Roberto Rodríguez

Roberto Rodríguez's picture
Assistant Professor

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Roberto Rodriguez (Dr. Cintli) is an assistant professor at the Mexican American & Raza Studies Department at the University of Arizona. He is a longtime-award-winning journalist/columnist who received his Ph.D. in Mass Communications in 2008) at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is the author of Justice: A Question of Race, a book that chronicles his 2 police brutality trials, and co-produced: Amoxtli San Ce Tojuan: a documentary on origins and migrations. He returned to the university as a result of a research interest that developed pursuant to his column writing concerning origins and migration stories of Indigenous peoples of the Americas. His current field of study is the examination of maiz culture, migration, and the role of stories and oral traditions among Indigenous peoples, including Mexican and Central American peoples. He has a forthcoming book (Fall, 2014 University of Arizona Press): Our Sacred Maíz is Our Mother (Nin Toanantzin Non Centeotl). He teaches classes on the history of maiz, Sacred Geography, Mexican/Chicano Culture and politics and the history of red-brown journalism. In 2013, a major digitized collection was inaugurated by the University Arizona Libraries, based on a class he created: The History of Red-Brown Journalism. He currently writes for Truthout’s Public Intellectual Project and is currently working on a project, titled: Smiling Brown: Gente de Bronce – People the Color of the Earth. It is a collaborative project on the topic of color consciousness. He is also writing a memoir on the topic of torture and political violence: Yolqui: A warrior summonsed from the spirit world. His last major award was in 2013, receiving the national Baker-Clarke Human Rights Award from American Educational Research Association, for his work in defense of Ethnic Studies.

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Cover
Our Sacred Maíz Is Our Mother
Indigeneity and Belonging in the Americas
By Roberto Cintli Rodriguez
288 pp. / 6.00 x 9.00 / 2014
Paper (978-0-8165-3061-8) [s]

  

Related Interest
  - Native American Studies
  - Latina and Latino Studies
 

Not Yet Published - Pre-order Today

"If you want to know who you are and where you come from, follow the maíz." That was the advice given to author Roberto Cintli Rodriguez when he was investigating the origins and migrations of 

Rodriguez provides a highly unique and multifaceted account of the ways in which de-Indigenized communities have managed to preserve and pass on knowledge of their traditions across centuries. 
—Roberto D. Hernández, San Diego State University

Sacred maíz narratives offer the opportunity to recover history and, in the process, to recover one's Indigeneity. 

—Lara Medina, author of Las Hermanas: Chicana/Latina Religious-Political Activism in the U.S. Catholic Church

Mexican peoples in the Four Corners region of the United States. 

Follow it he did, and his book Our Sacred Maíz Is Our Mother changes the way we look at Mexican Americans. Not so much peoples created as a result of war or invasion, they are people of the corn, connected through a seven-thousand-year old maíz culture to other Indigenous inhabitants of the continent. Using corn as the framework for discussing broader issues of knowledge production and history of belonging, the author looks at how corn was included in codices and Mayan texts, how it was discussed by elders, and how it is represented in theater and stories as a way of illustrating that Mexicans and Mexican Americans share a common culture. 

Rodriguez brings together scholarly and traditional (elder) knowledge about the long history of maíz/corn cultivation and culture, its roots in Mesoamerica, and its living relationship to Indigenous peoples throughout the continent, including Mexicans and Central Americans now living in the United States. The author argues that, given the restrictive immigration policies and popular resentment toward migrants, a continued connection to maíz culture challenges the social exclusion and discrimination that frames migrants as outsiders and gives them a sense of belonging not encapsulated in the idea of citizenship. The "hidden transcripts" of corn in everyday culture—art, song, stories, dance, and cuisine (maíz-based foods like the tortilla)—have nurtured, even across centuries of colonialism, the living maíz culture of ancient knowledge. 

 

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