UCLA School of Law Critical Race Studies Presents a book talk with Laura E. Gómez.
UCLA School of Law, Room 1314
About the Speaker
Laura E. Gómez joined the faculty at the UCLA School of Law in 1994 and also holds faculty appointments in UCLA’s Departments of Sociology and Chicana and Chicano Studies. After 12 years at UCLA, she returned to her hometown of Albuquerque in order to raise her young son amidst a large extended family. She was a professor of law and American studies at the University of New Mexico, served as Associate Dean of the law school (2007-09), and was a faculty fellow at the Robert J. Woods Foundation Center for Health Policy at UNM. Gómez rejoined the UCLA faculty in 2011.
About the Book
Manifest Destinies tells the story of the original Mexican Americans—the people living in northern Mexico in 1846 during the onset of the Mexican American War. The war abruptly came to an end two years later, and 115,000 Mexicans became American citizens overnight. Yet their status as full-fledged Americans was tenuous at best. Due to a variety of legal and political maneuvers, Mexican Americans were largely confined to a second class status. How did this categorization occur, and what are the implications for modern Mexican Americans? Manifest Destinies fills a gap in American racial history by linking westward expansion to slavery and the Civil War. In so doing, Laura E Gómez demonstrates how white supremacy structured a racial hierarchy in which Mexican Americans were situated relative to Native Americans and African Americans alike. Steeped in conversations and debates surrounding the social construction of race, this book reveals how certain groups become racialized, and how racial categories can not only change instantly, but also the ways in which they change over time.