The Benson Latin American Collection

Irene I. Blea Papers

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Blea, Irene I. (Irene Isabel)
Title: Irene I. Blea Papers
Dates: 1970-2014
Abstract: Personal archives documenting the career of Irene I. Blea, Ph.D., sociologist, educator, and writer. The papers deal with Dr. Blea's professional struggle in the field of education of Mexican Americans. Also found in this collection are her manuscripts for her sociology books and her poetry.
Accession No.: 1987-04
OCLC Record No.: 23597746
Extent: 9.25 linear feet
Language: English and Spanish
Repository: Benson Latin American Collection, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Irene Isabel Blea, sociologist, educator, Chicano Movement activist, and writer, was born in New Mexico in 1946. She attended the University of Southern Colorado where she received an A.A. in Mental Health and her B.A. in Sociology. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Dr. Blea has held several positions in academia, including Director of Chicano Studies at the Metropolitan State College in Denver, and Director of Hispanic Student Services at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Her most recent appointment was as Chair of the Chicano Studies Department at California State University, Los Angeles, where she retired from as full professor in 1998.

Throughout her career she has strived to be an advocate for minority rights, and has served as a consultant on education for minorities, and on issues of gender and race discrimination. Dr. Blea served as the first female Chairperson of NACCS (The National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies) in 1979.

She has an international reputation as a scholar, the author of several works in Sociology and on Hispanic related subjects, which are used as university textbooks, and thirty academic articles. She has traveled to several countries to present her work, including the World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995. Besides her scholarly publications she is also well known as a poet with many publications and honors that include having read her poetry with the late Allen Ginsberg and Andy Clausen in 1985.

Her community involvement deals with, among other interests, services to the Hispanic elderly. She has served on the New Mexico State Legislative Committee for the AARP and lobbies the State Legislature on public policy affecting women and senior citizens.

Scope and Contents Note

Original Collection:

The collection contains personal and biographical documents and correspondence, professional correspondence, literary productions, classroom materials, activities and organizations, collected publications, oversize materials, ephemera,and restricted materials.

Personal and biographical: divided between her personal, and professional correspondence, which covers her teaching career at several universities. Of interest is the controversy at the University of New Mexico over the various minority studies centers, and especially over the Chicano Studies Program. There are also reports, brochures, evaluations, flyers, newsclippings and some course materials.

Literary productions: includes manuscript drafts of her scholarly publications; and other drafts containing prose and poetry. There are also drafts for her book Suzanna, published in 2010, and an unfinished draft of Maria Josefa Jaramillo: Spanish frontier wife of Kit Carson, 1828-1868,.

Activities and organizations: A large segment is composed of materials regarding NACCS, among them the Chicana Caucus. There is some correspondence, minutes, resolutions, memoranda, by-laws, agenda, flyers, financial statements and reports, news releases, convention programs and some publications. AARP: Dr. Blea was Chair of the New Mexico chapter. Native New Mexico Club: Dr. Blea was chair during 2004-2005. There are membership forms, correspondence, agenda, minutes, by-laws, memoranda and financial reports. New Mexico Hispanic Council on Aging: Dr. Blea was president during 1999-2002. Includes correspondence, minutes, and conference program.

Classroom materials: contains syllabus and class handouts, exams and notes for some of her courses.

Ephemera: includes her business cards and conference name tags. There are also publishers' catalogues, travel brouchures and maps.

Oversize materials: calendars from 2008-2008, newsclippings dated 1984-2014.

Restricted: some poetry manuscripts restricted at the request of Dr. Blea; also some of her papers, several class record books and student records are separated for privacy and confidentiality.

2016 Additions:

The 2016 additions to the Irene I. Blea Papers include materials ranging from 1984 to 2014 and measures 1.25 linear feet. The addition to the collection is divided into the same series as the original collection, with five of the original series represented. The series include Personal and Biographical, Literary Productions, Activities and Organizations, Collected Publications, and Ephemera.

Personal and Biographical: consists of both personal and professional correspondence, birthday and Christmas cards, family photographs, and documents relating to Blea's property.

Literary Productions: contains several edited manuscripts of literary works written by Blea. The bulk of these manuscripts are of Daughters of the West Mesa and Suzanna. This series also includes many shorter writings and articles by Blea written primarily between 2008-2010.

Activities and Organizations: includes conference and presentation materials along with organization and research materials.

Collected Publications: includes newsletters and alumni magazines from Blea's alma maters.

Ephemera: includes a variety of bibliographies of Blea's written work and brief biographies about her life. Also included is a large number of hand-written notes, reminders, short poems, and brief writings by Blea primarily from 2004-2013.


Access Restrictions

Some poetry manuscripts are restricted at the request of Dr. Blea. Several class record books, student records and some of Dr. Blea's papers are separated for privacy and confidentiality.

Use Restrictions

Standard copyright restrictions apply.

Index Terms

The is classified under the following Subject Headings in the University of Texas Libraries catalog:
Subjects (Persons)
Blea, Irene I. (Irene Isabel)
American poetry--Mexican American authors
Child marriage--Fiction
Mexican American Women--History
Mexican Americans--Civil rights
Mexican Americans--Social conditions
Minority women--United States
National Association for Chicano Studies
New Mexico--Fiction
World Conference on Women (4th: 1995: Beijing, China)
Metropolitan State College, Denver
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
California State University, Los Angeles

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Irene I. Blea Papers, Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas Libraries, the University of Texas at Austin.

Acquisition Information


Accession numbers: 1987-04 and 2016-35.

Box and Folder Inventory

Personal and Biographical

Box Folder
1 1 Curriculum vitae, undated
2 Notes for her vitae, 1977-2000, undated
Personal correspondence
3 1979-1989
4 1980-1986, undated
5 1982-1990
6 1992-2002
7 1999-2003
8 2000-2005
9 2005
10 Agendas, 1999-2000
11 Photographs, undated
12 House documents, 1986-1994
Box folder
2 Birthday and Christmas cards
1 1982-1987
2 1990-1997
3 2000-2005
4 undated
5 undated
3 Professional correspondence
1 University of Southern Colorado, 1980-1981
2 Metropolitan State College, 1982-1986
3 1984-1990
4 1986-1990
5 1988-1993
6 1989-1990
7 1989-1990
8 1990-1991
9 Faculty evaluation, undated
10-12 Ambassadors in High Schools Program, 1988-1989
13 Racist Chicano Jokes, 1988-1990
Box Folder
4 1 Non-Traditional Student Project, 1980-1981, 1987
2 To build a Chicana Feminist Theory Proposal, undated
3 Hispanic Women's Research and Mentoring Project Proposal, 1989
4 Hispanic Women's Research and Mentoring Project, 1990
5-8 University of New Mexico Correspondence, 1990-1994
9 Breaking Barriers and Defining New Roles, undated
10 Evaluation, 1990-1991
11 Hate Speech as Violence: a Case for regulation, undated
12 When Discrimination Happens, undated
13 Hispanic Student Services, 1992-1993
14 Hispanic Student Services Center, 1992-1993
15 Hispanic Student Needs Assessment, 1992-1993
16 Hispanic Student Needs Assessment, 1993
Box Folder
5 1 Hispanic/Chicano Student Services Report, 1993
2 California State University Correspondence, 1990, 1994
3 1995-1996
4 1997
5 1998-1999
6 Program Review of Chicano Studies Department, 1983-1988
7 Department of Chicano Studies Self-Study for Program Review, 1989
Bilingual/Cross Cultural Specialist Credential:
8 1972-1975
9 1976
Box Folder
6 1 1977
2 1978-1979
3 1980-1981

Classroom materials

Box Folder
6 4 Racism, Sexism, 1981
5 Introduction to Sociology, 1982-1987
6 The Chicano Family, 1982, 1984-1985
7 Chicano Studies, 1984-1990
8 Deviant Behavior in Society, 1986
9 Introduction to Chicano Studies, 1988-1989
Box Folder
7 1 Chicana history, 1994
2 Modern Latina in Society, 1994
3 Introduction to Chicano Studies, 1994
4 U.S. Latino Elderly, 1995
5 Chicano Folklore, 1996
6 Papers by others, 1976, 1987
7 Papers by others, undated
8 Papers by others, 1998
9-11 Class record book, 1976-1977, 1981, 1986-1987
Separated for privacy and confidentiality
10 Class record book, 1981, 1986
Separated for privacy and confidentiality
11 Class record books, 1986-1987, undated
Separated for privacy and confidentiality
12 Agendas, 1989-1990
13 Agendas, 1991-1994
14 Telephone memo record, 1988 September-1989 February
15 Telephone directory, undated

Literary Productions

Box Folder
8 1 Delicate balance of maintaining a holistic life, undated
Researching Chicano Communities:
2 Part I, undated
3 Part II, undated
4 Part III, undated
5 Part IV, undated
6 Part I, 1994
7 Part II, 1994
8 Part I, 1994, 1998
9 Part II, 1994, 1998
Box folder
9 Bessemer: A Sociological Perpective of a Chicano Barrio:
1 p. 1 - 61, 1980
2 p.62 - 127, 1980
3 p.128 - 193, 1980
4 p.194 - 263, 1980
5 Drafts, 1980-1990, undated
Box Folder
10 1 Book reviews on La Chicana, 1992
2 The Chicana, Draft, 2002
3 Daring to try and daring to win, undated
4 Delayed Stress, undated
5 Delayed Stress and the Chicano Vietnam Veteran, 1983, undated
6 The Feminization of Racism. Draft, 2002, undated
7 The Feminization of Racism. Incomplete manuscript, undated
8 Homemaking within a class context. Drafts, 1977-1988
9 Intersecting Variables. The Dimension of Class, Race and Gender in the life of La Chicana. Draft, 1990-1991, undated
10 The Mexican American Female Experience, 1980
11 National and International Influences on Chicana Critical Consciousness, undated
12 Nine ways of Speaking in Mexican American Culture, 1984
13 Phelps Dodge Strike, 1983-1984
14 Super Chicana. Incomplete Draft, undated
15 Toward a Chicano Social Science, undated
16 Untitled paper, 1985
17 When the Minority becomes the Majority: Demographic impacts on higher education. Proposed outline for book, 1989
Box Folder
11 1 U.S. Chicanas and Latinas within a Global Context, 1995
2 U.S. Chicanas and Latinas within a Global Context: Women of Color at the Fourth World Womens Conference, 1997
3 U.S. Chicanas and Latinas within a Global Context. Edited Manuscript, part I, 1998
4 U.S. Chicanas and Latinas within a Global Context. Edited Manuscript, part II, 1998
Box Folder
12 1 Damn Sam, I want to share my life but I need to live alone. 3 copies, 1992
2 Jose Montalvo. Prose and poetry, undated
3 Maria Josefa Jaramillo: Spanish frontier wife of Kit Carson, 1828-1868, Draft, incomplete, 2002
4 "Manita Memories," undated
5 "Manita Memories." Draft, 1992
6 Maria Josefa Jaramillo: Spanish frontier wife of Kit Carson, 1828-1868, Draft, incomplete, undated
7 Poetry, undated
8 Poetry, 1980-1989, undated
9 Poetry, 1981-1987, undated
10 Poetry, 1983, 1985-1986, undated
11 Poetry and prose, 1972-1999, undated
12 Poetry and prose, 1985-1990, undated
13 Prose drafts, 1970, undated
14 Research Notes on Women, 1978-2001
15 Slices of Life from an Urban Mind, 1985
16 Suzanna, 1998, undated
17 Urban Llanto. Draft, part I, 1992
18 Urban Llanto. Draft, part II, 1992

Activities and organizations

Box Folder
13 1 NACCS. Chicana Caucus, 1990
2 NACCS. Chicana Caucus, 1990-1992
3 1990
4 1991-1992
5 1992
6 1993
7 1993-1995
8 1996
9 NACCS. National Chicano Student Association, 1991
10 NACCS. Noticias de NACCS, 1990-1999
11 NACCS. Programs and brochures, 1980-1988, 1990-1996
Box Folder
14 1 AARP, 2001-2002
2 Genealogical Society of Hispanic America, 2000
3 Hispanic Women Political Network, 1983-1984
4 Native New Mexico Club, 2000, 2004-2005
5 Native New Mexico Club, 2004-2005
6 New Mexico Highlands University, School of Social Work, 2001
7 New Mexico Hispanic Council on Aging, 1999-2002
8 New Mexico Hispanic Council on Aging, 2000-2003
9 Quetzaltcoatl, 1989
10 University of Colorado Foundation, 1987
11 University of Colorado Foundation, 1987
12 Workshops, 2000-2002

Collected publications

Box Folder
15 1 Colorado Chicano Mental Health Conference. Summary of Proceedings, 1980
2 Cracking the Pavement, 1989
3 El Cronicon, 2005 June, September, December
4 La Luz, 1979 August-November
5 "Police Community Relations in East Los Angeles, California," 1970 October
6 A Symposium on Chicano Studies, 1986-1987
7 Ver o no ver, 1983
8 Western Social Science Association Conference Programs, 1987 April, 1988 April, 1991 April


Box Folder
15 9 Publishers' catalogues, brochures, 1990-2002
10 University stationery, handouts, 1976-2001
11 Conference name tags, professional cards, electoral bumper stickers, undated
12 Travel brochures and maps, undated
13 Computer floppy disks, 1990-2000, undated
14 Run, Stagecoach, Run. 45" rpm., 1987


Box Folder
16 1 Newspapers, 1984-1994
2 Calendars, 2000-2008
3 Newsclippings, 1986-2004
4 Paper ornaments undated
5 Newsclippings, 2006-2014


Box Folder
17 1-2 Restricted Poetry Manuscripts at the request of Dr. Blea. 1977-1980, undated
3-5 Class record books 1976-1987, undated
6 Agenda 1990
7 Dr. Blea's records 1982-2003, undated
8 Student records 1981-1988, undated
9 Student opinion surveys 1995

2016 Additions to Collection

18 Personal and Biographical
Personal Correspondence
1 1993-2013, undated
2 Birthday and Christmas cards, 1987-2008
3 Birthday and Christmas cards, 2009-2014, undated
4 Photographs, 1991-2008, undated
5 House documents, 1984-2009
Professional Correspondence
6 2006-2014, undated
Literary Productions
7 "Commerce and culture on the Santa Fe Trail," undated
8 Daughters of the West Mesa, 2009, undated
9 Daughters of the West Mesa, 2012, undated
10 Daughters of the West Mesa, undated
Box Folder
19 1 Daughters of the West Mesa, 2012
2 Daughters of the West Mesa, undated
3 Daughters of the West Mesa, 2011, undated
4 Daughters of the West Mesa, 2013
5 The feminization of racism, 2002
6 Maria Josefa Jaramillo: Spanish frontier wife of Kit Carson, 1828-1868, 2004
7 Shorter writings, 2008-2010, undated
8 Suzanna, 2007-2009
Box Folder
20 1 Suzanna, 2007-2009
2 Suzanna II, undated
3 Wolf spirit, 2012
4 "Women and men of Fort Union: Race, class, gender, and the guardian of the Plains," 2009
Activites and Organizations
5 Conference and presentation materials, 1993-2014, undated
6 Organization and research materials, 2001-2010
Collected Publications
7 Newsletters and alumni magazines, 1992-2013
8 Bibliographies and biographies of Irene Blea, 1993-2013, undated
9 Hand-written notes, reminders, and brief writings, 2004-2013, undated