Center of Mexican American Studies
Center of Mexican American Studies

Nicole Guidotti-Hernández

Associate ProfessorPh.D., Cornell University

Nicole Guidotti-Hernández



Dr. Nicole M. Guidotti-Hernández is Associate Professor of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies and Associate Professor of American Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. She served on the faculty of the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Arizona for eight years. She received her doctorate degree from Cornell University in 2004 and her M.A. from Cornell University in 2000. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1997.

Her book titled Unspeakable Violence: Remapping U.S.  and  Mexican National Imaginaries with Duke University Press is a feminist intervention into discourses of nationalism, mestizaje and victimization that characterize the historicization of violence along the border between 1851 and 1910. It won the 2011-12 MLA prize for Chicana/o and Latina/o Literary and Cultural Studies, and was a finalist for the 2012 Berkshire Women’s History Association First Book Prize. Her articles such as “Reading Violence, Making Chicana Subjectivities” appear in anthologies such as Techno/futuros: Genealogies, Power, Desire (2007), edited by Nancy Raquel Mirabal and Agustin Lao-Montes. She has also published in journals such as Women’s Studies International ForumSocial TextCultural DynamicsThe Latinamericanist, and Latino Studies, where her article “Dora the Explorer, Constructing “Latinidades” and the Politics of Global Citizenship” is one of the most downloaded articles in the history of the journal.

Professor Guidotti-Hernández is currently at work on two book length projects. The first, Queering Borderlands Masculinities examines three cases studies about Mexican revolutionary Enrique Flores-Magón’s emotional life in exile, photo documentation of the homoerotics of abjection through the Bracero Program in the Salinas Valley, and actor Danny Trejo’s Body as archive, to argue that a queer reading shows the unintended consequences of how nations, individuals, photographers, and communities depicted such masculinized bodies as the pathological limits of gender normativity. The second book is tentatively titled A Tale of Two Sisters: The Santa Cruz Family in the Making of Race, Gender, and Capitalism in the Transnational Nineteenth Century U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. It traces the ascent and descent of three generations of Tucsonense Mexicana Indigenous women’s movement along the capitalist and racial spectrum from 1836 to 1950. The two sisters named in the title, Atanacia Santa Cruz de Hughes and Petra Santa Cruz Stevens (Spanish and Pima Indian), served as community brokers of social and capitalist relations in the transformation from Mexican to U.S. territory for the Tucson pueblo between 1850-1910.

Research and Teaching Interests: 
Transnational Feminisms; Critical Race Studies; Chicana/o Studies; Latina/o Studies; Borderlands History; American Studies; Violence and Citizenship; and Indigeneity and Nationalisms.


MAS 177 • Mellon Mays Program Seminar

36050 • Fall 2016
Meets W 2:00PM-3:00PM GWB 1.138

The MMUF Student Research Success for Academic Careers summer workshop will focus MMUF researchers on their summer projects. The course will feature units on methodology, understanding and constructing bibliographies, annotation, literature reviews, and writing skills, including emphasis on sharing writing with cohort peers.

AMS 393 • Intro Readings In Amer Studies

31085 • Fall 2014
Meets M 5:00PM-8:00PM BUR 436B

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.


This reading seminar introduces students to the history of and current debates in the interdisciplinary field of American Studies. Arising out of Depression-era concerns about what constituted American Identities and experiences, and the field was institutionalized through U.S. cultural nationalisms emanating from both the Second World War and the Cold War. In this long historical view of the field, American Studies has undergone an extraordinary series of transformations. Thus, this seminar is divided in three parts. First, we will review the history of the field, considering classic texts that generated a consensus model and American exceptionalism. Second, we will examine transitional texts that refocus American Studies around race, gender, class, sexuality, material culture, popular culture and body technologies. Third, we will read ASA Presidential Addresses to examine the transnational turn to empire, and Critical Ethnic Studies.

Each week, we will read a single book-length text with accompanying secondary literature or the equivalent in articles from the journal of record for the field, American Quarterly. We will place the text(s) in historical and cultural contexts, evaluating their usefulness as methodological models. The course’s purpose is not to define a singular form of “doing” American Studies but to analyze a series of very often-conflicting definitions and theories for current practitioners in the field. By course end students will be able to write at a level commensurate with graduate training in American Studies, produce a book review ready for publication, develop close reading skills, deliver an organized presentation to an American Studies audience, and understand the meaning of and produce interdisciplinary scholarship.


Possible texts: Briggs, Somebody’s Children, Gilroy, The Black Atlantic, Pak, Gentleman Bankers, Marx, Machine in the Garden, Spillers ‘Who Cuts the Border,” and Tompkins, Sensational Designs, among others.

AMS 393 • Intro Readings In Amer Studies

30930 • Fall 2013
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM BUR 436B

Consent from Instructor Required

AMS 310 • Intro To American Studies

30655 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM GAR 0.102
(also listed as HIS 315G)

Introduction to American Studies is an interdisciplinary introduction to the historical exploration of American cultures. The class is designed to introduce you to some of the major themes and ideas in American history and culture, as well as to familiarize you with some of the methods and materials that are used in the interdisciplinary study of American societies. Utilizing both historical and contemporary perspectives, and drawing from a wide range of approaches, we will take as our central motif the importance of citizenship, belonging, and inequality. Alongside readings in U.S. literature and history, students will use Keywords for American Cultural Studies and analyze how each keyword appears throughout the course readings. Overall, the course incorporates a sense of historical change of U.S. cultures over time.

Learning outcomes:

*Students will develop a critical vocabulary for taking about key words and concepts in the field.

*Students will understand and demonstrate the role of interdisciplinary study

*Students will learn a brief historiography of the field

*Writing assignments, class participation and attendance, quizzes, and exams will be the measure of these learning outcomes.



Class Attendance and Participation             30%

Quizzes                                                   10%

Position papers                                        15%

Midterm                                                  20%                         

Final Exam                                              25%


Possible Texts

Journals of Christopher Columbus

Powhatan “Letter to Captain John Smith”

Fredrick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass

Burgett & Hendler, Keywords for American Cultural Studies

Bethany Moreton, To Serve God and Walmart

Anthony Macias, Mexican American Mojo


When the Levees Broke

Smoke Signals


Partially fulfills legislative requirement in American History.

Flag(s): Cultural Diversity

MAS 374 • Latina/O Pop

36207 • Fall 2012
Meets MW 3:30PM-5:00PM BUR 228
(also listed as AMS 370)


This course examines how Latinas/os have been a major force in the production of  popular culture. In particular we will critically examine discourses of “Latinidad” (a seamless construction of Latinos as a monolithic group) in the corporate production of identities.  This lack of attention to national origin and historical specificity is one definition of Latinidad.  Latinidad also provides the contradictory grounds where consumer culture meets Latina/o performance. Some artists choose to reappropriate commercial spaces as sites of empowerment, while others are complicit in perpetuating stereotypical representations of Latinas/os.  With special attentiveness to the body,  we will explore the construction of Latina/o identities as they influence and produce particular racial, sexual and gendered identities. The body becomes an essential marker of “Latinidad,”  which is constantly connected to notions of sexuality. We will also examine the material effects of such cultural and commercial practices upon U.S. Latino populations, reminding us that there are real-world implications for these performances as they commodify Latina/o culture.  To account for the shifts in notions of performance and cultural practices, the focus of the course will center Latina/o/Chicana/o musical production, movies, television, advertising, magazines, literary texts, performance art, murals, installation art, music videos, and animation within a historical context.                 



Class Participation (discussions and attendance)          25%

Oral Presentation                                                      5%

Quizzes                                                                    15%

Essay 1 and 2                                                           25%

Prospectus Final Essay                                               5%

Final Paper                                                                25%


Possible Texts

Habel-Palan and Romero, Latina/o Popular Culture

Leguizamo, Freak

Lipsitz, Footsteps in the Dark

Rivera, New York Ricans from the Hip Hop Zone


Films/ TV Shows

1951-1957-I Love Lucy

1997- Selena

1998- Freak

2001-Dora The Explorer


Upper-division standing required. Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

Flag(s): Writing, Cultural Diversity

MAS 374 • Fem Intervntns Borderlands His

36022 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM JES A217A
(also listed as AMS 370, WGS 340)

This seminar will provide undergraduates with an in-depth understanding of the social, economic, and spatial transformations in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries U.S.- Mexico borderlands. In particular, we will examine how Indian removal, the Texas wars for Independence, the Mexican American war of 1848, and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo continue to influence how ideas of nation, space and citizenship (or lack thereof) are articulated in these regions today. Lastly, this course operates from a feminist scholarly perspective, demonstrating the role of both transnational analysis and the pivotal role of the intersections of race, class, gender and sexuality in forming this distinct regional history.

In addition, students will engage in their own archival research projects during the semester.  Juxtaposed with contextual historical and methodological essays, we will examine the concerns, anxieties and preoccupations with the contested nature of gender, race, subjectivity and sexuality in the nineteenth and early twentieth century U.S./Mexico Borderlands.                 



25% Final Paper

10% Prospectus and Bibliography

10% Presentation

25% Position Papers

30% Attendance and Class Participation


Possible Texts

Juliana Barr, Peace Came in the Form of A Woman

James Brooks, Captives and Cousins

Ned Blackhawk, Violence Over the Land

Dena Gonzlaez, Refusing the Favor

Guidotti-Hernández, Unspeakable Violence

Adina de Zavala, History and Legends of the Alamo and Other Missions in and around San Antonio

Jovita Gonzalez, Dew on the Thorn

Encarnación Pinedo, El Cocinero Español


Upper-division standing required.  Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

Flag(s): Writing

MAS 319 • Chicano Lit & Popular Culture

35745 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GAR 3.116

Please check back for updates.


Duke University Press, Latin America Otherwise Series. Forthcoming, September 2011

Curriculum Vitae

Profile Pages