Return to the Mission

Jessica Christian
UC Irvine

This dissertation, “Return to the Mission: Gendered Bonds, Women, and Colonization in San Diego, 1769-1910,” explores interactions, relationships, and bonds among women across race and class in San Diego, California. Under Spanish, Mexican, and American colonization settler women played pivotal roles, especially in the areas of education and labor. Whether church or state sanctioned, through private organizations or personal relationships, new arrivals deployed strategies of uplift in their dealings with indigenous peoples. Although other studies have emphasized the changes that occurred after the American takeover, this work interrogates the continuities in colonial relationships, especially with regards to women. It investigates how gendered education and labor served as the foundation of colonial settlements across time.