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History Scholars Lecture Series 2011 begins with presentation on New Mexico folk dancing

To kick off the History Scholars Lecture Series 2011, the History Scholars Program and Department of Anthropology at New Mexico State University will present Nader Ayadi and his lecture "Dancing with the Enemy: Representations of Arabs in Northern New Mexico Folk Dancing," at 3 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 14, in Breland Hall, Room 189 on the NMSU campus.

The lecture will present a study of how Arabs are represented in the folk dance rituals of northern New Mexico. The focus will be on the rituals of the Matachines and Moros y Cristianos and will be an opportunity to explore the persistence of these rituals across time, including how Native Americans incorporated them into their rituals.

Nader is a native of Tunisia and graduated from the Higher Institute of Human Sciences of Jendouba in Tunisia with a bachelor's in English language and literature in 2007. He is currently a Fulbright Scholar at NMSU, pursuing a Master of Arts in anthropology. He is interested in historic preservation and world heritage.

Last year, Nader had an internship with the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division, where he focused on digitalization. His fascination with New Mexico history encouraged him to develop research looking at the representation of Arabs in New Mexico folkdances, such as Moros y Cristianos and the Matachines.

The History Scholars Program is made possible through a partnership between the Historical Society of New Mexico and the Office of State Historian, a division of the State Records Center and Archives. Under the program, fellowships of up to $1,000 are awarded to students and other scholars to perform research in New Mexico archival repositories on topics relating to New Mexico history and culture.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information contact Lois Stanford at 575-646-6092.