Simon Ventura Trujillo


Simon Ventura Trujillo, a scholar at the University of Washington will speak on "The Mexican-American War Never Ended: History Writing, Land Recovery, and La Alianza Federal de Mercedes" on Friday, June 15 at noon in the Waters Room (105) of Zimmerman Library on the UNM campus.

As one of the formative organizations of the Chicana/o and broader U.S. civil rights movement of the 1960s and 70s, La Alianza Federal de Mercedes is frequently remembered for its president Reies López Tijerina, and its armed raid on the Tierra Amarilla courthouse in 1967. Yet often overlooked within La Alianza's controversial campaign for land grant recovery is the group's attempt to connect issues of land to culture, legal and linguistic rights. The connections between land, culture, law and language are particularly evident in the vast amount of writing produced by the group throughout its roughly fifteen years of existence.

In his talk, Trujillo draws from archived public flyers, posters and pamphlets to open up a reconsideration of La Alianza as an experiment in collective history writing.  In doing so, Trujillo explores the role that history writing played in la Alianza's attempt to recover lost land grants and generate claims of culture and linguistic rights to the U.S. and Mexico.

Trujillo is currently pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Washington, Seattle.  Born in Albuquerque, N.M., he is writing his dissertation on the Indo-Hispano cultural politics of the New Mexican land grant movement, La Alianza Federal de Mercedes.  He teaches courses on American Ethnic Literature and Chicana/o and Black cultural studies.  As a descendant of formal Aliancistas, his research and teaching situates cultural work as a rich site of decolonial social struggle and interdisciplinary scholarship.

The talk is co-sponsored by the Center for Southwest Research, the Office of the State Historian, and the Historical Society of New Mexico.  It is free and the public is welcome.

Media contact: Karen Wentworth (505) 277-5627; kwent2@unm.edu