Event—Scholarly Seminars

Jamie Lara Bronstein, New Mexico State University, and Juan Ignacio Mora, University of Illinois

"Big Trouble in 'Little Texas,' The Chicano Movement in Southern New Mexico, 1968-1977," and "In-Between: Latino Intermediaries and Death in Transit, 1942-1969"


Big Trouble in “Little Texas," The Chicano Movement in Southern New Mexico, 1968-1977, Jamie Lara Bronstein While the story of the Chicano Movement in Albuquerque and northern New Mexico has been delineated, its trajectory in New Mexico’s border counties has remained largely undocumented. This paper contrasts three southern New Mexico cities, revealing the surprising finding that the most active node of the movement occurred in the southeastern quadrant of the state, nicknamed “Little Texas.” There, under the pressure of deep-seated racism, bound together by political alienation and aided by government antipoverty initiatives, activists maintained a social-justice focus across many smaller communities.

In-Between: Latino Intermediaries and Death in Transit, 1942-1969, Juan Ignacio Mora During the 1940s-1960s, Latino farmworkers propelled Michigan’s agricultural industry. This paper examines two aspects of being in-between: the individuals who functioned as intermediaries between the growers and other migrant workers, and the fact that contracted workers were constantly in-between their location of residence and their location of labor. Tejano intermediaries oscillated between serving the needs of growers, other migrant workers, and themselves. For many reasons, the act of migrating to and throughout Michigan’s agricultural areas proved to be life-threatening, as evidenced by the numerous deaths of migrant workers. The state of being in-between informed much of the Midwestern migratory experience.

Respondent: Delia Fernández, Michigan State University