spatial Conflicts and Urban Renewal in a Southwest City by Lydia R. Otero

Call Number: HT177.T77 O84 2010

ISBN: 9780816528882

Publication Date: 2010

On March 1, 1966, the voters of Tucson approved the Pueblo Center Redevelopment Project—Arizona’s first major urban renewal project—which targeted the most densely populated eighty acres in the state. For close to one hundred years, tucsonenses had created their own spatial reality in the historical, predominantly Mexican American heart of the city, an area most called “la calle.” Here, amid small retail and service shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues, they openly lived and celebrated their culture. To make way for the Pueblo Center’s new buildings, city officials proceeded to displace la calle’s residents and demolish their ethnically diverse neighborhoods. Otero examines conflicting claims to urban space, place, and history as advanced by two opposing historic preservationist groups: the La Placita Committee and the Tucson Heritage Foundation. She gives voice to those who lived in, experienced, or remembered this contested area, and analyzes the historical narratives promoted by Anglo-American elites in the service of tourism and cultural dominance.

Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario

Call Number: E184.H66 N397 2014

ISBN: 9780812971781

Publication Date: 2014

Enrique’s Journey recounts the unforgettable quest of a Honduran boy looking for his mother, eleven years after she is forced to leave her starving family to find work in the United States. Braving unimaginable peril, often clinging to the sides and tops of freight trains, Enrique travels through hostile worlds full of thugs, bandits, and corrupt cops. But he pushes forward, relying on his wit, courage, hope, and the kindness of strangers. As Isabel Allende writes: “This is a twenty-first-century Odyssey. If you are going to read only one nonfiction book this year, it has to be this one.” Now updated with a new Epilogue and Afterword, photos of Enrique and his family, an author interview, and more, this is a classic of contemporary America.

Latinx Stories: Nonfiction

La Raza Cosmética: Beauty, Identity, and Settler Colonialism in Postrevolutionary Mexico by Natasha Varner

Call Number: F1219.3.W6 V37 2020

ISBN: 9780816542079

Publication Date: 2020

In the decades following the Mexican Revolution, nation builders, artists, and intellectuals manufactured ideologies that continue to give shape to popular understandings of indigeneity and mestizaje today. Postrevolutionary identity tropes emerged as part of broader efforts to reunify the nation and solve pressing social concerns, including what was posited in the racist rhetoric of the time as the “Indian problem.” Through a complex alchemy of appropriation and erasure, indigeneity was idealized as a relic of the past while mestizaje was positioned as the race of the future. This period of identity formation coincided with a boom in technology that introduced a sudden proliferation of images on the streets and in homes: there were more photographs in newspapers, movie houses cropped up across the country, and printing houses mass-produced calendar art and postcards. La Raza Cosmética traces postrevolutionary identity ideals and debates as they were dispersed to the greater public through emerging visual culture. Critically examining beauty pageants, cinema, tourism propaganda, photography, murals, and more, Natasha Varner shows how postrevolutionary understandings of mexicanidad were fundamentally structured by legacies of colonialism, as well as shifting ideas about race, place, and gender.

Occupying Our Space: The Mestiza Rhetorics of Mexican Women Journalists and Activists, 1875–1942 by Cristina Devereaux Ramírez

Call Number: PN4974.W6 R36 2015

ISBN: 9780816530748

Publication Date: 2015

Occupying Our Space sheds new light on the contributions of Mexican women journalists and writers during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, marked as the zenith of Mexican journalism. Journalists played a significant role in transforming Mexican social and political life before and after the Revolution, and women were a part of this movement as publishers, writers, public speakers, and political activists. However, their contributions to the broad historical changes associated with the Revolution, as well as the pre- and post-revolutionary eras, are often excluded or overlooked. Grounded in the overarching theoretical lens of mestiza rhetoric, Occupying Our Space considers the ways in which Mexican women journalists negotiated shifting feminine identities and the emerging national politics of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. 

Indigenous Women and Violence: Feminist Activist Research in Heightened States of Injustice by Lynn Stephen and Shannon Speed

Call Number: HV6250.4.W65 I5318 2021

ISBN: 9780816542628

Publication Date: 2021

Indigenous Women and Violence offers an intimate view of how settler colonialism and other structural forms of power and inequality created accumulated violence in the lives of Indigenous women. This volume uncovers how these Indigenous women resist violence in Mexico, Central America, and the United States, centering on the topics of femicide, immigration, human rights violations, the criminal justice system, and Indigenous justice. Taking on the issues of our times, Indigenous Women and Violence calls for the deepening of collaborative ethnographies through community engagement and performing research as an embodied experience. This book brings together settler colonialism, feminist ethnography, collaborative and activist ethnography, emotional communities, and standpoint research to look at the links between structural, extreme, and everyday violence across time and space.

Empowered! Latinos Transforming Arizona Politics by Lisa Magaña and César S. Silva

Call Number: F820.M5 M34 2021

ISBN: 9780816542246

Publication Date: 2021

Empowered! examines Arizona’s recent political history and how it has been shaped and propelled by Latinos. Lisa Magaña and César S. Silva argue that the state of Arizona is more inclusive and progressive than it has ever been. Following in the footsteps of grassroots organizers in California and the southeastern states, Latinos in Arizona have struggled and succeeded to alter the anti-immigrant and racist policies that have been affecting Latinos in the state for many years. Empowered! shows innovative ways that Latinos have fought these policies. It raises important arguments about those who stand to profit financially and politically by stoking fear of immigrants and how resilient politicians and grassroots organizers have worked to counteract that fear mongering. Recognizing the long history of disenfranchisement and injustice surrounding minority communities in the United States, this book outlines the struggle to make Arizona a more just and equal place for Latinos to live. 

Intersectional Chicana Feminisms: Sitios y Lenguas by Aída Hurtado

Call Number: HQ1190.U6 H87 2020

ISBN: 9780816537617

Publication Date: 2020

Chicana feminisms are living theory deriving value and purpose by affecting social change. Advocating for and demonstrating the importance of an intersectional, multidisciplinary, activist understanding of Chicanas, Intersectional Chicana Feminisms provides a much-needed overview of the key theories, thinkers, and activists that have contributed to Chicana feminist thought. Aída Hurtado, a leading Chicana feminist and scholar, traces the origins of Chicanas’ efforts to bring attention to the effects of gender in Chicana and Chicano studies. Highlighting the innovative and pathbreaking methodologies developed within the field of Chicana feminisms—such as testimonio, conocimiento, and autohistoria—this book offers an accessible introduction to Chicana theory, methodology, art, and activism. Hurtado also looks at the newest developments in the field and the future of Chicana feminisms.

The Sovereign Street: Making Revolution in Urban Bolivia by Carwil Bjork-James

Call Number: F3327 .B54 2020

ISBN: 9780816540150

Publication Date: 2020

In the early twenty-first century Bolivian social movements made streets, plazas, and highways into the decisively important spaces for acting politically, rivaling and at times exceeding voting booths and halls of government. The Sovereign Street documents this important period, showing how indigenous-led mass movements reconfigured the politics and racial order of Bolivia from 1999 to 2011.

Drawing on interviews with protest participants, on-the-ground observation, and documentary research, activist and scholar Carwil Bjork-James provides an up-close history of the indigenous-led protests that changed Bolivia. At the heart of the study is a new approach to the interaction between protest actions and the parts of the urban landscape they claim. These “space-claiming protests” both communicate a message and exercise practical control over the city. Bjork-James interrogates both protest tactics—as experiences and as tools—and meaning-laden spaces, where meaning is part of the racial and political geography of the city.

Taking the streets of Cochabamba, Sucre, and La Paz as its vantage point, The Sovereign Street offers a rare look at political revolution as it happens. It documents a critical period in Latin American history, when protests made headlines worldwide, where a generation of pro-globalization policies were called into question, and where the indigenous majority stepped into government power for the first time in five centuries.

Sugarcane and Rum: The Bittersweet History of Labor and Life on the Yucatán Peninsula by John Robert Gust and Jennifer P. Mathews

Call Number: F1435.3.A37 G87 2020

ISBN: 9780816538881

Publication Date: 2020

While the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico may conjure up images of vacation getaways and cocktails by the sea, these easy stereotypes hide a story filled with sweat and toil. The story of sugarcane and rum production in the Caribbean has been told many times. But few know the bittersweet story of sugar and rum in the jungles of the Yucatán Peninsula during the nineteenth century. This is much more than a history of coveted commodities. The unique story that unfolds in John R. Gust and Jennifer P. Mathews’s new history Sugarcane and Rum is told through the lens of Maya laborers who worked under brutal conditions on small haciendas to harvest sugarcane and produce rum.

Gust and Mathews weave together ethnographic interviews and historical archives with archaeological evidence to bring the daily lives of Maya workers into focus. They lived in a cycle of debt, forced to buy all of their supplies from the company store and take loans from the hacienda owners. And yet they had a certain autonomy because the owners were so dependent on their labor at harvest time. We also see how the rise of cantinas and distilled alcohol in the nineteenth century affected traditional Maya culture and that the economies of Cancún and the Mérida area are predicated on the rum-influenced local social systems of the past. Sugarcane and Rum brings this bittersweet story to the present and explains how rum continues to impact the Yucatán and the people who have lived there for millennia.

Soldiers, Saints, and Shamans: Indigenous Communities and the Revolutionary State in Mexico's Gran Nayar, 1910–1940 by Nathaniel Morris

Call Number: F1234 .M867 2020

ISBN: 9780816546930

Publication Date: 2020

The Mexican Revolution gave rise to the Mexican nation-state as we know it today. Rural revolutionaries took up arms against the Díaz dictatorship in support of agrarian reform, in defense of their political autonomy, or inspired by a nationalist desire to forge a new Mexico. However, in the Gran Nayar, a rugged expanse of mountains and canyons, the story was more complex, as the region’s four Indigenous peoples fought both for and against the revolution and the radical changes it bought to their homeland.

To make sense of this complex history, Nathaniel Morris offers the first systematic understanding of the participation of the Náayari, Wixárika, O’dam, and Mexicanero peoples in the Mexican Revolution. They are known for being among the least “assimilated” of all Mexico’s Indigenous peoples. It’s often been assumed that they were stuck up in their mountain homeland—“the Gran Nayar”—with no knowledge of the uprisings, civil wars, military coups, and political upheaval that convulsed the rest of Mexico between 1910 and 1940.

Based on extensive archival research and years of fieldwork in the rugged and remote Gran Nayar, Morris shows that the Náayari, Wixárika, O’dam, and Mexicanero peoples were actively involved in the armed phase of the revolution. This participation led to serious clashes between an expansionist, “rationalist” revolutionary state and the highly autonomous communities and heterodox cultural and religious practices of the Gran Nayar’s inhabitants. Morris documents confrontations between practitioners of subsistence agriculture and promoters of capitalist development, between rival Indian generations and political factions, and between opposing visions of the world, of religion, and of daily life. These clashes produced some of the most severe defeats that the government’s state-building programs suffered during the entire revolutionary era, with significant and often counterintuitive consequences both for local people and for the Mexican nation as a whole.

Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities by Arturo J. Aldama and Frederick Luis Aldama

Call Number: E184.S75 D43 2020

ISBN: 9780816539369

Publication Date: 2020

Latinx hypersexualized lovers or kingpin predators pulsate from our TVs, smartphones, and Hollywood movie screens. Tweets from the executive office brand Latinxs as bad-hombre hordes and marauding rapists and traffickers. A-list Anglo historical figures like Billy the Kid haunt us with their toxic masculinities. These are the themes creatively explored by the eighteen contributors in Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities.

Together they explore how legacies of colonization and capitalist exploitation and oppression have created toxic forms of masculinity that continue to suffocate our existence as Latinxs. And while the authors seek to identify all cultural phenomena that collectively create reductive, destructive, and toxic constructions of masculinity that traffic in misogyny and homophobia, they also uncover the many spaces—such as Xicanx-Indígena languages, resistant food cultures, music performances, and queer Latinx rodeo practices—where Latinx communities can and do exhale healing masculinities.

With unity of heart and mind, the creative and the scholarly, Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities opens wide its arms to all non-binary, decolonial masculinities today to grow a stronger, resilient, and more compassionate new generation of Latinxs tomorrow.

A Land Apart: The Southwest and the Nation in the Twentieth Century by Flannery Burke

Call Number: F801 .B94 2017

ISBN: 9780816535613

Publication Date: 2017

 

A Land Apart is not just a cultural history of the modern Southwest—it is a complete rethinking and recentering of the key players and primary events marking the Southwest in the twentieth century. Historian Flannery Burke emphasizes how indigenous, Hispanic, and other non-white people negotiated their rightful place in the Southwest. Readers visit the region’s top tourist attractions and find out how they got there, listen to the debates of Native people as they sought to establish independence for themselves in the modern United States, and ponder the significance of the U.S.-Mexico border in a place that used to be Mexico. Burke emphasizes policy over politicians, communities over individuals, and stories over simple narratives.

Burke argues that the Southwest’s reputation as a region on the margins of the nation has caused many of its problems in the twentieth century. She proposes that, as they consider the future, Americans should view New Mexico and Arizona as close neighbors rather than distant siblings, pay attention to the region’s history as Mexican and indigenous space, bear witness to the area’s inequalities, and listen to the Southwest’s stories. Burke explains that two core parts of southwestern history are the development of the nuclear bomb and subsequent uranium mining, and she maintains that these are not merely a critical facet in the history of World War II and the militarization of the American West but central to an understanding of the region’s energy future, its environmental health, and southwesterners’ conception of home.

Land Uprising: Native Story Power and the Insurgent Horizons of Latinx Indigeneity by Simón Ventura Trujillo

Call Number: F801.2 .T78 2020

ISBN: 9780816540181

Publication Date: 2020

Land Uprising reframes Indigenous land reclamation as a horizon to decolonize the settler colonial conditions of literary, intellectual, and activist labor. Simón Ventura Trujillo argues that land provides grounding for rethinking the connection between Native storytelling practices and Latinx racialization across overlapping colonial and nation-state forms.

Trujillo situates his inquiry in the cultural production of La Alianza Federal de Mercedes, a formative yet understudied organization of the Chicanx movement of the 1960s and 1970s. La Alianza sought to recover Mexican and Spanish land grants in New Mexico that had been dispossessed after the Mexican-American War. During graduate school, Trujillo realized that his grandparents were activists in La Alianza. Written in response to this discovery, Land Uprising bridges La Alianza’s insurgency and New Mexican land grant struggles to the writings of Leslie Marmon Silko, Ana Castillo, Simon Ortiz, and the Zapatista Uprising in Chiapas, Mexico. In doing so, the book reveals uncanny connections between Chicanx, Latinx, Latin American, and Native American and Indigenous studies to grapple with Native land reclamation as the future horizon for Chicanx and Latinx indigeneities.

Painting the Skin: Pigments on Bodies and Codices in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica by Élodie Dupey García and María Luisa Vázquez de Ágredos Pascual

Call Number: F1219.3.P25 P35 2018

ISBN: 9780816538447

Publication Date: 2018

Mesoamerican communities past and present are characterized by their strong inclination toward color and their expert use of the natural environment to create dyes and paints. In pre-Hispanic times, skin was among the preferred surfaces on which to apply coloring materials. Archaeological research and historical and iconographic evidence show that, in Mesoamerica, the human body—alive or dead—received various treatments and procedures for coloring it.

Painting the Skin brings together exciting research on painted skins in Mesoamerica. Chapters explore the materiality, uses, and cultural meanings of the colors applied to a multitude of skins, including bodies, codices made of hide and vegetal paper, and even building “skins.” Contributors offer physicochemical analysis and compare compositions, manufactures, and attached meanings of pigments and colorants across various social and symbolic contexts and registers. They also compare these Mesoamerican colors with those used in other ancient cultures from both the Old and New Worlds. This cross-cultural perspective reveals crucial similarities and differences in the way cultures have painted on skins of all types.

All They Will Call You: the Telling of the Plane Wreck at Los Gatos Canyon by Tim Z. Hernandez

Call Number: HD1527.C2 H47 2018

ISBN: 9780816537372

Publication Date: 2018

 

All They Will Call You is the harrowing account of “the worst airplane disaster in California’s history,” which claimed the lives of thirty-two passengers, including twenty-eight Mexican citizens—farmworkers who were being deported by the U.S. government. Outraged that media reports omitted only the names of the Mexican passengers, American folk icon Woody Guthrie penned a poem that went on to become one of the most important protest songs of the twentieth century, “Plane Wreck at Los Gatos (Deportee).” It was an attempt to restore the dignity of the anonymous lives whose unidentified remains were buried in an unmarked mass grave in California’s Central Valley. For nearly seven decades, the song’s message would be carried on by the greatest artists of our time, including Pete Seeger, Dolly Parton, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and Joan Baez, yet the question posed in Guthrie’s lyrics, “Who are these friends all scattered like dry leaves?” would remain unanswered—until now.

 

Cuba, Hot and Cold by Tom Miller

Call Number: F1788 .M477 2017

ISBN: 9780816535866

Publication Date: 2017

A brilliant raconteur and expert on Cuba, Miller is full of enthralling behind-the-scenes stories. His subjects include one of the world’s most resourceful master instrument makers, the famous photo of Che Guevara, and the explosion of the USS Maine. A veteran of the underground press of the 1960s, Miller describes the day Cuba’s State Security detained him for distributing copies of the United Nations Human Rights Declaration of 1948 and explains how the dollar has become the currency of necessity. His warm reminiscences explain the complexities of life in Cuba.

Moquis and Kastiilam: Hopis, Spaniards, and the Trauma of History

Call Number: E99.H7 M64 2015

ISBN: 9780816531844

Publication Date: 2015

The first of a two-volume series, Moquis and Kastiilam tells the story of the encounter between the Hopis, who the Spaniards called Moquis, and the Spaniards, who the Hopis called Kastiilam, from the first encounter in 1540 until the eve of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. By comparing and contrasting Spanish documents with Hopi oral traditions, the editors portray a balanced presentation of their shared past. Translations of sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century documents written by Spanish explorers, colonial officials, and Franciscan missionaries tell the perspectives of the European visitors, and oral traditions recounted by Hopi elders reveal the Indigenous experience.

The editors argue that the Spanish record is incomplete, and only the Hopi perspective can balance the story. The Spanish documentary record (and by extension the documentary record of any European or Euro-American colonial power) is biased and distorted, according to the editors, who assert there are enormous silences about Hopi responses to Spanish missionization and colonization. The only hope of correcting those weaknesses is to record and analyze Hopi oral traditions, which have been passed down from generation to generation, and give voice to Hopi values and Hopi social memories of what was a traumatic period in their past.

Spanish abuses during missionization—which the editors address specifically and directly as the sexual exploitation of Hopi women, suppression of Hopi ceremonies, and forced labor of Hopis—drove Hopis to the breaking point, inspiring a Hopi revitalization that led them to participate in the Pueblo Revolt. Those abuses, the revolt, and the resistance that followed remain as open wounds in Hopi society today.

Our Sacred Maíz Is Our Mother: Indigeneity and Belonging in the Americas by Roberto Rodríguez

Call Number: E98.F7 R64 2014

ISBN: 9780816530618

Publication Date: 2014

Not so many peoples were created as a result of war or invasion, they are people of the corn, connected through a seven-thousand-year-old maíz culture to other Indigenous inhabitants of the continent. Using corn as the framework for discussing broader issues of knowledge production and history of belonging, Rodriguez looks at how corn was included in codices and Mayan texts, how it was discussed by elders, and how it is represented in theater and stories as a way of illustrating that Mexicans and Mexican Americans share a common culture. Rodriguez argues that, given the restrictive immigration policies and popular resentment toward migrants, a continued connection to maíz culture challenges the social exclusion and discrimination that frames migrants as outsiders and gives them a sense of belonging not encapsulated in the idea of citizenship.

The Chicana Motherwork Anthology

Call Number: E184.M5 C394 2019

ISBN: 9780816537990

Publication Date: 2019

The Chicana M(other)work Anthology weaves together emerging scholarship and testimonials by and about self-identified Chicana and Women of Color mother-scholars, activists, and allies who center mothering as transformative labor through an intersectional lens. Contributors provide narratives that make feminized labor visible and that prioritize collective action and holistic healing for mother-scholars of color, their children, and their communities within and outside academia.

The volume is organized in four parts: (1) separation, migration, state violence, and detention; (2) Chicana/Latina/WOC mother-activists; (3) intergenerational mothering; and (4) loss, reproductive justice, and holistic pregnancy. Contributors offer a just framework for Chicana and Women of Color mother-scholars, activists, and allies to thrive within and outside of the academy. They describe a new interpretation of motherwork that addresses the layers of care work needed for collective resistance to structural oppression and inequality.

This anthology is a call to action for justice. Contributions are both theoretical and epistemological, and they offer an understanding of motherwork through Chicana and Women of Color experiences.

Rewriting the Chicano Movement: New Histories of Mexican American Activism in the Civil Rights Era by Mario T. García and Ellen McCracken

Call Number: E184.M5 R438 2021

ISBN: 9780816541454

Publication Date: 2021

The Chicano Movement, el movimiento, is known as the largest and most expansive civil rights and empowerment movement by Mexican Americans up to that time. It made Chicanos into major American political actors and laid the foundation for today’s Latino political power. Rewriting the Chicano Movement is a collection of powerful new essays on the Chicano Movement that expand and revise our understanding of the movement. These essays capture the commitment, courage, and perseverance of movement activists, both men and women, and their struggles to achieve the promises of American democracy.

The essays in this volume broaden traditional views of the Chicano Movement that are too narrow and monolithic. Instead, the contributors to this book highlight the role of women in the movement, the regional and ideological diversification of the movement, and the various cultural fronts in which the movement was active. Rewriting the Chicano Movement stresses that there was no single Chicano Movement but instead a composite of movements committed to the same goal of Chicano self-determination. Scholars, students, and community activists interested in the history of the Chicano Movement can best start by reading this book.

Mexican Workers and the Making of Arizona by Luis F. B. Plascencia and Gloria H. Cuádraz

Call Number: HD8081 M6 M48 2019

ISBN: 9780816540679

Publication Date: 2019

On any given day in Arizona, thousands of Mexican-descent workers labor to make living in urban and rural areas possible. The majority of such workers are largely invisible. Their work as caretakers of children and the elderly, dishwashers or cooks in restaurants, and hotel housekeeping staff, among other roles, remains in the shadows of an economy dependent on their labor. Mexican Workers and the Making of Arizona centers on the production of an elastic supply of labor, revealing how this long-standing approach to the building of Arizona has obscured important power relations, including the state’s favorable treatment of corporations vis-à-vis workers. Building on recent scholarship about Chicanas/os and others, the volume insightfully describes how U.S. industries such as railroads, mining, and agriculture have fostered the recruitment of Mexican labor, thus ensuring the presence of a surplus labor pool that expands and contracts to accommodate production and profit goals.

Teaching Gloria E. Anzaldúa: Pedagogy and Practice for Our Classrooms and Communities by Margaret Cantú-Sánchez, Candace de León-Zepeda, and Norma Elia Cantú

Call Number: PS42 .T398 2020

ISBN: 9780816541904

Publication Date: 2020

Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa—theorist, Chicana, feminist—famously called on scholars to do work that matters. This pronouncement was a rallying call, inspiring scholars across disciplines to become scholar-activists and to channel their intellectual energy and labor toward the betterment of society. Scholars and activists alike have encountered and expanded on these pathbreaking theories and concepts first introduced by Anzaldúa in Borderlands/La frontera and other texts. Teaching Gloria E. Anzaldúa is a pragmatic and inspiring offering of how to apply Anzaldúa’s ideas to the classroom and in the community rather than simply discussing them as theory. The book gathers nineteen essays by scholars, activists, teachers, and professors who share how their first-hand use of Anzaldúa’s theories in their classrooms and community environments.

A Desert Feast: Celebrating Tucson's Culinary Heritage by Carolyn Niethammer

Call Number: TX633 .N54 2020

ISBN: 9780816538898

Publication Date: 2020

Drawing on thousands of years of foodways, Tucson cuisine blends the influences of Indigenous, Mexican, mission-era Mediterranean, and ranch-style cowboy food traditions. This book offers a food pilgrimage, where stories and recipes demonstrate why the desert city of Tucson became American’s first UNESCO City of Gastronomy. Both family supper tables and the city’s trendiest restaurants feature native desert plants and innovative dishes incorporating ancient agricultural staples.  White Sonora wheat, tepary beans, and criollo cattle steaks make Tucson’s cuisine unique. In A Desert Feast, you’ll see pictures of kids learning to grow food at school, and you’ll meet the farmers, small-scale food entrepreneurs, and chefs who are dedicated to growing and using heritage foods. It’s fair to say, “Tucson tastes like nowhere else.”

La Calle: Spatial Conflicts and Urban Renewal in a Southwest City by Lydia R. Otero

Call Number: HT177.T77 O84 2010

ISBN: 9780816528882

Publication Date: 2010

On March 1, 1966, the voters of Tucson approved the Pueblo Center Redevelopment Project—Arizona’s first major urban renewal project—which targeted the most densely populated eighty acres in the state. For close to one hundred years, tucsonenses had created their own spatial reality in the historical, predominantly Mexican American heart of the city, an area most called “la calle.” Here, amid small retail and service shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues, they openly lived and celebrated their culture. To make way for the Pueblo Center’s new buildings, city officials proceeded to displace la calle’s residents and demolish their ethnically diverse neighborhoods. Otero examines conflicting claims to urban space, place, and history as advanced by two opposing historic preservationist groups: the La Placita Committee and the Tucson Heritage Foundation. She gives voice to those who lived in, experienced, or remembered this contested area, and analyzes the historical narratives promoted by Anglo-American elites in the service of tourism and cultural dominance.

Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario

Call Number: E184.H66 N397 2014

ISBN: 9780812971781

Publication Date: 2014

Enrique’s Journey recounts the unforgettable quest of a Honduran boy looking for his mother, eleven years after she is forced to leave her starving family to find work in the United States. Braving unimaginable peril, often clinging to the sides and tops of freight trains, Enrique travels through hostile worlds full of thugs, bandits, and corrupt cops. But he pushes forward, relying on his wit, courage, hope, and the kindness of strangers. As Isabel Allende writes: “This is a twenty-first-century Odyssey. If you are going to read only one nonfiction book this year, it has to be this one.” Now updated with a new Epilogue and Afterword, photos of Enrique and his family, an author interview, and more, this is a classic of contemporary America.

Latinx Stories: Fiction

Long Stories Cut Short: Fictions from the Borderlands by Frederick Luis Aldama

Call Number: PS3601.L3444 L66 2017

ISBN: 9780816533978

Publication Date: 2017

The stories in this dynamic bilingual prose-art collection touch on the universals of romance, family, migration, expulsion, and everyday life in all its zany configurations. In a world filled with racism, police brutality, poverty, and tensions between haves and have-nots, these flashes of fictional insight bring gleaming clarity to a life lived where all sorts of borders meet and shift. Frederick Luis Aldama and graphic artists from Mapache Studios give shape to ugly truths in the most honest way, creating new perceptions, thoughts, and feelings about life in the borderlands of the Américas. Each bilingual prose-art fictional snapshot offers an unsentimentally complex glimpse into what it means to exist at the margins of society today. These unflinching and often brutal fictions crisscross spiritual, emotional, and physical borders as they give voice to all those whom society chooses not to see.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

Call Number: PS3554.I259 B75 2007

ISBN: 9781429560573

Publication Date: 2007

Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd who—from the New Jersey home he shares with his old world mother and rebellious sister—dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love. But Oscar may never get what he wants. Blame the fukú—a curse that has haunted Oscar’s family for generations, following them on their epic journey from Santo Domingo to the USA. Encapsulating Dominican-American history, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao opens our eyes to an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and explores the endless human capacity to persevere—and risk it all—in the name of love.

Journey of Dreams by Marge Pellegrino

Call Number: PZ7.P36368 Jou 2009

ISBN: 9781847800619

Publication Date: 2009

This is the story of how one family survives the Guatemalan army's "scorched earth" campaign in the 1980s and how, in the midst of tragedy, suspicion, and fear, their resilient love and loyalty - and Papa's storytelling - keeps them going. On their harrowing journey as refugees to the United States, the dramatic ebb and flow of events are mirrored in the tapestries of one daughter's dreams.