Hispanic Heritage Month Reading List

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! Please enjoy this curated list of new and exemplary publications in Latin American studies.

Playful Protest: The Political Work of Joy in Latinx Media

By Kristie Soares

Daring and original, Playful Protest examines how Latinx creators resist the idea that joy only exists outside politics and activist struggle.

Journal of American Ethnic History

“Hispanic Racialization, Citizenship, and the Colorado Border Blockade of 1936” by Monica W. Varsanyi 

This article details how Governor Edwin “Big Ed” Johnson’s blockade contributed to the racialization—by both Anglos and Hispanics—of Mexican immigrants and Hispanics in the Southwest during the New Deal Era. This case study also offers a rare example of a state’s attempt to usurp the federal government’s plenary power over immigration during the twentieth century, a time when the federal government’s control over immigration was relatively unquestioned. 

Flaco’s Legacy: The Globalization of Conjunto

By Erin E. Bauer

A rare look at a fascinating musical phenomenon, Flaco’s Legacy reveals how conjunto came to encompass new people, places, and styles.

Journal of American Folklore

“The Crosses of Huaquechula, Mexico: A Living Tradition” by Avis Mysyk 

Drawing on historical sources, audio-recorded interviews, and online newspaper articles, this article illustrates how the crosses of Huaquechula share patterns of devotion to Mexican crosses past and present. It suggests that, based on the qualitative equivalence of their earlier and later purposes, the crosses are a living tradition that, across time, conveys a meaningful message of faith, protection, unity, and collective continuity. 

Graceful Resistance: How Capoeiristas Use Their Art for Activism and Community Engagement

By Lauren Miller Griffith

An innovative look at capoeira in America, Graceful Resistance reveals how the practice of an art can catalyze action and transform communities.

Women, Gender, and Families of Color

“‘¿Nuestro nuevo hogar?’ [Our new home?]: Examining Puerto Rican Migration and Conceptions of Home, Place-Making, and Belonging” by Rebecca Blackwell; Alessandra Rosa; Elizabeth Aranda 

To contribute to the scholarly literature on Latino integration and based on data from in-depth interviews with 19 Puerto Ricans who moved to Central Florida both before and after the hurricanes of 2017, the authors focus on the ways in which Puerto Ricans conceptualize home and belonging. The authors also examine how place-making and belonging are related to emotions, an often-neglected dimension in the study of migrant integration.  

Flamenco Music: History, Forms, Culture

By Peter Manuel

Multifaceted and entertaining, Flamenco Music is an in-depth study of the indelible art form that inspires enthusiasts and practitioners around the world.

American Literary Realism

“María Amparo Ruiz de Burton, ‘White Slaves,’ and Mexican Representation in the American Realist Chronology” by Alicia Contreras 

The 1992 republication of María Amparo Ruiz de Burton’s The Squatter and the Don (1885) laid the groundwork for one of the most significant debates in literary recovery: What were scholars to do with the novel’s unique perspective if its Mexican author identified as white and penned racist ideas? 

Music and the Making of Portugal and Spain: Nationalism and Identity Politics in the Iberian Peninsula

Edited by Matthew Machin-Autenrieth, Salwa el-Shawan Castelo-Branco, and Samuel Llano

What does music in Portugal and Spain reveal about the relationship between national and regional identity building? How do various actors use music to advance nationalism? How have state and international heritage regimes contributed to nationalist and regionalist projects? In this collection, contributors explore these and other essential questions from a range of interdisciplinary vantage points. 

Danzon Days: Age, Race, and Romance in Mexico

Hettie Malcomson

Fine-grained and evocative, Danzon Days journeys to one of the genre’s essential cities to provide new perspectives on aging and romance and new explorations of nostalgia and ambivalence.

About Kristina Stonehill