MAS 10B: Mexican American History, 1880s - Present

Time: Monday, Wednesday 10:30-11:45am

Location: SH 435


In this course, we will study Mexican American history from the 1880s to the present-day, focusing mainly on the twentieth century. The time span at the heart of our course is rich and fascinating. It begins in the decades following the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalso (1848), the document that formally created "Mexican Americans." However, events truly gain speed in the early 1900s due to the migration of Mexicans in the US following the Mexican Revolution, when fully 10% of Mexico's population ventured north--the largest sustained wave of immigration the US has ever seen. Despite this long historical presence, Mexican Americans are still seen by many as only recent arrivals to the US. What has been the effect of this silencing and dismissal? We will do our best to restore Mexican Americans to US history by studying their popular culture, union involvement, military history, farmworking, political movements . . . and much, much more.

As in MAS 10A, rather than focus exclusively on the "who," "what" and "when" of history, together we will focus on the many "why"s and "how"s: Why did the past unfold as it did? Why does focusing on Mexican American culture challenge our assumptions about US history? How do the forces of race, class and gender shape this era of US history? And finally, how are historical narratives created, and what purpose(s) are they meant to serve?

Syllabus & Handouts