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Department of History
Taylor Murphy Hall 202
Phone 512.245.2142
Fax 512.245.3043

Dr. J. F. de la Teja

Dr. de la TejaOffice:  Brazos-214
Email:  delateja@txstate.edu
Phone:  512.245.2142

Curriculum Vitae

Jesús F. de la Teja is Jerome H. and Catherine E. Supple Professor of Southwestern Studies and Regents' Professor of history and serves as director of the Center for the Study of the Southwest at Texas State. He holds a Ph.D. in Latin American History from The University of Texas at Austin, and before coming to the university in 1991 he worked in the Archives and Records Division of the Texas General Land Office. His research interests focus on the northeastern frontier of Spanish colonial Mexico and Texas through the Republic era. He is the author of San Antonio de Béxar: A Community on New Spain’s Northern Frontier (1995), co-author of Texas: Crossroads of North America (2004), a college-level survey of the state’s history, and his most recent work is the edited volume Tejano Leadership in Mexican and Revolutionary Texas (2010). He has published in Americas, Historia Mexicana, Journal of the Early Republic, and Southwestern Historical Quarterly among other journals. In addition to his research activities he serves as a consultant for the Texas State History Museum and as book review editor of the Southwestern Historical Quarterly.

Courses Taught

Modern Mexico is the heir of ethnic and cultural influences as diverse as the Mesoamerican civilizations of the Olmecs and Maya, Classical Rome, and Reconquista Spain. It is impossible to comprehend Mexico today without understanding the precolumbian civilizations whose cultural influences endure, the Spanish colonial experience through which the country was incorporated into the world economy, and Mexico's early national experience which, among other things, shaped the nature of its relationship with the United States. This course will explore the variety of that experience through lectures, readings, and writings examining the ethnic, social, economic, political, and religious dimensions of Mexican history up to its war with the United States, a war which not only defined Mexico geographically but set off a new struggle for modernization.

Hispanic roots in the United States are to be found in the processes that shaped Spanish-colonial expansion from Mexico and the Caribbean into the present-day territory of the United States. The most lasting impact of Spain in North America has been in the Southwest, where colonial Hispanic communities became the roots of today's Mexican American population. Just as English institutions and culture molded Anglo America, so Spanish institutions and culture molded Hispanic America. Just as the Atlantic seaboard required Anglo-American colonists to adapt and modify English usages, so the semi-desert of western North America required Hispanic-American colonists to adapt and modify Spanish usages. In both cases, although to different degrees and in varying forms aspects of American Indian life were also incorporated into colonial society. The varying responses of Spanish colonials, other Euro-Americans, and Indians to circumstances along the southwestern half of the present-day United States has left a lasting impression on the region's identity.

This course covers the entire length of Texas history, from prehistoric times to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. The focus is on social and economic history, although attention will be paid to major political events and characters. Texas has always been a multi-ethnic and multicultural region. The blending of the Indian, Spanish, Mexican, Anglo American, African American, European and, increasingly, Asian cultures places Texas in a unique position within American society. The study of Texas history cannot be confined to tracing the process by which the area passed from one sovereignty to another, or to a discussion of a small group of influential political, military, and economic leaders.

A topics course designed to address specific themes in Texas history as chosen by the instructor. Past topics have included the republic period in Texas history and the historical, cultural, and social dimensions of the Texas Revolution.

This course examines selected topics in Mexican history from the Spanish conquest through the early post-independence period. The course has two objectives: 1) to introduce graduate students to both recent and classic historical literature, including an examination of recent historiographical trends; and 2) to have students prepare quality essays on a specific topic in Mexican historiography.

Texas history shares in the rich traditions of both the United States and Mexico. Important themes from both countries' histories, e.g. Indian frontiers, slavery, wars of independence, come together in a unique way not found anywhere else in the American experience. Texas, consequently, has a complex historiographical tradition with something for the student of every historical field and period. This course is intended to expose graduate students to the breadth of Texas historiography through discussion of selected readings and preparation of historiographical essays based on a field or period of interest to the student.