Texas Border Business –
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS –APRIL 11, 2016 – The University of Texas Rio Grande will cohost a centennial celebration of author Américo Paredes, a Brownsville native best known for his expertise as a Mexican-American folklorist, teacher, writer, poet and musician.
Considered one of the most important and influential American folklorists in the field of Mexican-American and borderlands culture, Paredes’ writings span more than four decades and continue to inspire a generation of scholars.
“We’re celebrating his life and his legacy,” said Marci McMahon, associate professor in the UTRGV School of Interdisciplinary Programs and interim director of Mexican American Studies. “Sept. 3, 2015, would have been his 100th birthday; he passed away in 1999.”
McMahon is coordinating the event with Dr. John Morán González, UT Austin associate professor of English and associate director of the Center for Mexican American Studies.
The program begins at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, in the PlainsCapital El Gran Salón, with a panel of Paredes’ former associates.
Richard Flores, UT Austin dean of the College of Liberal Arts, will deliver opening remarks. Flores, a former student of Paredes, will talk about the author’s influence on his career as a scholar and his work in the community.
•Dr. Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, a retired UT Austin professor and a native of Mercedes, who knew Paredes and has written about his work.
•Dr. Manuel Medrano, a UTRGV lecturer in the Department of History who knew Paredes and will address Paredes’ impact on the Brownsville community. Medrano has written Américo Paredes: In His Own Words, a family-authorized biography.
•Dr. Noreen Rivera, UTRGV assistant professor of Literatures and Cultural Studies, who will talk about the author’s influence on her work. She currently teaches a graduate class entirely on Paredes’ writings.
After the panel, students from Rivera’s class will read some of Paredes’ writing and talk about how his work connected with them as individuals growing up in the Valley. There also will be a musical performance of a corrido by Dr. José Villarreal.