The Cancionero and the Ideological Borderlands of Social Movements


Estevan César Azcona (San José State University)

This paper looks critically at one element of material culture of the Chicana/o Movement, the cancionero, as lens into the complex terrain of music-making within social movements. The cancionero—songbooks created largely by Chicana/o teatro ensembles—were among the first representations of movement musical practice. Cancioneros told a story of both what songs were popular within a given locale, as well as the complicated ideological worldview of the movement itself. I suggest that music making--and expressive culture--within social movements cannot be adequately understood without thinking about how cultural activists engage a diversity of race, ethnic, and transnational struggles.

Part of 36-05 Cultural and Social Pedagogy in the Sites of Ethnic Mexican Music-Making, Wednesday, October 20, 5:15 pm–6:45 pm