January 30, 2017

In Stand Up and Fight: Participatory Indigenismo, Populism, and Mobilization in Mexico, 1970-1984,Maria L.O. Muñoz, associate professor of history at Susquehanna University, traces the actions of indigenous Mexicans to resist federal and state authority in order to craft their own economic, political and cultural roles in the late-20th century.

In 1975, a watershed moment captivated Mexico as indigenous peoples from across the country came together for the First National Congress of Indigenous Peoples. The congress was a federal government initiative intended to preempt an independent indigenous movement. But indigenous groups circumvented the intended containment policies of the congress and made bold demands for political self-determination.

Using previously unavailable documents, Muñoz examines the events that led to the congress, the meeting itself and developments after the assembly. She shows how indigenous leaders working within Mexico’s Department of Colonization and Agrarian Affairs (DAAC) sidestepped state attempts to control indigenous communities, and how they made bold demands that redefined the ways federal and state governments engaged with pueblos indígenas.

Through research in previously untapped archives, Muñoz is able to trace the political history of the Indigenous leaders and government officials who redefined the ways Indigenous peoples engaged with governments.

Muñoz is the author of numerous articles, as well as an edited collection of essays. She is the associate director of Susquehanna’s Honors Program and directs a popular Global Opportunities (GO) Program, Spanish Language and Culture, which takes students to Spain and Morocco.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of La Verne, California, and went on to earn her master’s degree from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb. Muñoz completed her doctoral degree at the University of Arizona in Latin American history with a minor in cultural anthropology.