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NMSU Center for Latin American and Border Studies announces spring speaker series

The New Mexico State University Center for Latin American and Border Studies continues its speaker series tradition with a set of five spring semester presentations by researchers from NMSU and universities in Arizona, Kentucky and Mexico.


This diverse group of national and international scholars will present their most recent research in the series titled "The Border and Latin America." The late-afternoon talks are scheduled between late February and late April.

"I am excited about the diversity of the scholars and disciplines in our spring 2013 speaker series," said Inigo Garcia-Bryce, director of CLABS and an associate professor in the history department. "From these diverse perspectives, the presentations address a common theme: the assertion of rights by people on both sides of the border seeking to empower themselves."

The series kicks off Wednesday, Feb. 27, with Jennie Luna, a new NMSU assistant professor of women's studies, whose topic is "Land and Identity through a Nahua World View." The Nahua are an indigenous group in Mexico, descended from the Aztecs, whose traditional language is known as Nahuatl. Luna's talk will review Nahuatl revitalization movements and the importance of indigenous language work in the context of "the sustenance of culture, identity, and relationships with land, the environment and spirituality."

"The Taste of a Different World: Maya Farmers and the Global Coffee Market" is the title of the presentation on Thursday, March 7, by Sarah Lyon of the University of Kentucky. An anthropologist, she will present the case of a group of Maya fair trade coffee farmers in Guatemala. "I demonstrate that while fair trade confers many positive benefits to small farmer communities, there are also significant drawbacks to their participation," she said.

Hector Padilla, a social scientist at the Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez, will present "Border Crossing Experiences at Bridges in the El Paso-Juarez Region" on Tuesday, April 9. The talk will be delivered in Spanish. Padilla's research involves anecdotes of students from Ciudad Juarez attending the University of Texas, El Paso. He will address "...the international bridge as a third country, with its own rules and actors, as well as the questions of subjectivity that naturally arise from the complicated, yet ordinary, act of crossing al otro lado."

On Wednesday, April 17, Jesus Rosales of Arizona State University will deliver "Chicano Literary Journals in Spanish: Creating Cultural Bridges on the U.S./Mexico Border." Rosales is an associate professor of Spanish who is especially interested in Chicano literary journals published in Spanish and how they help connect Mexicanos and Chicanos in the Border region.

The final presentation, on Wednesday, April 24, will be "'From the Moment That I Made My Wedding Vows My Suffering Began': A Divorce in the Mexican Frontier, 1823-1838." Jamie Starling, an NMSU college assistant professor of history, discusses the case of Barbara Aguirre and her husband Francisco Belarde, which she says "...illustrates the social history of northern Mexico during the early years of independence, the hardships that victims of abuse faced in the 19th century borderlands, and the civil rights that women asserted in early republican Mexico."

All talks will be at 4 p.m. at Nason House, located on the NMSU campus at 1070 University Ave. They are free and open to the public and refreshments will be provided.

The CLABS speaker series is supported by the College of Arts and Sciences.

For more information, contact Seth Wilson at 575-646-6814 or sewilson@nmsu.edu or visit the CLABS website at http://clabs.nmsu.edu/