The history of Victoria during the 19th and 20th centuries will be put under the microscope during the 26th annual Martin de León Symposium on the Humanities.
The symposium, presented by the University of Houston-Victoria and the de León Club of Victoria, will be from 9 a.m. to noon April 28 in the Alcorn Auditorium of UHV University West, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. The event is free and open to the public. Advanced tickets are not required.
Dan Jaeckle, a UHV English professor and chair of the 2012 Symposium Advisory Committee, said the symposium is one of the longest-running events at the university.
“Whether the subject is history, music, literature or something else, we try to plan an entertaining symposium with an intellectual dimension to it,” Jaeckle said.
The first presenter at this year’s event is David Urbano, an instructor at Patti Welder Magnet Middle School. He will talk about Victoria in the 19th century.
Urbano is a Victoria native and one of the three original creators of the de León Symposium in 1985. He earned a doctorate in history in 2010 from the University of Houston. He also has been an adjunct faculty member at Victoria College and Coastal Bend College.
“He was one of the people to bring the idea of the symposium to the UHV president 26 years ago,” Jaeckle said. “This is the first time he will speak at the symposium.”
After a break, Anthony Quiroz, a UHV alumnus and history professor at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, will give a presentation about Victoria in the 20th century.
Quiroz also is from Victoria. He earned a bachelor’s degree from UHV and a master’s and a doctorate from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Among his publications is the 2005 book “Claiming Citizenship: Mexican Americans in Victoria, Texas.”
Jaeckle said he thinks many Victoria residents, both those born here and those who have moved from elsewhere, are interested in learning about the history of the city.
“It’s intriguing to see how Victoria has grown through the years,” he said.
The de León Club, named after Victoria founder Martin de León, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting business and encouraging civic participation to improve the quality of life in Victoria.
For more information about the symposium, call Jaeckle at 361-575-7849.