Writer to Inaugurate New Western Hemispheric Lecture Series at A&M International April 10

A writer and author whose love of Latin America has resulted in seven books will inaugurate a new occasional lecture series at Texas A&M International University hosted by the Center for the Study of Western Hemispheric Trade (CSWHT) and the College Of Business Administration.

Tom Miller, author of Trading with the Enemy: A Yankee Travels Through Castro's Cuba, called the "best travel book about Cuba ever written," will present his lecture on Tuesday, April 10 from 7-9 p.m. in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library Great Room (319). The event is free of charge and open to the public.

Dr. Wayne Label, CSWHT Director, said the new lecture series, to be known as the Western Hemispheric Lecture Series, is designed to provide informative insights for students and the larger community.

"The Western Hemispheric Lecture Series will offer both our students and the community at large an opportunity to develop insight into a particular aspect of the western hemisphere through a lecture by a distinguished visiting scholar. The western hemisphere offers a broad range of issues worthy of exploration including political, economic and social realities. We look forward to presenting a variety of guest lecturers through this series," Dr. Label said.

Miller has traveled throughout the hemisphere for more than 30 years, bringing to light extraordinary stories of ordinary people.

Besides Trading with the Enemy, his seven books include The Panama Hat Trail, On the Border, and most recently, Jack Ruby's Kitchen Sink: Offbeat Travels through America's Southwest.

A veteran of the underground press of the 1960s, Miller has also worked as a consultant for network television and public radio, where his commentaries have been heard on "Morning Edition" and "Latino USA." His collection of some 80 versions of "La Bamba" led to his Rhino Records compilation, "The Best of La Bamba. "

In addition to his books and articles, Miller has taught writing at the University of Arizona, where he serves as adjunct research associate in the Latin American Area Center. He is the editor of Travelers' Tales - Cuba, a compilation of contemporary travel stories about Cuba, to be published this summer.

He has been writing about Cuba since first traveling there 14 years ago. His articles on Cuba have appeared in Smithsonian, The New York Times, LIFE, Natural History, and The Washington Post, among others.

Most recently, Miller co-founded the annual U.S.-Cuba Writers Conference, a two-week series of workshops, seminars, and readings held every January in Havana.

In 1995, as a member of a consortium with the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Texas at El Paso, and Texas A&M University, Texas A&M International University and its College of Business Administration was awarded a $10,000,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Treasury to establish the Center for the Study of Western Hemisphere Trade (CSWHT).

The CSWHT is a research and policy center designed to analyze the effects of western hemispheric trade agreements and evaluate emerging patterns of the Hemisphere's economic development. The initial grant has since been greatly enhanced by the creation of the Radcliffe Killam Endowed Professorship of International Trade.

For additional information on the CSWHT or the lecture series, please visit Dr. Label in Pellegrino Hall 304B, call 326.2516 or email to wlabel@tamiu.edu.

University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu