Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Maura Adela Cruz Humanities

Reviving the “Indio”: The Rhetorical Figure of the “Indio” in Farmworker Literatures of Protest during the Chicanx Literary Renaissance

Scholars Journal

Rising Mexican-American activism during the Chicano Movement and the Farmworker Labor Movement of the 1960s and 70s sparked the Chicanx Literary Renaissance in which many Chicanx authors increasingly portrayed the rhetorical figure of the “Indian” within their texts. Some scholars contend that the literary valorization of Indigeneity was an act of Chicanx political empowerment. Others argue that such portrayals are founded in settler-colonial ideologies and erase living Indigenous peoples. Maura’s research will entail a literary analysis of Luis Valdez’s "Actos: El Teatro Campesino" and a collection of oral narratives from Indigenous farmworkers regarding their experiences during the same period. Her project will culminate in an English thesis and a digital archive. Maura’s research contributes to Chicanx literary studies, highlighting living Indigenous narratives that inform the literary history of Chicanx protest.
Major: English Major, Creative Writing MInor, Conservation Resource Studies Minor
Mentor: Marcial Gonzalez, English
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