Ocupando Nuestro Puesto

Jan 21, 2018

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On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with writer and University of Arizona associate professor Cristina Devereaux Ramírez about her book Occupying Our Space: The Mestiza Rhetorics of Mexican Women Journalists and Activists, 1875-1942, published by The University of Arizona Press.

In the book, Ramírez sheds new light on the contributions of Mexican women journalists and activists during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, marked as the zenith of Mexican journalism.

Ramírez: "Occupying Our Space is a feminist rhetorical recovery project that attempts to answer the question of which Mexican women journalists and activists were at the forefront of claiming a discursive puesto, or public space, and how they sometimes succeeded and many times failed."

Some of these women included in the book: Laurena Wright de Kleinhans; Juana Belen Gutierrez de Mendoza; and, Hermila Galindo. These women were pioneers and revolutionaries who broke social mores, and through their publishing claimed a space for women's voices, which would gain greater dominance through the 20th Century.

Cristina Devereaux Ramírez is an associate professor in Rhetoric, Writing, & the Teaching of English at the University of Arizona.  Occupying Our Space: The Mestiza Rhetorics of Mexican Women Journalists & Activists, 1875-1942, won a national outstanding book prize from the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition (CFSHRC).

Furthering the research initiative of Mexican and Mexican American women writers, Ramírez and co-author, Jessica Enoch, were awarded the Conference on College Composition & Communication Research Initiative Grant in 2014. The award has led to a co-authored manuscript of her second book, Mestiza Rhetorics: An Anthology of Mexicana Activism in the Spanish-Language Press, 1887-1922 (forthcoming 2019 with Southern Illinois UP).

Thank you to musicians Gringo Star, and Amyjo Savannah and Lauri Tull. Thank you Stephen Wells of Birthday Club for writing and producing the score in this episode, featuring the incredible vocal talent of Elizabeth Salazar Rodriguez.

Listen to the song "Your Skin Begins" by Amyjo Savannah

Listen to the song "Rebel Kind" by Gringo Star

Listen to the Stephen Wells and Elizabeth Salazar Rodriguez

Generous funding for this episode was provided by the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities

Executive Producer & Host:  J. Bradley Minnick

  

Producer: Mary Ellen Kubit

Recorded by: Christopher Hickey

Interns: Krista Hancock, Marty Burton, and Kaitlin Strain