UTSA and TTU Press seek writers for new indigenous foodways book series

By: Travis Snyder, Texas Tech University Press
Amy Rushing, UTSA Special Collections

Mixtli restaurant

MARCH 11, 2024 -- The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Libraries Special Collections and Texas Tech University Press (TTUP) will partner to develop a new book series entitled, "Indigenous Foodways of Texas and Northern Mexico,” drawing on UTSA’s extensive Mexican Cookbook Collection and TTUP’s publishing expertise. The new books will explore, preserve and propagate Indigenous food traditions, techniques and histories.

The partners are seeking projects that focalize the food confluences among people in Texas and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas.

“UTSA’s Mexican Cookbook Collection is the largest of its kind in the nation. It’s a rich resource for researchers, chefs, students and food writers,” said Amy Rushing, assistant vice provost for UTSA Special Collections. “We are thrilled the Special Collections will be an integral part of the publication series. The project supports UTSA’s mission as a Hispanic Serving Institution by honoring and preserving Hispanic heritage.”

The book series editor is Adán Medrano, a nationally recognized chef and food writer whose work focuses on the native foods of Texas and Northeastern Mexico, the borderlands region to be explored in the new book series. Writers who are interested in participating may email Medrano.

The books in the series will be designed for a general audience, and will emphasize:

  • Historical cookbooks in the UTSA Mexican Cookbook Collection that could be republished for a new audience
  • Collecting and anthologizing historical materials such as a compilation of pieces about the foods of South Texas and Northeastern Mexico throughout history.
  • Popular history with Indigenous food prominently featured.

The series will also support scholarly books, particularly those that integrate with food studies programs. Cultural histories of food and even some anthropological, archaeological and Mexican American studies scholarship could be relevant to such a series. The UTSA Libraries and TTUP will emphasize the work of scholars interested in incorporating their work into conversations with nontraditional (outside the academy) sources of knowledge and tradition.

Writers are encouraged to utilize and feature items from the UTSA Mexican Cookbook Collection in their work. The collection includes:

  • More than 2,500 Mexican cookbooks published in Spanish and in English, ranging in date from 1789 to the present
  • Over 100 manuscript cookbooks from the late eighteenth to the nineteenth and early mid-twentieth centuries
  • Significant holdings in regional cooking, including the largest collection of works by Josefina Velázquez de León
  • Books about herbs, medicinal plants and ingredients native to Mexico

The series’ publishers will prioritize promoting books that emphasize native ingredients and approaches, focusing on the connections between food and various topics such as climate change, history, colonialism, gender identity, economic circumstances, health and other contexts that shape society’s understanding of food and self.

Explore Further

-- Researchers interested in learning more about Special Collections should contact Amy Rushing and Steph Noell at UTSA's Special Collections.