Before Chicano: Citizenship and the Making of Mexican American Manhood, 1848-1959

Before Chicano: Citizenship and the Making of Mexican American Manhood, 1848-1959

by Alberto Varon

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Uncovers the long history of how Latino manhood was integral to the formation of Latino identity

In the first ever book-length study of Latino manhood before the Civil Rights Movement, Before Chicano examines Mexican American print culture to explore how conceptions of citizenship and manhood developed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The year 1848 saw both the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the U.S. Mexican War and the year of the Seneca Falls Convention, the first organized conference on women’s rights in the United States. These concurrent events signaled new ways of thinking about U.S. citizenship, and placing these historical moments into conversation with the archive of Mexican American print culture, Varon offers an expanded temporal frame for Mexican Americans as long-standing participants in U.S. national projects.

Pulling from a wide-variety of familiar and lesser-known works—from fiction and newspapers to government documents, images, and travelogues—Varon illustrates how Mexican Americans during this period envisioned themselves as U.S. citizens through cultural depictions of manhood. Before Chicano reveals how manhood offered a strategy to disparate Latino communities across the nation to imagine themselves as a cohesive whole—as Mexican Americans—and as political agents in the U.S. Though the Civil Rights Movement is typically recognized as the origin point for the study of Latino culture, Varon pushes us to consider an intellectual history that far predates the late twentieth century, one that is both national and transnational. He expands our framework for imagining Latinos’ relationship to the U.S. and to a past that is often left behind.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781479831197
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 07/31/2018
Series: America and the Long 19th Century Series , #21
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Alberto Varon is Assistant Professor of English and Latino Studies at Indiana University Bloomington.

Table of Contents

List of Figures xi

Introduction: Against Xenophobic Citizenship 1

1 Outlaw Citizenship: Mexican American Manhood and Banditry 29

2 Fantasy Citizenship: Mexican American Manhood and the Shifting Structures of Legal Belonging 63

3 Expatriate Citizenship: Manhood, México de Afuera, and Josefina Niggli's Step Down, Elder Brother 101

4 Economic Citizenship: Labored and Laboring Manhood in Américo Paredes's George Washington Gomez and Jovita González and Eve Raleigh's Caballero 137

5 Queer Citizenship: José Antonio Villarreal's Pocho and Chicano Cultural Nationalism of the Late Nineteenth Century 177

Epilogue: Notes toward the Past's Future, or the Future's Forgotten Past 213

Acknowledgments 217

Notes 221

Bibliography 249

Index 269

About the Author 281

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