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Latin American Speaker Series to Be Held

For Immediate Release:  February 16, 2007
Contact:  Marsha Nishi Mullan    


Latin American Studies Speaker Series to Be Held at Swarthmore

A Latin American Studies Speaker Series will be held during March at Swarthmore College and will begin on Friday, March 2, with a workshop and talk by mariachi musician and anthropologist Russell Rodríguez. His talk, "Transnational Melodies: Mexicano and Chicano Musical and Political Dialogues," will be presented at 4:15 p.m. in the Science Center, Cunniff Lecture Hall (Rm. 199). He will conduct a workshop from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the Intercultural Center on "Appreciating Mexican Traditional Music in the United States."

Three other speakers, Ana Mallén, Deborah Thomas, and Rafael Reygadas will follow in the Latin American Studies Speaker Series on March 8, 20, and 21.  All workshops and talks are free and open to the public.

Russell Rodríguez is currently a lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  In June 2006, he received his Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology at U.C. Santa Cruz, completing his dissertation, "Cultural Production, Legitimation, and the Politics of Aesthetics: Mariachi Transmission, Practice, and Performance in the United States."

Rodríguez has been a professional mariachi musician for over 20 years.  In 2004, he was co-curator for the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage's annual American Festival, Latino Music Program, and co-produced a Smithsonian Folkways Recordings CD compilation, "Rolas de Aztlán: Songs of the Chicano Movement."

He has also studied Mexican folk dance and has performed with, taught, and directed groups such as Los Lupeños de San José, Grupo Folklórico Xochipilli and Los Mestizos. Rodríguez continues to play professionally with Mariachi Azteca and Los Soneros del Este. His talk and workshop are co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

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