Exploring New Directions in Latinx History: Music Cultures

Endorsed by the Immigration and Ethnic History Society (IEHS) and Western History Association

Friday, April 1, 2022, 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Type: Panel Discussion

Tags: Ethnicity; Latino/a; Music


This panel focuses on new avenues of inquiry in the field of Latinx cultural history, with an emphasis on music cultures. As a group of emerging scholars our work collectively focuses on the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, and offers a particular focus on (though is not limited to) Mexican American music cultures especially. Building on studies of youth culture, popular music studies, political history, business history, and a wide body of Latinx studies, this growing literature offers new understandings about how Latinx musicians and fans have used popular culture to reimagine a more inclusive, just society.

Session Participants

Chair: George Joseph Sanchez, University of Southern California

Panelist: Jorge N. Leal, University of California, Riverside
Dr. Jorge N. Leal is an assistant professor of history at the University of California, Riverside. His research focuses on how transnational youth cultures have reshaped Southern California Latina/o/x communities in the late twentieth century. He is also the curator of The Rock Archivo LÁ, an online collective repository that collects, shares, and examines L.A. Latinx youth cultures ephemera.
He is currently working on a book manuscript that situates Latina/o/x youth expressions in the long history of the cultural expressions in the American west, which have advocated for more expansive notions of belonging and equality.
Dr Leal’s work has also been published in the California History Journal, Journal of American Ethnic History, and The European Journal of American Culture.

Panelist: Amanda Marie Martinez, University of California, Los Angeles
Amanda Marie Martinez is a doctoral candidate in the history department at UCLA. Her dissertation, “‘The Industry is Playing the People Cheap’: Race, Ethnicity, and the Country Music Business in the Age of the New Right, 1969-1998,” reframes the country music genre as the product of Black and Brown artists and listeners, and reveals how the music industry disregarded the music’s multiracial and multiethnic roots and embraced a politics of white conservatism. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Popular Music Studies and California History.

Panelist: Marlén Ríos-Hernández, California State University, Fullerton
Marlen Ríos-Hernández bio: Dr. Marlen Ríos-Hernández is a 2019-2021 UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Chicana/o and Central American Studies at UCLA. Her book project will focus on early policing in SoCal punk “Post”-COINTELPRO. She is also co-founder of UC Riverside’s PunkCon, the only bi-annual academic and community-created conference dedicated to all things punk culture. Dr. Ríos-Hernández’s work has been featured in Sounding Out! And forthcoming in the Journal of Popular Music Studies, and the Oxford Handbook of Punk Rock.