Mexican Studies Group (MSG)
The Mexican Studies Group is co-sponsored by the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities and the Center for Latin American Studies. In its third year now, this group brings together faculty and graduate students from history, political science, literature, sociology, art, anthropology, music, pedagogy, and Latin American studies.
MSG aims at raising the profile of research related to Mexico on our campus. Apart from our monthly meetings to discuss in-progress work authored by members and invited scholars from beyond Vanderbilt, we organize interdisciplinary seminars and colloquia on matters related to Mexico and the border with the U.S.
For more information contact: Helena Simonett (Latin American Studies), email@example.com.
In the fall of 2010, Jorge Durand and Patricia Arias (University of Guadalajara) talked about “Challenges of Doing Fieldwork in Mexico.” On September 16, the Mexican Studies Group was officially inaugurated with a lecture by Leonard Folgarait (Art History, VU) on “Images and Imaginings of the Mexican Revolution: 100 Years and Counting.” Ethnomusicologist Helena Simonett (Center for Latin American Studies, VU) gave a talk about “Giving Voice to the ‘Dignified Man’: Reflections on Global Popular Music.” Perla Ábrego, Ph.D. candidate, Spanish and Portuguese Department, spoke about “La frontera México-Estados Unidos como límite y su representación en la literature mexicana contemporánea.” Edward Wright-Rios (History, VU) presented “Fitting Fanáticas: Nation, Narration, and Assimilation of Pious Femininity in Revolutionary Mexico.”
In the spring of 2011, Erica Segre (University of Cambridge) lectured on “Re-playing and Toying with the Mexican Revolution: Misplaced Toys and their Discursive Uses in Post-Revolutionary Mexican Avant-garde (Art, Photography, Film), 1920s-1940s” and gave a seminar entitled: “Retratos ausentes [Absent Portraits] and Paper Frames in Mid-19th century Mexico: The Critique of Visual Representation, Identity and the Cuadro de Costumbres Template in the Discourse of Modernity.” Historian Peter Guardino (Indiana University) talked about religion and the 1846-48 Mexican-American War.
In the fall of 2011, ethnomusicologist Cathy Ragland (PanAmerican University, TX) talked about “Somos Más Americanos: Re-imagining History, Place and Nationality through Música Norteña.” CLAS visiting scholar César Burgos Dávila (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain) gave a talk about “Expresiones musicales del narcotráfico en México: los narcocorridos en la cotidianidad de los jóvenes sinaloenses.”
In January of 2012, filmmaker Natalia Almada came to discuss her new documentary, “El Velador” (The Night Watchman), which was screened the night before at Watkins College of Art, Design and Film. In April of 2012, the MSG organized a daylong symposium featuring panelists Steven Bunker (History, University of Alabama), “‘More Popular than Pulque’: Ricardo Bell, Porfirian Clown and Icon of Popular Mexican National Identity”; Ignacio Sánchez Prado (Spanish and International Studies, Washington University), “The Neoliberal Networks of Affective Engagement: Alfonso Cuarón’s Sólo con tu pareja and the Mexican Romantic Comedy”; Andrew Paxman (History, Millsaps College), “Strictly Business: Film, Radio, and Television in the Golden Age of the PRI”; and Anne Rubenstein (History, York University), “Taking the State Back Out: Writing Mexican Media History After 2000.”
Border Insecurity in Central America’s Northern Triangle- A report published by the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Latin American Program and Mexico Institute, in collaboration with the Migration Policy Institute which outlines the long-standing pattern of government inattention to the border regions – probing the root causes that range from institutional, economic, and resource challenges to corruption and weak government structures.