Expert in Mexican politics will give 2010 Foster Lecture April 19

Cover of 'Symbolism and Ritual in a One-Party Regime' by Larissa Adler LomnitzLarissa Adler Lomnitz – an internationally recognized expert in social networks, urban studies, economic and political anthropology, and the sociology of science – will give SMU’s 11th annual George and Mary Foster Distinguished Lecture in Cultural Anthropology at 5 p.m. April 19 in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall.

Her talk, “Symbolism and Ritual in Mexican Politics,” takes its focus from her most recent book published in English, Symbolism and Ritual in a One-Party Regime: Unveiling Mexico’s Political Culture (2010, University of Arizona Press). Cowritten with Rodrigo Salazar Elena and Ilya Adler, the book examines the 1988 presidential campaign of Carlos Salinas de Gortari and the ritualistic nature of campaign events that expressed both a national culture and an aura of domination.

Lomnitz is Investigadora emérita at the Instituto de Investigaciones en Matemáticas Aplicadas y en Sistemas at the Universidad Autónoma Nacional de México (UNAM) in Mexico City. She earned her B.S. degree and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa at the University of California-Berkeley, where she studied anthropology with George Foster. She received her doctorate in social anthropology at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City.

During her career, Lomnitz has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, elected as President of the Society for Latin American Anthropology, and received an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from the University of Massachusetts. Recently, she was honored with Mexico’s National Award for Sciences and Arts.

The Foster Distinguished Lecture series honors the contributions of anthropologists George McClelland Foster and Mary LeCron Foster, both associated for many years with the University of California-Berkeley. They have been instrumental in the development of anthropology in the U.S. and abroad. George Foster received an honorary degree from SMU in 1990. An anonymous gift to the university created the lecture series.

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