Meet the 2023 COMEXUS Fulbright-García Robles Visiting Chairs
- Mar 23, 2023
- Ellen Stader and Kayla Johnson
The United States-Mexico Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange (COMEXUS) was founded in 1990 to promote bilateral understanding between the United States and Mexico through educational and cultural exchange. With Fulbright-García Robles grants, COMEXUS supports Mexican and American students, researchers and teachers in postgraduate studies, research stays, teaching engagements and professionalization programs in both countries.
In 2022, The University of Texas at Austin and COMEXUS partnered to create the position of Fulbright-García Robles Visiting Chair on the Forty Acres, for which selected scholars from Mexico spend a semester on the UT Austin campus teaching, conducting research and networking with the university community. Besides supporting the work of distinguished Mexican scholars, the residency also creates opportunities for cultural exchange and dissemination of research related to Mexico, strengthening U.S.-Mexico academic relations in the process.
In January 2023, three professors from universities in Mexico came to UT Austin to serve as inaugural visiting chairs for the program, representing fields of study as varied as public health policy, trombone performance and pre-Columbian architecture. Texas Global was pleased to welcome the scholars to campus and learn about their work for the Spring 2023 semester.
Nelly Margarita Robles-García
Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia
“Development of a Manual on Prevention and Management of Disasters at the Archaeological Zone of Monte Alban”
Joining the School of Architecture, Nelly Margarita Robles-García (Ph.D. ’96) is teaching a course on interpreting Mexico’s Pre-Columbian architecture in its archaeological contexts, through the lens of the ideologies permeating Mesoamerican culture.
The course provides students with a comprehensive understanding of how pre-conquest architecture and the tools used to construct it fit into the landscapes, rituals and mythologies of the Maya, Zapotec, Mixtec and Nahua people.
Students will also explore how the relics of this tradition, commonly considered dead or disappeared, offer viable alternatives for contemporary urban crises from poverty to climate change.
Robles-García is also conducting research at UT libraries, the Benson Latin America Collection and Texas archives to support the creation of a manual on preventing and managing disasters threatening the remains at Monte Alban, a critical UNESCO World Heritage site in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Marcia Medrano Serrano
Escuela Superior de Música, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura; Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
“Mexican Composers Repertoire for Trombone Ensemble”
Marcia Medrano Serrano is working with the Butler School of Music to conduct the UT Austin trombone ensemble in showcasing a repertoire of music by Mexican composers, culminating in an end-of-semester recital. The trombone class will learn and perform these works, highlighting the richness of Mexican musicians and composers as well as the growing appreciation for concert trombone music globally.
In 2012, Medrano and the Faculty of Music at UNAM formed the Ensemble de Trombones de la FaM to allow students and professionals to learn, practice and hone their musical skills together. She strove to connect her students, mostly from indigenous and rural regions, with the music they play, as illuminated through each composer’s artistry.
The music for this project was premiered by the Glissando Trombone Ensemble, a group whose origins began with the Trombone Ensemble of the FaM-UNAM in Mexico during the Second University Trombone Biennial and later at the International Trombone Festival TROMBONANZA in Argentina, both in 2022.
Carlos Moreno Jaimes
Department of Sociopolitical and Law Studies, Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (ITESO)
“Public Policymaking and Mexico's Healthcare Reforms”
Returning to his alma mater, the LBJ School of Public Affairs, Carlos Moreno Jaimes (Ph.D. ’05) is teaching a course on policy analysis and the policymaking process in Mexico, focusing on issues of health inequality and the universal health care system. His aim is to offer UT Austin students and the community new research developments on this topic outside of a U.S. setting.
The course will explore public policy debates, emphasizing advancements made by Mexican and Latin American scholars and their applications to specific policy sectors in Mexico.
Through case studies, debates, classroom simulations and games, students will learn about institutional fragmentation caused by a lack of access to social security — now a reality for 50 percent of Mexico’s population — while gaining practical policy analysis skills.
In addition to classroom instruction, Moreno Jaimes also will deliver seminars and public lectures in the community, addressing the problems of health inequality in Mexico.
Visit the Texas Global website to learn more about the Fulbright-García Robles Visiting Chair.