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Reséndez, Andrés 1970–

Reséndez, Andrés 1970–

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PERSONAL:

Born c. 1970 in Mexico; son of Andrés Reséndez Medina (a biologist and educator) and María Teresa Fuentes; married Jaana Remes; children: Samuel, Vera. Education: El Colegio de México, B.A., 1992; University of Chicago, M.A., 1992, Ph.D., 1997.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Davis, CA. Office—Department of History, University of California, Davis, 2216 Social Sciences and Humanities, Davis, CA 95616. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Affiliated with Editorial Clío, Mexico City, Mexico, 1996-97; Yale University, New Haven, CT, visiting assistant professor of history, 1997-98; University of California, Davis, assistant professor, 1998-2005, associate professor of history, 2005—. Consultant to Cobblestone Publishing, National Geographic, and television programs in Mexico.

MEMBER:

American Historical Association, Latin American Studies Association, Organization of American Historians (member of program committee), Western Historical Association (member of program committee).

AWARDS, HONORS:

Research awards, University of California, Davis, 2001-02 and 2006-07; UCMexus collaborative grant, University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States, 2002-04; award for book making the most significant contribution to knowledge, Texas Institute of Letters, 2004, and Coral H. Tullis Memorial Award, Texas State Historical Association, 2005, both for Changing National Identities at the Frontier: Texas and New Mexico, 1800-1850; Fulbright Bicentennial Chair in American Studies for Finland, 2008-09.

WRITINGS:

(Coauthor) Política Exterior para un Mundo Nuevo: México en el Nuevo Contexto Internacional, Editorial Diana (Mexico City, Mexico), 1991.

(With José Emilio Pacheco) Crónica del 47, Editorial Clío (Mexico City, Mexico), 1997.

(Editor, translator, and author of introduction and notes) A Texas Patriot on Trial in Mexico: José Antonio Navarro and the Texan Santa Fe Expedition, DeGolyer Library/William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX), 2005.

Changing National Identities at the Frontier: Texas and New Mexico, 1800-1850, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2005.

A Land So Strange: The Epic Journey of Cabeza de Vaca: The Extraordinary Tale of a Shipwrecked Spaniard Who Walked across America in the Sixteenth Century, Basic Books (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor to books, including Continental Crossroads: Remapping U.S.-Mexico Borderlands History, edited by Samuel Truett and Elliott Young, Duke University Press, 2004; and The Divine Charter: Constitutionalism and Liberalism in Nineteenth-Century Mexico, edited by Jaime E. Rodriguez O., Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2005. Contributor to periodicals, including American Historical Review, Americas, Biography, Hispanic American Historical Review, Historia Mexicana, Journal of American History, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Journal of the Early Republic, Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos, Pacific Historical Review, Reviews in American History, and Southwestern Historical Quarterly. Americas, former area editor.

SIDELIGHTS:

A Mexican-born historian who has taught at the University of California, Davis, since 1998, Andrés Reséndez has written and edited several works involving the history of Mexico and Texas. Changing National Identities at the Frontier: Texas and New Mexico, 1800-1850 explores the interactions and identity shifts among Europeans, Native Americans, Mexicans, and Americans along the Texas/Mexico border. "In lucid and lively prose," wrote Sarah Deutsch in the Journal of Southern History, the author "illuminates the similarities as well as the more familiar differences" among the groups. Deutsch explained that the book "recasts the history of both sides of the U.S./Mexico/Texas border in the light of transnational developments," and she counted it "among the best works of the new borderlands history."

In 2007 Reséndez combined scholarship and adventure story in A Land So Strange: The Epic Journey of Cabeza de Vaca: The Extraordinary Tale of a Shipwrecked Spaniard Who Walked across America in the Sixteenth Century. Based on accounts by explorer Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and two of his companions in a failed attempt to colonize the New World, the book was described by critics such as Entertainment Weekly's Kate Ward as "riveting." Intending to land on the northeast coast of Mexico, Cabeza de Vaca's expedition, led by Pánfilo de Narváez, found themselves instead on Florida's west coast. Of some three hundred men who went ashore, only Cabeza de Vaca, two other Spaniards, and an African slave survived the next ten years of hostile environment, natives who were variously helpful, hostile, and worshipful, and hundreds of miles of foot travel.

Reviewing the book for the Washington Post, Carolyn See found it "crammed with scholarship" yet akin to "the most gruesome pulp magazine story"; she called it "nearly impossible to put down." Ángel Gurría-Quintana noted in the Financial Times that the author "tells this gripping story with zeal," although he observed weaknesses in the work: based largely on just two primary sources, it covers what he deemed too-familiar ground, and he claimed the author speculates too much. "Still, it is impossible not to be swept along by his enthusiasm," Gurría-Quintana maintained. Acknowledging that Reséndez depends heavily on the two historical accounts, Robert Wilson in the American Scholar pointed out that the author "interprets them with fresh eyes." Wilson also commented that Reséndez contributes "a breadth of knowledge," providing details on subjects such as navigation and weather patterns of the period not available in the Spaniards' own accounts. Remarking on the author's focus on the "human dimension" of this "ultimate survivors' story," Barbara Liss in the Houston Chronicle concluded, "Reséndez's graceful tale of four men who came to accept a new land on its own terms is itself a marvel to behold."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Historical Review, February, 2006, Cynthia Radding, review of Changing National Identities at the Frontier: Texas and New Mexico, 1800-1850, p. 240.

American Scholar, winter, 2008, Robert Wilson, "A Long Walk in the New World: Of 300 Settlers Sent by Spain to Florida, Only Four Survived," p. 137.

Americas, July, 2005, Elliott Young, review of Changing National Identities at the Frontier, p. 119; July, 2007, Douglas W. Richmond, review of A Texas Patriot on Trial in Mexico: José Antonio Navarro and the Texan Santa Fe Expedition, pp. 105-106.

Booklist, November 15, 2007, Gilbert Taylor, review of A Land So Strange: The Epic Journey of Cabeza de Vaca: The Extraordinary Tale of a Shipwrecked Spaniard Who Walked across America in the Sixteenth Century, p. 16.

Choice, June, 2005, M.J. Van de Logt, review of Changing National Identities at the Frontier, p. 1885.

Entertainment Weekly, November 16, 2007, Kate Ward, review of A Land So Strange, p. 83.

Financial Times, January 12, 2008, Ángel Gurría-Quintana, "Fantastic Voyage," p. 35.

Hispanic American Historical Review, November, 2007, Michael P. Costeloe, review of A Texas Patriot on Trial in Mexico, p. 758; February, 2008, Glen David Kuecker, review of Changing National Identities at the Frontier, p. 158.

History, October, 2006, Graham Davis, review of Changing National Identities at the Frontier, p. 591.

Houston Chronicle, December 28, 2007, Barbara Liss, "A Journey So Strange."

Journal of American History, December, 2005, Gilberto M. Hinojosa, review of Changing National Identities at the Frontier, p. 981.

Journal of Southern History, May, 2006, Sarah Deutsch, review of Changing National Identities at the Frontier, p. 458.

Journal of the Early Republic, fall, 2006, Kevin M. Brady, "True Women and Westward Expansion," p. 483.

Library Journal, November 1, 2007, Elizabeth Salt, review of A Land So Strange, p. 84.

Pacific Historical Review, May, 2006, Thomas D. Hall, review of Changing National Identities at the Frontier, p. 344.

Publishers Weekly, September 10, 2007, review of A Land So Strange, p. 49.

Reference & Research Book News, February, 2008, review of A Land So Strange.

Southwestern Historical Quarterly, January, 2006, James A. Wilson, review of Changing National Identities at the Frontier, p. 402; April, 2007, James E. Crisp, review of A Texas Patriot on Trial in Mexico, pp. 555-556.

Texas Monthly, December, 2007, Mike Shea, review of A Land So Strange, p. 74.

Washington Post, December 14, 2007, Carolyn See, "Cast Away in the New World," p. C3.

Western Historical Quarterly, summer, 2006, Jorge Hernandez, review of Changing National Identities at the Frontier, p. 235.

ONLINE

University of California at Davis Web site,http://ucdavis.edu/ (September 22, 2008), faculty profile.

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