Skip to main content
Sign In

The Colorado Center for Public Humanities

Spring 2010 Events


Southwest Colloquium

Friday, February 26 - Administration Building 200 - 1:30 - 3 p.m.
Rethinking the Southwest: Race and Labor Dynamics Re-examined

In travel brochures and popular literature, the Southwest is often imagined as a place of unlimited natural beauty and intercultural harmony. Yet struggles over the region’s natural resources and fragile interethnic alliances lie submerged under this otherwise-placid veneer. Drawing upon history, critical theory, and anthropology, this colloquium will unpack the race and labor dynamics that have shaped the Southwest.

Taking us back to Spanish colonial times, James F. Brooks explores the historical basis for the ties forged between the region’s Spanish settlers and its nomadic tribes — the intercultural exchange of captives. Sarah B. Horton’s work on the Santa Fe Fiesta shows the contemporary consequences of centuries of intercultural cooperation and conflict, documenting the vexed position of coyotes — or persons of mixed heritage — in an event celebrating New Mexico’s “pure” Spanish origins. Finally, historian Thomas G. Andrews explores the convergence of class and environmental history in the fiercest labor struggle that ever erupted in America over the region’s dependence upon limited natural resources.