U.S-Mexico Lecture Series 2007-2008

The Center for U.S. – Mexico Studies cordially invites you to its Lecture Series 2007 – 2008. This year’s series will highlight various perspectives on contemporary Mexican politics, international education, music as an instrument of translation, Mexico – U.S. migration, writing and fiction, and health challenges of the U.S.-Mexico relationship.

The Center for U.S. – Mexico Studies, seeking to foster greater understanding between our two nations, is pleased to host and promote lectures on issues of interest to both Mexico and the U.S. Previous lectures have included such issues as the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), analysis of domestic politics and foreign policy, issues in science and technology, transborder population, and cultural development in both countries. The Center has hosted Carlos Fuentes, Andres Oppenheimer, Elena Poniatowska, Ana Maria Salazar, Monica Verea, Peter M. Ward, Victoria Rodriguez, Adolfo Aguilar Zinser, Jacqueline Peschard, Arexi Urrutia, Mario Moises Alvarez, Adolfo Sanchez, Thomas Linehan, Larry D. Terry, Stephanie Newbold, Paul Ching-Wu Chu, Douglas Watson, Juan Carlos Romero Hicks, Anvar Zakhidov, Jose Carlos Gomez, and Juan Guillermo Figueroa Perea, among others, under the frame of this series.

Jesus Silva Herzog, Brian J.L. Berry, Ana Cervantes, Edward Ashbee, Ma. Elena Labastida, Robert Nelsen, and Rita Lepe are scheduled in this academic year. The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) students, faculty and staff, and those interested in U.S. – Mexico affairs from The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), from the metropolitan area of Dallas – Fort Worth, Mexican Association for International Education (AMPEI), and the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) will benefit from the experience and expertise shared by these scholars.

If you have questions or need further information, please contact Naida Rodriguez, Center’s Program Coordinator, at (972) 883 6401.

We look forward to seeing you in this series.

Jesus Silva Herzog
The University of Texas at Dallas, Jonsson 4.614
2:00 p.m., September 19, 2007, Richardson, TX. U.S.

Contemporary Challenges of the Mexican Democracy
Co-sponsored by the Consulate General of Mexico in Dallas and the UTD School of Political, Economic and Policy Sciences and the McDermott Library.

Mr. Silva-Herzog, son of a former Mexican Ambassador, obtained his M.A. in Political Science and J.D. at Columbia University and is former fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Institute for Public Policy. A renowned political commentator and editorialist for the newspaper Reforma, heads the Deparment of Law at the Technological Autonomous Institute of Mexico, where his current research focuses on the changing role of civil society’s involvement in the Mexican political system.

Mr. Silva-Herzog is Editorial Board member of the Mexican political magazine Nexos and his most recent publication, The Idiocy of the Perfection. Contemplations at Politics (FCE 2006), focuses on the analysis of the critical thinking of Carl Schmitt, Isaiah Berlin, Michael Oakeshott, Norberto Bobbio and Octavio Paz. His blog address is http://blogjesussilvaherzogm.typepad.com/

Brian J.L. Berry
Mayan Museum
9:00 a.m., November 8, 2007, Chetumal, Quintana Roo.

Globalization, Geography, and Comparative Advantages: New Opportunities for International Education
Co-sponsored by the Mexican Association for International Education( AMPEI) and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.

Brian J.L. Berry is Lloyd Viel Berkner Regental Professor. He received his B.Sc. (Economics) degree at University College, London in 1955, the M.A. in geography from the University of Washington in 1956 and the Ph.D. in 1958. He was a chaired professor at the University of Chicago (1958-1976) and at Harvard (1976-1981), followed by a period as dean of the Heinz School of Public Policy at Carnegie-Mellon University (1981-1986), joining UTD in 1986. In the 1960s his urban and regional research sparked geography’s social-scientific revolution and made him the most-cited geographer for more than 25 years. Subsequently, his inquiries have focused on long-wave dynamics and their relationships to macrohistorical phasing of economic development and political behavior. The author of more than 500 books and articles, he has attempted to bridge theory and practice via involvement in urban and regional development activities in both advanced and developing countries. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1975, is a fellow of the British Academy, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, AAAS and University College, London. He received the Victoria Medal from the Royal Geographical Society in 1988. In 1999 he became the first geographer and one of the few social scientists ever to serve as a member of the Council of the National Academy of Sciences and in 2004 he was one of the founding members of the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST). In 2005 Dr. Berry was the recipient of the Vautrin Lud Prize, the highest award that can be bestowed on a geographer and modeled after the Nobel Prize, which does not have a category for geography.

Ana Cervantes
The University of Texas at Dallas, Conference Center 1.112
6:00 p.m., November 9, 2007, Richardson, TX. U. S.

Rumor de Paramo (Murmurs from the Wasteland)
Co-sponsored by the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA), the UTD School of Arts and Humanities, and the UTD Center for Translation Studies.

Ana Cervantes, soloist and collaborative artist of a Mexican father and a Nebraska mother, Ana Cervantes gives evidence in every performance of her special ability to serve as an interlocutor between cultures. Graduate of Bard College, Cervantes counts Joan Tower and Theodore Lettvin as her most significant teachers. She has served on the adjunct music faculty of Princeton University, on the artist faculty at Rider University’s Westminster Conservatory and the Fine Arts faculty of The Peddie School in New Jersey, USA. In 1999, Cervantes was given the prestigious Fulbright-Garcia Robles award, so that she could go to Mexico to develop repertoire of Mexican contemporary music for subsequent performance in the United States. In June of 2002, Cervantes was awarded an Individual Artist grant from the Bossak-Heilbrun Charitable Foundation (USA) in order to further develop repertoire from the US and Mexico, to be performed in both countries.
Cervantes has performed the premieres in the US and Cuba of works by Mexican composers such as Marcela Rodriguez, Georgina Derbez, Ramon Montes de Oca, Joaquin Gutierrez Heras, among others, and as invited artist in venues such as the Warner Theatre, the Smithsonian Institution and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC; the Americas Society in New York City; the Chanticleer Summer Music Festival in Richmond, IN; William Paterson University (New Jersey); the XV and XVI International Festivals of New Music of La Habana, Cuba; and the XXIX and XXX Festival Internacional Cervantino.
Cervantes now maintains an extensive concert and teaching activity in this hemisphere and is based in the city of Guanajuato, Mexico, where her Mexican grandparents were married in 1914. There she teaches chamber music and collaborates in academic and musical projects at the University of Guanajuato with composer Ramon Montes de Oca (associate professor of the School of Music of that University), as well as serving as advisor to the Institute of Culture of the State of Guanajuato.

Edward Ashbee & Ma. Elena Labastida
The University of Texas at Dallas, School of Management (SOM) 2.801
4:00 p.m., February 28, 2008, Richardson, TX. U. S.

The Politics, Economics, and Culture of Mexican – U.S. Migration: Both Sides of the Border
Co-sponsored by the UTD School of Political, Economic and Policy Sciences and the UTD School of Arts and Humanities

Dr. Edward Ashbee is an Associate Professor at the Center for the Study of the Americas in the Copenhagen Business School of Denmark in the Department of International Culture and Communication Studies. His field of expertise includes the study of the United States of America, including the publication of books and articles on subjects such as political, social and economic conditions of the country: cultural and moral trends, elections, candidates and voting, ethnic and racial issues, parties and interest groups, religion and politics, etc. and has a deep interest in the use of politics and public administration in the U.S. foreign policy.

His recent articles and books include ‘The same-sex marriage debate in the US and representations of Scandinavia’, Journal of Transatlantic Studies, 3:2, Autumn 2005, 159-77; ‘Moral dilemmas in Britain and the United States’, AngloFiles [Medlemsblad for Engelsklærerforeningen for Gymnasiet & HF], 138, November 2005, 40-45; ‘The Supreme Court’, Politics Review, 15:1, September 2005, 30-3; ‘Orkanens efterdønninger’, Weekendavisen, September 9th-15th 2005; ‘The 2004 presidential election, ‘moral values’, and the Democrats’ dilemma’, The Political Quarterly, 76:2, April 2005, 209-217; ‘US presidential election 2004′, Politics Review, 14:3, February 2005, 14 – 17; ‘Al Sharpton, the 2004 presidential election, and black politics’, American Studies in Scandinavia, 2004, 36:2, 35-48; ‘The 2004 election and the Bush administration’s two “conversations”‘, Samfundsøkonomen, Danmarks Jurist- og Økonomforbund, 4, October 2004, 11 – 19; US Politics Today – 2nd edition, (2004), Manchester University Press; and ‘Domestic issues and the 2004 election’, FHH: Foreningen af Historielærere ved Handelgymnasiet, 49, September 2004, 22-29. His most recent research project focuses on the debate of Mexican – U.S. migration and its political, economic, and cultural implications (http://www.palgrave-usa.com/catalog/product.aspx?isbn=1403984948).

Maria Elena Labastida Tovar was born in Mexico City and is a Ph.D. student in the Public Policy and Political Economy Program at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD). In addition, she is a candidate for the interdisciplinary Ph.D. in political economy and political science at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, where she is completing a dissertation on the antidumping policies in the European Union and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). She holds a Master’s degree in international relations with a specialty in political science from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva. In 2004 she received a second Master’s degree in economics and political European studies from the European Institute of the University of Geneva. She received her B.A. in international relations from the New World University in Mexico City. Labastida’s research work includes dispute settlement mechanisms employed by the World Trade Organization and in regional trade agreements as well as research on non-documented Mexican workers in the United States. “The Impact of NAFTA on the Mexican-American Border” is the title of her chapter that will be published by Palgrave-Mcmillan at the end of 2007, in the book entitled The Politics, Economics and Culture of Mexican-US Migration: Both Sides of the Border. In addition, her current research is focused on Public Choice Theory and the Antidumping Policies of the World Trade Organization, the European Union, NAFTA and developing countries.

Robert Nelse
Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM)
11:30 a.m., March 27, 2008, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. Mexico

Creative Writing, the Art of a Writer
Co-sponsored by the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM)

Robert Nelsen was raised in a small Montana cattle ranch in the Madison Valley just outside of Yellowstone Park. Nelsen graduated from Ennis High School in 1970, and put himself through college by working as a janitor (4-8 every morning) and selling fish hooks and western clothing in the evenings. He wrote his first story–”A White Horse”–at age five, and he has been writing (and lying) his way through life ever since.

In 1989, Nelsen took his Ph.D. from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago with a dissertation on the use of the grotesque in James Joyce’s and Flannery O’Connor’s short stories; he also included a collection of his own stories with his dissertation–the first time that the University of Chicago accepted creative work as part of a dissertation. Prior to the dissertation, Nelsen’ss work in the Committee, under the supervision of Stephen Toulmin, revolved around the philosophy of language, focusing on the later Wittgenstein and the “linguistic turn,” and following up the work he had done in the early 1970′s for his M.A. (“The Galileans vs. the Aristotelians: Another Look at the Battle over Explanation vs. Understanding”).

In 1990, Nelsen accepted a position in the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas where he now serves as Vice Provost. He has continued to publish his stories in journals such as Story Quarterly, Other Voices, Chariton Review, and Southwest Review. Nelsen recently completed a collection of short stories, Orphans. Bums, and Angels, as well as a novel, Spirits Colliding. Spirits Colliding tells the story of two families, the Flowers and the Hudsons, who are joined together by a destructive love and by a cemetery. Currently, Nelsen is at work on a new novel, tentatively titled Waiting Around to Die. This novel is also set in Montana; it explores the what if scenario: what if you accidentally killed your two-year-old son while baling hay? How would the event affect you, your marriage, and your wife?

Since 1996, while working on his fiction and teaching his classes, Nelsen has lived the strange life of a faculty leader and now as an academic administrator. Nelsen’s move into academic administration at UTD came as a surprise, even to himself. In 2005, just after he had won the Chancellor’s Council Award for Outstanding Teaching and had been re-elected his fifth elected term as the Speaker of the Faculty (the president of the Academic Senate), Nelsen was asked to move full-time into the Provost’s Office.

As Vice Provost, in addition to working on implementing UTD’s strategic plan, Nelsen has overseen UTD’s reaccreditation efforts for SACS (the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools). Nelsen’s oversight responsibilities include the Center for US-Mexico Studies, the Office of International Education, the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, and the McDermott Library. He also supervises academic program reviews, post-tenure review, promotion and tenure, faculty and teaching assistant credentialing, academic administrator’s review, etc. But first and foremost, he remains and will always remain a writer.

Rita Lepe
The University of Texas at Dallas, Jonsson 4.614
7:00 p.m., March 31, 2008, Richardson, TX. U. S.

The Prevalence of Hepatitis in Hispanics: Implications for Future U.S.-Mexico Health Care
Co-sponsored by the UTD Pre Health Program

Rita Lepe, M.D. pursued her medical studies at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico; residency at the Chicago Medical School; and a fellowship in gastroenterology and hepatology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Lepe, a member of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the American Association of Gastroenterology, is fluent in English and Spanish. She currently works at Baylor University Medical Center-Dallas Clinic, where she continues to develop her professional interests in liver diseases in the Hispanic population, hepatitis C, and transplant hepatology. Dr. Lepe has published in specialized journals and frequently lectures on the challenges of health care in the context of the Hispanic population impact in the United States.

Lecture Series’ Archive