Hispanic identity to be unraveled

By Linda Luk

Neil Foley, an associate professor of history and American studies and associate dean at the University of Texas, will speak at 6:30 p.m. today in the Moot Courtroom at Swen Parson Hall, Room 170.

Foley will discuss the issue of the construction of a Hispanic identity in America.

“He grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, with an Irish father and a Mexican mother,” said J.D. Bowers, chair of the history graduate student colloquium committee. “His scholarship and work reflect the border of ethnic identity with a specific reference to south central Texas.”

His book, “The White Scourge: Mexicans, Blacks and Poor Whites in Texas Cotton Cultures,” addresses how the different cultures interacted in the cotton industry of Texas.

“It is about identity, race and the legal process,” Bowers said. “He will bring up issues of legality where Hispanics have challenged the law.”

Bowers expects to get a fairly large audience to attend the lecture.

“I have gotten calls from other colleges,” Bowers said. “We definitely expect a large audience of students and a widespread audience. I expect mostly students to attend.”

People attending the lecture will learn that our identity and race are negotiated and are not predetermined, Bowers said. It is a more complex issue far more than somebody’s skin.