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The Living Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo


The Living Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo


Monday, September 14, 2020 | 11:00 am


Online via Zoom
Registration Closed

In 1846, President Polk ordered U.S. troops to into the disputed area between the Rio Grande and Nueces rivers catalyzing the U.S.-Mexico War of 1846.  In 1848, the United States Senate, after much debate and the highest casualty rate of any war fought by the United States, ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo setting the border between the United States and guaranteeing citizenship and property rights to people who lived in the annexed lands. Omar Valerio-Jiménez explores the ways ethnic Mexicans remembered the war and the treaty. He focuses on the role of collective memories in processing the trauma of war, and in fomenting social transformation through political involvement over several generations. The transmission of collective memories over generations was a result of the continuing negative legacies of conquest
and the treaty’s unfulfilled citizenship guarantees.

Omar Valerio Jimenez, photo 2020Omar Valerio-Jiménez, Associate Professor of History, was born in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, and grew up in Taft, Corpus Christi, and Edinburg, Texas. After graduating from MIT, he worked as an engineer for five years before attending UCLA, where he obtained his master’s and doctorate degrees. He has taught courses on borderlands, Latinas/os, immigration, race/ethnicity, and the American West at universities in California, New York, Texas, and Iowa.

His first book, River of Hope: Forging Identity and Nation in the Rio Grande Borderlands (Duke University Press, 2013), explores state formation and cultural change along the Mexico-United States border during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He is a co-editor of Major Problems in Latina/o History (Cengage Learning, 2014), which contains scholarly essays and primary sources on the migration and racialization experiences of various Latino populations. He is also a co-editor of The Latina/o Midwest Reader (University of Illinois Press, 2017) an interdisciplinary anthology that examines the history, education, literature, art, and politics of Latinas/os in the Midwest. His current book project, “Remembering Conquest: Mexican Americans, Memory, and Citizenship,” analyzes the ways in which memories of the U.S.-Mexico War have shaped Mexican Americans’ civil rights struggles, writing, oral discourse, and public rituals. His next project explores the efforts of scholars to challenge the omissions and negative characterizations of Tejanos in the state’s history and in public school textbooks during the mid-twentieth century.