Americo Paredes distinguished himself as a journalist, novelist, short story writer, poet, folklorist, and as Professor of English and Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. Admired as one of the inspiring founders of Mexican American Studies in colleges and universities across the United States, Paredes' life-long interest in Mexican-American history and culture motivated him during his early years to collect corridos from farmers and villagers living on the Lower Rio Grande, resulting in his pioneering book "With His Pistol in His Hand": A Border Ballad and Its Hero (1958), and in other books on folklore, poetry, and narrative fiction. Border Folk Balladeers: Critical Studies on Americo Paredes is a book of significant value to scholars, teachers, students, and to the general reader interested in the history and culture of Mexicans and Mexican Americans born on both sides of the Mexico-US border. It contains a full-length introduction and eleven essays written exclusively for this volume by scholars in the fields of folklore, literary criticism, and critical race theory, and who are renowned authorities on the work of Americo Paredes. Grouped into three sections, this book includes studies on theories of the Texas Modern; the Latin American critical tradition; border writing in world literatures; ethnography in minority communities; an analysis of Texas-Mexican border jokelore; and, among other critical studies, a comprehensive probe into the international drug traffic in the Mexico-US border, with an emphasis on narcoballads and narconovels, the contemporary offshoots of the Texas-Mexican border corrido.
Roberto Cantu is Professor Emeritus of Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies, and Professor Emeritus of English at California State University, Los Angeles. He is the editor of An Insatiable Dialectic: Essays on Critique, Modernity, and Humanism (2013); The Willow and the Spiral: Essays on Octavio Paz and the Poetic Imagination (2014); The Reptant Eagle: Essays on Carlos Fuentes and the Art of the Novel (2015); and Equestrian Rebels: Critical Perspectives on Mariano Azuela and the Novel of the Mexican Revolution (2016). In 2010, he was recognized at his campus with the President's Distinguished Professor Award. He is currently editing a book of essays on Mexican poet and essayist Alfonso Reyes (1889-1959).