UH Moment

UH Moment: “Center for Mexican American Studies”

Immigration research.  Sociology.  Mariachi music?  The University of Houston Center for Mexican American Studies promotes faculty and research in many areas of Latino culture.   Hear about it in this UH Moment.

“Chicano music is the music of ethnic Mexicans from the American side of the border.”

Professor Estevan Cesar Azcona is an ethnomusicologist and a visiting scholar with the UH Center for Mexican American Studies.  His study in Chicano music examines the population’s political, ethnic and social identity expressed through pop music.

“This is a community that was born out of the occupation of what is today the U.S. Southwest in the aftermath of the US/Mexico War of 1848,” Azcona said.  “It was a community that was one day Mexican and the next day American.  Since that day more than 150 years ago that community has tried to find its place.”

Center for Mexican American StudiesThe Visiting Scholar program brings Latino scholars to the university, encourages their research on the Latino community and eventual publication of their research.  Azcona is the 30th Visiting Scholar and the first ethnomusicologist.  He’s also a mariachi. Following a semester of research, visiting scholars teach.

“Chicano music offers us a glimpse into the futures that America itself is going to encounter,” he said.  “Futures that deal with the intersection and the crossing of borders.”

The Center for Mexican American Studies is part of what’s happening at the University of Houston.  I’m Marisa Ramirez. 

Telling the stories of the University of Houston, this UH Moment is brought to you by KUHF, listener supported radio from the University of Houston. 

(Song,”Yo Soy Chicano” from Rolas De Aztlan: Songs of the Chicano Movement, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2005)