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.
Authors and PanelistsJames F. Brooks
, President of the School for Advanced Research, and author of Captives and Cousins: Slavery, Kinship, and Community in the Southwest Borderlands
. University of North Carolina Press (2002).
***Sarah B. Horton
, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Colorado, Denver, and author of The Santa Fe Fiesta, Reinvented: Staking Ethno-nationalist Claims to a Disappearing Homeland
. School for Advanced Research Press (2010).
***Thomas G. Andrews
, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Colorado, Denver, and author of Killing for Coal: America‘s Deadliest Labor War
. Harvard University Press (2008).
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.