VC announces schedule for John W. Stormont Lecture Series on South Texas

Jan. 28, 2012 at 5:04 p.m.
Updated Jan. 27, 2012 at 7:28 p.m.



This year's John W. Stormont Lecture Series on South Texas is scheduled for Thursday and Friday in the Victoria College Johnson Symposium.

The conference is sponsored by Victoria College's Division of Arts, Humanities, and Social and Behavioral Sciences along with funding from the college, the Kathryn Stoner O'Connor Endowment and the John W. Stormont Endowment.

All lectures are free and open to the public.

The series begins at 9:25 a.m. Thursday with a brief welcome and introduction, followed by Jeremy Mauer, VC government professor, lecturing on "Los Jueces: Hispanic Representation on South Texas Justice Courts." As the population of Texas changes, so too do local politics. This lecture focuses on how the election of local justices of the peace in South Texas is tied to changes in the Hispanic population.

At 11 a.m., author Mary Jo O'Rear will lecture on "Port, Politics and the Hurricane of 1919." O'Rear's lecture covers the fallout from 1919 hurricane by putting it into the political context of the times, revealing the unvarnished truth about progressive "reforms" in early 20th-century Texas.

The series continues on Friday with the Kathryn Stoner O'Connor Lecture on South Texas delivered by McMurry University's Stephen L. Hardin regarding "Plácido Benavides: Fighting Tejano Federalist." Plácido Benavides was also a hero of the Texas Revolution. Hardin, a former history professor at Victoria College, will discuss Benavides' many contributions to Victoria and the Lone Star State, along with revealing new documentation that will shock some and surprise most.

At 10 a.m., the Stormont Lecture Series will feature a panel discussion called "Big Sky, Big Hair: A Panel of South Texas Poetry." Among the authors featured is Scott Wiggerman, an editor of the local Dos Gatos Press. The press publishes the "Texas Poetry Calendar," which is in its 13th year.

Also featured on the panel are local poets Laurie Ann Guerrero, Cyra S. Dumitru, Jim LaVilla-Havelin and David Meischen.

At 11 a.m., the Grady McWiney Research Foundation's Joe W. Specht will present "Ruff Neck Paycheck: Oil Patch Songs from South Texas and the Coastal Bend." Specht's presentation will focus on several oil field songs waxed by Jesse Rodgers, Al Dean, Robert Earl Keen, and Darryl Lee Rush to illustrate how these musical narratives speak to life in the oil patch as well as to the continuing social and economic impact of the industry itself.

The John W. Stormont Lecture Series began in 1978 as the Social Sciences Symposium. The conference is intended to give students, faculty and the community an opportunity to hear presentations focusing on Victoria and South Texas.

To make reservations for the luncheon, contact Sandra Drozd at 361-582-2530 or via e-mail at Sandra.drozd@ For more information on the history and on-going evolution of the John W. Stormont Lecture Series, visit the VC Web site at stormontlectures.



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