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Cultural Writing. At the height of the 1930's Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt instituted a Federal Writers Project as part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), one of many government programs aimed at getting the populace back to work. Many writers participated through activities such as compiling a series of state guides, gathering folksongs, and recording the oral narratives of still-living ex-slaves. New Mexico was among the states participating in this effort, and the project workers there included two women interviewers, Lou Sage Batchen and Annette Hesch Thorp. Their work placed particular emphasis upon gathering Hispanic women's tales, or cuentos. The two interviewed many native old-timers, gathering folktales as well as gleaning vivid details of a way of life now gone.
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Tey Diana Rebolledo, Professor of Spanish at the University of New Mexico, is the author of Women Singing in the Snow: A Cultural Analysis of Chicana Literature and co-editor of books including Infinite Divisions: An Anthology of Chicana Literature and Las Mujeres Hablan: An Anthology of Nuevo Mexicana Writers. In 1997 she received the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS) Scholar Award. María Teresa Márquez is Associate Professor at the University of New Mexico's Center for Southwest Research. Among her other activities, she founded and moderates ChicleNet, and Internet-based discussion network devoted to Chicano literature.Language Notes:
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Spanish
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