Aztlan in Arizona: Civic narrative and ritual pageantry in Mexican America
AuthorRivas Bahti, Dolores
AdvisorGarcia, Juan R.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study examines Mexican American popular culture, including seasonal festivals, professional stage plays, journal essays, and ritual narratives in early Arizona. Through these various cultural forms, Mexican American residents negotiated and countered prevalent notions of U.S. national identity aligned with nineteenth-century ideas about Western modernity and Mexican antiquity articulated at the 1889 Paris Exposition Universelle and the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, in Chicago, that presented Mexican America as an 'Orient,' an internal Orient named Aztlan. Civic rhetoric in the early twentieth-century Spanish-language press created an intimate cultural landscape that casts light and shadow upon prior histories of Mexican America in Arizona. In addition to social criticism in local journals, scripted plays in print and on stage extending beyond Iberia and Mexico into the Southwest affirmed local forms of Mexican American popular culture. Staged narratives of class relations within border space defined by international economic and labor interests are also noteworthy registers of allegorical formulations of cultural identity. In addition to frontier drama and border journals, personal correspondence and candid images of rural and urban parishes also demonstrate processes by which religious farms became unfolding and inclusive demonstrations of public devotion and civic rhetoric. Popular Catholicism nurtured by an early generation of Spanish Discalced Carmelite priests in Arizona created devotional societies, public processions in religious precincts, Spanish plays in parish halls, and festival parades in commercial districts that embodied local demonstrations of Mexican American culture of Aztlan in Arizona.
Degree ProgramGraduate College