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Stories & Music of the Revolution: A Commemorative Exhibit on the Centennial of Mexico’s Revolution

Detail, Woodcut, De Francisco Moreno Capdevila, from El Coyote—Corrido De La Revolucion, Celedonio Serrano Martinez, Mexico, 1951
Detail, Woodcut, De Francisco Moreno Capdevila, from El Coyote—Corrido De La Revolucion, Celedonio Serrano Martinez, Mexico, 1951

Dates: September 9, 2010 - December 20, 2010

Location:   Special Collections

Contact: Bob Diaz


Special Collections at the University Libraries announces its newest exhibit, Stories & Music of the Revolution: A Commemorative Exhibit on the Centennial of Mexico’s Revolution, on display from Sept. 9 – Dec. 20, 2010 in the gallery at Special Collections, 1510 E. University Blvd.

Through unofficial correspondence among citizens, reminiscences written years after the incidents, photographs, broadsides, sound recordings, government circulars, and wood-block engravings Stories & Music of the Revolution illustrates a sense of individual and collective experiences along the border from 1910 – 1920, the turbulent years of the Revolution.

Stories & Music of the Revolution draws from Special Collections’ expansive Borderlands materials to recreate the Revolution as experienced from two perspectives: those fighting for agrarian, economic, and other societal reforms and those seeking to stabilize the nation or remain in power. The materials on display were selected from a variety of collections including the papers of journalist, playwright, and women’s rights advocate Sophie Treadwell; George Hunt, Arizona’s first governor; and the Arizona, Southwest and Borderlands photograph collection. Sound recordings, corrido lyrics, and sheet music drawn from the University Libraries’ fine arts holdings and personal collections complement the materials selected from Special Collections.

Curated by librarians Verónica Reyes-Escudero and Bob Diaz, Stories & Music of the Revolution commemorates the 200th anniversary of Mexico’s Independence and the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution. A lecture series exploring the cultural, political, and economic legacy of the Revolution will be held throughout the fall in conjunction with the exhibit. The exhibit and lecture series are sponsored by the Friends of the University Libraries and the Consulate of Mexico in Tucson.

Stories & Music of the Revolution Fall Lecture Series
All lectures located in Special Collections, 1510 E. University Blvd. Free and open to the public. Parking information at: www.library.arizona.edu/about/locations/parking.html.

Lecture I – September 22, Wednesday, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Celebrating Mexico’s Epic Revolution
-William Beezley, Professor, UA Department of History
-Juan Manuel Calderón Jaimes, Consul of Mexico

Mexicans initiated the world's First Social Revolution beginning November 20, 1910 to provide everyone with land in the country or jobs in the city, housing, food, education, health services, and equal justice. Obregón, Calles, Zapata, Villa, Cárdenas, and others, made it clear they would eliminate institutions and individuals, especially foreign investors, Catholic priests, and large landowners, who stood in the way of these programs. The young, uneducated, but ambitious men and women from all social classes and ethnic groups who formed the revolutionaries wanted to eliminate poverty in both its economic and cultural meanings for the entire nation. Their achievements, despite violence, assassination, and civil war that divided them, were so fundamental that many are taken for granted today.

Lecture II – October 6, Wednesday, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
The First Centennial of the Independence in San Luis Potosi: A regional perspective
-Luis Edgardo Coronado Guel, Ph.D. candidate, UA Department of History

San Luis Potosi’s First Centennial celebration in 1910 was an example of how important national processes took place in Mexico’s regions during the Porfirian era in Mexico. Those festivities portrayed the national state’s consolidation and, at the same time, they show some critical signs of fissures on the centralized political model instituted by Porfirio Diaz’s regime. Why did the revolutionary outbreak happen in the same year? Why did an apparently weak upheaval finish the Diaz Regime so quickly? Interesting clues would be found at the regional level, and specifically San Luis’s study case would be an important piece of such a puzzle.

Lecture III – October 26, Tuesday, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Writing on the Edge: Borderlands Reading
-Tom Miller, Arizona Humanities Council Speakers Bureau; Research Associate, UA Center for Latin American Studies; and Tucson Author

The Third Country sandwiched between the United States and Mexico has a well-defined and vital literature, one that reflects history (the Mexican Revolution), population patterns (immigration), and crime (smuggling). On the surface it seems depressing and unrelenting, but a thoughtful exploration of the accumulated material shows literary vitality and wide-ranging variety. Writing on the Edge celebrates the world within the borderlands through its twentieth century books and authors, beginning with Mariano Azuela (The Underdogs, 1915) coming all the way up through Luis Alberto Urrea (Into the Beautiful North, 2009). Along the way we encounter the unexpected (Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jack Kerouac), the masters (Carlos Fuentes, Larry McMurtry), the polemical (Gloria Anzaldúa, Carlos Monsivais), the comical (Oscar Zeta Acosta, Antonio Burciaga), and the classic (Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Elena Poniatowska). Borderland writing has many genres, from policiacos (crime thrillers) and theater to poetry and memoir. Audiences will have the opportunity to explore these genres, and discuss why their favorite titles and authors are so appealing! This program was made possible by the Arizona Humanities Council.

Lecture IV – November 10, Wednesday, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
The Borderlands and the Mexican Revolution
-Oscar J. Martinez, Regents Professor, UA Department of History

Oscar J. Martinez , historian and author of several books on the U.S.-Mexico border including “Troublesome Border” and “Fragments of the Mexican Revolution: Personal Accounts From the Border,” will assess the role of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands in the Mexican Revolution, with an emphasis on controversies, disturbances, and battles that affected the destiny of Mexico and the United States.

Lecture V – November 18, Thursday, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
The Role of Women in the Mexican Revolution as Portrayed Through the Corrido
-Raquel Rubio Goldsmith, Lecturer, UA Department of Mexican American & Raza Studies
-Celestino Fernandez, Professor, UA Department of Sociology
-Los Cuatro Vientos Musical Group

Raquel Rubio Goldsmith, historian and lecturer in the UA Department of Mexican American & Raza Studies, will discuss the significant role women played during the Mexican Revolution. Celestino Fernandez, Professor, UA Department of Sociology, will discuss the corrido as a popular song form and its importance in communicating values, issues and ideas during the Revolution and into the present. The presentations will be illustrated by a performance from the local musical quartet Los Cuatro Vientos.

Related coverage: UANews, UANews video, La Estrella de Tucson, KXCI radio

Contact: Veronica Reyes-Escudero or Bob Diaz