Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Bandits, Captives, Heroines, and Saints

Cultural Icons of Mexico’s Northwest Borderlands

2007
Author:

Robert McKee Irwin

Bandits, Captives, Heroines, and Saints

Reinvigorates the mythic figures of Mexico’s anomalous zone

Bandits, Captives, Heroines, and Saints investigates cultural icons of the late nineteenth century from Mexico's largely unstudied northwest borderlands, present-day Sonora, Baja California, and western Chihuahua. Robert McKee Irwin looks at popular figures such as Murrieta, Lola Casanova, and la Santa de Cabora to show how they are products of intercultural dialogue and their characterizations are unstable.

Studies of the U.S./Mexican border tend to stick too closely to the U.S. side. Irwin’s captivating study provides just the right antidote.

Kirsten Silva Gruesz, University of California, Santa Cruz

Bandits, Captives, Heroines, and Saints investigates cultural icons of the late nineteenth century from Mexico’s largely unstudied northwest borderlands, present-day Sonora, Baja California, and western Chihuahua. Robert McKee Irwin looks at popular figures such as Joaquín Murrieta, the gold rush social bandit; Lola Casanova, the anti-Malinche, whose marriage to a Seri Indian symbolized a forbidden form of mestizaje; and la Santa de Cabora, a young faith healer who inspired armed insurgencies and was exiled to Arizona.

Cultural icons such as Murrieta, Lola Casanova, and la Santa de Cabora are products of intercultural dialogue, Irwin reveals, and their characterizations are unstable. They remain relevant for generations because there is no consensus regarding their meanings, and they are weapons in struggles of representation in the borderlands. The figures studied here are especially malleable, he argues, because they are marginalized from the mainstream of historiography.

A timely analysis, Bandits, Captives, Heroines, and Saints challenges current paradigms of border studies and presents a rich understanding of the ways in which cultural icons influence people’s minds and lives.

Bandits, Captives, Heroines, and Saints

Robert McKee Irwin is associate professor of Spanish at the University of California in Davis. He is the author of Mexican Masculinities, also published by the University of Minnesota Press. He is also coeditor of The Famous 41 and Hispanisms and Homosexualities.

Bandits, Captives, Heroines, and Saints

Studies of the U.S./Mexican border tend to stick too closely to the U.S. side. Irwin’s captivating study provides just the right antidote.

Kirsten Silva Gruesz, University of California, Santa Cruz

Bandits, Captives, Heroines, and Saints

Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. The Other Borderlands
2. The Many Heads and Tales of Joaquín Murrieta
3. Lola Casanova: Tropes of Mestizaje and Frontiers of Race
4. The Heroines of Guaymas
5. Of Sedition and Spiritism: La Santa de Cabora

Epilogue: Cultural Icons of the Other Borderlands

Notes
Bibliography

Index