"Chicano writers from El Paso are the most progressive, open-minded, far-reaching, and inclusive writers of them all."

Octavio Romano

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Press Spotlight: University of Texas Press

Sunday Press Spotlight


I chose the University of Texas Press for this Sunday's spotlight because I like the output they are putting out this year.

Texas Press was founded in 1950 and in its 60-year career, it published a lot of good stuff. Most impressive are scholarly book on Chicanos(as). The press publishes 11 journals. The University of Texas Press has published more than 2,000 books over five decades. Currently a staff of 50, under the direction of Joanna Hitchcock, brings out some 90 books and 11 journals annually.

Just in the last year, they have published David Montejano's history of the Chicano Movement in San Antonio (forthcoming), Emma Perez' historical novel 92009), Samuel Brunk's book on Zapata, Mario T. Garcia's book on Catholics and the Chicano Movement.

Now, here are some links to some University of Texas Press books we've already mentioned on the Pluma Fronteriza blog and some that are forthcoming:

Making a Killing: Femicide, Free Trade, and La Frontera (University of Texas Press Nov 2010) edited by Alicia Gaspar de Alba with Georgina Guzmán. READ MORE.

Mexican Women and the Other Side of Immigration: Engendering Transnational Ties 
(Chicana Matters)(Univ of Texas Press June 15, 2010 ISBN-10: 0292722036)
Luz María Gordillo. READ MORE.

Católicos: Resistance and Affirmation in Chicano Catholic History (Univ of Texas Press Jan 2010 ISBN-10: 0292718411) by Mario T. Garcia. READ MORE.

Our Lady of Controversy: Alma Lopez Irreverent Apparition, Alicia Gaspar de Alba and Alma Lopez. (University of Texas Press) - forthcoming

Bueno, like I said, there a lot of new titles of interest off this press this year and there is a lot of good forthcoming stuff:

(Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Series in Latin American and Latino Art and Culture)(Univ of Texas Press Jan 2010 ISBN-10: 0292718500), Samuel Brunk . 

Before there was Che Guevara, there was Emiliano Zapata, the charismatic revolutionary who left indelible marks on Mexican politics and society. The sequel to Samuel Brunk's 1995 biography of Zapata, The Posthumous Career of Emiliano Zapata traces the power and impact of this ubiquitous, immortalized figure. 

Mining the massive extant literature on Zapata, supplemented by archival documents and historical newspaper accounts, Brunk explores frameworks of myth and commemoration while responding to key questions regarding the regime that emerged from the Zapatista movement, including whether it was spawned by a genuinely "popular" revolution. 

Blending a sophisticated analysis of hegemonic systems and nationalism with lively, accessible accounts of ways in which the rebel is continually resurrected decades after his death in a 1919 ambush, Brunk delves into a rich realm of artistic, geographical, militaristic, and ultimately all-encompassing applications of this charismatic icon. 

Examining all perspectives, from politicized commemorations of Zapata's death to popular stories and corridos, The Posthumous Career of Emiliano Zapata is an eloquent, engaging portrait of a legend incarnate.

 (Univ of Texas Press Oct 15, 2010 ISBN-10: 0292721846), Susannah Joel Glusker (Editor), Carlos Monsiváis (Foreword). 

The Mexican Revolution, that violent, inchoate, never-quite-complete break with the pastoopened a new era in Mexican art and letters now known as the "Mexican Renaissance." 

In Mexico City, a coterie of artists including Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco & David Alfaro Siqueiros explored how art could forward revolutionary idealsoand, in the process, spent countless hours talking, gossiping, arguing & partying. Into this milieu came Anita Brenner, in her early twenties already trying her hand as a journalist, art critic & anthropologist. 

Her journals of the period 1925 to 1930 vividly transport us to this vital moment in Mexico, when building a "new nation" was the goal. Brenner became a member of Rivera's inner circle & her journals provide fascinating portraits of its members, including Orozco, Siqueiros, Rufino Tamayo & Jean Charlot, with whom she had an unusual loving relationship. 

She captures the major and minor players in the act of creating works for which they are now famous and records their comings and goings, alliances and feuds. Numerous images of their art brilliantly counterpoint her diary descriptions. 

Brenner also reveals her own maturation as a perceptive observer and writer who, at twenty-four, published her first book, Idols Behind Altars. Her initial plan for Idols included four hundred images taken by photographers Edward Weston and Tina Modotti. 

Many of these images, which were ultimately not included in Idols, are published here for the first time along with stunning portraits of Brenner herself. Setting the scene for the journal is well-known Mexican cultural critic Carlos Monsivais, who offers an illuminating discussion of the Mexican Renaissance and the circle around Diego Rivera. 

(Cmas History, Culture, & Society Series)(Univ of Texas Press Mar 2010 ISBN-10: 0292721749), Sandra K. Soto. 

A race-based oppositional paradigm has informed Chicano studies since its emergence. In this work, Sandra K. Soto replaces that paradigm with a less didactic, more flexible framework geared for a queer analysis of the discursive relationship between racialization and sexuality.

Through rereadings of a diverse range of widely discussed writers -- from Américo Paredes to Cherríe Moraga -- Soto demonstrates that representations of racialization actually depend on the sexual and that a racialized sexuality is a heretofore unrecognized organizing principle of Chican@ literature, even in the most unlikely texts. 

Soto gives us a broader and deeper engagement with Chican@ representations of racialization, desire, and both inter- and intracultural social relations. While several scholars have begun to take sexuality seriously by invoking the rich terrain of contemporary Chicana feminist literature for its portrayal of culturally specific and historically laden gender and sexual frameworks, as well as for its imaginative transgressions against them, this is the first study to theorize racialized sexuality as pervasive to and enabling of the canon of Chican@ literature. 

Exemplifying the broad usefulness of queer theory by extending its critical tools and anti-heteronormative insights to racialization, Soto stages a crucial intervention amid a certain loss of optimism that circulates both as a fear that queer theory was a fad whose time has passed, and that queer theory is incapable of offering an incisive, politically grounded analysis in and of the current historical moment. 

(Univ of Texas Press Jan 2010 ISBN-10: 0292718632), Camilla Fojas .

The southern frontier is one of the most emotionally charged zones in the United States, second only to its historical predecessor and partner, the western frontier. Though they span many genres, border films share common themes, trace the mood swings of public policy, and shape our cultural agenda.

In this examination, Camilla Fojas studies how major Hollywood films exploit the border between Mexico and the United States to tell a story about U.S. dominance in the American hemisphere. She charts the shift from the mythos of the open western frontier to that of the embattled southern frontier by offering in-depth analyses of particular border films, from post-World War II Westerns to drug-trafficking films to contemporary Latino/a cinema, within their historical and political contexts. Fojas argues that Hollywood border films do important social work by offering a cinematic space through which viewers can manage traumatic and undesirable histories and ultimately reaffirm core "American" values. 

At the same time, these border narratives delineate opposing values and ideas. Latino border films offer a critical vantage onto these topics; they challenge the presumptions of U.S. nationalism and subsequent cultural attitudes about immigrants and immigration, and often critically reconstruct their Hollywood kin. By analyzing films such as Duel in the Sun, The Wild Bunch, El Norte, The Border, Traffic, and Brokeback Mountain, Fojas demands that we reexamine the powerful mythology of the Hollywood borderlands. 

This detailed scrutiny recognizes that these films are part of a national narrative comprised of many texts and symbols that create the myth of the United States as capital of the Americas.


(Univ of Texas Nov 2009 ISBN: 978-0-292-72248-4), Dawn Adès and Alison McClean. The Mexican revolution of 1910–1920 gave rise to an artistic explosion that was felt most profoundly in printmaking. The left-wing government viewed art as an important vehicle for education and the promotion of revolutionary values. It established a program to cover the walls of public buildings with murals and set up numerous workshops to produce prints for wide distribution. 

By the 1930s, Mexico was attracting socially committed artists from all over the American continent and beyond, ready to do battle for a new aesthetic as well as a new political order. Diego Rivera, a key figure in the art of revolution, became one of the most celebrated artists in the world. Starting with works by José Guadalupe Posada, who was adopted by the revolutionaries as the archetypal printmaker for the people, Revolution on Paper features prints by thirty-five artists, including the "Three Greats" of Mexican art of the period—Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. 

The selection includes not only single-sheet artists' prints, but also posters addressing social and political issues, and illustrated books on many different subjects. Images of the revolutionary hero Emiliano Zapata, scenes of poverty, hunger, and oppression, and posters protesting against fascism and the war in Europe contrast with representations of Mexican history and idealized rural life that express what was regarded as typically "Mexican." Introductory essays by Dawn Adès and Alison McClean set Mexican printmaking in its artistic and political context. Concise biographies of the artists, a chronology, and a glossary of printmaking terms complete the book. http://www.utexas.edu/utpress/books/aderep.html

(Univ of Texas July 2010 ISBN: 978-0-292-72195-1). 

The period following the Mexican Revolution was characterized by unprecedented artistic experimentation. Seeking to express the revolution's heterogeneous social and political aims, which were in a continuous state of redefinition, architects, artists, writers, and intellectuals created distinctive, sometimes idiosyncratic theories and works. 

Luis E. Carranza examines the interdependence of modern architecture in Mexico and the pressing sociopolitical and ideological issues of this period, as well as the interchanges between post-revolutionary architects and the literary, philosophical, and artistic avant-gardes. 

Organizing his book around chronological case studies that show how architectural theory and production reflected various understandings of the revolution's significance, Carranza focuses on architecture and its relationship to the philosophical and pedagogic requirements of the muralist movement, the development of the avant-garde in Mexico and its notions of the Mexican city, the use of pre-Hispanic architectural forms to address indigenous peoples, the development of a socially oriented architectural functionalism, and the monumentalization of the revolution itself. In addition, the book also covers important architects and artists who have been marginally discussed within architectural and art historiography. Richly illustrated, Architecture as Revolution is one of the first books in English to present a social and cultural history of early twentieth-century Mexican architecture. http://www.utexas.edu/utpress/books/cararc.html

(Univ of Texas press April 2010 ISBN: 978-0-292-72168-5), By Eduardo de J. Douglas. 

Eduardo de J. Douglas offers a detailed critical analysis and historical contextualization of the manuscripts to argue that colonial economic, political, and social concerns affected both the content of the three Tetzcocan pictorial histories and their archaizing pictorial form. 

As documents composed by indigenous people to assert their standing as legitimate heirs of the Aztec rulers as well as loyal subjects of the Spanish Crown and good Catholics, the Tetzcocan manuscripts qualify as subtle yet shrewd negotiations between indigenous and Spanish systems of signification and between indigenous and Spanish concepts of real property and political rights. 

By reading the Tetzcocan manuscripts as calculated responses to the changes and challenges posed by Spanish colonization and Christian evangelization, Douglas's study significantly contributes to and expands upon the scholarship on central Mexican manuscript painting and recent critical investigations of art and political ideology in colonial Latin America. http://www.utexas.edu/utpress/books/doupal.html

(Univ of Texas Press April 2010 ISBN: 978-0-292-72192-0), By Cheleen Ann-Catherine Mahar. 

Colonia Hermosa, now considered a suburb of Oaxaca, began as a squatter settlement in the 1950s. The original residents came in search of transformation from migrants to urban citizens, struggling from rural poverty for the chance to be part of the global economy in Oaxaca. 

Cheleen Ann-Catherine Mahar charts the lives of a group of residents in Colonia Hermosa over a period of thirty years, as Mexico became more closely tied into the structures of global capital, and the residents of Colonia Hermosa struggled to survive. http://www.utexas.edu/utpress/books/mahrei.html


(Univ of Texas Press 2010 ISBN: 978-0-292-72209-5), Chloë Sayer. 

Mexico has a vast range of annual festivals; several commemorate national events, but most are religious or spiritual in inspiration. After the Spanish Conquest of 1521, Roman Catholic teachings fused with the beliefs of native civilizations, so that even today the popular arts and crafts draw upon the Church as a rich source of imagery and a catalyst for creativity.

Fiestas are often lavish and extremely costly. Sayer gives a contemporary context to these colorful annual celebrations and shows how these festivities are uniquely Mexican. http://www.utexas.edu/utpress/books/sayfie.html

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