Leading scholar in Chicana/o studies to speak at UTPA April 12
Posted: 03/28/2005
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Award-winning historian, Dr. Vicki L. Ruiz, will be the featured speaker April 12 at the Rondel Davidson Lecture Series sponsored by the Department of History and Philosophy at The University of Texas-Pan American. The presentation - "Big Dreams, Rural Schools: Mexican Americans and Public Education, 1870-1950" - will be held in the UTPA Student Union Auditorium at 7 p.m.

Dr. Vicki L. Ruiz
A professor of history and Chicano/Latino Studies at the University of California-Irvine, Ruiz is one of the foremost authorities on Chicana/o studies, gender studies and labor history, receiving considerable praise for her work and contributions to the scholarship of Chicana/o and women's history.

Ruiz's works include "From Out of the Shadows: Mexican Women in Twentieth Century America;" "Cannery Women, Cannery Lives: Mexican Women, Unionization, and the California Food Processing Industry, 1930-1950;" and "Las Obreras: Chicana Politics of Work and Family." She is one of the authors of "Created Equal: A Social and Political History of the United States" and is currently co-editing "Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia" with Dr. Virginia Sánchez-Korrol, history professor at Brooklyn College.

Ruiz also presently serves as president-elect for the Organization of American Historians (OAH), which according to its Web site, is the largest learned society devoted to the study and teaching of American history. The OAH describes their mission as promoting excellence in the scholarship, teaching, and presentation of American history, and encouraging wide discussion of historical questions and equitable treatment of all practitioners of history. The OAH also publishes the quarterly Journal of American History.

In addition, Ruiz is a 2000 recipient of Latina Magazine's "Woman of the Year" award and a recently named leader on Women's eNews 2005 list of "21 Leaders for the 21st Century."

Trinidad Gonzales, history lecturer at UTPA and one of the event's organizers, said the event is free and open to the public and encouraged those interested in the history of Mexican-American public education to attend the event.

"Vicki Ruiz is one of the most important Chicana scholars of our day. Her work in Chicana/o, labor, gender and women's history has been groundbreaking. As a result of her work she is currently president-elect for the Organization of American Historians. She is the first Latina/o to hold that position. I expect her presentation to be well received by students, teachers and everyone else from the community," he said.

For more information, contact the Department of History and Philosophy at 956/381-3561.