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Mythohistorical Interventions

Mythohistorical Interventions: The Chicano Movement and Its Legacies

Lee Bebout
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 264
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  • Book Info
    Mythohistorical Interventions
    Book Description:

    Mythohistorical Interventions explores how myth and history impacted the social struggle of the Chicano movement and the postmovement years. Drawing on archival materials and political speeches as well as music and protest poetry, Lee Bebout scrutinizes the ideas that emerged from the effort to organize and legitimize the Chicano movement’s aims.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-7681-1
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[vi])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [vii]-[viii])
  3. INTRODUCTION: Mythohistorical Interventions at the Intersection of American Studies and Chicana/o Studies
    (pp. 1-32)

    This book, at its core, is about stories, power, and the power of stories. In particular,Mythohistorical Interventionsexplores the role of myth and history in the social struggle of the Chicano movement and the postmovement era.¹ All too often social movements are seen in terms of their strategies—mass protests, boycotts, petitions—and their goals of economic and political gains. Potentially overlooked, however, are the narratives that emerge from struggle in order to organize and legitimize such efforts, narratives that are manifested in political speeches and protest poetry as well as music and memoir. I contend that myth and...

  4. CHAPTER 1 Locating the Mythohistorical: Three Tales in the Struggle for Hegemony
    (pp. 33-70)

    Looking to the Chicano movement and postmovement era, the mythohistorical is seemingly everywhere—in political speeches and plays, ballads and newspapers, on picket lines and in the academy. To understand this pervasive presence, one must understand why these locations and the narratives that course through them have been an essential part of the struggle.Walkout,the 2006 HBO film detailing the Chicano high school protests in 1960s Los Angeles, provides a rich example. In an early scene, Sal Castro, a high school teacher, asks his students to find the section of the textbook that tells of the Chicanos who fought...

  5. CHAPTER 2 Hero Making in El Movimiento: Reies López Tijerina and the Chicano Nationalist Imaginary
    (pp. 71-104)

    While social movements may turn to the mythohistorical as mobilizing forces, they may not do so in a clear, unified manner. During the Chicano movement, artists and activists drew upon a variety of images and narratives, ranging from a pre-Columbian indigenous past to the Mexican Revolution of the early twentieth century. Arguably, this mythohistorical diversity is a reflection of the divergences between and within constituent components of the movement. Yet, disparate mythohistorical deployments also converged as participatory agents of struggle spoke to and influenced one another. This dual movement of divergence and convergence created rich sites of tension. For scholars...

  6. CHAPTER 3 Of Mothers and Revolucionarias: Movement Chicanas Fashioning a Feminism of Their Own
    (pp. 105-148)

    Two women of the New Mexico land grant movement, and assuredly many others, challenged the gendered scripts of the Chicano nationalist imaginary. On June 5, 1967, Rosa Tijerina, along with other members of the Alianza Federal de Mercedes, took part in the infamous courthouse raid in Tierra Amarilla. She was eighteen years old at the time.¹ Two years later, Patricia “Patsy” Tijerina, Rosa’s stepmother, threw a firebomb and burned a U.S. Forest Service sign. The incident eventually led to the imprisonment of Rosa’s father and Patsy’s husband, Reies López Tijerina. Throughout the efforts in New Mexico and the Chicano movement...

  7. CHAPTER 4 Queer Genealogies: Chicana Lesbian Feminism and the Postmovement Era
    (pp. 149-186)

    Sylvia Morales’s 1979 documentary Chicana is a touchstone for Chicana/o intellectual history and cultural production.¹ The script by Anna NietoGomez explodes the traditional image that confined la Chicana to the role of passive, nurturing mother, offering a sweeping history of Mexicana-Chicana agency reminiscent of Martha Cotera’sDiosa y Hembra.In doing so,Chicanafashions a counternarrative to the earlier, androcentric films of the movement years. WhereasYo Soy Joaquín(1969) andYo Soy Chicano(1972) placed men at the center of nationalist struggle, eliding the contributions of women,Chicanaputs forth a feminist corrective, arguing that Chicana activism is crucial...

  8. CONCLUSION: Echoes of El Movimiento and Other Mythohistorical Interventions
    (pp. 187-196)

    Stretching more than a half-mile through the Tujunga Flood Control Channel,The Great Wall of Los Angelesinscribes a visual history onto the urban landscape of Los Angeles, California. Large concrete panels of the drainage canal form the canvas. Telling the disparate histories of Californians, the mural moves from prehistoric times to the midtwentieth century. Spanish/indigenous contact, California as Mexican frontier, Chinese railroad labor, the dust bowl, the zoot suit riots, political struggles of African Americans, and other significant moments are woven together to forge a common, yet multifaceted narrative foundation for Southern California. However, the history ofThe Great...

  9. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 197-200)
  10. Notes
    (pp. 201-228)
  11. Bibliography
    (pp. 229-244)
  12. Index
    (pp. 245-248)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 249-249)