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NMSU anthropology professor to speak about New Mexico vecinos

Kelly Jenks, an assistant professor in the anthropology department at New Mexico State University, will speak about building communities and constructing identities in the Spanish southwest next week at a free lecture.

The lecture, the first of the Center for Latin American and Border Studies Spring 2016 Speaker Series, will be at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, at Nason House, 1070 University Avenue. The lecture is also hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences.

Jenks’ lecture will focus on the centuries of interaction between Hispanic and indigenous populations in New Mexico and the complicated traditional racial and ethnic categories that prompted colonists to conceptualize themselves in new ways, said Iñigo García-Bryce, director of the Center for Latin American and Border Studies.

By the late 18th century, many colonists described themselves as vecinos, or neighbors, a term that masked their ancestry and instead emphasized their civic status as members of a colonial community.

“This presentation explores the construction and material expression of vecino identity in the New Mexican community of San Miguel del Vado, and traces the evolution of this identity during the Mexican and American Territorial periods,” García-Bryce said.

For more information about the lecture, call the Center for Latin American and Border Studies at 575-646-6814.