Montana State University

MSU hosts lecture series on Mexican and Latino migration to Montana

September 5, 2007 -- MSU News Service

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Tel: (406) 994-4571
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Well-known Chicana writer and activist Helena Maria Viramontes will be the first speaker in the "Borderlands" lecture series, sponsored by Montana State University's College of Letters and Science and the Bozeman Public Library. Her talk, titled "Border Culture: The Streets of East L.A." will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 27, at the Bozeman Public Library. All lectures are open to the public and will be followed by a reception with the speaker.

Viramontes, whose most recent book is titled "Their Dogs Came with Them," has written extensively on the experiences of Chicano and Chicana farm workers in the U.S. She grew up in East Los Angeles, one of eleven children born to parents who met when they were working as farm laborers, and spent many childhood summers picking fruit in northern California. A professor of English at Cornell University, she published her first novel--"Under the Feet of Jesus"--in 1995 and has also written several collections of short stories. She won the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature in 1995.

The four-part lecture series, "Borderlands: Migration, Ethnic identity, and the Changing Face of Community," aims to encourage awareness and discussion about the growing issue of Mexican and Latino migration to Montana. Other speakers will include Raul Homero Villa, professor of English specializing in Southwest/Borderlands literature and culture on Oct. 11; Stephen Trejo, a labor economist whose research focuses on the economic progress of minority groups on Nov.8; and Don Mitchell, cultural geographer and author of "The Lie of the Land: Migrant Workers and the California Landscape" on Nov. 16.

The College of Letters and Science recently added a multi-disciplinary minor in Latino Studies to its academic programs for undergraduate students.

For more information on these lectures, call 994-4288 or visit www.montana.edu/lettersandscience/borderlands.html.

Contact: For more information, please call Montana State University's College of Letters and Science at (406) 994-4288.