Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Interdisciplinary Collaboration Brings Student Research at Conner Museum, South Texas Archives into Focus

KINGSVILLE - May 26, 2011

Contact: Roberto Vela
roberto.vela@tamuk.edu or

            Texas A&M University-Kingsville students in Spanish, English and anthropology had the opportunity to work on archival and museum research in the Spring Intersession course organized by faculty collaborating through the Cultural and Critical Studies Research Center.   


            The interdisciplinary endeavor among four A&M-Kingsville faculty members -- Christine Reiser from anthropology, Marco Íñiguez Alba and Dr. Roberto Vela from Spanish, and Dr. Zak Watson from English -- has allowed undergraduate and graduate students to develop their research skills through hands-on workshops in close collaboration with Sandra Rexroat, director of the South Texas Archives, and Jonathan Plant, curator of the John E. Conner Museum.  


            The research by students on Texas A&M-Kingsville’s repositories will produce a series of exhibits that will be displayed at the Jernigan Library throughout the 2011-2012 academic year.  Faculty, students and repository directors visited the Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC) as part of their research and worked at the ITC with folklorist and oral historian Dr. Rhett Rushing, a key figure in the historical landscape of ranching, architecture, folk medicine, and oral history in South Texas. Rushing also worked with Texas A&M-Kingsville professor Joe S. Graham during the 1970s; Graham served with both the Department of Psychology and Sociology and the Conner Museum.


        The collaboration was sponsored by the College of Arts and Science and the College of Graduate Studies, and the trip to the ITC in San Antonio was sponsored by Student Engagement Activities funds provided by Dr. Duane Gardiner, associate vice president of academic affairs; the Office of Special Programs directed by associate vice president Mary Gonzalez; the dean of Graduate Studies, Dr. Ambrose Anoruo; and Dr. Scott Hughes, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.  Additional research support for the exhibits was provided by Dr. Terisa Remelius, associate vice president of student affairs, and Jernigan Library director Dr. Carol Tipton, who allowed exhibits curated by students from the course to be displayed at the Jernigan Library. 


        A series of publications and notes on the exhibits and the research findings will be prepared by the students and submitted to the South Texas Journal, thanks to the collaboration of Dr. Roger Tuller, editor of the South Texas Journal, currently one of two journals published at Texas A&M-Kingsville; the other journal is Writer's Bloc, a student-operated literary magazine. For information on the course or this interdisciplinary research program for students, please contact any of the participating faculty members.


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