Deborah Vargas, Chicano/Latino studies associate professor, has received a $12,500 grant from the UC Center for New Racial Studies to study how music and images from the mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries have contributed to constructions of racialized gender and sexuality of Chicanas/Mexicanas. In particular, she is interested in tracing the iconic figure of the cantinera, or sexually promiscuous women who could be found in Chicano working-class bar settings. Her research ranges from the socio-musical spaces of nineteenth century fandango, early twentieth century bailes de negocio - or dance partners for pay - to contemporary Mexican American cantinas. As part of her study, Vargas will be making research trips to Mexico City, Washington, D.C. and several cities along the US-Mexico border to analyze archival documents, including lithographs, personal journals and sound recordings. Her findings will serve as a resource for scholars studying how art, music and literature create racialized and class constructions of gender and sexuality. 

The one-year study begins this fall. 

 

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