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TAMIU History Professor Offers Lecture on Mexican Revolution and Modern Mexican Identity Friday, Oct. 12 Posted: 10/11/18

TAMIU History Professor Offers Lecture on Mexican Revolution and Modern Mexican Identity Friday, Oct. 12


Dr. Aaron Alejandro Olivas
Dr. Aaron Alejandro Olivas  



A special lecture for Hispanic Heritage Month at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) explores “Revolutionary Traditions: The Mexican Revolution and the Reinvention of Modern Mexican Identity, 1917 - Present” Friday Oct. 12 from 3 –  4 p.m. in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library Special Collections Reading Room, second floor.

Dr. Aaron Alejandro Olivas, TAMIU assistant professor of History, College of Arts and Sciences, will present the free lecture sponsored by the Killam Library’s Special Collections and Archives.

While his research focuses on 18th-Century Latin American political culture and colonial identity, Dr. Olivas said his  talk will deal with a more recent period and topic  he has always found endearing: the culturally rich and dynamic decades in the immediate aftermath of the Mexican Revolution.

“The post-Revolution generation was the generation of my grandparents, born 1917, and their siblings,” he explained, “and since I was first introduced to Mexican culture in their homes, this was the original ‘version’ of ‘México’ that I became familiar with as a child—the México of the 1920s, '30s, and '40s.” 

As “Hispanics: One Endless Voice to Enhance Our Traditions” is the official theme of this year’s National Hispanic Heritage Month, Olivas will introduce his audience to the ways in which post-Revolution Mexicans sought to discover, or sometimes even fabricate, what they considered to be “traditional” México.

He says the violent rebirth of the nation after a decade-long Revolution created an opportunity for them to do just that, redefining Mexican “traditions” in new and often surprising ways.

“In fact, many of our current perceptions of Mexican culture might seem ‘timeless,’ but actually arise directly from this period and are not as ‘old’ as we might think,” Olivas explained, “…That being said, we can, and should, still love them.”

His TAMIU talk will also highlight some of the rare materials in the Killam Library's Special Collections and Archives related to post-Revolution Mexican popular culture.

This is the third special lecture Olivas has offered as part of the University’s annual observance of Hispanic Heritage Month. Last year, Olivas, whose heritage is both Mexican-American and Spanish-American, explored his own family history and the complexities of understanding what constitutes “Hispanic” identity from different cultural, ethnic, and historical perspectives.

He joined the University’s faculty in 2014 and offers courses on the history of the Hispanic World, Spain and Latin America. Olivas received the TAMIU department of Humanities’ 2017 Scholar of the Year Award. 

He holds his PhD in History from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Olivas earned two master’s degrees from the University of Chicago and UCLA respectively. His bachelor’s degree is from the University of San Francisco. A former Fulbright Fellow and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA, he is also a UCLA Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies Postdoctoral Fellow. 

For more information, please contact the Special Collections Librarian at or 956.326.2404. 

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