Select Articles and Book Chapters

Works based on archival research and oral history that highlight my Latinx and historical studies scholarship

"New Directions for La Casa Cordova: Recentering the Latinx Past and Present in Tucson" in History News: The Magazine of the American Association for State and Local History, Summer 2018.

"In 1972, preservationists officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places the house in downtown Tucson, Arizona, that Maria Navarrete Cordova had lived in for most of her life and had labored to keep in her family’s possession. Designated as La Casa Cordova, her home’s historical marker states that it is one of the oldest standing structures in Tucson and that portions of the house were built before the Gadsden Purchase of 1854, when the United States acquired southern Arizona. Dying just three years after its listing on the National Register, Cordova departed resentful of efforts by the new owners of La Casa Cordova to orchestrate her invisibility...."

Written for the UA Press's Open Arizona Project. Posted in January 2019, "Reflecting on Shirley Achor’s Mexican Americans in a Dallas Barrio Forty Years Later"

"Ethnic communities surrounding major urban areas across the United States are currently struggling to retain their cultural identity as the forces aligned with gentrification undermine their existence. Barrios located near downtown Dallas, Texas, are no exception. Local organizations including the Dallas Mexican American Historical League have stepped up their efforts to contest the forces that may one day lead to the extinction of barrios such as La Bajada. In 1972 anthropologist Shirley Achor left her wealthy suburban Dallas lifestyle to live in this large and densely populated barrio for six months. At the time Mexican Americans formed the majority of residents who lived in La Bajada (“the lowland”), the former floodplain of the Trinity River. Achor’s fieldwork and research resulted in the publication of Mexican Americans in a Dallas Barrio, published by the University of Arizona Press in 1978."

“La Placita Committee: Claiming Place and Challenging Historical Memory” in Mapping Memories and Migrations: Locating Boricua/Chicana Histories, Vicki L. Ruiz and John R. Chávez, eds., University of Illinois

"One day in April 1967, Alva Torres unexpectedly became a historical preservationist in her hometown of Tucson, Arizona. During the course of a routine schedule that revolved around her three children, she ran into an elderly Rodolfo Soto. They were related by marriage and their families had known each other for generations. Like many established families whose labor had built the desert city, both Torres and Soto referred to themselves as tucsonenses. Soto possessed a keen knowledge of history, and, in fact, descended from one of the city's founding families who had inhabited the Spanish presidio in the late eighteenth century. Noticing his distress, Torres approached Soto with concern and in the hope of providing comfort. He lamented to Torres, "Ay, Alvita, como estoy triste de lo que estan haciendo en el centro"...."Because they are going to forget Tucson's origins, they are going to forget everything. They are tearing down La Placita and Barrio Libre and nobody's going to remember us and nobody's going to care..."

 

©2019 by Lydia R. Otero.