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Louis Mendoza 300

Louis Mendoza is an associate professor of Chicano Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and an associate vice provost in the university’s Office for Equity and Diversity

U of M expert available to discuss significance of Mexican Bicentennial

September 15, 2010

As Mexico celebrates the bicentennial of its independence from Spanish imperial rule this week, it presents a timely opportunity to learn more about Mexico and its people. A University of Minnesota expert who can comment on the cultural and historical significance of this celebration of freedom is:

Louis Mendoza, associate professor of Chicano Studies, College of Liberal Arts, and associate vice provost in the university’s Office for Equity and Diversity

Mendoza says it all started when, one evening, a city priest decided his people had been oppressed for too long. Father Miguel Hildalgo y Costilla, who served at a cathedral in Dolores, Mexico, struck a church bell that incited the Mexican Revolution seconds before midnight on Sept. 15, 1810. Just over a decade later, the insurgency rid the country of Spanish imperial rule and claimed the independence Mexicans enjoy today.

Mendoza says the bicentennial, officially celebrated on Sept. 16, will not only be marked with fireworks, but also invite discussions on universal themes such as freedom, perseverance and national pride.

Displays of patriotism are not limited to Mexico this year, however. Several Latin American countries, including Argentina, Chile and Colombia, are also celebrating their bicentennials. In addition, Bolivia and Ecuador honored 200 years of independence in 2009, while Venezuela and Paraguay will celebrate their bicentennials in 2011.

Mendoza's research and teaching interests include Chicana/o Literary and Cultural studies, U.S. immigration literature and oral histories.

To interview Mendoza, contact Jeff Falk, University News Service, or (612) 626-1720; or Kelly O’Brien, College of Liberal Arts, or (612) 624-4109.

Expert Alert is a service provided by the University News Service. Delivered regularly, Expert Alert is designed to connect university experts to today's breaking news and current events. For an archive and other useful media services, visit Views expressed by experts do not represent the views of the University of Minnesota.

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