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Dr. Alexander Mendoza, Assistant Professor, History Department, University of North Texas. Dr. Mendoza's areas of expertise are 19th century American military and the Tejano (Mexican Texans) military experience. Mendoza is the co-editor for, Texans at War: A New Military History of the Lone Star State (2012) an anthology studying the military history of Texas through the prism of race, gender, and manliness, among other topics. In addition, he has contributed articles on Tejanos in the American military and the History of Mexican Americans for various magazines, journals, and anthologies. Mendoza is currently working on a book-length study examining the history of Tejanos in the American military.
"I am close to finishing a book length manuscript, a comprehensive study of Tejanos in American wars, 1812-1973, examining the role of Mexican Texans and their participation in the various conflicts of Texas and North America from the colonial period to the modern era. The study examines how the American wars of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries shaped how Mexican Texans sought to alter perceptions that viewed them as foreigners in the land of their birth, how they tried to prove loyalty to the nation, and the impact that their investment in military service could provide in their struggle for political and social equality. I have published book chapters and various articles on the subject detailing particular time periods. The book will cover the entire breadth of Tejano military service to the modern era with an afterword on how Texans of Mexican descent view the military."
3 Things of Note about Dr. Mendoza's research
- Historically, the notion of military service among Mexican Texans is more complex than the modern understanding of patriotism and nationalistic sentiment.
- Tejano military service was not a hegemonic experience forged through the prisms of assimilation and patriotism.
- Tejanos altered their motivations in the various wars of since the nineteenth century, shifting their views based on a complex set of intrinsic and extrinsic values by the mid-1900s.