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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Academics & Research

Center for Mexican American Studies welcomes new scholars

The Center for Mexican American Studies has invited two experts from the Latino community to join UH as visiting scholars — professors Eric Castillo and Jose Angel Hernandez.

Established in 1972, CMAS is an interdisciplinary academic program encompassing the liberal arts, education and social sciences focusing on the Mexican-American and broader Latino experience in the United States.

Castillo, an associate professor and scholar of the late artist Luis Jimenez, will be spending the fall semester in research and the spring semester teaching at the School of Art.

“I’m interested in how we can use visual images to recreate iconography for community mobilization, for youth empowerment and for advocacy,” Castillo said in a UH press release. “In particular, I’m looking at the undocu-queer movement (self-identified LGBT and undocumented) and the possibility of making more strides for social justice and liberation. The undocu-queer movement and artivism do that successfully.”

Hernandez, an associate professor, will be joining the history department researching repatriated Mexicans in the early 19th century and will be mentored by professor John Hart, one of the nation’s foremost scholars on Mexico.

“Professor Hernandez is a distinguished young scholar investigating a very important event in Mexican-American history,” Hart said. “We know the full story of what occurred is still obscure. The causes and results of this moment in our history require further investigation, and Professor Hernandez is going to carry us forward to a higher level of understanding.”

Hernandez’s research is a continuation of his work that resulted in the publication of his book, “Mexican American Colonization during the Nineteenth Century: A History of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands.” It is also a reinterpretation of Mexican and Mexican-American history and Mexico’s struggle to secure its northern border with repatriates after the U.S.-Mexican war.

As part of CMAS’s mission to advance knowledge, promote critical thinking and foster the value of service to the community, its Visiting Scholars Program has recruited experts since 1986 to produce research about the Latino community in areas such as history, art, sociology, psychology, anthropology, political science and English.

“Jose Angel’s research is a new and interesting approach to our view of being Latino. Eric is a promising young scholar who will bring us an important view of the role of art in our culture and behavior. We are fortunate to have them both,” said Tatcho Mindiola, professor and director of CMAS, in a press release. “CMAS has been very fortunate throughout its 40-year history to have employed people who feel they are advancing the educational status of the community.”

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