This book is an important text for ethnic studies scholars, historians of the Americas, and graduate students in related fields. Unspeakable Violence rewrites selected historical moments in the development of the US-Mexico borderlands through transnational and feminist methodologies. This approach reveals the ways that overlapping nationalist mythologies of race and gender obscure and silence the pain, suffering, and violence enacted upon unruly subjects of Mexico and the United States. Guidotti-Hernández argues that because their oppression is underwritten by state-sanctioned violence, their subjectivities become unspeakable within authorized narratives of liberal national modernity. Each chapter uses archival research and nuanced historiography to unearth missing evidence and alternative interpretations that mark historical erasure and dissect the multiple ideologies and structural conditions that generate unspeakable violence.

In the first part, the author delivers varied histories of the lynching in California of Josefa/Juanita, a Mexican woman, shortly after...

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