Book Award 2017 Winner: Maria Josefina Saldana-Portillo


Maria Josefina Saldana-Portillo in Indian Given: Racial Geographies across Mexico and the United States (Duke University Press, 2016) writes the definitive understanding of how indigenous racialized identity was created in the Americas.  An expansive and ambitious study of  indigenous representation across time and geographies, her work on racial geographies is an amazing study of how the indigenous is read into Mexico and the nonindigenous is read out of the US.  Her transnational histories begins with the colonial readings that cement racialized assumptions of identity to the more contemporary “lost” indigenous identities of the Mexican-American.  The attention to historical documents, legal documents, archived works, literature, and contemporary society represents a wealth of study.  This text contextualizes how racialized identities are created and the stakes in creating those identities are explained through each historical period.


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