UNM Honors College Associate Professor Awarded 2023 Southwest Book Award!

February 13, 2024 - Anna Abeyta


We are thrilled to announce that Myrriah Gómez, an associate professor of the UNM Honors College, has been honored with the 2023 Southwest Book Award for her remarkable work, Nuclear Nuevo México! 

The University of Arizona Press published Gómez's groundbreaking book. Nuclear Nuevo México was recently selected by the Border Regional Library Association (BRLA), alongside four other exceptional literary works. The Border Regional Library Association (BRLA) “is an organization founded in 1966 for the promotion of library service and librarianship in the El Paso/Las Cruces/Juárez Metroplex. Current membership includes over 100  

Librarians, Paraprofessionals, Media Specialists, Library Friends and Trustees from all types of libraries in the Tri-State area of Trans-Pecos Texas, Southern New Mexico and Northern Chihuahua.”  

The publisher’s book description highlights that, “Contrary to previous works that suppress Nuevomexicana/o presence throughout U.S. nuclear history, Nuclear Nuevo México focuses on recovering the voices and stories that have been lost or ignored in the telling of this history. By recuperating these narratives, Myrriah Gómez tells a new story of New Mexico, one in which the nuclear history is not separate from the collective colonial history of Nuevo México but instead demonstrates how earlier eras of settler colonialism laid the foundation for nuclear colonialism in New Mexico”. 
It then elaborates, stating, “Examining the experiences of Nuevomexicanas/os who have been impacted by the nuclear industrial complex, both the weapons industry and the commercial industry. Gómez argues that Los Alamos was created as a racist project that targeted poor and working-class Nuevomexicana/o farming families, along with their Pueblo neighbors, to create a nuclear empire. The resulting imperialism has left a legacy of disease and distress throughout New Mexico that continues today”. 

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Myrriah for this well-deserved recognition of her outstanding work. Let us continue to support her and celebrate her contributions to literature and historical discourse!