City College of New York Professor of Spanish Araceli Tinajero is the co-editor with J. Brian Freeman of “Technology and Culture in Twentieth-Century Mexico.” The book, published by the University of Alabama Press, departs from popular scholarly themes associated with Mexico such as tradition and culture.
The 376-page volume includes 18 articles from prominent scholars at City College, the Graduate Center, CUNY, and eight other institutions across the United States and Mexico.
Among the contributors are Dr. Anna Indych-Lopez, associate professor and chair of art at CCNY; and Erja Vettenranta, a CCNY alumna and PhD candidate at the Graduate Center.
The book chapters cover topics such as:
- Effects of household appliances and innovations on the lives and gender roles of Mexican women;
- How the proliferation of private cars and public conveyances produced novel dangers in – and altered the spatiality of – Mexico City;
- The vital role that radio has played in preserving and transforming indigenous languages and cultures;
- Relationships among technology, literature, art, and architecture.
A variety of themes arise from the study of technology and culture, Professor Tinajero said. “For example, themes ranging from the introduction of new forms of travel (automobiles, buses, trains, and subways) to innovations in media (radio, film, and the Internet) to the relationships among technology, literature, art, and architecture.”
She conceptualized “Technology and Culture” after collaborating with the late historian Alfonso Quiroz on an interdisciplinary seminar on civil society at the Graduate Center. “The seminar let us to contemplate the lack of scholarship on the connections between technology and culture in modern Mexico,” she said. “While it is widely accepted by scholars that substantial changes in technology occurred in Mexico during the last century, very little has been written on such issues.”
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