Curriculum Vitae
CHMS Advising
CHMS Listserv


UNM Press

Purchase the Book at Amazon.com

Bookworks in Albuquerque

Collected Works in Santa Fe


The Land of Disenchantment:
Latina/o Identities and Transformations in Northern New Mexico

Released February 2010, University of New Mexico Press

“Michael Trujillo’s Land of Disenchantment is astonishing, both for its scholarly depth and, more importantly, for its honesty. As an ethnographic study of the Española Valley it offers a searing account of the negative realities that trouble Nuevomexicanos: poverty, drugs, violence. And, yet, Trujillo probes into these social and material difficulties with a spirit that suggests how creativity, identity, and will to survive emerge from tragedy to produce a positive aesthetics of joking, storytelling, weaving, and cultural ritual that keeps people alive to their long history and to their dreams.”
—GENARO PADILLA, Associate Professor of English, University of California at Berkeley

Review that appeared in the Santa Fe New Mexican
Review that appeared in H-Net

NEW MEXICO’S ESPAÑOLA VALLEY IS SITUATED IN THE NORTHERN PART OF THE state between the fabled Sangre de Cristo and Jemez Mountains. Many of the Valley’s communities have roots in the Spanish and Mexican periods of colonization, while the Native Book CoverAmerican Pueblos of Ohkay Owingeh and Santa Clara are far older. In this experimental ethnography, Michael Trujillo presents a vision of Española that addresses its denigration by neighbors—and some of its residents—because it represents the antithesis of the supposedly “positive” narrative of New Mexico. Contradicting the popular notion of New Mexico as the “Land of Enchantment,” a fusion of race, landscape, architecture, and food into a romanticized commodity, Trujillo probes beneath the surface to reveal the struggle and pain brought about by colonization and the transition from a pastoral to an urban economy, as well as the limits of common ethnographic representations. Land of Disenchantment contains both Trujillo’s original ethnography and his explorations of creative works by Valley residents Policarpio Valencia, Jim Sagel, Teresa Archuleta, and G. Benito Córdova.

“Michael Trujillo shows exactly why the image of a “Land of Enchantment” does no favors for those whose lives are rendered invisible by such spells. Instead, he invites readers to draw close to the deep ambivalence that only begins to be understood when an observer is prepared to “tarry with the negative” and that manifests an immanent critique of the unjust circumstances of many Nuevomexicanos. Working against the limitations of ethnography, without dismissing its potential, Trujillo stretches American Studies and anthropology from within, in directions they need to move.”
—BEN CHAPPELL, Assistant Professor of American Studies, University of Kansas

6 x 9 288 pages 29 halftones
$29.95 ( paperback )