History ETDs

Publication Date



My dissertation analyzes the nature of the transnational solidarity movements established between Chicana/o and Mexican activists through the 1960s and 1970s in the midst of the Mexican Dirty War, the Chicana/o Movement, and Third World Solidarity movements. These claims of political solidarity between these two groups rested on ideas of a shared sense of cultural, historical, ethnic, and political origins. Through the combination of a wide range of archival sources and oral interviews collected in nine archives across Mexico and the U.S., this dissertation reconstructs the historical process of these solidarity movements from a variety of perspectives, including urban students activists, intellectuals, theater performers, Mexican government officials, and a Mexican rural Maoist armed movement. Moreover, a transnational approach allows me to rethink notions of political solidarity, and ideas of citizenship and belonging between Chicana/os and Mexicans by shifting the coordinates of analysis that traditionally privilege the U.S. as the center of the conversation and instead setting the analysis in Mexico itself. Both, Chicana/os and Mexican activists expressed a narrative of political solidarity against a perceived shared experience of oppression and struggles for liberation. I contend, however, that both groups saw the source of their oppression and forms of resistance through different lenses. Chicana/o activists identified racism, discrimination, and cultural erasure with oppression and the retrofitting of Mexican nationalism with political radicalism. In contrast, Mexican activists celebrated Marxist ideologies as radical political resistance against an increasing authoritarian government and associated Mexican nationalism with state repression and political manipulation. Further complicating Chicana/o-Mexican relations were issues of discrimination, classism, and prejudice between them, which I argue had a greater impact in shaping their claims of political solidarity than their perceived sense of Mexicanness.

Level of Degree


Degree Name


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Hutchison, Elizabeth Q.

Second Committee Member

Samuel, Truett

Third Committee Member

Jane, Slaughter

Fourth Committee Member

William, Beezley



Project Sponsors

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Latin American and Iberian Institute, Earlham College, History Department at the University of New Mexico

Document Type


Included in

History Commons