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Education Notes: Experts for Hispanic Heritage Month

The United States celebrates the history, culture and traditions of citizens who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and Latin America with National Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15-Oct. 15.

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The United States celebrates the history, culture and traditions of citizens who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and Latin America with National Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15-Oct. 15.

Experts at The University of Texas at Austin are available to discuss a range of topics from Latinos in the media and Mexican-American folklore, to Latino history and politics.


Jorge Canizares-Esguerra
Professor, Department of History

Canizares-Esguerra studies colonial Spanish-American history and the history of science. He is the author of the award-winning book “How to Write the History of the New World: History, Epistemology, and Identities in the 18th-Century Atlantic World,” and “Puritan Conquistadors: Iberianizing the Atlantic 1550-1700.”

Jason Casellas
Assistant Professor, Department of Government

Casellas studies Latino political behavior, public policy, state and local politics. He examines Latino representation in U.S. legislatures and Congress.

Neil Foley
Associate Professor, Department of History

Foley teaches courses on 20th-century Latino history, race and ethnicity, legal and labor history, borderlands and comparative civil rights. He is the author of “The White Scourge: Mexican, Blacks, and Poor Whites in Texas Cotton Culture” and is working on a book about Latino and African-American civil rights.

Anne Martinez
Assistant Professor, Department of History

Martinez studies U.S.-Mexico relations, labor, and migration and religion in Latino communities during the Mexican revolutionary period. Her work also examines the relationships among race, religion and nationalism in Mexican-American communities.

John McKiernan-Gonzalez
Assistant Professor, Department of History

McKiernan-Gonzalez researches race and ethnicity, the borderlands and Mexican-American history. He examines public health policies along the Mexican border and cross-border politics. He teaches courses on Latino social history and Latinos in the Industrial Age.

Martha Menchaca
Professor, Department of Anthropology

Menchaca studies social anthropology, ethnicity and gender in Mexican-American culture. She is the author of “Recovering History, Reconstructing Race: The Indian, Black and White Roots of Mexican Americans,” which examines the role of race in Mexican-American history.

Peter Ward
Professor, Department of Sociology

Ward studies U.S.-Mexico relations, Latin American urbanization, contemporary Mexican politics, and housing policy and planning. He is editor of Latin American Research Review and has been an adviser to the Mexican government.

Emilio Zamora
Associate Professor, Department of History

Zamora studies Mexican-American history and U.S. working class history. He recently completed a research project on Mexican workers and the cause for equal rights in Texas during World War II. He is the author of “The World of the Mexican Worker in Texas.”


Oscar Casares
Assistant Professor, Department of English

Casares is working on a novel set in South Texas that tells the story of his family’s migration from Mexico to Texas. He is the author of the short story collection “Brownsville: Stories.” His story “Are You Ready for Some Fútbol?” appeared in “The Best of American Sports Writing” (2007).

John Gonzalez
Assistant Professor, Department of English

Gonzalez studies how the emergence of Mexican-American identity is mediated by literature. He is a research affiliate of the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project. His book “Border Renaissance: The Texas Centennial and the Emergence of Mexican-American Literature” is forthcoming from University of Texas Press.

Julie Guernsey
Associate Professor, Department of Art History

Guernsey’s research focuses on Mesoamerican art and visual culture. Learn how modern Dia de los Muertos celebrations resemble ancient ancestor veneration traditions in the feature story “Dia de los Muertos.”

Rolando Hinojosa-Smith
Professor, Department of English

Hinojosa-Smith was one of two Texas authors honored for lifetime achievement at the 2007 Texas Book Festival. He is best known for his “Klail City Death Trip” series, a collection of novels following generations of Anglos and Mexicans in the Rio Grande Valley. In 2006, Hinojosa-Smith was inducted into the Texas Literary Hall of Fame.

Jose Limón
Professor, Department of English;
Director, Center for Mexican American Studies

Limón studies Chicano literature, anthropology and literature, and Mexicans in the United States. He is the author of “Mexican Ballads and Chicano Poems: History and Influence in Mexican-American Social Poetry” and “Dancing with the Devil: Society and Cultural Poetics in Mexican-American South Texas.”

Domino Perez
Associate Professor, Department of English;
Associate Director; Center for Mexican American Studies

Perez studies Chicano literature and popular culture. Her book “There Was a Woman: La Llorona from Folklore to Popular Culture,” examines the legend of the weeping ghost of the Southwest. Learn more in the feature story “La Llorona’s Revenge.”


Alex Avila
Senior Producer, Latino USA

Avila has spent many years working in print and broadcast Latino media. Prior to becoming senior producer for Latino USA, the only national, English-language radio program produced from a Latino perspective, Avila was an editor for Hispanic Magazine and spent five years covering the Mexican-American community.

Rosental Alves
Professor, School of Journalism

Alves is the director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, a professional training and outreach program for journalists in Latin America and the Caribbean. His areas of expertise include Latin American journalism and freedom of the press issues in Latin America.

Charles Ramirez-Berg
Professor, Department of Radio-TV-Film

Ramirez-Berg is an expert on Latinos in U.S. films and Mexican cinema, as well as film history, narration in film and world cinema, and stereotyping. Learn more about his research in the feature story “Pasión por Peliculas.”

Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez
Associate Professor, School of Journalism

Rivas-Rodriguez spearheads the Latino World War II Oral History Project, which has collected interviews with more than 450 men and women throughout the nation. She is a founding member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Learn more about the oral history project in the feature story “War Stories.”

Mercedes Lynn de Uriarte
Associate Professor, School of Journalism

De Uriarte pioneered two undergraduate courses in which she taught students to cover underrepresented communities by using East Austin as a regular beat, and challenged students to create Tejas, a Latino news and culture publication. She is the author of the report “Diversity Disconnects: From Classroom to Newsroom.”