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Research Assistant Opportunity

American Ethos: Reveling in Patriotism on the U.S.-Mexico Border [Research Assistant]

American Ethos: Reveling in Patriotism on the U.S.-Mexico Border

Elaine Peña 

The ProjectAmerican Ethos examines the tradition of commemorating George Washington’s Birthday on the Texas-Tamaulipas border. The annual festival, which has weathered political strife, economic instability, and intra-community tension for over a century, is unapologetically osentatious. The first celebration held on February 22, 1898, for example, featured a reenactment of the Boston Tea Party complete with a one hundred foot boat docked at City Hall and boxes of candy labeled “tea.” Contemporary events continue to feature elaborate pageants, parades, bi-national ceremonies, and popular activities that promote U.S.-centric historical and cultural narratives. Although celebrated primarily in Laredo, Texas (United States), festivities involved organizations and individuals based in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas (Mexico) since its inception at the end of the nineteenth century. American Ethos considers the transnational dimensions of those patriotic expressions—how idealized and mythologized interpretations of American history not only traverse but also potentially reinforce geo-political boundaries.  

Research Assistant Tasks: Task #1: Reviewing Voice of America radio broadcasts (1960-1970) at the National Archives.

Task #2: Reviewing English and Spanish-language newspaper articles.

Task #3: Reviewing Washington’s Birthday Celebration program books and minute books.

Time Commitment: 4-6 hours

Credit Hour Option: TBD

Application Instructions: Research Interests (one paragraph)
Overview of previous research experience
Evidence of Spanish language proficiency 

Contact Email: eapena@gwu.edu