Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Joseph, Gilbert


This dissertation examines the rise and fall of Catholic women’s opposition to the secularizing efforts and seemingly progressive gender and racial politics of the Mexican Revolution of 1910 and its nascent state apparatus. Through rigorous discursive analyses of state and Catholic print media published between 1917 and 1946, it traces middle- and upper-class women’s ideological production and argues that their counterrevolutionary religious movement was both driven and un-made by gendered constructions of whiteness. The first half of this dissertation (Chapters 1-3) analyzes the Mexican Church-state conflict prior to 1930 as a transnational struggle between two racialized and competing forms of historical subjectivity, meaning-making, and world being—namely, religion (Catholicism) and secular “Revolution.” The second half of this work (Chapter 4-6) examines institutional development during the 1930s and 40s, demonstrating how Catholic women’s groups and state institutions’ lingering distrust of working-class mobilization gave way to their gradual convergence under hegemonic national discourses of mixed-race identity designed to subdue indigenous actors.