Since 1987, the Center for Mexican American Studies (CMAS) has sponsored the Américo Paredes Distinguished Lecture, which brings a prominent speaker from beyond The University of Texas at Austin to address the public on a timely topic in Mexican American studies.
Américo Paredes was a musician, scholar, and folklorist from Brownsville, Texas. Prior to death on Cinco de Mayo of 1999, Dr. Paredes was the Dickson, Allen, and Anderson Centennial Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and English at The University of Texas at Austin. Among the numerous honors that marked his career are the Charles Frankel Prize from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Orden del Águila Azteca – Mexico’s highest award given to the citizen’s of other countries. Dr. Paredes’ scholarship on the culture of the people of Greater Mexico helped lay the foundation of our understanding of the people of the Lower Rio Grande Border, and inspired an entire generation of Mexican American scholars.
Beginning in 2008, CMAS has also hosts two lecture series directed at faculty from The University of Texas at Austin. These lecture series honor two individuals who have historically contributed to Mexican American Studies at UT Austin. Furthermore, the Jovita González Memorial Lecture in the Arts and Humanities and the George I. Sánchez Memorial Lecture in the Social Sciences and Education are presented by CMAS faculty affiliates either in their first year of service at the University or who have been recently promoted to associate or full professor. These two lecture series honor faculty while encouraging the further development of their research and mobility through the faculty ranks.
Jovita González (de Mireles) was a folklorist, historian, writer, and teacher from Roma, Texas, and a pioneer in collecting Mexican folklore in the Rio Grande valley. She was one of the first Texas Mexicans to obtain a master's degree and work as a professor.
George I. Sánchez was a writer, educator, and civil rights advocate from Albuquerque, New Mexico. As a member of the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin, he fought against standardized tests, segregation based on non-proficiency in English, and other discrimination against Hispanic schoolchildren.
Please contact Luis Guevara, CMAS Program Coordinator, at (512) 475-6769 or firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information about the lecture series sponsored by CMAS.