Saturday, June 23, 2018

Booknotes: Californios, Anglos, and the Performance of Oligarchy in the U.S. West

New Arrival:
Californios, Anglos, and the Performance of Oligarchy in the U.S. West
  by Andrew Gibb (SIU Press, 2018).

Yes, this isn't Civil War related, but it does address Mexican War era topics (which do comprise part of the site's range of interests) and I'm not averse to throwing in some Western Americana every once in a while. Part of Southern Illinois's Theater in the Americas series, Andrew Gibb's Californios, Anglos, and the Performance of Oligarchy in the U.S. West is an ambitious melding of theater and regional cultural history. In it, Gibb "argues that the mid-nineteenth-century encounter between Anglos and californios— the Spanish-speaking elites who ruled Mexican California between 1821 and 1848—resulted not only in the Americanization of California but also the “Mexicanization” of Americans."

From the description: "Employing performance studies methodologies in his analysis of everyday and historical events, Gibb traces how oligarchy evolved and developed in the region.

This interdisciplinary study draws on performance studies, theatre historiography, and New Western History to identify how the unique power relations of historical California were constituted and perpetuated through public performances—not only traditional theatrical productions but also social events such as elite weddings and community dances—and historical events like the U.S. seizure of the city of Monterey, the feting of Commodore Stockton in San Francisco, and the Bear Flag Revolt."

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