Detalle de un mural de David Alfaro Siqueiros: "Del porfirismo a la Revolución", Museo Nacional de Historia en el Castillo de Chapultepec, Ciudad de México
Detail of a mural by David Alfaro Siqueiros "From Porfirism to Revolution," at the National Museum of History in the Castle of Chapultepec, Mexico City.


Project Faculty

Mural de Rufino Tamayo: "Quetzalcóatl y Tezcatlipoca", Museo Nacional de Antropología, Ciudad de México
Mural by Rufino Tamayo: "Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca," National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City

Cultural Director: Dr. Leticia Iliana Holbrook is a professor of Latin American literature and culture with an emphasis on Mexico at California State University, East Bay. Her research, publications, and the courses she teaches have an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural focus. She is affiliated with both Latin American Studies and International Studies at CSU, East Bay. Dr. Holbrook received her Ph.D. in contemporary Latin American literature from the University of California, Davis (1989) and has over twenty years of experience teaching in this field.  She has lectured in Europe and also extensively in the United States and Mexico where she has lectured and worked in collaboration with several institutions: National Art Palace in Mexico City, University of Hidalgo in Mexico, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, El Colegio de México, La Casa del Poeta, the Museo Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexican Cultural Center and Mexican Consulate in San Francisco, among others. She has organized several binational conferences and has directed two CSUEB Summer Programs in Mexico City (1995 and 2007). Dr. Holbrook will be responsible for the literary and cultural aspects of this Institute and for the content of this project's nationwide website.

Co-Director: Dr. Lettie Ramírez is a professor in the Department of Teacher Education at California State University, East Bay.  Dr. Ramírez earned her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin (1994). She has received several awards from the U.S. Department of Education:  and has published abundantly in the areas of teacher preparation and bilingual and multicultural education; she co-authored the book Portraits of Teachers in Multicultural Settings. Dr. Ramírez has extensive teaching experience at the university level as well as at the K-12 level, having worked in the public school system of both Texas and California. She has been involved with the bilingual teacher preparation program in Guadalajara, Mexico.  Dr. Ramírez will be working closely with participants in the development of lesson plans and other material that will be globally shared and disseminated via the Internet and the web page created for this project.

Administrative Director: Dr. Frances Sweeney is Vice Provost of Academic Affairs and Professor of Spanish at Saint Mary’s College of California.  She completed her B.A. in Diversified Liberal Arts and Spanish from Saint Mary’s College in 1986; her M.A. in peninsular literature from Middlebury College, Vermont and Spain, and her Ph.D. in Spanish Linguistics at the University of Texas. A believer in life-long learning, Dr. Sweeney has also completed an M.A. in Graduate Liberal Studies from Saint Mary’s College and a C.M.T. in massage therapy from the American Institute of Massage, in Berkeley, California. As a Spanish scholar, Dr. Sweeney’s research and publications include treatment of the phonetics and dialectology throughout Spanish speaking countries, with an aim to enhancing pedagogical strategies for accent development through a focus on long-term memory; target language acquisition in the area of writing development, and student and faculty engagement. As an academic administrator, Dr. Sweeney is especially concerned with concepts of shared inquiry and respectful dialogue in the 21st century, helping faculty in continuous development to enhance the scholar-teacher-student relationship, understanding multiple perspectives and contexts such that students develop holistically, prepared for personal transformation and social responsibility in a diverse society.

The scope of work proposed by Dr. Sweeney will strengthen the NEH Institute while aligning with the Institute’s original proposal by offering pedagogical methods of connecting the literary and cultural study in context with instruction and learning in the US classroom. Dr. Sweeney will assist the NEH Scholars by electronic communication (initial questionnaire) and in person during her visit to Mexico City, July 17th to July 27th, with professional development for teaching literature using pedagogy that promotes shared inquiry in the classroom and that reinforces all modalities of language learning.

Faculty: Adine Stormoen earned her M.A. in Foreign Languages and Literatures from the University of Nevada, Reno (2009). Her research interests include second language acquisition and new approaches to learning and pedagogy. Ms. Stormoen is a proponent of technology in the classroom and has experience with educational software such as Blackboard, Angel Learning, Moodle, and WebCT, among others. Ms. Stormoen will be assisting with the technology for this Institute. She will be the Institute's web designer and webmaster, and the administrator for the Facebook Group page, the Flickr page, and the YouTube Channel. Additionally, Ms. Stormoen will be creating podcasts of pertinent material from this Institute, as well as assisting with the distribution via our website of selected projects arising from this Institute.

Faculty and Scholars Joining Us in Mexico City

The participating faculty and authors joining us for this NEH Institute in Mexico are distinguished writers and scholars who have published extensively, and who have been the recipients of numerous national awards:

Sabina Berman is one of Mexico’s foremost drama authors. She celebrates all aspects of her distinctive identity—Mexican, Jewish and feminist—in her literary expression.  She received several national awards for her multifaceted dramatic work and also for her contributions to poetry and journalism. Berman has been instrumental in unveiling the Jewish presence in Mexico through her writings. Among the many distinctions she has received is the 2000 National Journalism Award for Mujeres y poder. She was honored with the National Theater First Prize on four occasions for her plays, Yankee, Herejía, Rompecabezas and La maravillosa historia del chiquito pingüica. Her script La tía Alejandra, written in collaboration with Delfina Careaga, received the ARIEL award and Entre Villa y una mujer desnuda, (the film version of her play of the same name) was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Film category.

Emmanuel Carballo is a leading Mexican literary critic, poet, and essayist who has received many distinctions in recognition of his extensive contributions and publications in the area of literature and culture: Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon Alfonso Reyes Medal (2008), National Journalism Award (2006), Arts and Sciences National Award in Linguistics and Literature (2006), Premio Mazatlán for Literature (2006), and the Ramón López Velarde award for poetry (2005), among many.

Dr. Beatriz Espejo is a prolific author who was awarded the Bellas Artes Medallion in 2009 at the National Art Palace for her noteworthy contribution to Mexican literature and art as well as for her distinguished career as a researcher and educator. Dr. Espejo has been the recipient of numerous national awards and honors and is currently a member of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Silvia Molina has received many awards for her creative work, including the celebrated Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz prize for El amor que me juraste (1998) She is the author of several novels, among them La mañana debe seguir gris (winner of the 1977 Xavier Villaurrutia Prize), La familia vino del norte (1987), Imagen de Héctor (1990) and Asensión Tun. (1981). El amor que me juraste, published in English as The Love You Promised Me, was a finalist for the 2000 IMPAC International Fiction Award.  In 1992, the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes awarded her the Juan de la Cabada Premio Nacional de Literatura Infantil for her contribution to children’s literature.

Dr. Carlos Brokmann is a distinguished researcher and scholar in both history and anthropology. His contributions to the National Institute of Anthropology and History, his archeological accomplishments, and his indefatigable work for Human Rights have been widely recognized in Mexico. He was twice the recipient of a national award from the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, the Palenque Prize.

Supporting Staff in Mexico City

Marguerite Pajot is the Coordinator of Special Programs at Universidad La Salle, Mexico City. She is responsible for the promotion and administration of short term study programs such as the Spanish Language and Mexican Culture program. She also prepares short term programs for educational institutions according to their specific requirements. Recently, LaSalle University offered a “Doing Business in Mexico” program for a Dutch partner university and a month long program on “Current Public Health in Mexico” for Australian students. Ms. Pajot is responsible for providing logistical support for NEH Scholars during their stay in Mexico.

Arnold Pedroza earned his B.A. in Philosophy and History from University of San Diego, California. Pedroza did his postgraduate studies in Philosophy at the Iberoamerican University. Today, besides being a History and Culture professor at La Salle University, he has become an expert cultural travel advisor for many universities and colleges in the U.S. and around the world.  Parallel to his professional activities he has been in the tourist business for many years, including being the head of the Tourist Department of Coyoacan County. Mr. Pedroza will be guiding the Scholars on several of the cultural visits that are part of this Institute.

**Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities**