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NMSU Center for Latin American and Border Studies announces fall speaker series

The New Mexico State University Center for Latin American and Border Studies continues its fall speaker series tradition with a diverse group of national and international scholars presenting their most recent research on Latin America and border issues.

"We live not only on the U.S.-Mexico Border - this is also the U.S.-Latin America Border," said Inigo Garcia-Bryce, center director and associate professor in the Department of History. "The free public lectures of the CLABS speaker series emphasize this point by featuring the most recent research by NMSU and invited faculty colleagues on Latin American and border issues."

The six speakers this semester include not only faculty from NMSU and the University of New Mexico, but also researchers from Washington, D.C.; the Magallanes region of Chile; Havana, Cuba; and Melbourne, Australia.

"Some of the lectures deal directly with the history and current events of our border region - the violence in Ciudad Juarez and the history of Columbus, N.M.," Garcia-Bryce said. "Others cover Latin American issues - Cuban poetry and national identity, ranching in Patagonia, and political exiles in the Caribbean, Mexico and Havana.

"Our region is profoundly connected to Latin America in ways we often overlook. This series asks the public to consider these connections."

The center has been providing a venue for such lecture series since 2001. The College of Arts and Sciences also supports the series.

The series will open on Wednesday, Sept. 26, with Molly Molloy, NMSU professor and librarian, whose talk, "An Inconvenient Truth - Bringing the Testimony of a Drug Cartel Assassin to Page and Screen," will give the backstory of the writing and filming of "El Sicario," a unique first-hand testimony of a paid assassin hired by the drug cartels.

The next presentation, on Thursday, Oct. 11, features historian Brandon Morgan of the University of New Mexico, who will explore an interesting period in the history of Columbus, N.M. A century ago, the community attempted to transform itself into a vibrant town to rival El Paso - until its plans were interrupted by Pancho Villa.

On Thursday, Oct. 25, Raul Lira, a visiting researcher from Chile, will discuss his research at the Kampenaike arid-lands agricultural field station, located in the Patagonian region on the border of Chile and Argentina. His talk is titled "Ranching at the End of the World: Sheep in Chilean Patagonia."

On Wednesday, Nov. 7, historian Barry Carr from the University of La Trobe in Australia will present "Red Mexico City, Havana and New York: Transnational Networks of Radicals, Revolutionaries and Exiles 1918-1940," exploring the interconnections between these three cities at a time of revolutionary fervor throughout the Americas.

Local organizations opposing the violence in Ciudad Juarez will be the topic of the next lecture, on Wednesday, Nov. 28. CLABS visiting scholar Daniel Esser from American University in Washington, D.C. will discuss his ongoing research in a talk titled "Practices of non-violent local collective action against violence in Ciudad Juarez: evidence from a pilot survey."

The series will conclude on Wednesday, Dec. 5, with a talk in Spanish by CLABS visiting scholar Virgilio Lopez Lemus of the University of Havana. His lecture, "La poesía y las identidades en la segunda mitad del siglo XX de Cuba y America Latina," will discuss the role of poetry in helping to shape a national identity in 20th-century Cuba.

All talks will be held at 4 p.m. at Nason House, located on the NMSU campus at 1070 University Ave. They are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.

For more information, contact Seth Wilson at 575-646-6814 or sewilson@nmsu.edu, or visit the CLABS website at http://clabs.nmsu.edu/.