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Mestiza Rhetorics

Mestiza Rhetorics

An Anthology of Mexicana Activism in the Spanish-Language Press, 1887-1922

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Edited by Jessica Enoch and Cristina Devereaux Ramirez


Paperback (Other formats: E-book)
280 pages, 6.125 x 9.25, 1 illustrations

Studies in Rhetorics and Feminisms


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About the Book

This critical bilingual anthology collects and contextualizes thirty-four primary writings of understudied revolutionary mexicana rhetors and social activists who published with presses within the United States and Mexico during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—a time of cross-border revolutionary upheaval and change. These mexicana newspaperwomen leveraged diverse and compelling rhetorical strategies and used the press to advance the early feminist movement in Mexico and the U.S. Southwest; to define their rights and roles in and confront the hypocrisies of their societies’ patriarchal systems; to engage in important debates about education, women’s rights, and language instruction; and to protest injustices in society and construct possible solutions. Because these presses were in both Mexico and the United States, their writings offer opportunities to explore the concerns, struggles, and triumphs of mexicanas in both U.S. and Mexican cities and throughout the borderlands.
Mestiza Rhetorics is the first anthology dedicated to mexicana rhetors and provides unmatched access to mexicana rhetorics. This collection puts forward the work of mexicana newspaperwomen in Spanish and English, provides evidence of their participation in political and educational debates at the turn of the twentieth century, and demonstrates how the Spanish-language press operated as a rhetorical space for mexicanas.


Jessica Enoch, a professor of English at the University of Maryland and the director of the Academic Writing Program, is the author of Refiguring Rhetorical Education: Women Teaching African American, Native American, and Chicano/a Students, 1865–1911 and Domestic Occupations: Spatial Rhetorics and Women’s Work. She is a coeditor of Burke in the Archives: Using the Past to Transform the Future of Burkean Studies.

Cristina Devereaux Ramírez is an associate professor and the director of the Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English graduate program in the Department of English at the University of Arizona. She is the author of Occupying Our Space: The Mestiza Rhetorics of Mexican Women Journalists and Activists, 18751942.



“In this groundbreaking anthology, Jessica Enoch and Cristina Devereaux Ramírez curate a stunning archive of intellectual engagement, artistic expression, and civic deliberation by mexicana writers crossing precarious geopolitical and ideological borders through the Spanish-language press.”—Michelle Hall Kells, author of Vicente Ximenes, LBJ's Great Society, and Mexican American Civil Rights Rhetoric
“The publication of this collection of primary resource materials emphasizes the desperate need for these kinds of materials to be more widely accessible and available to all students and scholars of rhetorical practice.”—Malea Powell, founding editor of constellations: a cultural rhetorics publishing space and editor of College Composition and Communication
Mestiza Rhetorics fills a crucial gap: it collects original versions and English translations of widely flung Spanish-language texts, making them available for in-depth study and learning. It is thoroughly, richly, and intersectionally feminist.”—Christa J. Olson, author of Constitutive Visions: Indigeneity and Commonplaces of National Identity in Republican Ecuador
Mestiza Rhetorics not only gives the field of feminist rhetorical and archival studies new primary works of Mexican rhetors; it also gives us ways to reexamine our assumptions about what rhetorical texts, texts in translation, and recovery work should look like. Kudos to Cristina D. Ramírez and Jessica Enoch for providing feminist rhetorical scholars with such a rich resource.”—Jen Wingard, editor of Peitho: The Journal of the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition

“A rich and important example of the transborder feminist work of mexicana rhetors in the latter part of the twentieth century and the early twenty-first. This collection stunningly captures how these feminist rhetors had to engage a mestiza project to negotiate cross-border relationships, politics, national identities, and culture to enact their political projects. Mestiza Rhetorics is an important read not only for rhetorical scholars of history but also for those who want to better understand the history of our current political moment.”—Rebecca Dingo, author of Networking Arguments: Rhetoric, Transnational Feminism, and Public Policy Writing
Mestiza Rhetorics presents an important collection of Mexican newspaperwomen’s original writings and their translations. Readers will appreciate this rich array of genres and styles that address women’s rights, border politics and nationalism, and the role of Spanish language and the arts. Enoch and Ramírez offer multiple avenues for the analysis of these readings, making the collection both a necessary intervention in the rhetorical canon and a valuable scholarly resource.”—Ellen Cushman, author of The Cherokee Syllabary: Writing the People’s Perseverance