26 photographs, 31 illustrations
During the first two decades following the Mexican Revolution, children in the country gained unprecedented consideration as viable cultural critics, social actors, and subjects of reform. Not only did they become central to the reform agenda of the revolutionary nationalist government; they were also the beneficiaries of the largest percentage of the national budget.
While most historical accounts of postrevolutionary Mexico omit discussion of how children themselves experienced and perceived the sudden onslaught of resources and attention, Elena Jackson Albarrán, in Seen and Heard in Mexico, places children’s voices at the center of her analysis. Albarrán draws on archived records of children’s experiences in the form of letters, stories, scripts, drawings, interviews, presentations, and homework assignments to explore how Mexican childhood, despite the hopeful visions of revolutionary ideologues, was not a uniform experience set against the monolithic backdrop of cultural nationalism, but rather was varied and uneven. Moving children from the aesthetic to the political realm, Albarrán situates them in their rightful place at the center of Mexico’s revolutionary narrative by examining the avenues through which children contributed to ideas about citizenship and nation.
Elena Jackson Albarrán is an assistant professor in the history department and the Latin American, Latino/a, and Caribbean Studies Program at Miami University.
“[Seen and Heard in Mexico] skillfully weaves together a variety of complex and significant threads while keeping at its center the important topic of the construction of childhood as a central component of postrevolutionary citizenship and nationalism.”—John Lear, professor of history at the University of Puget Sound and author of Workers, Neighbors, and Citizens: The Revolution in Mexico City
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Seen and Heard in Revolutionary Mexico
1. Constructing Citizens: Adult-Produced Science, Space, Symbolism, and Rhetoric for the Revolutionary Child
2. Pulgarcito and Popocatépetl: Children’s Art Curriculum and the Creation of a National Aesthetic
3. A Community of Invisible Little Friends: Technology and Power in Children’s Radio Programs
4. Comino vence al Diablo and Other Terrifying Episodes: Teatro Guiñol’s Itinerant Puppet Theater
5. Hacer Patria through Peer Education: Literacy, Alcohol, and the Proletarian Child
6. Hermanitos de la Raza: Civic Organizations and International Diplomacy
Conclusion: Exceptional and Everyday Citizens