Two lectures by distinguished visiting professors Dr. Ricardo Ainslie and Dr. Jeffrey Shepherd

Sunday October 9th 11 AM


Understanding Mexico’s Drug War Violence: Dr. Ricardo Ainslie Lecture

This program is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities."

In this presentation, Dr. Ainslie will explain how Mexico became the primary player in the the trafficking of illicit drugs into the United States. In addition, he will describe the origin and transformation of Mexico’s drug cartels from "mom and pop” smuggling operations into transnational criminal organizations as well as the ascendance and splintering of different cartels. This presentation will also include the primary strategies and logic that have guided Mexico’s response to the drug cartels, including on-the-ground descriptions of what took place in Juarez between 2008 and 2011, when over 10,000 people were executed in the city’s streets as two cartels battled one another for control of the city.  Finally, Dr. Ainslie will conclude his presentation with observations as to why Mexico’s crisis is critically important to those of us living on this side of the border.

Dr. Ricardo Ainslie’s work focuses on communities in the United States and Mexico that have experienced significant conflict, violence, and transformation, exploring broader questions about how communities absorb crises and how individuals and cultural groups live within them. A hallmark of his projects is that he uses a variety of media, including documentary film, photographic exhibits, and books, to foster reflection within the communities he studies and beyond them. The work is highly interdisciplinary in character as reflected in his affiliations with the Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies, the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies, and the American Studies programs at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is also the M.K. Hague Centennial Professor in Education in the department of Educational Psychology. He is a native of Mexico City, Mexico, and a US citizen. He earned a Bachelor’s degree (Psychology) at the University of California at Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Ainslie is also board certified in psychology and psychoanalysis.


Dr. Jeffrey Shepherd, Lecture Sunday October 9th 12pm, Marfa Contemporary.

"Visualizing Militarization: The Art and Aesthetics of Militarizing the Borderlands"

The lecture will present a host of visual representations of the U.S. – Mexico borderlands as a hostile place necessitating military subjugation date to the entrance of Spaniards into the region in the 16th century.   Whether  simple  drawings  of  "marauding Apaches" rendered by  soldiers,  nuanced  architectural plans of presidios,  ornate  paintings  of Mexican soldiers, photographs  chronicling the  Mexican  Revolution, or protest art  critiquing the  contemporary  border wall, visual  imagery has played  a  central role in  the  construction of the  borderlands as a  place  "demanding" military-style  conquest.  This presentation will take a bird's eye view of the confluence of art and militarism along the U.S.

Dr. Jeffrey P. Shepherd is an Associate Professor of American Indian History, and the present Director of the Ph.D. Program.  He has written several articles on Indigenous economics, education, politics, culture, and identity, such as “At the Crossroads of Hualapai History, Memory, and American Colonization: Contesting Space & Place," in the American Indian Quarterly.  His book, We Are an Indian Nation: A History of the Hualapai People, was published in 2010 with the University of Arizona Press.  For this research, he has received grants from the American Philosophical Society, the Max Millett Foundation for Graduate Research, the Ft. McDowell Indian Nation, the Andrew H. Mellon Foundation, Texas Tech University, and Brigham Young University. He is presently working on several projects: an environmental history of the Guadalupe Mountains and National Park in the Texas-New Mexico Borderlands; a history of the Nde' / Apache peoples and treaty-making; and a history of the Blackfoot peoples along the U.S. - Canada border.    

This event is organized by Dr Natalie Maria Roncone

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