Conference on Texas Civil Rights Leader Alonso S. Perales (1898-1960)
The life and work of this civil rights leader will be highlighted in a conference and exhibition.
IN DEFENSE OF MY PEOPLE:
Alonso S. Perales and the Development of Mexican-American Public Intellectuals
The University of Houston, Arte Público Press, through the Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Program, the Special Collections Department of the MD Anderson Library, and the UH Law Center announce that the papers of Alonso Perales have been acquired and are available for scholarly examination. Alonso Perales (1898-1960) was among the most important organizational figures and public intellectuals of his time, and was instrumental in early 20th century Mexican American political development in Texas. Perales graduated from George Washington University School of Law in 1926, making him one of the earliest Mexican American attorneys to practice law in Texas. He not only had a successful law practice, but helped found the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), served his country in several diplomatic capacities, and was a prolific writer.
The University of Houston and Arte Público Press, through the Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Program, acquired his papers and archives in 2009, and this treasure trove, which has been cited in significant scholarship, is the source of a scholarly conference to be held at the University of Houston in January 13, 2012, by means of solicitations and a call for papers derived from this collection. This conference will be held in conjunction with an MD Anderson-curated exhibit of the papers, correspondence, and other materials from the Perales Collection. Conference sponsors invite proposals from historians, legal scholars, sociologists, literary scholars, and others from any of the humanities and social sciences with an interest in early 20th century Texas political development concerning Mexican, Mexican Americans, and other groups in the state and region, drawn from the collection and other available materials. We invite doctoral students, scholars of all ranks, and independent researchers with interests in this important period, particularly those with interests in the early Mexican American social and political organizations, especially LULAC, Order Sons of America (OSA), and 100 Loyal Citizens. Early work derived from these archives suggests that Mexican American political organizing and social consciousness arose much earlier than has been generally credited in the work of earlier historians, political scientists, and other scholars. Whereas many scholars place these origins in the late 1920s, especially with the events leading up to the 1929 founding of LULAC, in Corpus Christi, Texas, the Perales papers and materials reveal roots to predecessor groups and to events from the 1910 Mexican Revolution, the end of the Porfiriato, and the early 1920s. These family-held papers, now searchable, in microfilm format, promise to fill out the record on the structured role of Mexican American men and women in these mutual aid societies and civic organizations, as well as the behind-the-scenes role of lawyers—in this instance, not primarily as litigators, but as civic leaders and elected officials. Perales also carried on an extraordinary correspondence with many Latino and Latina and other political figures, revealing wide and deep contacts and affiliations. (Examples include Adela Sloss Vento, George I. Sanchez, and Anastasio Somoza.)
Alonso S. Perales and the Catholic Imaginary: Religion and the Mexican-American Mind
Mario T. García University of California, Santa Barbara
Self-Writing and Collective Representation: The Literary Enuciation of Historical Reality and Cultural Values
Donna Marie Kabalen Tecnológico de Monterrey
In Defense of My People: Alonso Perales and the Moral Construction of Citizenship
Benjamin Marquez University of Wisconsin-Madison
Alonso S. Perales and the Effort to Establish the Civil Rights of Mexican- Americans As Seen through the Lens of Contemporary Critical Legal Theory: Postracialism, Reality Construction, Interest Convergence and Other Critical Themes
George A. Martinez Southern Methodist University
Trials of Unity: Rethinking the Mexican-American Generation in Texas, 1948-1955
Joseph Orbock Medina University of California, Berkeley
Changing Voices: Approaching Modernity from Mexican to Mexican- American to Chicano in the Epistolary Archives of Alonso S. Perales
Norma Adelfa Mouton Independent scholar
Don Lic. Alonso S. Perales and His Struggle for the Civil Rights of La Raza through the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) in the 1930s: Incansable Soldado del Civismo Pro-Raza
Cynthia E. Orozco Eastern New Mexico University, Ruidoso
Faithful Dissident: Alonso S. Perales and Segregation in the Catholic Church
Virginia Marie Raymond Wire Cutter Texas.org
Writing a Biography of Alonso Sandoval Perales
F. Arturo Rosales Arizona State University
Legally White, Socially Brown: Alonso S. Perales and His Crusade for Justice for La Raza
Lupe S. Salinas Texas Southern University
‘Mendigos de Nacionalidad:’ Mexican-Americanism and Ideologies of Belonging in a New Era of Citizenship, Texas 1910-1967
Aarón Sánchez Southern Methodist University
Connecting Causes, Alonso Perales, Hemispheric Unity, and Mexican Rights in the United States
Emilio Zamora University of Texas at Austin
"This program is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities."
* * * * *
Event is free and open to the public, with registration.
Registration deadline: Thursday, January 5, 2012
Breakfast and light lunch will be provided. Reception will follow.
* * * * *
1. Online or