Professor Dr. Alan Lessoff
(State University of Illinois)
“A South Texas Port in Tejano and Anglo-Texan History and Lore: Intersecting and Competing Regional Narratives of Corpus Christi, Texas”
May 31, 2016; 4 pm (16 Uhr c.t.)
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
The lecture examines Corpus Christi, Texas – a port, industrial, and tourist city of around 400,000 along the South Texas coast – in order to illustrate the myriad ways that competing, but also intersecting Mexican American and Anglo American understandings of regional history and identity show up in historical accounts of the city and shape the city’s appearance, art and architecture, and cultural politics. Despite its Spanish name, the city was founded in the 1830s by Anglo promoters and developed over the nineteenth century as a launching point of Anglo American commercial expansion into and colonization of the Mexican-U.S. borderlands. That dramatic, often violent experience remains at the heart of local historical discussion and debate, which even after a century of urbanization continues to take the form of competing frontier epics: a south-to-north Hispanic story of gradual colonization overwhelmed by a headlong east-to-west Anglo American invasion.
Download the poster here.