UHV to host symposium focusing on Mexican American culture
After three years, the University of Houston-Victoria is bringing back the annual Martín de León Symposium on the Humanities.
The 34th annual symposium will focus on public engagement and the humanities and will feature two speakers: Trinidad Gonzales, a history instructor from South Texas College, and Diana Lopez, a retired UHV faculty member who recently served as president of the Texas Institute of Letters. The event will be at 10 a.m. on Sept. 16 inside the Alcorn Auditorium in UHV University West, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. The event is free and open to the public.
“The Martín de León Symposium is an important event that UHV is happy to offer to the public,” said Kyoko Amano, dean of the UHV College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences. “Unfortunately, we had to put it on hold during the pandemic. Now, we are pleased to bring it back, and we welcome the community to come out and learn about these important aspects of Mexican American culture.”
The symposium is a partnership with the dé León Club in Victoria. During the event, each of the speakers will give a 40- to 45-minute presentation, then open the floor for a 15-minute question and answer session. The symposium is an excellent opportunity for the community to learn about Hispanic culture and some of the major issues that have surfaced in today’s world, said Joseph Locke, UHV associate professor of history and the symposium’s organizer.
“It's a fraught time for the humanities in American culture,” Locke said. “That seems especially true for issues surrounding the study of Mexican American history and culture. This symposium will help us better understand the politics and the divisive rhetoric surrounding these issues.”
Gonzales plans to give a presentation titled The Intersection of Engaged Historians and Public Education. As part of his talk, he will give his personal experiences with civic engagement and share why historians and education must be publicly engaged in conversations about culture. He will share his experiences testifying in front of the State Board of Education as well as his work as cofounder of Refusing to Forget, a nonprofit organization that educates the public about the violence that Mexican Americans have faced in the past and how their struggle for justice and civil rights continues to influence society today.
Lopez’s presentation will be called Activism, Outreach, and Mexican American Children's Literature. She will talk about her latest book and chat about activism and community outreach in relation to Mexican American children’s literature. She also will discuss the challenges faced by Mexican American Studies programs and challenges to books by Mexican American authors in Texas and across the country. Lopez also recently published a book titled “Los Monstruos: Felice and the Wailing Woman.”
To learn more about the symposium, contact Locke at (361) 570-4292 or email@example.com.
The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.