The Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin has announced the speaker for the 2011 Américo Paredes Distinguished Lecture. Dr. Norma Elia Cantú, Professor of English and U.S. Latina/o Literature at The University of Texas at San Antonio will be speaking Wednesday, May 5, 2011 in a room at the San Jacinto Conference Center on the UT Austin campus.
The lecture is named for the founder of UT Austin’s Center for Mexican American studies, Américo Paredes. This is a short description of his importance and contributions to the study of Mexican American history and culture.
Américo Paredes was a musician, scholar, and folklorist from Brownsville, Texas. Prior to death on Cinco de Mayo of 1999, Dr. Paredes was the Dickson, Allen, and Anderson Centennial Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and English at The University of Texas at Austin. Among the numerous honors that marked his career are the Charles Frankel Prize from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Orden del Águila Azteca – Mexico’s highest award given to the citizen’s of other countries. Dr. Paredes’ scholarship on the culture of the people of Greater Mexico helped lay the foundation of our understanding of the people of the Lower Rio Grande Border, and inspired an entire generation of Mexican American Scholars.