Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Contents Note

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Personal Materials, 1941-2014

Written Works and Related Materials, 1984-2012, undated

Academic Materials, 1974-2015

Audiovisual Materials, circa 1930s-2010

Oversized Materials

The Benson Latin American Collection

Teresa Palomo Acosta Papers



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Acosta, Teresa Palomo, 1949-
Title: Teresa Palomo Acosta Papers
Dates: circa 1934-2015
Abstract: Personal papers of Teresa Palomo Acosta, Tejana poet, historian, author, and activist. Included are biographical and family materials, written works, correspondence, academic papers and programs, photographs, CDs, and audio cassettes.
Accession No.: 1996-27
Extent: 4 linear feet
Language: English, Spanish
Repository: Benson Latin American Collection, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Teresa Palomo Acosta was born in McGregor, Texas, on March 9, 1949. Her parents, Sabina Palomo Acosta and Andres Alderete Acosta, both came from families of Mexican migrant workers who settled in Central Texas in the 1930s. Acosta is the youngest of four children with two older brothers, Andres and Jesus ("Jesse"), and one older sister, Olivia. In 1974, Acosta graduated from The University of Texas with a bachelor's degree in ethnic studies. In 1977, she received a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

Acosta has had a lengthy career as a writer of poetry and fiction. Her first published work, a poem entitled "My Mother Pieced Quilts," appeared in the 1976 anthology Festival de Flor y Canto: An Anthology of Chicano Literature printed by the University of Southern California Press. This poem is among Acosta's most notable works and has been anthologized and republished in secondary school textbooks, bringing her national recognition. Her work takes inspiration from her personal experience as a Mexican American woman from Texas. Throughout her work, as in "My Mother Pieced Quilts," Acosta elevates the domestic Mexican American woman, highlighting a group that has generally been underrepresented in literature and poetry.

Acosta also addresses her cultural heritage and identity through her work as a historian. In this capacity, she coauthored the 2003 book Las Tejanas: 300 Years of History with Ruthe Winegarten, an American author, activist, and historian from Dallas, Texas. Las Tejanas focuses on the previously uncelebrated contributions of Mexican American women to Texas history and was the winner of the T.R. Fehrenbach Book Award in 2004.

Acosta has lived and worked in Austin since the late 1970s, and her work in academia shares similar themes with her writing, promoting the narratives and histories of underrepresented groups. She began her career with a seven year tenure from 1977 to 1984 at St. Edwards University, lecturing in the Departments of English and Liberal Arts. Following her time at St. Edwards, Acosta served as the Director of Student Retention Services for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, working to implement the state's first African American and Mexican American student access and retention initiatives among public higher education institutions.

As a Research Associate and Conference Coordinator with the Texas State Historical Association, Acosta organized the Mexican Americans in Texas History conference in 1991. It featured presentations of papers by scholars of Mexican American Studies, eleven of which were published as a book (also titled Mexican Americans in Texas History) in 2000.

From 1993 to 1994 Acosta worked as a Special Assistant to the President of The University of Texas. In 1994 she authored a report for the Office of the Vice President for Development and University Relations which aimed to improve community links and relations between the university and it's Mexican American and Latino constituents. This was done in part to investigate low enrollment numbers of Hispanic students. In interviews conducted for the report, the Austin Latino community expressed concern that the university was inadequately meeting the needs of minority students, often describing the university as an "elitist" institution. Acosta recommended in the report that UT establish a community relations unit to address this issue. The report received subsequent attention from the local press, UT faculty, and community members with some in support and others in denial of Acosta's findings.

In 1991, Acosta began lecturing at The University of Texas in the department of Mexican American Studies. Her class was entitled "Ethnicity and Gender: La Chicana" and focused on the history, sociology, and culture of women of Mexican descent in the United States. She taught this course until 1994 and again from 1996 through 1997. Returning to the same department in 1999, Acosta taught a general writing seminar in Mexican American Studies, and in 2003 she taught a creative writing seminar entitled "Writing the Tejana Narrative."

In addition to her professional and writing career, Acosta has also worked in the Austin community as a Tejana historian and a mentor to young students. After Ruthe Winegarten's death in 2004, Acosta co-founded the Ruthe Winegarten Memorial Foundation for Texas Women's History in 2006 and served as its vice president from 2007 to 2013. The foundation is a nonprofit that seeks to encourage the study of women in Texas history. Acosta has also served as a youth mentor and an advocate for literacy development among K-12 students. She was a literacy educator in the Austin Independent School District from 2001-2002 and a K-12 student programs coordinator for the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) with office space in the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History from 2005-2007. From 2005-2007, she also served as an assistant editor at the Texas Historian which publishes the work of secondary students.

Return to the Table of Contents


Scope and Contents Note

This collection contains the personal and professional papers of Teresa Palomo Acosta, Tejana poet, author, historian, editor, lecturer, and activist. The materials document her writing, both creatively and as a historian; her work in academia as a lecturer, assistant to the president of the University of Texas, and conference coordinator; as well as her work in the Tejana and Austin community through the Ruthe Winegarten Memorial Foundation and as a mentor to youths. Acosta's family history, which greatly influenced her writing, is also represented through photographs dating to the 1930's and other materials regarding her parents, Sabina Palomo Acosta and Andres Alderete Acosta, and other family members. The collection is arranged in five series: Personal Materials, Written Works and Related Materials, Academic Materials, Audiovisual Materials, and Oversize Materials.

Personal Materials is arranged in four subseries. The Biographical Materials subseries includes Acosta's birth certificate, a written profile about her and her family by Suzanne Labry for the website quilts.com in 2014, and documentation of her professional career via her resume and CV. The Family Materials subseries focuses on Acosta's family, especially her parents. There are obituaries for her father who died in 1997, her mother who died in 2006, and her brother Jesse who died in 2014. Also included are items and papers Acosta may have kept for sentimental reasons, including doilies hand-made by her mother and a poetry chapbook Acosta inscribed to her parents in 1984 but noted that she "took back" after her mother's death. Also included is a 2014 article written about Acosta's poem "My Mother Pieced Quilts." The article describes how Acosta's parents met as migrant workers in Texas. The Community Involvement subseries contains materials from 1999-2008 including a booklet written by Acosta for a literacy program for girls, materials related to the Ruthe Winegarten Memorial Foundation, and certificates Acosta received for her work in her community. Correspondence and Other Personal Materials contains materials from 1994-2008, including signed books given to Acosta from Jorge Antonio Renaud and Celeste Guzman Mendoza, two Latino/a writers from Texas, as well as some personal correspondence with Renaud, a saved obituary for Mauricia Urquieta, and a sketch by Acosta.

Written Works and Related Materials contains manuscripts and published copies of creative works written by Acosta from 1984-2012. These materials have been separated into subseries based on genre: Poetry, Las Tejanas, Children's Books, Plays, and Short Stories and Other Writing. Those subseries are arranged in order of volume, with Poetry containing the most materials, and files are arranged chronologically within subseries. The subseries Las Tejanas contains a copy of the book signed by coauthor Ruthe Winegarten, as well as the award the authors won in 2004, an artwork release, an assignment of royalties letter, and a review in the New Mexico Historical Review. A fifth subseries of Correspondence and Other Materials Regarding Acosta's Written Works contains materials from 1994-2001 that reflect the life of Acosta's works after publication and responses to her works. This subseries includes correspondence regarding her work and its republication, thank you notes from readers, and a dissertation written about Acosta's work, among other materials.

Academic Materials contains materials relating to Acosta's professional career in academia. It is separated into three subseries. Academic Papers and Programs contains items related to events Acosta attended or participated in from 1974 to 2015, including papers and speeches she presented along with her speaking notes, event programs, and more. Mexican Americans in Texas History Conference features event materials and sixteen papers presented at the 1991 conference which Acosta organized as Research Associate and Conference Coordinator with the Texas State Historical Association. Academic Writing and Editing focuses on Acosta's professional writings and work as an editor of TX Historian and the New Handbook of Texas. Lastly, The University of Texas at Austin subseries contains materials from Acosta's 1993-1994 years working as a lecturer and as an assistant to the President of UT; included is the 1994 report she compiled on the university's relationship to Latino and Mexican American communities and materials regarding the public and university's reaction to that report.

Audiovisual Materials is organized by genre. Photographs and Negatives contains mostly family photographs which date to the 1930's and accompanying typed inventories. The presence of the inventories and other documents such as a funeral notice, indicate that these materials may all have originally been part of a photograph album.The Compact Discs (CDs) and Audio Cassettes sub-series span multiple facets of Acosta's life and work, including family photos on CD, illustrations for her children's book, Colchas, Colchitas, a PowerPoint for the Las Tejanas Symposium, and audio of guest appearances on the radio program Latino USA.

The Oversize Materials series includes an oversized photograph with biography for Acosta that was used for an exhibit, posters for a Las Tejanas symposium and Noche de Cuentos, as well as two copies of Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation (CARA).

Return to the Table of Contents


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Advance notice is required to access audio visual material from Box 4. Other material is unrestricted.

Use Restrictions

Standard copyright restrictions apply.

Return to the Table of Contents


Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Acosta, Teresa Palomo, 1949-
Subjects (Organizations)
Ruthe Winegarten Memorial Foundation.
University of Texas at Austin.
Subjects
American literature--Mexican American authors.
American poetry--Mexican American authors.
Community activists--United States.
Literacy--Study and teaching (Primary)--United States.
Mexican American experience.
Mexican American poetry (English)
Mexican American women--Texas--history.
Document Types
Audio cassettes.
Awards.
Books.
Chapbooks.
Children's Books.
Compact discs.
Correspondence.
Essays.
Manuscripts (documents).
Photographs.
Poems.
Reports.
Scripts (documents).

Return to the Table of Contents


Related Material

The Benson Latin American Collection also holds the Teresa Palomo Acosta and Ruthe Winegarten Collection on Las Tejanas.

Return to the Table of Contents


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Teresa Palomo Acosta Papers, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.

Acquisition Information

Donation.

Accession numbers: 1996-27, 1998-03, 2009-05, 2011-04

Processing Information

Collection processed by Rodrigo Leal and Rachael Zipperer (UT School of Information interns), Fall 2017.

Additions

Further materials are expected for this collection.

Return to the Table of Contents


Box and Folder Inventory

Personal Materials, 1941-2014

Box
1 Biographical Materials, 1949-2009
1 Birth Certificate, 1949
2 Resume, 1994
3 McGregor Independent School District Report, 2009
4 Curriculum Vitae, 2011
Family Materials, 1941-2014
5 Sabina Palomo Acosta Doilies and Photograph, circa 1941, circa 2000-2005
6 Passing Time poems by Acosta, 1984
7 Sabina Palomo Acosta and Andres Alderete Acosta 50th Anniversary Invitations, 1992
8 Andres Alderete Acosta and Sabina Palomo Acosta Obituaries, 1997, 2006
9 Sabina Palomo Acosta Funeral (contains audio CD), 2006
10 "Her Mother Pieced Quilts" Article and Bio, 2014
11 "In Memory of Jesse Palomo Acosta," 2014
Community Involvement, 1999-2008, undated
12 Outside the Lines/Girls Write Poetry: A Writing and Literacy Enhancement Program for Girls Booklet, 1999
13 Ruthe Winegarten Memorial Foundation Forms, 2006-2008
14 Protecting God's Children Workshop Certificates, 2009
15 Ruthe Winegarten Memorial Foundation Images and Website, undated
16 National Council on Public History Certificate and Photograph, undated
Correspondence and Other Personal Materials, 1994-2008, undated
17 Mauricia Urquieta Obituary, 1994
18 Jorge Antonio Renaud to Teresa Palomo Acosta, 2007-2008
19 Drawing by Teresa Palomo Acosta, 2007-2008
20 Beneath the Halo: Poems signed by Celeste Guzman Mendoza, 2013
21 Book Making Patterns (related to Outside the Lines), undated

Return to the Table of Contents




Written Works and Related Materials, 1984-2012, undated

Box
1 Poetry, 1984-2012, undated
22 Passing Time, 1984
23 "Some Flowers Bloom," 1987
24 Poems, 1993
25 New Texas 93, 1993
26 "Despues de Mexico," 1994
27 Lipstick, 1994
28-30 Nile and Other Poems, 1994, 1999
31 In the Season of Change, 2003
32 Direct Light Has Fallen Upon Me Manuscript, 2005-2009
33 "Another Life," 2009
34 Direct Light Has Fallen Upon Me: poems, 2003 to 2011, 2012 July
35 "Family Story for Your Twenty-First Birthday," undated
36 "Poemas," undated
37 Poems for Various Manuscripts, undated
38 Twentieth Century Poets Anthology, undated
Las Tejanas, 2001-2010
39 Artwork Release, Jacket/Cover Illustrations, 2001
40 Las Tejanas Signed by Coauthor Ruthe Winegarten, 2003
41 Las Tejanas Review, 2005
42 Las Tejanas Assignment of Royalties, 2010
Box
5 Texas Historical Commission Award: T.R. Fehrenbach Book Award to Teresa Palomo Acosta for Las Tejanas: 300 Years of History, 2004
Box
1 Children's Books, 2009, undated
43 Colchas, Colchitas, 2009
44 Children's Stories, undated
Plays, undated
45 Casa de Amor, undated
46 Room, undated
47 Violin Playing, undated
Short Fiction and Other Writing, 2000-2010
48 Texas Short Stories, 2000
49 Unpublished Writing and One Published Book Review, 2005-2010
Correspondence and Other Materials Regarding Acosta's Written Works, 1994-2009, undated
50-51 Louis Gerard Mendoza Dissertation, 1994
52 Correspondence, 1994
53 Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, 1995
54 Publication Requests, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Residency Letter, 1995
55 Corresponence with Student Researchers and Website Feature, 1996
Box Folder
2 1 Correspondence with Congressman Lloyd Doggett, 2009
2 Thank You Notes, undated

Return to the Table of Contents




Academic Materials, 1974-2015

Box
2 Academic Papers and Programs, 1974-2015
3 Dr. ML King's 45th Birthday Anniversary, 1974
4 "Tejana History as a Poem," Presented at Women in Texas History Conference, 1990
5 A Tribute to Cesar Chavez, 1994
6 Mexica Tiahui, 1994
7 Chicano Culture Committee Twentieth Anniversary, 1994
8 Poetry Reading, 1995
9 Celebrating Women's Voices, 1995
10 Center for Mexican American Studies (CMAS) Commencement, 2008
11 Noche de Cuentos, 2010
12 A Viva Voz, 2015
Mexican Americans in Texas History Conference, 1991
13 Mexican Americans in Texas History, 1991
14 "Jovita Gonzalez de Mireles: An Appreciation," 1991
15 Roberto R. Calderon "Union, Paz y Trabajo...," 1991
16 Mary Ana Casstevens, "El Ranchado," 1991
17 Joe Graham, "The Built Environment of Ranching," 1991
18 Margo Gutierrez, "Mexican American Archival Collections," 1991
19 Eugenia Landes, "The Hector Perez Garcia Papers," 1991
20 Phyllis Mackenzie, "Mexican Americans in Museums," 1991
21 David Montejano, "Old Roads, New Horizons...," 1991
22 Julie Leinenger Pycior, "Lyndon Johnson and Mexican Americans," 1991
23 Juan Gilberto Quezada, "Judge Manuel B. Bravo," 1991
24 Elizabeth Ramirez, "Mexican American Professional Theatre," 1991
25 Nora Rios McMillan, "La Prensa's Educatioinal Task," 1991
26 Jesse Rodriguez, "Yerbas Medicinales," 1991
27 Cynthia Vidaurri, "Texas-Mexican Religious Folk Art," 1991
28 Emilio Zamora, "Mexican American Voluntary Associations," 1991
29 Emilio Zamora, "Texas Mexican Political Culture," 1991
Academic Writing and Editing, 1976-2006
30 La Mujer Chicana: Annotated Bibliography, 1976
31 New Handbook of Texas, 1995
32 Texas Historian, 2005-2006
Box Folder
3 1 "Women from Separate Corners of the Room," 2006
The University of Texas at Austin, 1993-1995
2 Latino USA, 1993-1994
3 Materials Regarding Reports on Minority Students at UT, 1993-1994
4 Course Syllabus, "Ethnicity and Gender: La Chicana," 1994
5 UT Visiting Scholar Information, 1995

Return to the Table of Contents




Audiovisual Materials, circa 1930s-2010

Box
3 Photographs and Negatives, circa 1930s-2003
6 Large Family Photographs, circa 1920-1979
7 Small Family Photographs, circa 1934-1938
8 Family Photographs, circa 1930s-1980s
9 Family Photographs, circa 1930s-2000s
10 Family, Americorps, Texas State Historical Association Photographs, and Funeral Materials, circa 1940s-2000s
11 Negatives, 1993
12 Photographs of Book Signing for Las Tejanas, Joe and Pauline Acosta on Their Wedding Day, and Acosta's business card, 2003, 2008, undated
13 Inventory for Photo CD, undated
Box
4 Compact Discs (CDs), 2003-2010, undated
1 Las Tejanas Book Signing, 2003
2 Colchas, Colchitas Art, 2003
3 Las Tejanas PowerPoint for Las Tejanas Symposium (UT Austin), 2003
4 Winegarten Foundation Information, 2006-2010
5 Columbia Girls Reunion, 2008
6 Holly Taylor's Cronkite Eth Photos, TPA and Lynn Ball 2010
7 Acosta Photos, undated
8 Sabina Palomo Acosta and D. Acosta Family Tree, undated
9 Family, Friends, Texas State Historical Association, undated
10 Family photos, Colchas Illustrations, Misc Photos, undated
11 Colchas Illustrations for Story, undated
12 Colchas Illustrations Powerpoint, undated
13 Sketch by TPA for Chapel, 3 TIFs - Mirta Toledo Illustrations for Colchas Colchitas, undated
14 Ruthe Winegarten Powerpoint Draft with Notes for Ruthe Winegarten Memorial Foundation for TX Women's History, undated
15 Ruthe Winegarten Foundation, undated
Audio Cassettes, 1991-1993, undated
16 Mexican Americans in Texas History Keynote Program, 1991
17 Mauricia M. Urquieta - Alpine, Texas, 1993
18 Latino USA: The Radio Journal of News and Culture, undated

Return to the Table of Contents




Oversized Materials

Box Folder
6 1 Photograph and biography used for "Voces de Latinas" exhibit, 2011
2 Posters for a Las Tejanas symposium and Noche de Cuentos (an evening of storytelling), 2003, 2010
3 Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation (CARA). An interpretative exhibition of the Chicano Art Movement (1965-1985), 1993
2 copies

Return to the Table of Contents