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Title:Latino encounters: Mexicans, Tejanos, and Puerto Ricans in postwar Michigan, 1929-1971
Author(s):Mora, Juan Ignacio
Director of Research:Burgos, Adrian
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Burgos, Adrian
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Espiritu, Augusto F.; Hertzman, Marc A.; Oberdeck, Kathryn J.; Fernández, Lilia
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Latinx History
U.S. History
Latinx Studies
Ethnic Studies
Race and Ethnicity
Abstract:“Latino Encounters: Mexicans, Tejanos, and Puerto Ricans in Postwar Michigan, 1929-1971” examines three groups of Latina/o/xs as they forged national and transnational networks through postwar migration and agricultural labor. I argue that Latina/o/x migrants melded distinct claims to U.S. citizenship through interethnic and international conflicts over access to intermediary power, expressions of popular culture, and the politics of foodways. As this dissertation explores the meaning of conflict and collaboration between these three groups, I illustrate how Latina/o/xs were central to agricultural labor rights and popular culture in the Midwest, the Texas-Mexico borderlands, and Puerto Rico. “Latino Encounters” emerges from multi-site and multi-lingual research in U.S., Mexican, and Puerto Rican archives and makes three significant contributions to the fields of labor and migration. First, as this study examines Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, and Puerto Ricans alongside each other in experiences of farm labor, my dissertation questions the meaning of migrant work as it connects to citizenship. For example, while the concept of migrant work is assumed to be non-citizen labor, I illustrate the ways migrant work became racialized and drew from networks of Latina/o/xs who were U.S. citizens. Second, my dissertation questions the center of labor organization among farmworkers. I show that farmworkers organized themselves through transnational networks. These workers not only advocated for labor rights independently but developed forms of communication and popular culture that transcended a singular expression of latinidad. Finally, while most histories of foodways and farm labor emerge in the U.S. Southwest and West Coast, my project questions region by centering the Midwest as a site of internal and international migration.
Issue Date:2021-04-14
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Juan Ignacio Mora
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-09-17
Date Deposited:2021-05

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