Center of Mexican American Studies
Center of Mexican American Studies

Previous Titles

Puro ConjuntoPuro Conjunto, An Album in Words and Pictures: Writings, Posters, and Photographs from the Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio,1982-1998
edited by Juan Tejeda and AveIardo Valdez
co-published by CMAS Books and the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center

From the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas to East L.A., to the barrios of Chicago and beyond, people are listening to the heartfelt, accordion-driven sounds of Conjunto. Conjunto--Chicano roots music--was born in South Texas in the 1920s. Its popularity has spread far and wide since then, but Texas remains the heart of Conjunto music making. So it comes as no surprise that the largest and most widely recognized Conjunto festival in the world is the Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio, founded in 1982. Every May it draws thousands of people, who come to polka and cumbia the night away and catch their favorite Conjunto artists.

Puro Conjunto, An Album in Words and Pictures is a vibrant, wide-ranging collection of writings and images taken from the festival's program-magazine, Tonantzin, and spanning the period 1982-1998. The writings include essays by scholars in cultural studies, articles by journalists and music critics, interviews with legendary performers, autobiographical accounts, short stories, and poetry. Subjects include the history of Conjunto music, conjunto's signature instruments (accordion, bajo sexto, and saxophone), the social context and functions of Conjunto, and personal histories of Conjunto-music giants. The book also in cludes an "Imágenes del Festival" section, which comprises twenty-two striking black-and-white photos from the festival, all by A1 Rendón, and seventeen full color reproductions of the historic festival posters.

The diversity of this collection gives it a unique character and popular appeal. It should interest Conjunto fans and folk-music enthusiasts as well as students and scholars. Like the music itself, thisunique book can be used in a variety of ways: as an entertaining survey of the genre, a valuable supplement to college textbooks, or a handy resource for research.

Juan Tejeda was director of the Xicano Music Program of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio from 1980 to 1998. In that capacity, he founded the Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio and directed it for seventeen years. Avelardo Valdez is a professor of sociology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He was a member of the board of directors of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in 1982-1987 and 1989-1996.

Reflexiones 1999: New Directions in Mexican American Studies
edited by Richard R. Flores

Consistent with the rich tradition of Mexican-American studies, the contributors to Refiexiones 1999 hail from a variety of disciplines. Maggie Rivas-Rodríguez (journalism) discusses the accomplishments and legacy of the pioneering Chicano journalist Rubén Salazar. Lisa Montoya (government) examines the media's depiction of Latinos as a "sleeping giant" in U.S. electoral politics. Douglas Foley (anthropology) reflects upon the political pressures and ethical challenges of researching and writing an ethnography about the Raza Unida Party. Bárbara Robles (public affairs) analyzes the status of Latina scholars and graduate students in the academy. Jacqueline Toribio (linguistics) offers an analysis of Spanish-English code-switching among U.S. Latinos. Other contributions include a corrido by Raúl Salinas, stories by Américo Paredes and Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, and artwork by Liliana Wilson-Grez. Together, these works amply illustrate the depth and breadth of current endeavors in Mexican American and Latino studies.

Reflexiones 1998: New Directions in Mexican American Studies
Edited by Yolanda C. Padilla

Reflexiones 1997: New Directions in Mexican American Studies
Edited by Neil Foley