Ernesto Galarza Remembered: A Reflection on Graduate Studies in Chicano History (1996)

Steve Pitti


This paper was a presentation that was given by the author at a conference titled "Towards a New Chicana/o History" held by JSRI on the Michigan State University campus. After watching the conference proceedings for the last two days, I wanted to share a graduate student's perspective about the state of the discipline of Chicano history. What I am offering here is a response to what I think are many of the main themes that surfaced in this week's presentations and discussions, as well as a summary of the type of work being done by my fellow students working on Master's and doctoral degrees. If our meeting aimed both to assess the current state of the field and to push us forward, we would be remiss not to acknowledge that graduate student work is important for understanding where we are, and critical for determining where we ought to go. I would like to relate, as well, some additional thoughts about the conference which have been shaped by my dissertation research on Chicanos in San José, California, and particularly on Ernesto Galarza, a vocal resident of the community who helped establish the field of Chicano Studies.

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