The Last Chapter: A UA professor finishes her book and her teaching career at the university
Wednesday, 31 August 2011 23:28
In a couple of weeks, nine years of hard work are going to pay off for Nicole Guidotti-Hernández. On Sept. 14, her book, "Unspeakable Violence: Remapping U.S. and Mexican National Imaginaries,"will officially be available for purchase.
In the past decade, Guidotti-Hernández, an associate professor of Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Arizona, has traveled to Mexico City, Austin, Sacramento and other places researching and doing archival work. The book examines a series of violent acts in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century against people of color and the way these events have impacted societal concepts of nationalism.
"I think that the way resistance gets narrated in ethnic studies fields is that oppression is always by Anglo people against people of color," Guidotti-Hernández said. "There is a lot of historical evidence that would suggest that people in our own communities are often the ones enacting violence against each other as a means of access to power."
The book examines events such as a series of lynchings and the Camp Grant massacre. While she wrote much of the book on events outside of Arizona, one part focuses on the attempted genocide of the Yaqui Indians.
"It's a tremendous part of the history of this region that people know absolutely nothing about," she said.
As well as teaching at the UA, Nicole Guidotti-Hernández also blogs about immigration issues for Ms. Magazine. Last May, as anti-ethnic studies legislation passed in Arizona, she wrote about the importance of ethnic studies classes on their blog.
"I think that the state is trying to shut them down. And I think that they'll probably succeed. I don't want that to happen. I'm hoping that there's enough public outcry that it won't happen," she said.
Guidotti-Hernández teaches several classes at the UA, including Introduction to Chicana/Latina Studies, Latino/a Popular Culture and a research seminar for graduate students.
"My goal is not necessarily to get students to agree with me. My goal is to teach them how to think critically."
Guidotti-Hernández has been teaching at the UA for eight years, but this semester will be her last. In January, she will start teaching in the Department of American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
"I just think that the climate here is hard right now," she said. "I mean, there are these tremendous communities here, and then there is also this painfully, racially hostile climate that kind of pervades daily life."
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