Archives of Dispossession: Recovering the Testimonios of Mexican American Herederas, 1848-1960

Archives of Dispossession: Recovering the Testimonios of Mexican American Herederas, 1848-1960

by Karen R. Roybal

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Overview

One method of American territory expansion in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands was the denial of property rights to Mexican landowners, which led to dispossession. Many historical accounts overlook this colonial impact on Indigenous and Mexican peoples, and existing studies that do tackle this subject tend to privilege the male experience. Here, Karen R. Roybal recenters the focus of dispossession on women, arguing that gender, sometimes more than race, dictated legal concepts of property ownership and individual autonomy. Drawing on a diverse source base—legal land records, personal letters, and literature—Roybal locates voices of Mexican American women in the Southwest to show how they fought against the erasure of their rights, both as women and as landowners. Woven throughout Roybal's analysis are these women's testimonios—their stories focusing on inheritance, property rights, and shifts in power. Roybal positions these testimonios as an alternate archive that illustrates the myriad ways in which multiple layers of dispossession—and the changes of property ownership in Mexican law—affected the formation of Mexicana identity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469633831
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 08/08/2017
Series: Gender and American Culture
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 186
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Karen R. Roybal is assistant professor of Southwest studies at Colorado College.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Through a focus on archives, 'herederas,' and testimonios, Roybal weaves together disparate authors since 1848 in an original critical framework that is at once innovative, provocative, and feminist. A bona fide contribution to Chicana/o literary studies.—Jose Aranda Jr., Rice University

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