Coyote Nation: Sexuality, Race, and Conquest in Modernizing New Mexico, 1880-1920

Coyote Nation: Sexuality, Race, and Conquest in Modernizing New Mexico, 1880-1920

University of Chicago Press
224 pages
10 halftones  6 x 9
Cloth ISBN: 9780226532424
Paper ISBN: 9780226532431
E-book ISBN: 9780226532523

Pablo Mitchell, Eric and Jane Nord Associate Professor of History and Comparative American Studies
Oberlin College

With the arrival of the transcontinental railroad in the 1880s came the emergence of a modern and profoundly multicultural New Mexico. Native Americans, working-class Mexicans, elite Hispanos, and black and white newcomers all commingled and interacted in the territory in ways that had not been previously possible. But what did it mean to be white in this multiethnic milieu? And how did ideas of sexuality and racial supremacy shape ideas of citizenry and determine who would govern the region?

Coyote Nation considers these questions as it explores how New Mexicans evaluated and categorized racial identities through bodily practices. Where ethnic groups were numerous and—in the wake of miscegenation—often difficult to discern, the ways one dressed, bathed, spoke, gestured, or even stood were largely instrumental in conveying one’s race. Even such practices as cutting one’s hair, shopping, drinking alcohol, or embalming a deceased loved one could inextricably link a person to a very specific racial identity.

A fascinating history of an extraordinarily plural and polyglot region, Coyote Nation will be of value to historians of race and ethnicity in American culture.

Table of Contents

Preface: A Note on Coyotes
1. Introduction: Bodies on Borders
2. Compromising Positions: Racializing Bodies at Pueblo Indian Schools
3. Carnal Knowledge: Racializing Hispano Bodies in the Courts
4. Transits of Venus: Ceremonies and Contested Public Space
5. Strange Bedfellows: Anglos and Hispanos in the Reproduction of Whiteness
6. “Promiscuous Expectoration”: Medicine and the Naturalization of Whiteness
7. “Just Gauzy Enough”: Consumer Culture and the Shared White Body of Anglos and Hispanos
8. Conclusion: Birth of a Coyote Nation

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