José E. Limón
The Julian Samora Professor of Latino Studies
José E. Limón is one of the country’s foremost scholars of Latino literature. His academic interests are varied and include cultural studies, Chicano literature, Mexicans in the United States, U.S.-Mexico cultural relations, critical theory, folklore and popular culture, and literature of the U.S. South.
Limón is the author of four major books in the field of Latino studies— American Encounters: Greater Mexico, the United States and the Erotics of Culture, Dancing with the Devil: Society and Cultural Poetics in Mexican-American South Texas, and Mexican Ballads, Chicano Poems: History and Influence in Mexican-American Social Poetry—and more than 35 articles. He recently published a new book, Américo Paredes: Culture and Critique (University of Texas Press, 2012), on the founding figure of Mexican-American studies. He also has two book projects in progress: Hispanic Self-Fashioning: The Making of a Mexican-American Middle Class Identity and Neither Friends, Nor Strangers: Mexicans and Anglos in the Literary Making of Texas.
Although English is Limón’s home department, he holds concurrent appointments in the Department of American Studies and the Department of Anthropology, and he is the Director of the Institute for Latino Studies.
A Texas native, Limón holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, a master’s in English, and a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology, all from the University of Texas at Austin. Of his journey northward to South Bend, Limón remarks, “When I was a little boy attending little Catholic schools in south Texas, my mother often said, ‘Quiero que algún día vayas a Notre Dame,’ [I want you someday to go to Notre Dame] even though she didn’t have the slightest idea where it was except somewhere in ‘el norte.’ Well, I finally made it.”
Professor Limón is also the Notre Dame Professor of American Literature.
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The Julian Samora Professorship was established in 1997, with a gift from the Follett Corporation, the nation’s largest operator of campus bookstores. The position honors the late sociology professor and preeminent scholar of Mexican-American studies, who taught at Notre Dame from 1959 until 1985.