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Jenni Bullington, UTD
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UTD’s Center for U.S.-Mexico Studies to Offer Lecture Series, Seminar About Mexican Politics and Culture


RICHARDSON, Texas (Jan. 3, 2002) - The Center for U.S.-Mexico Studies at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) will present a lecture series about the nuances of Mexican politics and culture, and themes from the series will be incorporated into a semester-long, seminar-style course offered at UTD, as well as to U.T. Austin and U.T. Brownsville students via the UT TeleCampus.

The lecture series will begin this month and will include among its speakers Dr. Juan Hernández, founding director of the UTD center who currently is serving in the Cabinet of Mexican President Vincent Fox as director of the Office for Mexicans Living Abroad. Hernández will talk about Fox’s migration agenda. Also scheduled to participate in the lecture series are Andrés Oppenheimer, chief correspondent for The Miami Herald, and Mexican journalist Elena Poniatowska. Oppenheimer, who was part of a team awarded the Pulitzer Prize for investigation of the Iran-Contra deal in 1987, will address Mexico’s political crisis of 1994 and the challenges of liberalization. Poniatowska, who in 1979 became the first woman to win the Mexican national award for journalism, has lived in and written about Mexico for nearly four decades.

The lectures series, which is free and open to the public, will take place on the UTD campus in Room 4.614 of the Jonsson Academic Center. Hernandez will give his lecture on Jan. 15, Oppenheimer on Feb. 26 and Poniatowska on March 19. Lectures are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m., last approximately 45 minutes and conclude with a question-and-answer session.

The seminar-style course, which will be taught by Hernández and Dr. Rodolfo Hernández Guerrero, current director of the UTD center, eventually will be offered to universities in Mexico and will be an introductory analysis of the Mexican political system. It will explore the dynamics of the system and focus on the transformation of the system’s structure from an historical and cultural perspective. The seminar will give special attention to issues related to the U.S.-Mexico relationship, including cultural values about nationalism, demography, religion and ethnicity.

The UT TeleCampus is a central support Web site for online courses and degree programs within the U.T. System. It features a Web site similar in design to a traditional campus, including admissions links, digital libraries and learning resource links, and houses online classrooms.

“We are excited to offer a lecture series and seminar about Mexican politics and culture, particularly because it provides the opportunity to educate the community and students about issues facing Mexico,” said Rodolfo Hernández. “Even more exciting, though, is the opportunity to offer the course to other universities in the U.T. System, and, in the future, Mexican universities. We hope this seminar will open the door for many future collaborations.”

The Center for U.S.- Mexico Studies was created in 1995 in response to UTD’s recognition of the richness of the Mexican-American past, as well as the importance of Mexico to the United States. The center strives to enhance the academic relationship between UTD and Mexico via international education, research and public service programs. Goals of the center are to provide curricula and exchange of faculty and students with Mexican universities, to conduct research and present lectures on issues of interest to both Mexico and the U.S. and to prepare individuals for leadership on critical business, political, scientific, technological and cultural issues of concern to both countries.

About UTD

The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor, enrolls more than 7,000 undergraduate and 5,000 graduate students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s Web site at

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August 15, 2002