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Social Sciences

Compilation and Analysis of the 1998 Texas Constitution and the Original 1876 Text
Curandero Conversations: El Niño Fidencio, Shamanism and Healing
Delicate Dance: Autoethnography, Curriculum, and the Semblance of Intimacy
Electoral Structure and Urban Policy: The Impact on Mexican-American Communities
Obstructing Human Rights: The Texas-Mexico Border Wall
Ten Essential Questions: A Conceptual Introduction to Political Systems

A Compilation and Analysis of the 1998 Texas Constitution and the Original 1876 Text
Robert H. Angell

This compilation serves as a major resource for faculty and students interested in the development of the Texas Constitution. Unlike the living United States Constitution which is short, general and elastic and can change through interpretation, the Texas Constitution today is a long, detailed and restrictive document that can only change through formal amendments. Its 377 amendments to the 1876 document are placed in the body of the text and replace text made obsolete by the amendments. The reader of the current version thus sees only the updated text and not the deleted passages. This book presents a compiled version in different fonts so that the reader can compare the original to the current version. The introduction analyzes present-day conclusions about the Texas Constitution.

Lewiston, New YorkThe Edwin Mellen Press, 1988 ($109.95). Available from the Mellen website,  UTB/TSC libraries and other university libraries.

Robert H. Angell is an associate professor in the Government Department.


Curandero Conversations coverCurandero Conversations: El Niño Fidencio, Shamanism and Healing Traditions of the Borderlands
Antonio Zavaleta and Alberto Salinas Jr., authors. Cover illustration by Carlos Gómez. Editing and cover design by Camilla Montoya.

Following an introduction by renowned Native American healer and author Jamie Sams, "Curandero Conversations" examines 190 actual e-mail-based consultations with a “curandero” (Mexican folk-healer) followed by the anthropologist's commentary. The book also offers three major appendices, including information for understanding cultural competencies in the delivery of health care, Internet resource links for continued study and the most complete medicinal plant herbal used by curanderos/as on the U.S.-Mexico border. “Curandero Conversations” is an inside look at a rich world where healing, spirituality and faith all merge. This work lends its ear to the fascinating cultural conversations that define the increasingly important U.S.-Mexico border region. These conversations must be heard for they are pieces of living history that serve as signposts for the future of the region.

The cover illustration, the painting "Tenga Fe María" by Gómez, depicts a cyber-curandero advising a woman.

Bloomington, Indiana: Authorhouse and UTB/TSC, 2009 (E-book, $5.95; Soft cover, $12.80; Hard cover, $17.80). Available from the Authorhouse website, the UTB/TSC Barnes & Noble Bookstore, (956) 882-8249, and other major booksellers.

Zavaleta is special assistant to the provost and a professor of anthropology. 

Gómez is a professor of fine art.

Montoya is lead designer in the Office of Creative Services.


Delicate Dance coverA Delicate Dance: Autoethnography, Curriculum, and the Semblance of Intimacy
Laura Jewett

Drawing on data gathered through a three-year autoethnography, “A Delicate Dance” couples the author’s experiences teaching multicultural education and learning to zydeco dance in order to explore semblances of intimacy across self and other. More specifically, the book looks at semblances of intimacy embodied on the dance floor and the implications such intimacy might have for thinking about curriculum and qualitative research. This lively narrative encourages readers to consider what it might mean to envision curriculum as an embodied locale— much like zydeco dancing — where the play of epistemological forces replaces technocratic force; and where students experience the relative weight of desire, fear, knowledge, the reciprocal touch of self and other, and the mysterious momentum of the semblance of intimacy.

New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2008 ($32.95). Available from the publisher's website.

Jewett is an assistant professor in the Teaching, Learning and Innovation Department of the College of Education.


Electoral Structure and Urban PolicyElectoral Structure and Urban Policy: The Impact on Mexican-American Communities

Norman Binder, Tomas Longoria, J. H. Polinard and Robert D. Wrinkle This work deals with minority politics and city elections. In traditional at-large elections, in which the entire population votes as a whole, a city with a 50 percent white and 50 percent Hispanic population usually produces a white victory because more whites than Hispanics vote. Now, however, many cities are divided into electoral districts, and, in some districts, Mexican-Americans are 80 percent of the population, so Mexican-Americans have been elected to city commissions. With this dynamic in mind, “Electoral Structure” investigates the question of whether public policy is changed when minorities are elected.

Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1994 (Hard cover, $59.95; soft cover, $23.95 soft cover). Available from the publisher, (914) 273-1800.

Binder is a retired professor in the Government Department.


Obstructing Human RightsObstructing Human Rights: The Texas-Mexico Border Wall
Working Group on Human Rights and the Border Wall

Chapter IV: An Analysis of Demographic Disparities Associated with the Proposed U.S.-Mexico Border Fence in Cameron County, Texas
Jeff Wilson, Jude Benavides, Anthony Reisinger, Joseph Lemen, Zachary
Hurwitz, Jessica Spangler and Karen Engle

The Working Group on Human Rights and the Border Wall is a multidisciplinary collective of faculty and students from The University of Texas System that was formed to analyze the human rights impact of the construction of a wall on the Texas-Mexico border. This report to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights at the Organization of American States contains extensive research and analysis of the legal, historical, property, environmental, indigenous, community and other impacts of the proposed border wall. In Chapter IV, UTB/TSC researchers Wilson and Benavides, assisted by students Reisinger and Lemen, show evidence of demographic disparities associated with the wall. This evidence was of special interest to the OAS during a hearing held in Washington, D.C. – the first international hearing on the border wall.

The Rapoport Center for Human Rights at The University of Texas: Austin, 2008. Available online at the Rapoport Center website.

Wilson and Benavides are assistant professors in the Department of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences.


Ten Essential Questions: A Conceptual Introduction to Political Systems
Robert H. Angell and Angelika Soldan

“Ten Essential Questions” presents the students with analytical tools to better understand complex political systems. Because of introducing pertinent concepts with the help of stories, exemplifying these concepts, and explaining these concepts in historical and comparative contexts, the students can learn about different governments in an enjoyable and easy to understand way.

San Diego, California: National Social Science Press, 2006, e-book ($40.00). Available from the UTB/TSC Barnes & Noble Bookstore, (956) 882-8249, and the NSSP website.

Angell and Soldan are associate professors in the Government Department.


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