NACCS Winner of the 2020 Book Award

by the NACCS Book Award Committee

Editors Note: The NACCS Scholar Award and NACCS Book Award were set to be celebrated at the NACCS 2020 conference in Seattle in April 2020.  We were unable to meet due to Covid-19, but we still believe it is important to celebrate these outstanding accomplishments as a NACCS community.

Cristina Salinas’ Managed Migrations: Growers, Farmworkers, and Border Enforcement in the Twentieth Century (University of Texas Press, 2018).

Cristina Salinas makes the provocative argument that the Border Patrol, the growers, and the workers in the 1940s and 1950s were truly the actors who negotiated US immigration laws and policies and not the Washington DC policy makers.  The recalibration of the nexus of power at the local level between growers, the US Border Patrol, and the worker migrants themselves recenters our understanding of immigration policy negotiations.  With South Texas and El Paso as the clear examples of how the agricultural seasonal demands were negotiated by growers, workers, and the Border Patrol agents, Salinas identifies the true negotiators of border policy.  Salinas is able to provide us with a unique perspective on the history of immigration policy from the local most affected areas.  A compelling argument, Salinas provides us with detailed descriptions of individual worker narratives and experiences as they negotiate restrictive immigration policies and yet are able to navigate their own mobility across the country.  A much needed historical accounting of immigration policy, Cristina Salinas has provided a richly detailed accounting of immigration policy and the lives it attempts to restrain.

Cristina Salinas is a native of the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas with deep roots in the border region of South Texas and northern Mexico. She graduated from Edcouch-Elsa High School, and received a BA, MA, and PhD in history from the University of Texas at Austin, with a focus on Chicano/a studies and border history. She is an Associate Professor of history at the University of Texas at Arlington and affiliated with the Center for Mexican American Studies. She lives in Arlington with her husband and young daughter.

Honorable Mention

Roberto D. Hernández’ Coloniality of the U-S///Mexico Border: Power, Violence, and the Decolonial Imperative (University of Arizona Press, 2018) is an intervention into the discussions of the discursive hegemony of the US-Mexico border.  Disrupting a standard political reading of the border, Hernández provides the reader with an anti-intuitive reimagining of the colonial assumptions and the violence engendered in concepts of nation state.  Violence and Coloniality become the terms Hernández interrogates with the use of mass culture, government policies, maps, documents, and even geographies.  Finally, he “remain[s] steadfast in the argument that violence on the U-S///Mexico border reveals the racial/colonial origins and continuities of the interstate system” (182).  From the 1984 McDonald’s massacre to the assassination of women in Juarez, Hernández is able to expose the colonial demand for violence.  A highly theoretical work providing a new reading of the border, Hernández deserves recognition for work that urges us to move toward a decolonial space in order to just survive.

Fall 2020, No. 46 No. 1

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