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Book Presentation Remaps the Americas with Hispanic History

In January, 2014, Spanish author Felipe Fernández-Armesto released a groundbreaking publication, "Remapping the Territory, Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States" (W.W. Norton). This Friday, October 24, 2014, Fernández-Armesto visits the University of New Mexico to share this work with the campus community through a book presentation and signing. The presentation will take place from 12:00-1:00 p.m. in Dane Smith Hall, Room 125. For reference, please see the event flyer. Co-sponsors for the event include the Instituto Cervantes of Albuquerque, Rael del Pino Foundation, UNM Latin American & Iberian Institute, and the UNM Department of Spanish & Portuguese.

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As the publisher writers, "This absorbing narrative begins with the explorers and conquistadores who planted Spain's first colonies in Puerto Rico, Florida, and the Southwest. Missionaries and rancheros carry Spain's expansive impulse into the late eighteenth century, settling California, mapping the American interior to the Rockies, and charting the Pacific coast. During the nineteenth century Anglo-America expands west under the banner of "Manifest Destiny" and consolidates control through war with Mexico. In the Hispanic resurgence that follows, it is the peoples of Latin America who overspread the continent, from the Hispanic heartland in the West to major cities such as Chicago, Miami, New York, and Boston. The United States clearly has a Hispanic present and future."

Reviewers have acclaimed the book. Julio Ortega from the New York Times, in particular, has lauded it, writing that "Felipe Fernández-Armesto, a British historian of Spanish heritage at the University of Notre Dame, recasts the pilgrimage of Hispanics in the United States as a rich and moving chronicle for our very present. His book navigates five centuries of painful documents, atrocious statements and dubious literature to argue that the United States was, from its beginning, as much a Spanish colonial southern enterprise as an unending march westward. After long periods of migration, deportation and accommodation, the next United States could well be a pluricultural bilingual power, updating the American dream. 'Our America' is perhaps the first history to make the case for this nation's becoming a bright Latin American country."

Image: Cover photograph from book.

--Posted October 20, 2014.