LAII Launches LAS Speaker Series in Partnership with CNM

September 25, 2015

The Latin American & Iberian Institute (LAII) at the University of New Mexico (UNM), in partnership with the recently-created Latin American Studies program at Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), announce a joint speaker series for Fall 2015.

The newly-created CNM•UNM Latin American Studies Speakers Series offers engaging lectures provided by UNM faculty, graduate students, and invited speakers. Presentations are held on the CNM main campus, and feature diverse topics that showcase the interdisciplinary nature of Latin Americanist scholarship in New Mexico and in the field at large. All lectures are free and open to the public. For reference, see the Speaker Series flyer.

Join us on Tuesday, September 29, 2015, at 3:00 p.m., for the first presentation in the series as we welcome Dr. Ronda Brulotte, Associate Professor of Anthropology and an affiliated faculty member of the Latin American and Iberian Institute at the University of New Mexico. The presentation, titled "Oaxacan Mezcal in the Global Market," will take place in Smith Brasher (SB) Hall, Room 106. For reference, see the event flyer.

In this presentation, Brulotte will discuss the sociologically complex field of production, marketing, consumption, and connoisseurship surrounding Oaxacan mezcal as it emerges in the global market. Not only is mezcal Oaxaca's fastest-growing rural industry, it connects the region to an emergent network of producers, brokers, and consumers across the U.S.-Mexico border and beyond. Mezcal may be joining more well-known foods of Mexican origin commonplace in U.S. markets (corn, chile, chocolate), but its circulation as a food/beverage commodity is distinctly tied to the creation of a new class of global food consumers; at the same time, its growing popularity is spurring the social and economic reorganization of producer communities.

Brulotte earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology (2006) and M.A. in Latin American Studies (1999) at the University of Texas at Austin. Her teaching, research, and scholarship focus on tourism, material culture, critical heritage studies, and the anthropology of food. She has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Oaxaca, Mexico since 1998 and is currently writing a book about mezcal production in the region.

For information on other events in the CNM•UNM LAS Speaker Series, see the series webpage.