I am an interdisciplinary scholar working at the intersections of Latinx, American, and Latin American studies, with an emphasis on transnational approaches to these fields. My scholarship is animated by two commitments. First, I aim to recover and foreground the voices and forms of knowledge produced by colonized and dispossessed peoples. Second, I am dedicated to examining the transnational and historically informed presence and contributions of Latinx people to the making of the U.S. nation. To these ends, my work foregrounds the continuous life of Mexican Americans within and around the United States, especially through an analysis of their literary and cultural expressions, a focus on Spanish-language print culture materials, and by seeking out archives that illuminate Mexican American struggles over inequalities. I also examine Mexico’s continuing role as a protagonist in the making of Mexican American political subjectivities. By this I mean that I consider Mexican Americans’ continuing commitment to Mexican politics and culture even as their lives were embedded in the U.S. imperial order as a consequence of the U.S.-Mexican war. Such work not only provides a historical grounding for contemporary Chicanx identities, it adds an attention to the long history of their roles as dynamic agents in multiple nations, and to the influence of other national projects in the U.S. national space.
I am currently working on a book manuscript that grapples with such issues by studying Mexican American engagements with the Mexican Revolution. Titled “Revolutionary Subjects: The Mexican Revolution in Mexican American Cultural Politics, 1910-1959,” the book argues that Mexicans in the United States responded to the political and social exigencies arising from the Revolution in ways that were influenced by their conditions as members of an embattled and emerging ethnic group. These engagements resulted in a geopolitically-grounded border knowledge that imagined Mexican American relationships to and critiques of the United States in ways that were mediated by their engagements with Mexican politics and culture. This project allows for a continued examination of how Mexican Americans have been excluded from the United States, but adds a focus on how they have operated as dynamic parts of multiple nations and of transnational phenomena. I have published essays related to this work in Women’s Studies Quarterly, CR: The New Centennial Review, and in the volume Open Borders to a Revolution: Culture, Politics, and Migration (eds. Jaime Marroquín Arredondo, Adela Pineda Franco, and Magdalena Mieri).
Moreover, my research emphasizes the collective effort of recovering and examining little-known source materials that are vital to continued innovation of thought. Most of the literary works I examine in my book manuscript were originally written in the early twentieth century and have been recovered recently. I have engaged most directly in the process of recovery through my work on Spanish-language newspapers in the U.S. Southwest—an archive I draw from extensively in my scholarship. My work on early twentieth-century newspaper and literary writings by Mexicans in the United States led to my appointment as a contributing editor for the Heath Anthology of American Literature in 2011. I am also on the national advisory board for the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project directed by Nicolás Kanellos and based at the University of Houston.