Estévan Rael-Galvéz

Member, Board of Directors


Estévan Rael-GalvézEstévan Rael-GalvézEstévan Rael-Galvéz

Estévan Rael-Gálvez was born into this landscape and is heir to the long stories of its people. Raised herding sheep and moving waters in northern New Mexico, his imagination was nourished somewhere in between the delicacy of what was spoken by his elders and the strength of the written word. It was this ability to see through the mountain while never losing sight of it that sustained him when he decided to break tradition and leave home.

He attended the University of California at Berkeley, where he earned his B.A. in Literature and Ethnic Studies. He went on to receive his M.A. and Ph.D. in American Cultures at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. His doctoral dissertation, “Identifying Captivity and Capturing Identity: Narratives of American Indian Servitude,” focused on the meanings of American Indian slavery and a unique legacy and identity in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. He is currently working on the manuscript for this project. He is the recipient of numerous fellowships for his academic studies, including the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, a Residential Fellowship at the School for Advanced Research, and fellowships from the University of Michigan, Yale University, the Newberry Library, and the Smithsonian Institution.

In 2001, Dr. Rael-Gálvez was appointed State Historian for New Mexico. The mission of the Office of the State Historian is to advance an understanding and appreciation of New Mexico history. He greatly expanded this vision during his tenure. He is currently Director of the Hispanic Cultural Center.

Dr. Rael-Gálvez appreciates the delicacy and strength of the past and its power to encourage transformative dialogue and understanding. He is particularly interested in inviting children to explore the legacy of living histories, so as to empower them to also make history. For Dr. Rael-Gálvez, history is an amazing gift, but one that entails responsibility for recognizing when the stories of our past can be used to sustain community and when they can be used to raise its consciousness.

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