During the early decades of the 20th century the nation of Mexico entered the modern era through a series of social, political, and economic transformations spurred by the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920. At the same time, American film companies increasingly sought opportunities to expand their market share by exporting films to exhibitionists in Mexico and Latin America. As government bureaucrats and progressive reformers sought to unify and rebuild the Mexican state, the cinema became a critical site through which the post-revolutionary ideals of modernization, secularism, and ethnic nationalism were promoted.
In Making Cinelandia: American Films and Mexican Film Culture Before the Golden Age (Duke University Press, 2014), Associate Professor of Critical Studies in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California Laura Isabel Serna vividly describes the process of cultural exchange that played out across the U.S.-Mexico borderlands during this critical period in the development of the modern Mexican state. Focusing on the “agency of Mexican audiences, distributers, cinema owners, and journalists,” Professor Serna narrates the dynamic process of how American film was received, interpreted, and fashioned to meet the needs of Mexican state officials and a “transnational Mexican audience.” Illuminating alternative responses to Mexicana/o “encounters with American mass culture” that did not always result in the acculturation of American values, Dr. Serna argues that movie going promoted a growing sense of Mexican national identity among the emerging diasporic community of transnational Mexican citizens in the post-revolutionary era.
Listen to this conversation in full at New Books in Latino Studies.
Join me in welcoming Dr. Maria Montoya to the BHIP as she helps us bring this fantastic year for the Borderlands History Blog to a close. I was fortunate to meet with her at the Western History Association conference in Portland, Oregon. It was a chilly morning in late October when I sat with Professor Montoya to discuss her research, teaching, and new projects. We discussed the convergence of Western and Borderlands history in her work and teaching. Dr. Montoya is currently Associate Professor of History at New York University. She received her M.A. in 1990 and her PhD in 1993 from Yale University.
Dr. Montoya has written extensively on the history of the American West and borderlands. Her first book Translating Property: The Maxwell Land Grant and the Conflict Over Land in the American West, 1840 to 1920 about the various state and capitalist forces that altered the American landscape after 1848 received excellent reviews, she has several articles and chapters in edited volumes including one with Vicki Ruiz and John Chavez, titled “Creating an American Home: Work, Gender and Space in Rockefeller’s Coal Towns.” Her second manuscript titled: Taking Care of American Workers: The Origins of Universal Healthcare in the American West 1900-1950 and a text book Global Americans: A Social and Global History of the United States are both forthcoming. We talked about what inspired her research and her teaching, and how borderlands history and methods have influenced how she engages her scholarship. Continue reading
There’s a fantastic postdoc opportunity available at UC Santa Cruz. The Chicano Latino Research Center is looking for qualified applicants for a one-year postdoctoral position. It’s open to specialists in all fields in humanities and social sciences with expertise in migration studies. From the job posting:
The successful candidate will be expected to carry out original research, independently or in collaboration with faculty, students, or visiting scholars affiliated with the Chicano Latino Research Center and units with which we collaborate; to participate in seminar activities with faculty, students, and visiting scholars, such as workshops, film screenings, lectures, and colloquia; and to help build a research and teaching tool for scholars, teachers, and other researchers with an interest in migration, mobility, and/or (non-)citizenship, such as a syllabus bank. There are no teaching obligations.
RANK: Postdoctoral Scholar
SALARY: $42,840-$51,615 annually, commensurate with qualifications and experience.
BASIC QUALIFICATIONS: Ph.D. or equivalent foreign degree in the humanities or humanistic social sciences is expected to be completed by July 1, 2016.
POSITION AVAILABLE: September 01, 2016 – August 31, 2017, Ph.D. must be conferred at the time of appointment.
For more information, follow the link. Good luck!
The Department of Mexican American Studies (MAS) in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) at the University of Arizona invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professor position with demonstrated research interests in one or more of the following areas: Border Studies, Migration Studies, Demography, and Social Justice. Access job posting at: https://uacareers.com/postings/7000
We wanted to thank all of you who read the blog for your support. We’ve just passed 1,000 followers on Twitter and are excited about growing even more in the coming year. We look forward to continuing this work and having you along for the journey.