Event Title

Resistance and Assimilation in Post-Annexation New Mexico: The Forgotten Works of Felipe M. Chacón

Location

Bobo Room, Hodgin Hall, Third Floor

Start Date

8-11-2017 2:15 PM

End Date

8-11-2017 3:15 PM

Description

Felipe Maximiliano Chacón, “el cantor neomexicano,” is revered by scholars as a forgotten Mexican-American writer. What little we do know about him centers a legacy rooted in American patriotism and how his contributions to American literature serve as proof that bilingual nuevomexicanos can express American patriotism just as well as Anglo writers. His lackluster biography also provides a brief summary of his mostly unexplored work as a newspaper editor of several New Mexican Spanish-language newspapers printed in the early 20th century. While there is no doubt that Chacón adhered to classic American patriotism, and the anti-Native American, seemingly pro-war sentiments that came with it, he also appeaedl to a very particular audience by writing exclusively in Spanish and publishing much of his work anonymously in the various newspapers he edited. Summing up Chacón’s importance as nothing more than a further contribution to narratives of Americanism and praises of colonization leaves a rather large blind spot concerning the political time that Chacón was a part of. In "Pasó por Aquí: Critical Essays on the New Mexican Literary Tradition," Erlinda Gonzales-Berry expresses the need for high-profile nuevomexicanos such as Chacón to simultaneously “save face and maintain (political) space.” Thus, while Chacón may emblematize the importance of including Spanish-language works in the canon of American literature, it is also important to analyze the context in which he produced them, and the ways in which they inform our present. In this talk, we will briefly explore how the legacies of Chicano writers are influenced by American imperialism and the pressures of assimilation, with a special emphasis on what truths the works of those such as Chacón may reveal about American and New Mexican history, and what it means to assimilate and survive during a sociopolitical space marked by annexation and erasure.

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Nov 8th, 2:15 PM Nov 8th, 3:15 PM

Resistance and Assimilation in Post-Annexation New Mexico: The Forgotten Works of Felipe M. Chacón

Bobo Room, Hodgin Hall, Third Floor

Felipe Maximiliano Chacón, “el cantor neomexicano,” is revered by scholars as a forgotten Mexican-American writer. What little we do know about him centers a legacy rooted in American patriotism and how his contributions to American literature serve as proof that bilingual nuevomexicanos can express American patriotism just as well as Anglo writers. His lackluster biography also provides a brief summary of his mostly unexplored work as a newspaper editor of several New Mexican Spanish-language newspapers printed in the early 20th century. While there is no doubt that Chacón adhered to classic American patriotism, and the anti-Native American, seemingly pro-war sentiments that came with it, he also appeaedl to a very particular audience by writing exclusively in Spanish and publishing much of his work anonymously in the various newspapers he edited. Summing up Chacón’s importance as nothing more than a further contribution to narratives of Americanism and praises of colonization leaves a rather large blind spot concerning the political time that Chacón was a part of. In "Pasó por Aquí: Critical Essays on the New Mexican Literary Tradition," Erlinda Gonzales-Berry expresses the need for high-profile nuevomexicanos such as Chacón to simultaneously “save face and maintain (political) space.” Thus, while Chacón may emblematize the importance of including Spanish-language works in the canon of American literature, it is also important to analyze the context in which he produced them, and the ways in which they inform our present. In this talk, we will briefly explore how the legacies of Chicano writers are influenced by American imperialism and the pressures of assimilation, with a special emphasis on what truths the works of those such as Chacón may reveal about American and New Mexican history, and what it means to assimilate and survive during a sociopolitical space marked by annexation and erasure.