Zamora Peace And War Essay

2017 Save Texas History Symposium Speaker Spotlight: Patricia Shields and Dr. Emilio Zamora

Want to know more about the Save Texas History Symposium? Check out these previews and biographies provided by the speakers who will be presenting this year.

Patricia Shields — Jane Addams and the Women’s Peace Movement

The American Peace Movement in the years prior to World War I was dominated by male leaders of business and government.They sought a system of international laws, which would ensure peace. World War I challenged these assumptions. Inspired by the suffrage movement and a desire to insert their concerns into world events, American women, led by Jane Addams, organized for a peaceful settlement to WWI.

The Great War challenged and dissipated the movement, which was channeled into humanitarian intervention programs. This presentation examines the events and ideas that shaped the early 20th century women’s peace movement and the place of Texas in these events.

About Patricia Shields
Patricia Shields is a professor in the Texas State University Department of Political Science.

She has written four books and over 70 journal articles and book chapters on topics such as women in the military, civil-military relations, peacekeeping operations, women in public administration, Jane Addams ideas of peace, research methods, military recruitment, privatization and pragmatism.

She has edited a leading military journal, Armed Forces & Society for the last 17 years.

Dr. Emilio Zamora — José de la Luz Saenz and World War I: Transcending the Horror

This presentation will address the significance of the WWI diary by José de la Luz Sáenz, a recruit from South Texas who served in the 90th Division of the American Expeditionary Force.

The focus will be on Saenz’s account of the soldiers’ experiences in the battlefields of France and his call for a Mexican cause for equal rights based on their sacrifice for democracy and justice at the war front.

One of Dr. Zamora’s underlying motivations is to explain how a soldier like Sáenz managed to transcend the everyday horror of war and write so deliberately.

About Dr. Emilio Zamora
Emilio Zamora is a professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin. He has prepared or collaborated in the production of ten monographs: three single-authored books, a translated and edited WWI diary, three co-edited anthologies, a co-edited eBook, and two Texas history texts.

Zamora has also published numerous scholarly articles, book reviews, and essays for popular consumption. He has received seven best-book awards, a best-article prize, and a Fulbright García-Robles fellowship.

Zamora is the second Vice President of the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA); he is also the 2017 Scholar of the Year with the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS), and the 2017 lifetime achievement award recipient from the state chapter of the same organization.

To help commemorate the centennial of American involvement in World War I, and the Texans who fought in the Great War, the Texas General Land Office Save Texas History program has released a brand-new, limited-edition, custom map — Texas and the Great War, sponsored by the Veterans Land Board.

This limited-edition, hand-numbered map, with a production run of only 500 prints, will be given to all registrants of the Save Texas History Symposium. The reverse features artwork reminiscent of a U.S. World War I propaganda poster encouraging Americans to get involved with the war (and also to register for the Save Texas History Symposium on Saturday, September 16 in Austin).

For more information and to register online for the 2017 Save Texas History Symposium, Texas and the Great War, please check out the Save Texas History website.

Attendees at the Save Texas History Symposium will receive a complimentary copy of Dwight R. Messimer’s Escape from Villingen, 1918 and Hugh S. Thompson’s Trench Knives and Mustard Gas — With the 42nd Rainbow Division in France courtesy of the Texas A&M University Press.

Special thanks to our generous sponsors:

Diamond Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

“Every line resonates with a wind that crosses oceans.”―Jamaal May

“Zamora’s work is real life turned into myth and myth made real life.” ―Glappitnova

“Javier’s experience and message are crucial amid today’s political confusions, and we look to him as a beacon to the future.” –Narrative Magazine

Javier Zamora was born in La Herradura, El Salvador in 1990. He is the author of the chapbook Nueve Anos Inmigrantes/Nine Immigrant Years, which won the 2011 Organic Weapon Arts Contest, and Unaccompanied, published by Copper Canyon Press in 2017.

Javier’s father fled El Salvador when he was a year old, and his mother fled when he was about to turn five. Both parents’ migrations were caused by the US-funded Salvadoran Civil War (1980-1992). In 1999, at the age of nine, Javier traveled unaccompanied 4,000 miles, across multiple borders, from El Salvador to the United States to be reunited with his parents. He migrated through Guatemala, Mexico, and eventually the Sonoran Desert; before a coyote abandoned his group in Oaxaca, Javier managed to make it to Arizona with the aid of other migrants. Unaccompanied explores how immigration and civil war have impacted his family.

In a 2014 interview for the National Endowment for the Arts Art Works Blog, Zamora stated, “I think in the United States we forget that writing and carrying that banner of ‘being a poet’ is tied into a long history of people that have literally risked [their lives] and died to write those words.” After selecting Javier as winner of the 2017 Narrative Prize, co-founder and editor Tom Jenks said: “In sinuous plainsong that evokes the combined strengths, the bright celebrations, and the dark sorrows of two Americas sharing and transcending borders, Javier Zamora’s verse affirms human commonality and aspiration.”

His poetry was featured in Best New Poets 2013 and has appeared in several journals including American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, Kenyon Review, and New Republic.

Zamora is a 2016-2018 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. He was a recipient of the Ruth Lilly/Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellow by The Poetry Foundation. He holds fellowships from CantoMundo, Colgate University (Olive B. O’Connor), MacDowell, Macondo Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Saltonstall Foundation, and Yaddo. In 2016, Barnes and Noble granted him the Writers for Writers Award for his work in the Undocupoets Campaign. He is a member of the Our Parents’ Bones Campaign, whose goal is to bring justice to the families of the ten thousand disappeared during El Salvador’s civil war.

He currently lives in San Rafael, CA.

Javier Zamora was born in La Herradura, El Salvador, in 1990. He holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied and taught in June Jordan’s Poetry for the People program Zamora earned an MFA from New York University and is currently a 2016–2018 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. He is the recipient of scholarships to the Bread Loaf, Frost Place, Napa Valley, Squaw Valley, and VONA writers’ conferences and fellowships from CantoMundo, Colgate University (Olive B. O’Connor), MacDowell Colony, Macondo Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Saltonstall Foundation, and Yaddo. In 2016, Barnes & Noble granted him the Writer for Writers Award for his work with the Undocupoets Campaign. He was also the winner of the Ruth Lilly/Dorothy Sargent Fellowship and is a member of the Our Parents’ Bones Campaign, whose goal is to bring justice to the families of the ten thousand disappeared during El Salvador’s civil war. You can learn more about it here.


“Every line resonates with a wind that crosses oceans.”―Jamaal May

Javier Zamora was nine years old when he traveled unaccompanied 4,000 miles, across multiple borders, from El Salvador to the United States to be reunited with his parents. This dramatic and hope-filled poetry debut humanizes the highly charged and polarizing rhetoric of border-crossing; assesses borderland politics, race, and immigration on a profoundly personal level; and simultaneously remembers and imagines a birth country that’s been left behind.

Through an unflinching gaze, plainspoken diction, and a combination of Spanish and English, Unaccompanied crosses rugged terrain where families are lost and reunited, coyotes lead migrants astray, and “the thin white man let us drink from a hose / while pointing his shotgun.”


Salvador, if I return on a summer day, so humid my thumb
will clean your beard of  salt, and if  I touch your volcanic face,

kiss your pumice breath, please don’t let cops say: he’s gangster.
Don’t let gangsters say: he’s wrong barrio. Your barrios

stain you with pollen, red liquid pollen. Every day cops
and gangsters pick at you with their metallic beaks,

and presidents, guilty. Dad swears he’ll never return,
Mom wants to see her mom, and in the news:

every day black bags, more and more of us leave. Parents say:
don’t go; you have tattoos. It’s the law; you don’t know

what law means there. ¿But what do they know? We don’t
have greencards. Grandparents say: nothing happens here.

Cousin says: here, it’s worse. Don’t come, you could be    …
Stupid Salvador, you see our black bags,

our empty homes, our fear to say: the war has never stopped,
and still you lie and say: I’m fine, I’m fine,

but if  I don’t brush Abuelita’s hair, wash her pots and pans,
I cry. Like tonight, when I wish you made it

easier to love you, Salvador. Make it easier
to never have to risk our lives.


Mom didn’t know, Dad didn’t know
even if they’d run across fences
before, they didn’t foresee my knees
crashing into cactus needles that night
one shoe slipped off. She says Coyote
said I’ll carry him to your front door
myself, Pati. She didn’t know 110 degrees,
saguaros, no compass to run
north when like Colorado River toads
we slid under bushes—officers yelled
¡On your fucking knees! You couldn’t have
known this could happen, Mom.
You couldn’t have. No es su culpa.
No lo es.

0 thoughts on “Zamora Peace And War Essay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *