November 16, 2021
American ethnic studies faculty member awarded best dissertation award
Maria Vallejo, teaching assistant professor in the American ethnic studies department, has been awarded the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at El Paso.
Her dissertation is titled "On the Rio Grande: A Struggle for Land and Citizenship in San Vicente del Llano Grande, 1749-1930." Her research focuses on a Spanish Land Grant, the Llano Grande, given to the Hinojosa family in 1789 by the Spanish Crown in what is now South Texas. She examines this land grant from the early colonial period from 1749 until the 1930s. At the heart of her study is how land and citizenship interconnect under the Spanish Land Grant, the Llano Grande, from 1749-1930. The colonial Spanish Land Grants subverted the traditional homeland of the Coahuiltecan tribal peoples.
Vallejo presented her research at the 60th annual meeting of the Western History Association Conference in October 2020, which was held virtually. She is working to publish articles and also reworking her dissertation for publication as a book.