Arizona Crossroads: A New Book Series Exploring Arizona’s History

Introducing Arizona Crossroads, a new book series at the University of Arizona Press, in collaboration with the Arizona Historical Society in a virtual conversation with the series’ editors.

When: Friday, September 9, 2022, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Event is free, but registration is required. Zoom event information will be emailed the morning of the event. To register, visit here.

Throughout its history, Arizona has long served as a crossroads between Native peoples, settler colonists, and immigrants from around the world. It has been a contested site among peoples, nations, and empires; it is also a place where events, decisions, and struggles have had far-reaching consequences beyond its shifting borders. As the series title suggests, we welcome books that deepen our understanding of Arizona as a diverse crossroads and meeting ground within broad national and transnational contexts, whether topical, thematic or geographic (the region, the nation, the borderlands).

Open to any topic within any time period of Arizona history, the series will publish scholarship that is cutting-edge and innovative, yet generally accessible and readable to an educated general audience. We are open to a variety of book formats: monographs, multi-authored works, and edited collections as well as broader more synthetic works. Interdisciplinary projects that engage the past are encouraged.

For millennia, the place we know as Arizona has been home to Indigenous groups of widely diverse origins who hunted and farmed, traded with one another, migrated, came into conflict, and interacted in ways that reshaped each other’s cultures. In the sixteenth century, it became contested ground between newly-arrived Spaniards who claimed the territory as their own and Indigenous people who always outnumbered them and continued to dominate the region throughout the colonial period. By the early nineteenth century, after Mexico won its independence from Spain, migrants from the still-nascent United States moved to the territory in ever-increasing numbers, until by mid-century, the United States provoked a war that ended with its acquisition of half of Mexico’s territory. Thereafter, growing numbers of migrants from around the world converged in Arizona, settling near and alongside one another in mining towns, farming communities, and emergent cities, influencing one another in countless ways. Over time, Anglo-Americans tried to impose their dominance through discriminatory policies, yet other, diverse ethnic groups resisted and asserted their agency in ways that transformed the state in fundamental ways. Though not always acknowledged, these shifts have shaped the Arizona we know today, a diverse and ever-growing sunbelt state.

Arizona Crossroads is led by a team of three editors, Anita Huizar-Hernández, Arizona State University, Eric V. Meeks, Northern Arizona University, and Katherine G. Morrissey, University of Arizona.

Anita Huizar-Hernández is Associate Professor of Spanish in the School of International Letters and Cultures at Arizona State University. She is a literary critic whose teaching and research focus on the literatures and cultures of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands with a particular emphasis on the Arizona borderlands. Her book, Forging Arizona: A History of the Peralta Land Grant and Racial Identity in the West (Rutgers 2019), examines a nineteenth-century land grant scheme in which a con artist falsified archives around the world to steal part of the Arizona and New Mexico Territories. Other publications include articles in the Journal of Arizona History, MELUS (Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States), SAIL (Studies in American Indian Literatures), and English Language Notes. Her current book project investigates the early-twentieth century writings of Mexican Catholic political exiles in the United States. She is also engaged in multiple digital public-facing projects centered in Arizona, including “Reporting on Race and Ethnicity in the Borderlands (1882-1924): A Data-Driven Digital Storytelling Hub” and “DETAINED: Voices from the Migrant Incarceration System.”

Eric V. Meeks is Professor of History at Northern Arizona University. His research and teaching focus primarily on the history of the US-Mexico borderlands and race and ethnicity in North America. His book, Border Citizens: The Making of Indians, Mexicans, and Anglos in Arizona, examines how racial classifications and identities of the diverse indigenous, mestizo, and Euro-American residents of Arizona’s borderlands evolved as the region was politically and economically incorporated into the United States. A new updated edition was published by University of Texas Press in 2020. Other publications include articles in the Journal of Arizona History, Western Historical Quarterly, Journal of the Southwest and the Latin American Research Review. His current book project is a history of the US-Mexico borderlands from the late eighteenth century to the present, under contract with Yale University Press in cooperation with the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University.

Katherine G. Morrissey is Department Head and Associate Professor of History at the University of Arizona. Her research and teaching focus on cultural, environmental, borderlands/Southwest and North American West history. Her books include Mental Territories: Mapping the Inland Empire and two co-edited books with the University of Arizona Press, Border Spaces: Visualizing the U.S.-Mexico Frontera, with John-Michael H. Warner and Picturing Arizona: The Photographic Record of the 1930s, with Kirsten Jensen. Publications also include book chapters as well as articles in the Journal of Arizona History, Pacific Historical Review, Global Environment, and Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies. Her current book project, Visual Legacies: Reimagining the US/Mexico Borderlands, traces efforts to mark and visually represent the meanings of the border through the long 20th century. She is co-PI for the “Reporting on Race and Ethnicity in the Borderlands (1882-1924)” digital project.


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