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The University of Southampton
Modern Languages and LinguisticsPart of Humanities

'Mexico Today' Study Day Event

Lifelong Learning
10:00 - 16:00
17 May 2014
Avenue Campus Highfield Road Southampton SO17 1BF

For more information regarding this event, please email Lifelong Learning Team at .

Event details

We will be holding a one-day cultural event on Saturday 17 May consisting of a series of short talks led by experts from within Modern Languages at Southampton. This thought provoking and inspiring conference will provide you with the opportunity to learn and engage in discussion about Mexico from academics of international distinction.

One of the most defining features of Mexico today is the impact of migration, almost entirely to the US, on contemporary Mexican society, both in terms of outward emigration, and, increasingly, with the impact of returning migrants to their 'home' country.  Migration is of course a global phenomenon characterising our current world, as well as a historical reality which has left its mark in crossings of every sort, from people to artistic genres.  This study day will explore some of the ways that contemporary migration and cultural imports impact on Mexico today. 

During the weekend of May 16-18 there will be other complementary events around the University celebrating Mexican culture, including music, dance and films.  You are warmly invited to participate in all these events. For a programme of events for the Mexico Weekend please see the MeXsu website.


Professor Laura A Lewis: Mexican Migration to the U.S., Remittances, and Home Construction in Mexico
This talk examines the practice of building houses in Mexico with wages Mexican migrants earn in the U.S. I focus on a single rural community and on the symbolic significance especially of its boxy, unadorned cinder block structures. These are constructed from a distance over many years and bit by bit, by individuals who have no immediate plans to return to Mexico but whose sentiments are nevertheless there. Houses thus speak to community, history, kin and place.

Discussion and screening of extracts from the film La Ciudad (The City with subtitles)
La Ciudad, directed by David Riker, focuses on the experience of migrants arriving in the US from Mexico and other parts of Latin America.  It is an example of the many artistic explorations of the migrant condition, negative and positive, on arrival in a foreign land.  A panel of specialists will discuss the insights of the film and the impact of artistic representations of these experiences with the Study Day participants. 

Professor Clare Mar-Molinero: Volver: Stories of return: Mexican returnee migrants from the US
Interviews and observations over a period of time in the Mexican city of San Luís Potosí will be used to describe the life stories that migrants tell of the experience of crossing the border to 'El Norte' and returning.  I shall look especially at the impact on their language practices, and take the case study of one particular family's narrative. 

Dr. Hettie Malcomson leading and presenting: Danzón Dance Workshop
Danzón started as a popular Cuban music- dance form but which is now performed daily in many public plazas in Mexico. It is a precursor to genres such as mambo, cha-cha-chá and "salsa" and is often played by saxophones, trumpets, trombone, bass, güiro and a virtuosic timpanist. There will be a short talk followed by a participatory dance workshop, for those who wish to take part.


£31 full rate

£21 loyalty rate (Harbour Lights Members, Friends of Parkes, English Teachers Network, university staff and alumni)

£11 discount rate (students/sixth form & college students and those in receipt of income-based Job Seeker's Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Council Tax or Housing Benefit)

Student members of MexSoc at the University of Southampton are entitled to attend for free. Please email for further details.

All prices include lunch and refreshments



Please note that prior booking is required for attendance of this event

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