Dissertation, U.C. Santa Cruz, 2013

In the Name of the Father, the Governor, and “A-1 Men”: Performing Gender and Statehood in Territorial New Mexico, 1880 – 1912

My dissertation adds the distinctly regional perspective of the Southwest Borderlands to discourse on citizenship, race, and ethnicity by building upon scholarship that positions Territorial New Mexico in the years after the Mexican-American War as a site of U.S. colonialism and imperialism.  In conversation with late nineteenth and early twentieth century narratives of race and identity politics in U.S., Latina/o, and Gender history, I argue that incarcerated working-class Nuevomexicanos, a disabled Navajo, Eastern European immigrant miners, and an African American veteran all articulated elusive rights of citizenship by harnessing a gendered rhetoric—one rooted in the familial responsibilities of able-bodied breadwinners—that working-class Anglo New Mexicans constructed for their own purpose of achieving the national political legitimacy of statehood. To question how these performances of racialized masculinity functioned as a strategy for political belonging in a site of U.S. imperialism in the Southwest Borderlands, I analyze Spanish-language newspapers, Mexican legal statutes, Pueblo and Navajo letters written to Anglo Territorial governors, district court records, and records of the Board of Education, Bureau of Immigration, Territorial Penitentiary, and Mounted Police Force.  

Poster Presentation

U.C. Santa Cruz Graduate Student Research Symposium, May 2009

Conference Presentation

“Courting White Labor to ‘The Land of Prosperity and Happiness’: Territorial New Mexico’s Bureau of Immigration and the Quest for Statehood, 1880-1912,” Southwest Labor Studies Association, 36th Annual National Conference, May 2010.

This conference presentation provides a historical analysis of the propaganda used by Territorial New Mexico’s Bureau of Immigration to recruit a population of able-bodied, white, male, working-class laborers into the Southwest.  This presentation also charts how the Bureau developed a racially-relational immigration policy that defined the labor of one group of immigrants as more valuable than others based upon the broader purpose of obtaining statehood.  Lastly, this presentation situates the demands made by immigrants who diverged from the Bureau of Immigration’s ideal as a form of immigrant labor activism amidst the racialization of workers in the Southwest Borderlands.

Video Link Coming Soon!

Public Lecture

New Mexico Office of the State Historian Lecture Series, State Records Center and Archives, Santa Fe, March 2009.

www.newmexicohistory.org/podcasts/sabrina_sanchez.mp3

Master’s Thesis, U.C. Santa Cruz, 2006

“The California Civic League and the ‘Unprotected Girl’ of the Barbary Coast, 1911-1917”

This thesis examines the relationship between enfranchisement and moral reform within a community of affluent, white clubwomen in Progressive Era San Francisco. This examination of urban reform and women’s electoral politics illustrates the means by which a specific group of socially-privileged women utilized its political power by promoting a classed and racialized position tangled in a rhetoric of defending morality. My research reveals California Civic League members’ own class politics and use of morality as a political strategy that both promoted a feminist agenda and reinforced prescribed gender, racial, and class norms by asserting a position of superior morality over working-class women.  To build this analysis, I conducted seven weeks of research at the California Historical Society in San Francisco, The Young Research Library Archives at the University of California–Los Angeles, and California State University–East Bay in Hayward.

Bachelor’s Thesis, U.C. Berkeley, 2004

“Regulating Mrs. Warren: Theater Censorship and Moral Reform in Urban New York, 1905”

This thesis examines Anthony Comstock’s 1905 failed censorship campaign of George Bernard Shaw’s play, “Mrs. Warren’s Profession,” in order to illuminate various reactions to broader social changes within New York City.  These social developments included urbanization, increased crime rates, the increased visibility of prostitution, and the role of the nation in examinations of the morality of literary characters. My research revealed that at the center of this censorship campaign rested a contested debate over the protection of public morality in a time of growing parental and familial fear of sexuality in urban New York.

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