Title

La Canoa Legacy Talks - The Nuclear Option: Perpetuating the Myth of New Mexico as Wasteland

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Document Type

Presentation

Publication Date

12-15-2018

Abstract

This event was part of the La Canoa lecture series, presented by UNM's Center for Regional Studies and the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

UNM Assistant Professor Myrriah Gómez discusses New Mexico and the nuclear option. Long before the nuclear industrial complex began in here in 1942, New Mexico was depicted by outsiders as a “wasteland.” In an effort to combat that historical portrayal, the New Mexico Bureau of Immigration issued Aztlán: The History, Resources and Attractions of New Mexico in 1885, a book that was used to recruit Anglos to New Mexico in an effort to shift the racial and ethnic demographics so as to earn statehood. Building on Anglo rhetoric from the 19th century, the federal government continues to use the same arguments to convert New Mexico into the premier repository for the nation’s nuclear waste. This talk will discuss the rearticulation of New Mexico as a nuclear wasteland in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Comments

Myrriah Gómez is a Nuevo Mexicana from the Pojoaque Valley. She is an Assistant Professor in the Honors College at the University of New Mexico. Myrriah’s current book project, Nuclear Nuevo México: Identity, Ethnicity, and Resistance in Atomic Third Spaces, examines the effects of the nuclear industry on people of color in New Mexico.

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