At some point purely out of chance I undertook a research endeavor – quite odd for a Greek – to delve into the identity hermeneutics of Chicanismo and explore the intertwined academic fields of borderlands existence, barrio liminality and the rite(s) of self-identification. Professor Yiorgos Kalogeras of the Department of American Literature at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece handed me a worn-out copy of Tomás Rivera’s “ … y no se lo tragó la tierra”/“… And the Earth Did Not Part” (1971) and asked me to return it with some feedback on a Mexican American writer’s collection of vignettes and anecdotes. Given that I had had no prior formal academic tutoring in Chicana/o Studies as a young graduate student in Greece in the 1990s, I returned with an enthusiastic critical response, which defined Tierra as an engaged depiction of Mexicana/o experience on the peripheries of the United States. In my early attempts at literary criticism, I read Tierra as a magnificent mediation of the Chicana/o ordeal against the backdrop of Anglo dominance, and as a painstaking effort at constructing a collective consciousness for a marginalized ethnic grouping.