American Studies ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-11-2019



Nuevomexicano villages of northern New Mexico have experienced disruptions throughout their existence. This dissertation is a study of what occurred in early disruptions leading to the great departure of the 1940s, during World War II and immediately following, known as the New Mexico diaspora, where a number of villagers moved out of New Mexico to other states, including Utah, most expecting to settle for a time with hopes of return to their home villages. The study asks what happened especially during the great disruption, discourses of disruption and movement, what Nuevomexicanos carried with them in movement, whether they returned to their home villages, and what transpired in Utah. In the great disruption of the 1940s and early 1950s, many New Mexicans left but few returned, stretching, and in some cases breaking, ties between home villages and the branch of the regional community that grew in Utah. While there may be cultural memory of home villages among those in Utah, once the elders have passed on, connections weakened and cultural practices, traditions, religious observance, and use of the home language have also dissipated or disappeared in subsequent generations.

Project Sponsors





New Mexico, Nuevomexicano, village, culture, place, Utah

Document Type


Degree Name

American Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

American Studies

First Committee Member (Chair)

A. Gabriel Melendez

Second Committee Member

Kathleen Holscher

Third Committee Member

Enrique Lamadrid

Fourth Committee Member

Michelle Hall Kells