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Id Really Rather Cite My Friend Chuy From Junior High

July 22, 2010

I’ve been working on this dissertation prospectus for some time. Sometimes i’m accompanied by a nice cold beer, a cafe, a tequilita, a corrido on repeat or los primos, hermanos, and friends on facebook. As I finish a thought or a section I drink, say hi to folks and occasional get distracted by a good conversation.

Today I was fb chatting with Israel and trying to make sense of Mexican identity in the United States. Particularly the relationship between discrimination and the formation of a Mexican identity among the children of migrants. As I finished the sentence I remembered that Smith’s Mexican New York made the exact same argument. As as “good” graduate student I cited him, yet  what I really wanted to say was: “For more on the relationship between racialization and identity formation talk to high school youth or children of migrants. While so and so author have made this point, my insight comes from growing up Mexican in Goleta and Pomona, California.” I related my thought to Israel and he raised some interesting questions. Should he cite the numerous conversations he has had with his grandfather about being a Bracero? What about the stories he heard as a child?
And while anthropologist use field work to allow these types of voices to inform their narrative and argument and historians Oral History I’m not sure that is our point. I think its about the marginal space that these voices and actors (our families and friends) and WE occupy in academia. For those of us who want to be objective, but feel our emotions and experiences to be valid, we struggle with what to do with the relationship between our history and our scholarship. While we all agree that our past informs our work, why can’t we cite el tio, el abuelo, and the fools from the block instead of books and articles? Why is our language and evidence based outside of ourselves, our communities?
[it would be lame to not mention the various related conversations and late night with hector, daniel, froy, diego and others in DF]
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12 Comments leave one →
  1. July 22, 2010 8:10 am

    And John Gibler, who is the least american american i know (to quote froy). Fools spanish is too good…su libro: http://www.citylights.com/book/?GCOI=87286100093700

  2. July 22, 2010 5:50 pm

    Damn it. Ask him how he got it that way… :/

  3. July 23, 2010 12:18 am

    I can see I am behind following you with your writings… bueno, te queremos mucho, un monton, un tanto asi (con los dos brazos abiertos), hasta el infinito, de aqui a la luna, un chingo.mom and dad

  4. July 26, 2010 6:23 am

    @ ef. living in Mexico.

  5. July 26, 2010 6:29 am

    Considering that Plato's Socrates used the life experience of his fellow orators and other's around him to prove his points and ground his theories – I'd say using the experience of my Bracero grandfather, immigrant father/mother and Mexican/Chicano friends to understand my (our) identity should be just as valid.

  6. July 28, 2010 8:58 pm

    光這幾句話就價值連城了,讀著讀著小弟的眼眶就濕了…............................................................

  7. August 1, 2010 12:02 am

    Lets cross the bridge when we come to it............................................................

  8. August 4, 2010 3:26 am

    所有的資產,在不被諒解時,都成了負債.................................................................

  9. August 6, 2010 2:22 pm

    生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。..................................................

  10. israel permalink
    September 7, 2010 9:23 pm

    I just googled the terms “Chicano history dissertation prospectus” and your blog was the first thing that came up. Damn it.

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