Una cruz de madera : (re)activating and preserving memoryscapes at the San José Cemeteries

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2021-12
Authors
Hernández, Diana M.
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Abstract

This thesis aims to accomplish three goals. The first is the documentation of the site via the collection of oral histories and research into the archival record. Beyond this, the second goal is to conduct an analysis of the San José Cemeteries through the lens of memory studies, specifically through the framework of the memoryscape. For one, the sites are not just a burial site. They are a cultural landscape that situates a community's collective memory, collective identity, and sense of place-a memoryscape. As geographical dimensions of collective memory, the histories embedded in the landscape play a crucial role in addressing historical misrepresentations imposed by regimes of racial formation and representation. Thirdly, I would like to emphasize the subversive power of spaces deemed non-places, like the San José cemeteries and their significance in reclaiming and reactivating marginalized histories to contest state-sanctioned narratives about disenfranchised communities. Thus, the third goal is to advocate for the importance of preserving the San José Cemeteries through public awareness about its treatment over the course of the twentieth century.

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