I don’t have a lot of time to read during the school year, and when I do read or buy books, I try to focus on things that will be professionally helpful as well as enlightening—so this list is heavy on academic books—next time I’ll post on films, popular books, and t.v. that I think was worth watching this year.
Broadly speaking, my field is Latino/a Religious history—to do this well, I read lots of works in the field of Latino/a studies—not only because it informs my work, but it also informs these varied fields of literary criticism, history, sociology, religious studies and theology—it is central to all these fields and is often treated as if it is a peripheral concern—or rather, only folks who are in that field should care about it. These are just some of the hundreds of books (not to mention articles and book chapters) that were published in 2013
Latinos at the Golden Gate is my twitter friend Tomás Summers Sandoval’s excellent work on Latinos in the San Francisco Bay area published by U of California Press
Chicana/o Struggles for Education by Gualdalupe San Miguel published by Texas A&M Press
Borderlands Saints by Desiree Martin published by Rutgers
In Defense of My People an intellectual historical intro to the life and work of Alonso S. Perales, a co-founder of LULAC, (if you don’t know what that is, lo siento, but I don’t have time right now to get into mid 20th century civil rights history with you), by Michael Olivas published by Arte Publico Press
Chicano Hip HopNation by Pancho McFarland published by Michigan State University Press
The Paradox of Latina Religious Leadership by sociologist Theresa Torres
Traqueros: Mexican RailroadWorkers in the US 1870-1930 by Jeffrey Marcos Garcilazo published by University of North Texas Press
Yemoja: Gender, Sexuality, and Creativity in Latina/o & Afro/Atlantic Diaspora an edited volume of scholars from fields of literary criticism, religious studies and anthropology published by State University of New York Press
From Coveralls to Zoot Suits about Mexican American women during WWII by Elizabeth Escobedo published by University of North Carolina Press
Finally—a book published technically in fall 2012, but worth mentioning here is my fellow Claremont alum, Matt Garcia’s book, From The Jaws of Victory a provocative and ground-breaking re-working of the legend and work of Cesar Chavez published by University of California Press.
So spend a few of those Amazon.com gift cards on some of these, assign sections for your classes, get your institutions’ libraries to carry them, so that the rhetoric of inclusion and diversity I’ve been inundated with for nearly 20 years as a student and as an academic can be said to have some resonance and not the sound and fury many of us know too well signifies