2024 NACCS Book Award: Bernadine Marie Hernández

Border Bodies book cover. picture of a woman.

Bernadine Marie Hernández for Border Bodies: Racialized Sexuality, Sexual Capital, and Violence in the Nineteenth-Century Borderlands (The University of North Carolina Press, 2022)

Reviewers Comments:

As Hernández states in her introduction, “This study is multi-genre and interdisciplinary at its core. I investigate moments of gender and sexual violence in the U.S. borderlands from 1834 to 1912,” relying on “a range of previously unconnected archival materials—court cases, testimonies, letters, narratives, photographs, maps, newspapers, editorials, and other historical documents—to reveal a discourse of violence toward certain poor, racialized, female bodies in the borderlands that has become normalized in dominant histories, literary narratives, and imaginaries” (3-4).  Hernández’ use of such a wide and challenging range of documents and background sources provides a wealth of information from a diversity of evidence.  How Hernández “connects” the previously “unconnected” sources to such great effect demonstrates one of the principal qualities which elevates this work to the stature of the NACCS Book of the Year Award.

(Hernández’) work reflects Rosaura Sánchez’ influence, and it is evident that she does not merely throw in “class” as intersectionality, but actually attempts to use political economy and historical dialectical materialism by analyzing class elites-bourgeois, and sex-workers in regards to an emergent capitalist economic mode over near a century (not only recognizing class structure within the Mexican communities of the time, but integrating it into the analysis regarding differential roles and effects in transition to an Anglo-dominated United States).

Honorable Mention:

Natalia Molina for A Place at the Nayarit: How a Mexican Restaurant Nourished a Community (University of California Press, 2022)

Awards Review Committee:

Dr. Raynoldo F. Macías, Professor Emeritus, UCLA

Dr. Luis Torres, Professor, Metro State University Colorado

Dr. Maria C. Gonzalez, Asso. Professor, University of Houston

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