The 1929 master's thesis of folklorist, Jovita Gonzalez has served as source material on the Texas-Mexican borderlands for more than seventy-five years but has never before been published. When Gonzalez decided to pursue a master's degree in history from the University of Texas, she was already the vice-president and president-elect of the Texas Folklore Society. Despite this, she wrote a defiant master's thesis that offered a competing vision of Texas history and culture to that promoted by the ""founding fathers"" of Texas folklore. Her complex analysis de-emphasizes the role of the Texas Revolution in Texas history and explores the ways in which Anglos and Mexicans developed tense ties following the U.S.-Mexico War. Her approach to Texas history elegantly counters the ""rhetoric of dominance"" of the established historians of the American West of her time. Gonzalez's thesis is now available for the first time to a wider reading public, especially those who value a Tejana legacy that presents the borderlands as a crucible in which a new kind of identity is being formed.
JOVITA GONZALEZ, who died in 1983, is the author of Caballero, a historical novel published by Texas A&M University Press, and Dew on the Thorn. MARIA EUGENIA COTERA, who earned her Ph.D. from Stanford and now teaches at the University of Michigan, became interested in Jovita Gonzalez as a master's student at the University of Texas.