The Texas Centennial and the Emergence of Mexican American Literature
275 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
Sales Date: November 1, 2009
The Texas Centennial of 1936, commemorated by statewide celebrations of independence from Mexico, proved to be a powerful catalyst for the formation of a distinctly Mexican American identity. Confronted by a media frenzy that vilified "Meskins" as the antithesis of Texan liberty, Mexican Americans created literary responses that critiqued these racialized representations while forging a new bilingual, bicultural community within the United States. The development of a modern Tejana identity, controversies surrounding bicultural nationalism, and other conflictual aspects of the transformation from mexicano to Mexican American are explored in this study. Capturing this fascinating aesthetic and political rebirth, Border Renaissance presents innovative readings of important novels by María Elena Zamora O'Shea, Américo Paredes, and Jovita González. In addition, the previously overlooked literary texts by members of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) are given their first detailed consideration in this compelling work of intellectual and literary history.
Drawing on extensive archival research in the English and Spanish languages, John Morán González revisits the 1930s as a crucial decade for the vibrant Mexican American reclamation of Texas history. Border Renaissance pays tribute to this vital turning point in the Mexican American struggle for civil rights.
A richly textured and well crafted work that will stand as one of the best in the field of Mexican American literature.~John-Michael Rivera
- Preface and Acknowledgments
- Introduction: Renaissance in the Borderlands
- Chapter 1: "Texanizing Texans": Texas Centennial Discourses of Racial Pedagogy
- Chapter 2: "This Is Our Grand Lone Star State": Reclaiming Texas History in Elena Zamora O'Shea's El Mesquite
- Chapter 3: Forging Bicultural U.S. Citizenship: LULAC and the Making of Mexican American Aesthetics
- Chapter 4: A Mexico-Texan Interlude: Américo Paredes, Border Modernity, and the Demise of Patriarchal Anticolonialism
- Chapter 5: Mujeres Fronterizas: Writing Tejana Agency into the Texas Centennial Era
- Epilogue: From Centennial to Sesquicentennial
- Works Cited