Telling Identities: The Californio Testimonios by Kosaura Sanchez

By Kosaura Sanchez

Sánchez bargains the 1st old and literary research of thirty 1870s testimonios from the unique Spanish-speaking settlers of Alta California. Telling Identities scrutinizes the function of gender, category, race, language, and ethnicity in workforce id formation because it seems to be into historical past to assist articulate the cultural politics of latest Chicano and Latino tradition within the usa.

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For a framework that posits an ensemble of social relations embodied in discourses and social spaces, we have looked to the Marxist (and sometimes post-Marxist) proposals put forth by Mouzelis, Callinicos, Therborn, Lefebvre, Jameson, and others, and developed a composite Marxist model for the analysis of discourses and social spaces. To speak of a Marxist discursive analysis might appear to be a contradiction in terms, given that those favoring discourse analysis are often described in relation to the "linguistic fallacy"59 or the "epistemic fallacy" (the "definition of being in terms of knowledge"; Bhaskar, 181).

In Sonoma Cerruti also became personally acquainted with a number of older Californios, whom he treated to drinks and then asked for interviews, for it was, he said, his duty "to interview every old settler living in the country; the words 'old settlers' included every white man that had settled in California prior to 1850, and every native Californian upwards of sixty years of age" (Cerruti, 7). Once Cerruti had won over Vallejo, the old Californio general39 himself would present Cerruti to his friends in Monterey, San Jose, and San Francisco for interviews.

But he still retained the notion of the historian as judge who, once data were collected, with up to a hundred different versions of what had occurred at any one historic moment, determined "the truth" (1890: 611). Bancroft's history of California is interesting in its inclusion, often through footnoting, of divergent views on an episode and remarks on the diversity of positions, although these are always followed by an "authorized" version of the event. 22 TESTIMONIALS AS DEPENDENT PRODUCTION Bancroft was clearly aware that the history of Alta California was not of much interest to some historians who "before 1846 see nothing but the acts of a few padres and 'greasers/ of which nobody cares t hear" (1890: 599).

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