Cara A. Kinnally, Purdue University and Citlali L. Sosa-Riddell | Newberry

Cara A. Kinnally, Purdue University and Citlali L. Sosa-Riddell

Friday, November 4, 2016


Center for American History and Culture Programs
Borderlands and Latino/a Studies Seminar

A Proposed Intercultural and (Neo)Colonial Coalition: Justo Sierra O’Reilly’s Yucatecan Borderlands

Cara A. Kinnally

In this paper I analyze a travel narrative written by Justo Sierra O’Reilly, an influential statesman and father of Yucatecan literature, while he was in the United States in 1847-1848. I argue that Sierra O’Reilly uses complementary discourses of whiteness, progress, and hemispheric solidarity as ways of linking elite Yucatecos with a new imperial power, the United States, while also simultaneously distancing them from the Spanish imperial past. I also examine how Sierra O’Reilly engages with different neocolonial formations as potential ways of saving “civilized” Yucatecos from perceived racial extermination at the hands of Maya Indians. Underlying my approach to this text is an understanding of the Yucatán as another type of borderlands and contact zone.

“All the Work that Was Seen in California Was the Work of Indians”: Mexican Liberal Thought Among the Californios; 1848-1861

Citlali L. Sosa-Riddell

The Californios in the California state convention of 1849 struggled with the attitudes of the white Americans towards Native California Indians. Rather than relying on modern assessments of racism, I examine the intellectual context of mid-19th century Californios ideas, placing them in the milieu of the era, specifically the trends in Mexican and Latin American thought of the mid-19th century. At the California Constitutional Convention, Pablo de la Guerra drew on Mexican Liberal thought and rhetoric to make claims for California Indian citizenship, challenging the Americans. As the Californio,de la Guerra argued for California Indian citizenship, he worked to shape the United States in Hispanic tradition, creating an intellectual borderlands.

Respondent: Theresa Delgadillo, Ohio State University

Cost and Registration Information 

Scholl Center Seminar papers are pre-circulated electronically.For a copy of the paper, email the Scholl Center at Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.