San Diego State Professor to lecture at UTPA on Religious Upheaval in Mexico
Posted: 04/05/1999
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EDINBURG - Dr. Paul Vanderwood, an award-winning scholar and author on Mexican history, will present a public lecture on his most recent book, The Power of God Against the Guns of Government: Religious Upheaval in Mexico at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century , at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (April 20) at the UTPA Ballroom.

Vanderwood a professor emeritus of history at San Diego State University, earned the Thomas F. McGann Memorial Prize for his latest work.

The book tells the story of the dramatic Tomochic rebellion of 1891-1892 in which a small community of Nortenos, inspired by the mystic powers and radical teachings of Santa Teresa de Cabora, rejected the authority of the dictator Porfirio Diaz and swore to obey only God.

Among Vanderwood's numerous books are War Scare on the Lower Rio Grande: Robert Runyon's Photos of Border Conflict, 1913-1916, and his award-winning works, Night Riders of Reelfoot Lake and Disorder and Progress; Bandits, Police, and Mexican Development.

Vanderwood was born in New York and was a newspaper reporter before becoming an historian. Writing for the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain out of Memphis, Tenn., he covered the civil rights movement and formed personal relationships with Martin Luther King Jr. and Elvis Presley. He was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize on three occasions.

As an historian, Vanderwood has traveled widely - to Kenya to study millenarian movements, to Papua New Guinea to examine cargo cults, to northern Australia to study aboriginal rock art, to India to observe local religious practices and to Guatemala to see how Maya idols are incorporated into Catholicism. He has spent years in Mexico studying and writing about the Revolution of 1910, the daily lives of campesinos, and folk saints and their followers.

Vanderwood's presentation at UTPA is sponsored by the Rondel Davidson Lecture Series in conjunction with the Department of History and Philosophy.

For more information on the lecture, contact Dr. Paul R. Henggeler, associate professor of history, at 956/381-3571.