“We created this speakers series because we wanted to have the opportunity to encourage conversation between students and faculty members in different programs and departments,” said Dr. Adriel Trott, assistant professor of history and philosophy. “UTPA has a long history of involving the community in its conversations, so we want to continue with that.”
The series, which is named after UTPA alumnus and Rio Grande Valley native Gloria E. Anzaldúa, will feature a variety of lecture topics such as race, queer theory and border politics. Anzaldua who passed away in 2004, received her bachelor’s degree in English, Art and Education from UTPA in 1969. She was most notably an internationally recognized cultural theorist, creative writer and independent scholar.
Dr. Gregory Fernando Pappas, associate professor of philosophy at Texas A&M University, will kick off the series Oct. 9 at 3 p.m. in Room 1.102 of the Education Complex. He will present a lecture on Hispanic identity, more specifically, Hispanic-American culture. He will talk about the work of Anzaldúa and others to argue that one of the obstacles to accepting “hybrid people” is a mistaken ontology about cultures, one that does not accept ambiguity.
“We are trying to offer conceptual background for issues that people face,” Trott said. “We also want the students to think about these issues in ways maybe they hadn’t before.”
This speakers series was made possible by a $1,500 grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The speaker series continues with Dr. Leigh Johnson, assistant professor of philosophy at Rhodes College, Nov. 19; Dr. Jennifer Suchland, assistant professor of Slavic and East European languages and literatures, Feb. 4; Dr. Shannon Winnbust, associate professor of women’s studies, Feb. 4; and Dr. Theodore George, associate professor of philosophy, March 25.
For more information, call Trott at 956/381-3552.