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Jason Ruiz
University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN 46556-4635)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2010 – 9/30/2010

Americans in the Treasure House: Travel to Mexico in the Popular Imagination of the United States, 1876-1920

This project examines representations of travel to Mexico that circulated in the United States during the presidency of Porfirio Diaz (1876-1910, known as the "Porfiriato"), a period marked by massive foreign investment and Mexico's rapid--though incomplete--modernization. "Americans in the Treasure House" argues that travel was an important practice for the popular conceptualization of Mexico as an extension of the Western frontier, famously lamented as "closed" by historian Frederick Jackson Turner at the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893. This will be the first monograph to ask how travel to Mexico relates to American history and identity, especially to the question of American empire that reverberated in U.S. political and popular cultures throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This interdisciplinary book will contribute to a number of fields in the humanities, especially history, American studies, Latin American studies and Latino studies.