Reading, Writing, and Revolution

9781477320914: Hardback
Release Date: 5th May 2020

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 296

University of Texas Press

Reading, Writing, and Revolution

Escuelitas and the Emergence of a Mexican American Identity in Texas

Hardback / £35.00
This book can only be pre-ordered within 2 months of the publication date.

Language has long functioned as a signifier of power in the United States. In Texas, as elsewhere in the Southwest, ethnic Mexicans’ relationship to education—including their enrollment in the Spanish-language community schools called escuelitas—served as a vehicle to negotiate that power. Situating the history of escuelitas within the contexts of modernization, progressivism, public education, the Mexican Revolution, and immigration, Reading, Writing, and Revolution traces how the proliferation and decline of these community schools helped shape Mexican American identity.

Philis Barragán Goetz argues that the history of escuelitas is not only a story of resistance in the face of Anglo hegemony but also a complex and nuanced chronicle of ethnic Mexican cultural negotiation. She shows how escuelitas emerged and thrived to meet a diverse set of unfulfilled needs, then dwindled as later generations of Mexican Americans campaigned for educational integration. Drawing on extensive archival, genealogical, and oral history research, Barragán Goetz unravels a forgotten narrative at the crossroads of language and education as well as race and identity.

  • Introduction. Escuelitas, Literacy, and Imaginary Dual Citizenship
  • Chapter 1. Escuelitas and the Expansion of the Texas Public School System, 1865–1910
  • Chapter 2. Imaginary Citizens and the Limits of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: Educational Exclusion and the Mexican Consulate Investigation of 1910
  • Chapter 3. Revolutionary and Refined: Feminism, Early Childhood Education, and the Mexican Consulate in Laredo, Texas, 1910–1920
  • Chapter 4. Education in Post–Mexican Revolution Texas, 1920–1950
  • Chapter 5. Escuelitas and the Mexican American Generation’s Campaign for Educational Integration
  • Conclusion. The Contested Legacy of Escuelitas in American Culture
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Philis Barragán Goetz is an assistant professor of history at Texas A&M University–San Antonio.

"Reading, Writing, and Revolution is the freshest, most innovative scholarship in Chicana/o history to appear in some time. Until now, the history of escuelitas has remained elusive and not extensively documented. Through the creative use of untapped, stellar primary documents and oral histories combined with a tremendous ingenuity of interpretation, Philis Barragán Goetz reconstructs both the local history and the international roots of the escuelitas of Texas. In doing so, she sheds new light upon the whole of the field."

Carlos Kevin Blanton, Texas AM University, author of George I. Sánchez: The Long Fight for Mexican American Integration