An Archive of Intimacy: Letter Writing Across the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands

Lecture Description

Relying on over 300 letters written in the 1960s and early 1970s and exchanged among family members across the U.S.-Mexico border, Miroslava Chávez-García’s presentation explores the ways in which the “intimacy of the archive” opens a world onto the emotional and personal longing of Mexican migrants. More than a collection of deeply personal, emotional, and individual self-expressive experiences, the letters provide a window onto the social, economic, cultural, and political developments of the day in and across Mexico and the United States. The missives are versatile, open to multiple interpretations, and reflect the hopes and dreams as well as fracasos (failures) of those who sought to improve their lives and those they left behind. As Chávez-García argues, embedding them in a richly textured historical framework not only works to breathe life into them but also connects them to the larger ebbs and flows of migration across the borderlands region.


Borderlands Migration/Migrant

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Miroslava Chávez-García

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