By Andrea Estrada, The Current, UCSB
Three decades ago, UC Irvine history professor Jaime Rodríguez founded a scholarly journal aimed at spotlighting important research in the area of Mexican studies. After 30 years on the Irvine campus with Rodríguez at the helm, the journal, Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos, has moved north to UC Santa Barbara and creative and performing arts professor Ruth Hellier-Tinoco is in the driver’s seat.
The current issue, the first produced under the direction of Hellier-Tinoco, is now available.
Published by UC Press, the journal is a collaboration of the University of California, the UC Institute for Mexico and the United States (UC MEXUS) and la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). It is overseen by two editorial boards — one composed of faculty representatives from each of the 10 UC campuses and another made up of colleagues at UNAM, with associate editors from each institution. Serving as de facto members of both boards are UC President Janet Napolitano and UNAM Rector José Narro Robles.
“It’s a very prestigious journal, and a very interesting setup because it’s binational, bilingual and bi-institutional,” said Hellier-Tinoco. “It has tended to be interdisciplinary and to follow a lot of the political changes in Mexico, and it’s also been heavily into historical contexts. It has varied from issue to issue and volume to volume and has evolved over the years.”
For Hellier-Tinoco to assume executive editorship of Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos is something of a homecoming. “I first came across the journal in 1994 when I was starting my doctoral research,” she said. An actress prior to becoming an academic, Hellier-Tinoco created a theater piece titled “Aztec.” - See more at:
But what brings the journal full circle for Hellier-Tinoco? Alan Knight. “Alan Knight is a very renowned scholar at the University of Oxford and a professor of Mexican history,” Hellier-Tinoco explained. “I was starting my research, which was looking at post-revolutionary era Mexico. He wrote an article titled ‘Peasants Into Patriots’ that was published in the journal. That’s when I first became aware of it.
“And just last week we asked Alan Knight if he would review one of the articles, and he agreed,” she continued. “So, for me, there’s a personal connection to the journal.”