Bandits, captives, heroines, and saints: cultural icons of Mexico's northwest borderlands

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University of Minnesota Press, Jul 23, 2007 - History - 331 pages
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Bandits, Captives, Heroines, and Saints investigates cultural icons of the late nineteenth century from Mexico’s largely unstudied northwest borderlands, present-day Sonora, Baja California, and western Chihuahua. Robert McKee Irwin looks at popular figures such as Joaqun Murrieta, the gold rush social bandit; Lola Casanova, the anti-Malinche, whose marriage to a Seri Indian symbolized a forbidden form of mestizaje; and la Santa de Cabora, a young faith healer who inspired armed insurgencies and was exiled to Arizona.

 

Cultural icons such as Murrieta, Lola Casanova, and la Santa de Cabora are products of intercultural dialogue, Irwin reveals, and their characterizations are unstable. They remain relevant for generations because there is no consensus regarding their meanings, and they are weapons in struggles of representation in the borderlands. The figures studied here are especially malleable, he argues, because they are marginalized from the mainstream of historiography.

 

A timely analysis, Bandits, Captives, Heroines, and Saints challenges current paradigms of border studies and presents a rich understanding of the ways in which cultural icons influence people’s minds and lives.

 

Robert McKee Irwin is associate professor of Spanish at the University of California, Davis, and the author of Mexican Masculinities (Minnesota, 2003).

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Contents

The Other Borderlands
1
The Many Heads and Tales
38
Tropes
91
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Irwin is a graduate student in the Dept. of Comparative Literature at New York University. He is currently working on a book on constructions of masculinity in 19th and 20th-century Mexico.

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