Experts link murdered women and environmental ruin at the border

social justice

Experts link murdered women and environmental ruin at the border

The Rev. Daisy L. MachadoThe ongoing murders of countless women at the U.S.-Mexico border, along with devastating environmental damage inflicted by factories, are the subject of “Ecocide and Femicide on the Border: Ecofeminism and the Maquiladora Murders.” The event will take place 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 26, in 121 Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall.

Guest speakers are the Rev. Daisy L. Machado (pictured right), dean of academic affairs and professor of church history at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and Evelyn Parker, associate professor of practical theology at SMU’s Perkins School of Theology.

This is the final event in SMU’s seven-part 2012 “Migration Matters” series addressing the most pressing U.S./Mexico-border challenges.

Ecofeminists, inspired by theologian and nun Ivone Gebara of Brazil, have called Christians to think about the connections between poverty, violence to both the Earth and humans, and immigration. It is estimated that more than 400 female maquiladora (export assembly plant) workers have been murdered in Ciudad Juárez alone since 1993.

“This desert area, filled with toxic air and water produced by the maquiladoras, and the people who live there — poor and uneducated workers, mostly women — are devalued by a patriarchal society and commodified until they become expendable and invisible,” Machado says.

“This concerns me because these realities remain unresolved,” she adds. “So I ask the Christian community: Why are we not responding? And how can we advocate social, ecological and gender justice?”

Parker is looking forward to her conversation with Machado, with whom she has collaborated in the past. But this powerful subject, she says, “will take on new complexities — and possibilities.”

The program is supported by SMU’s Office of the Dean of Dedman College; the Geurin-Pettus Program; the Scott-Hawkins Fund; the Embrey Human Rights Program; the Department of English; the George and Mary Foster Distinguished Lecture in Cultural Anthropology; and the Center for the Study of Latino/a Christianity and Religions in Perkins School of Theology, with funding from The Henry Luce Foundation.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact series coordinator Jayson Sae-Saue, Department of English, 214-768-4369.

Written by Denise Gee

> Learn more about the 2012 “Migration Matters” series from SMU News

April 26, 2012|Calendar Highlights, News|

Series explores ‘the concept of home’ with El Norte screening April 4

A film poster from Gregory Nava's 'El Norte'SMU’s 2012 “Migration Matters” series continues Wednesday, April 4, with a film classic that raises important issues concerning U.S. immigration. A screening of El Norte, featuring commentary by SMU Distinguished Professor of Anthropology Caroline Brettell, is scheduled for 6:30-8:30 p.m. in SMU’s McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall.

The Academy Award-nominated 1983 documentary, directed by Gregory Nava, focuses on two Guatemala Mayan peasants, a brother and sister, who flee their country because of political persecution and head north (el norte). The film traces their journey, border-crossing experiences and subsequent life in the U.S. as undocumented immigrants.

“It raises poignant questions about the concept of home and touches on a host of issues important to understanding U.S. immigration,” Brettell says.

For more information about this event or others in the series, contact “Migration Matters” coordinator Jayson Sae-Saue, Department of English, Dedman College, 214-768-4369.

Shirin Tavakoli contributed to this report.

> Find the full “Migration Matters” schedule at the SMU News website

April 4, 2012|Calendar Highlights, News|

‘Migration Matters’ takes on elections, law & language March 29

U.S.-Mexico border

The U.S.-Mexico border, as seen from space.

SMU’s “Migration Matters” series continues Thursday, March 29, 2012, with its fourth event – a panel discussion of “Elections, the Law and Languages at the Border.”

The discussion, free and open to the public, takes place 5:30-7:30 p.m. in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall.

Featured speakers include:

The seven-part series, running through April 26, features compelling and knowledgeable artists, educators, faith leaders and law enforcement insiders to share the latest information on border-related migration trends, crime, politics, humanitarian efforts, art and literature. All events are free and open to the community.

For more information about this event or others in the series, contact “Migration Matters” coordinator Jayson Gonzales Sae-Saue, Department of English, Dedman College, 214-768-4369.

> Find a complete “Migration Matters” schedule at SMU News

March 29, 2012|Calendar Highlights, News|

‘Migration Matters’ series continues with ‘Border Myths’ Feb. 22

Is there a real threat of Islamic terrorists crossing into the United States from Mexico? Is the Mexican justice system doing everything it can to curb drug cartel violence? And is America enabling U.S.-Mexico border problems by providing too many willing illegal drug buyers and too-easy access to assault weapons?

U.S.-Mexico border

U.S.-Mexico border as seen from space.

A noted panel of U.S.-Mexico border scholars will explore these issues Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012 in “Barbed-Wire Art, Border Myths and Immigration Violence,” the third event in SMU’s interdisciplinary “Migration Matters” series. The discussion, free and open to the public, takes place 5:30–7:30 p.m. in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall.

Featured speakers include:

  • Maria Herrera-Sobek, professor of Chicana/o studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Josiah Heyman, anthropology professor at the University of Texas, El Paso
  • Roberto Villalon, sociology professor at St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in New York.

The panel will examine how and why negative myths continue to circulate around immigration and the U.S-Mexico border despite reliable information proving them false, says “Migration Matters” coordinator Jayson Gonzales Sae-Saue, an English professor specializing in Chicano/a literature in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. “The panel will also address how pictorial narrative is a powerful means by which artists have attempted to make visible the conditions that reductionist rhetoric and myths obscure,” he says.

Migration Matters lecture series at SMUUTEP professor Heyman proposes that people re-examine such images and stereotypes in two ways: “Where do they come from,” he asks, “and how do we achieve a more critical, complex understanding of them?”

For more information about this event or others in the series, contact Jayson Gonzales Sae-Saue, 214-768-4369.

Written by Denise Gee

February 21, 2012|Calendar Highlights, News|

Research Spotlight: U.S. move toward restitution has global precedent

Navajo mother and children, David deHarport, National Park Service Historic Photo CollectionA growing global movement to apologize and make restitution to victims of human rights abuses is now gathering steam in the United States, but it won’t be a first for the country, says the president of The Western History Association.

“In reviewing the history of reconciliation in the American West, I’ve found three examples of government restitution – where we acknowledge we’ve participated in human rights abuses and offered either an apology, restitution, reparation or all three,” says Sherry Smith, associate director of SMU’s Clements Center for Southwest Studies and a professor in the University’s William P. Clements Department of History, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

The state of Montana granted posthumous pardons to Germans and Austrians convicted and imprisoned under repressive sedition laws during World War I; the U.S. government paid reparations to the heirs of Japanese Americans relocated to incarceration camps during World War II; and in a landmark native-lands case, Arizona returned 6,000 acres to the Hualapai tribe in the 1940s and the U.S. government set up the Indian Claims Commission.

“These are tiny steps considering the magnitude of the problem. But they helped turn the corner of deep injustice,” Smith says. “It’s never too late to do the right thing.” (Left, a Navajo mother and children in the door of a hogan, David deHarport, National Park Service Historic Photo Collection.)

Read more at the SMU Research blog

September 9, 2009|Research|
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