The Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Journal Award

The Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Journal Collection offers an annual award for newly published research or thinking that has been recognized to be outstanding by members of the Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Research Network.

Award Winner for Volume 11

Race, Culture, and Politics in the Schooling of Ethnic Mexicans in the New American Southwest: The Case of Texas, 1836–1860

Little has been written about the education of ethnic Mexicans in the United States during the nineteenth century. The historical studies that exist tend to focus on the twentieth century in general and on elementary and secondary public education. This study is different in that it emphasizes nineteenth century developments and looks at how general and higher education for ethnic Mexicans was shaped during the decades in which Mexican Texas transitioned into Anglo Texas. It challenges contemporary views that educational exclusion and discrimination were twentieth century developments and argues that they emerged in the nineteenth century.


This article lays the basis for a larger project on the education of Mexican origin individuals in areas that became part of the United States during the years from 1836 to 1890. The larger project seeks to understand the emerging relationship between Anglo American political leaders, mainstream institutions and the linguistically and culturally diverse population residing in the newly established American southwest during the 19th century. In this particular article I focus on developments in the state of Texas as it transitioned from Mexican to Anglo rule. How did political leaders in Texas conceptualize an American public school system in an area that had formerly belonged to Mexico and still contained significant numbers of much despised Mexican origin individuals? More specifically, what impact did race, ethnicity, culture and politics play in the origins of the public school system in the state? These are some of the questions this essay raises and explores.

I argue that the variety of factors that shaped the establishment of a system of public education in the early years of American rule were discernible during the 1820s and early 1830s. Of primary importance for later school developments were the presence of assimilationist and racial ideologies and the lived experiences of Anglo segregated self-rule. These ideologies and experiences were strengthened during the first two decades after independence and served to guide institutional development, especially the system of public schools and higher education. The result of these experiences and ideologies was the development of racially and ethnically discriminatory institutional policies that negatively impacted the Mexican origin community’s future educational opportunities.

This article expands the field of Mexican American education by providing an historical account of Anglo efforts to maintain cultural and political hegemony through the establishment of public education in the 1800s. Most of the scholarship on the history of Mexican American education in the United States is based on 20th century developments. This is one of the few articles that explore the relationship between politics, education, and Mexican Americans in the 19th century.

This article also reflects my continuing intellectual interest in the way in which social institutions and ideals develop in a constantly changing political, economic, and cultural environment over time and how they have direct impact on structures and individual lives, especially on those who have little power or who are racially and culturally distinct.

—Guadalupe San Miguel Jr.

Past Award Winners

Volume 10

Learning and Teaching Scholarship: Discovery across Disciplines

J. Fiona Peterson, Andrea Chester, Suzie Attiwill, and Debra Bateman, The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences: Annual Review, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp.33–50


Volume 9

Kids Come Last: The Effect of Family Law Involvement in Parental Alienation

Christine Giancarlo and Kara Rottmann, The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences: Annual Review, Volume 9, Volume 1, pp.27–42


Volume 8

Migratory Fluxes and the Concentration of Foreign Manpower

Olga Achón Rodríguez, The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences: Annual Review, Volume 8, Issue1, pp.13–22


Volume 7

Ethics of Knowledge Translation: One Step Forward

Darquise Lafrenière, Thierry Hurlimann, Vincent Menuz, and Béatrice Godard, The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences: Annual Review, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.23–36


Volume 6

Beyond a Shadow of Doubt: The Psychological Nature of Dogmatism

J. J. Johnson, The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.149–162


Volume 5

Revealing Clio’s Secrets: The Case for Historical Macromeasurement

Sean M. Clark, The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 8, pp.101–114


Volume 4

An Overdue Appraisal: The Need to Rethink Democracy Theory

Joleen Steyn-Kotze, The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 3, Issue 9, pp.13–30