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Indian Given: Racial Geographies across Mexico and the United States

Author: María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo

Duke University Press, 2016

In Indian Given María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo addresses current racialized violence and resistance in Mexico and the United States with a genealogy that reaches back to the sixteenth century.

Saldaña-Portillo formulates the central place of indigenous peoples in the construction of national spaces and racialized notions of citizenship, showing, for instance, how Chicanos/as in the U.S./Mexico borderlands might affirm or reject their indigenous background based on their location. In this and other ways, she demonstrates how the legacies of colonial Spain’s and Britain’s differing approaches to encountering indigenous peoples continue to shape perceptions of the natural, racial, and cultural landscapes of the United States and Mexico.

Drawing on a mix of archival, historical, literary, and legal texts, Saldaña-Portillo shows how los indios/Indians provided the condition of possibility for the emergence of Mexico and the United States.

*Book description from publisher