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

Octavio Romano

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday Press Spotlight: University of Oklahoma Press

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Like many university presses, the University of Oklahoma Press has had a long successful run. Publishing for more than 75 years, the University of Oklahoma Press has gained international recognition as an outstanding publisher of scholarly literature. It was the first university press established in the Southwest, and the fourth in the western half of the country.

For submission guidelines.

"The Press began as the idea of William Bennett Bizzell, fifth president of the University of Oklahoma and a wide-ranging humanist and book collector. Over the years, the Press has grown from a staff of one--the first director, Joseph A. Brandt--to an active and capable team of almost fifty members...Under the guidance of the present director, B. Byron Price, the major goal of the Press is to strengthen its position as a preeminent publisher of books about the American West and American Indians, while expanding its program in other scholarly disciplines, including classical studies, military history, political science, and natural science." -- from website

OU Press runs the Chicana and Chicano Visions of the Américas series.

Bonfires of Culture: Franciscans, Indigenous Leaders, and the Inquisition in Early Mexico, 1524-1540

By Patricia Lopes Don

An inside look at an oppressive phase of Spanish colonization

In their efforts to convert indigenous peoples, Franciscan friars brought the Spanish Inquisition to early-sixteenth-century Mexico. Patricia Lopes Don now investigates these trials to offer an inside look at this brief but consequential episode of Spanish methods of colonization, providing a fresh interpretation of an early period that has remained too long understudied.

Drawing on previously underutilized records of Inquisition proceedings, Don examines four of the most important trials of native leaders to uncover the Franciscans’ motivations for using the Inquisition and the indigenous response to it.

She focuses on the consecutive impact of four trials — against nahualli Martín Ocelotl, an influential native priest; Andrés Mixcoatl, an advocate of open resistance to the Franciscans; Miguel Pochtecatl Tlaylotla, a guardian of native religious artifacts; and Don Carlos of Texcoco, a native chief burned at the stake for heresy.

Don reveals the heart of Bishop Zumárraga’s methods of conducting the trials — including spectacular bonfires in which any native idols found in the possession of professed converts were destroyed. Don’s knowledge of the contemporary Spain that shaped the friars’ perspectives enables her to offer new understanding of the evolution of Franciscan attitudes toward evangelization.

Bonfires of Culture reexamines important primary documents and offers a new perspective on a pivotal historical era.
Pio Pico: The Last Governor of Mexican California
By Carlos Manuel Salomon

The first biography of a politically savvy Californio who straddled three eras

Thanks to this expertly researched and vividly written biography by a next-generation historian making a stunning debut, Pío Pico now emerges into full historical perspective as a pivotal and representative figure in the transition of California from Mexican province to American state.”—Kevin Starr, Professor of History, University of Southern California

Two-time governor of Alta California and prominent businessman after the U.S. annexation, Pío de Jesus Pico was a politically savvy Californio who thrived in both the Mexican and the American periods.

This is the first biography of Pico, whose life vibrantly illustrates the opportunities and risks faced by Mexican Americans in those transitional years.

Carlos Manuel Salomon breathes life into the story of Pico, who — despite his mestizo-black heritage — became one of the wealthiest men in California thanks to real estate holdings and who was the last major Californio political figure with economic clout.

Salomon traces Pico’s complicated political rise during the Mexican era, leading a revolt against the governor in 1831 that swept him into that office. During his second governorship in 1845 Pico fought in vain to save California from the invading forces of the United States.

Pico faced complex legal and financial problems under the American regime. Salomon argues that it was Pico’s legal struggles with political rivals and land-hungry swindlers that ultimately resulted in the loss of Pico’s entire fortune. Yet as the most litigious Californio of his time, he consistently demonstrated his refusal to become a victim.

Pico is an important transitional figure whose name still resonates in many Southern California locales. His story offers a new view of California history that anticipates a new perspective on the multicultural fabric of the state.
The Essays
 By Rudolfo Anaya; Foreword by Robert Con Davis-Undiano

Volume 7 in the Chicana and Chicano Visions of the Américas series

The first published collection of Rudolfo Anaya’s essays

“The storyteller’s gift is my inheritance,” writes Rudolfo Anaya in his essay “Shaman of Words.” Although he is best known for Bless Me, Ultima and other novels, his writing also takes the form of nonfiction, and in these 52 essays he draws on both his heritage as a Mexican American and his gift for storytelling. Besides tackling issues such as censorship, racism, education, and sexual politics, Anaya explores the tragedies and triumphs of his own life.

Collected here are Anaya’s published essays. Despite his wide acclaim as the founder of Chicano literature, no previous volume has attempted to gather Anaya’s nonfiction into one edition. A companion to The Man Who Could Fly and Other Stories, the collection of Anaya’s short stories, The Essays is an essential anthology for followers of Anaya and those interested in Chicano literature.

Dreaming on a Sunday in the Alameda and Other Plays

By Carlos Morton

This innovative collection, featuring three plays by Carlos Morton, spans five centuries of Mexican and Mexican American history. In the tradition of teatro campesino, these plays present provocative revisions of historical events.
The first play, "La Malinche," challenges the historical record of the tragic clash between Indians and Spaniards. The near-mythical La Malinche, who betrayed her country for love of Hernan Cortez but was then betrayed by him, is freed from the bonds of history to have her vengeance. She saves her legacy and destroys the legacy of the conquistador.

In the second play, "Dreaming on a Sunday in the Alameda," characters from a mural by painter Diego Rivera come to life to depict four centuries of Mexican history. Among these, Frida Kahlo, Rivera’s wife, finally steps out of his shadow as a woman and artist in her own right.

Esperanza, a libretto for an opera, tells the story of Mexican miners who labored in twentieth-century Silver City, New Mexico. Based on the classic movie Salt of the Earth, this play deftly portrays the crisis that foretold the rise of the Chicano movement.
Crossing Vines

A Novel
By Rigoberto González

In the grim reality of Southern California’s grape fields, even the sun is a dark spot. For the migrant grape pickers in Crossing Vines, Rigoberto González’s novel that spans a single workday, the sun is a constant, malevolent force.

The characters endure back-breaking, monotonous work as they succumb to the whims of their corrupt bosses. Each minute the sun rises higher in the sky is an eternity.

The textures, smells, sights, and emotions of their daily existences engulf the lives of the Mexican laborers.

Scarce drinking water, sweltering heat, splintered fingers, contempt for the job, and violence toward one another compose their unflinchingly dark world. In González’s brutally honest story, the characters are compelled forward mercilessly by the rising crisis that envelops their interconnected stories.

This uncompromisingly thought-provoking tale gives names and faces to the anonymous agricultural laborers, whose lives are like the tangled vines of the fruits of their labor. Volume 2 in the Chicana and Chicano Visions of the Américas series
The Man Who Could Fly and Other Stories

By Rudolfo Anaya
Volume 5 in the Chicana and Chicano Visions of the Américas series

“I am continually thinking stories,” writes Rudolfo Anaya. “Even when I am working on a novel, the images for stories keep coming.”

Considered by many to be the founder of modern Chicano literature, Rudolfo Anaya, best known for Bless Me, Ultima and other novels, has also authored a number of remarkable short stories. Now for the first time, these stories, representing thirty years of Anaya’s writing, have been collected into a single volume. They constitute the best and most essential collection of Anaya’s short story work.

Unlike his novels, which range broadly over the American tapestry, Anaya’s short stories focus on character and ethical questions in a regional setting — from the harsh deserts of the American Southwest and northern Mexico to the lush tropical forests of Uxmal in the Yucatán.

These tales demonstrate Anaya’s singular attitude toward fiction: that stories create myths to live and love by. “In the end the story has to speak for itself,” Anaya writes. “Its purpose can be studied, but never fully known.”

With The Man Who Could Fly and Other Stories, the reader ventures deeply into the world of Rudolfo Anaya, a world of magic, mystery, harsh realities, and redemption.
Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico
By Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz; Foreword by Simon J. Ortiz

An updated edition of a seminal work on the history of land ownership in the Southwest

“Underscores the centrality of land questions for this vital and diverse section of the United States — questions that continue to energize public discourse, state politics, and cultural reflections.” —Juan Gómez-Quiñones, author of Roots of Chicano Politics, 1600–1940

In New Mexico — once a Spanish colony, then part of Mexico — Pueblo Indians and descendants of Spanish- and Mexican-era settlers still think of themselves as distinct peoples, each with a dynamic history.

At the core of these persistent cultural identities is each group’s historical relationship to the others and to the land, a connection that changed dramatically when the United States wrested control of the region from Mexico in 1848.

In Roots of Resistance — now offered in an updated paperback edition — Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz provides a history of land ownership in northern New Mexico from 1680 to the present.

She shows how indigenous and Mexican farming communities adapted and preserved their fundamental democratic social and economic institutions, despite losing control of their land to capitalist entrepreneurs and becoming part of a low-wage labor force.

In a new final chapter, Dunbar-Ortiz applies the lessons of this history to recent conflicts in New Mexico over ownership and use of land and control of minerals, timber, and water.


tomorrow: Lunes con Lalo


The link we share with you today is: List of Banned Books

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