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Critical Latina/o Foodways: Racial Formation and Placemaking in the San Gabriel Valley, 1910-1945


This thesis pieces together the social history of the Central San Gabriel Valley from a Latina/o perspective, particularly when Latina/os are largely omitted from existing historical accounts. I propose a concept, “critical Latina/o foodways,” or CLF, as an approach for recovering Latina/o social histories from traditional archives by centering foodways in archival investigations. In using the CLF approach, I am able to show how the labor and business of foods shaped placemaking practices of Latina/os in the urban outskirts of Los Angeles from 1910 to 1945. Furthermore, I show how Latino farmer-entrepreneurs shaped the civic identity and formation of Baldwin Park, a city located in the Central SGV.

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