Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies
Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies

Antonio Vasquez


LecturerPh.D., Michigan State University

Antonio Vasquez

Contact

Biography


My name is Antonio Vásquez and I currently serve as faculty lecturer with the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at UT Austin.  I previously served as a dissertation fellow and, subsequently, a core faculty member and lecturer with the Global Studies Program at Middle Tennessee.  I hold a Ph.D. in Chicano/Latino Studies and American Studies, Graduate Certificate in Community Engagement, M.A. in International Relations, and B.A. in Political Science and International Studies.  My interdisciplinary teaching and research interests mostly revolve around International Relations, Mexican American Studies, Migration, Race, Labor, and Culture.  

My academic works have been published in the Journal of American Studies in Scandinavia, Journal of South Texas, Perspectives on Global Development and Technology, Label Me Latina/o, and (forthcoming) Tejanismo:  Readings in Tejan@ History.  I am currently revising my first book manuscript that examines the significance of Tejano agricultural labor migration and activism in the southern United States.  This project is based on my dissertation that was selected as the co-winner of the 2014 NACCS Tejas Award for Best Dissertation.  My second book project will describe and interpret processes of Mexican American community formation in the city of San Antonio and South Texas.  

My teaching in academia has been enriched my participation in public scholarship and community education endeavors.  This interest began during my doctoral studies when I volunteered for two summers with the Austin History Center as part of their multimedia exhibit entitled “Mexican American Trailblazers in Travis County.”  While in Tennessee, I served as a public scholar and community conversations facilitator with Humanities Tennessee in conjunction with a traveling exhibit on the Bracero Program.  I also co-developed a popular education-based curriculum that served as a guide to conduct similar conversations in the state around issues of contemporary migration.  More recently, with local partners and my students, I designed and coordinated a two-year community engagement project, entitled “Migration with Dignity in Middle Tennessee,” to help preserve and recognize the varied voices of experience among new Tennesseans and their families.  

My entire approach to teaching and research is grounded in my prior professional experiences outside of academia.  This includes serving as the founding director for an immigrant and refugee rights project in North Carolina.  Previously, I served a program coordinator with an Africa peace education initiative in neighboring Georgia and Namibia in southern Africa, as well as with an economic sustainable development project in southern Mexico.  I am a first-generation college graduate and a product of the public educational system in Southeast San Antonio. 

Courses


MAS 308 • Intro To Mex Amer Policy Stds

39555 • Fall 2019
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM PHR 2.114
CD

This course examines contemporary Mexican-American issues from the perspective of a policy analyst. Students will learn the basic tools of policy analysis and apply them to a variety of issues and proposed policy solutions. The course has two objectives: (1) To train students how to inform public policy by providing decision makers with objective policy analysis. (2) To help students understand why public policy decisions often diverge from the recommendations made by policy analysts. In other words, this is a course about both policy analysis and the politics behind policymaking.

While the focus of this course is on policy issues that affect Mexican-Americans and/or Latinos, students will learn that policies often have widespread impact on many groups. Policy also often results in unintended consequences.

Students will also learn about the challenges policy analysts face when they attempt to use objective public policy metrics to analyze policies that often have moral or symbolic frames.

MAS 319 • Drug History In The Americas

39590 • Fall 2019
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM BUR 136
CDGC (also listed as AMS 315, HIS 306N, LAS 310)

DESCRIPTION: 

The international traffic in illegal drugs is a phenomenon loaded with important implications for democracy, public health, and politics. Yet it is also freighted with misunderstanding, prejudice, and bad data. In an effort to demystify, this course examines the narcotics trade from a historical and transnational perspective, tracing the multiple and intertwined histories of psychoactive substances, law enforcement, and diplomacy. We will explore the origins of marijuana and poppy cultivation, the medical development of cocaine, the popularization of hallucinogens, the invention of synthetics, while also considering why other mind-altering substances like tobacco, coffee, sugar, and many pharmaceuticals remain legal. We will also examine the rise of the Columbian and Mexican crime syndicates and the dramatic expansion and internationalization of law enforcement and incarceration. 

 

TEXT: 

Andreas, Peter. "The Politics of Measuring Illicit Flows and Policy Effectiveness." In Sex, Drugs, and Body Counts, edited by Peter Andreas and Kelly Greenhill. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2010.  

 

Mintz, Sidney. Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History. New York: Viking, 1985.  

 

Pendergrast, Mark. Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World. New York: Basic Books, 1999.  

 

Gootenberg, Paul. "Talking About the Flow: Drugs, Borders, and the Discourse of Drug Control." Cultural Critique, no. 71 (2009).  

 

Astorga Almanza, Luis. "Cocaine in Mexico: A Prelude to 'los narcos'." In Cocaine: Global Histories, edited by Paul Gootenberg, 183-191. New York: Routledge, 1999.  

 

Camp, Roderic Ai. Mexico's Military on the Democratic Stage. Westport, Conn.; Washington, D.C.: Praeger Security International; published in cooperation with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2005. 

 

GRADING:  

Participation: 25%  

Midterm: 25%  

Debate: 25%  

Final exam: 25%

MAS 374 • Latino Migrations And Asylum

39645 • Fall 2019
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM RLP 0.118
CDWr (also listed as LAS 322)

Please check back for updates.

MAS S374 • Latino Migration/Human Traffic

82570 • Summer 2019
Meets MTWTHF 1:00PM-2:30PM BIO 301
CDWr (also listed as LAS S322, SOC S321K)

Welcome to Latino Migration/Human Trafficking! The primary focus of this undergraduate seminar to critically examine the complexity of Latino migration and human trafficking from different perspectives at the global, regional, and local level. Extant laws, preventative strategies, and resources utilized by governmental and non-governmental institutions will also be explored. Approximately three (3) required textbooks will be utilized for this purpose, to be available for purchase at the University Co-op. An additional focus in our course is the completion of an original research project, to be determined in collaboration with your instructor/teaching assistant. Please begin thinking about a specific topic based on your own interests as early as possible in the semester. A third exciting component is the opportunity to engage in a service learning project related to the course content, in collaboration with local community organizations.


To accomplish these tasks, our class format will consist of in-class lectures, presentations, film, and small-large group discussion. Class time will also be devoted to completion of your research project and service learning project.

MAS 374 • Mex Amer Political Thought

40410 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PHR 2.116
CD (also listed as GOV 337M)

Course Description

The 1967 publication of El Grito: Journal of Contemporary Mexican American Thought and Aztlan: Chicano Journal of the Social Sciences and the Arts in 1970 marked the emergence of a distinct Mexican American intellectual formation in academia. At the one hand, this discourse demonstrated a continuity of oppositional  consciousness as reflected in writings by preceding generations of intellectuals. At the same time, early writings contextualized experiences  of inequality confronting Mexican American communities as a condition of colonialism and anti-colonialism. The purpose of this undergraduate seminar is to collaboratively and critically explore the multiple complementary and contradictory counter-hegemonic intellectual variations that have contributed to Mexican American political thought, and, in turn, Mexican American Studies. In addition to analyzing first works from the discipline, students will engage in writings by earlier generations of intellectuals and their contemporaries in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as more recent reconfigurations in Latina/o Studies.

Selected Readings

Padilla, Genaro M. My History, Not Yours: The Formation of Mexican American Autobiography. University of Wisconsin Press, 1994.

Bufe, Chaz, and Mitchell Cowen Verter (Editors). Dreams of Freedom: A Ricardo Flores Magon Reader. AK Press, 2005.

Mariscal, George, Brown-Eyed Children of the Sun: Lessons from the Chicano Movement, 1965-1975. University of New Mexico Press, 2005.

Sandoval, Chela. Methodology of the Oppressed. University of  Minnesota Press, 2000.

Grading

  • Participation: 20%
  • Papers: 80%

MAS 374 • Latino Migration/Human Traffic

40420 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PHR 2.108
CD (also listed as LAS 322, SOC 321K)

Description
This advanced seminar critically examines the complexity of Latino migration from different perspectives in human trafficking at the global, regional, and local level. Through in-class lectures, presentations, film, interdisciplinary readings (news accounts, journal articles, book chapters), and experiential learning activities, students will learn and discuss varied forms and representations of Latinos and human trafficking. Existing resources, laws, and preventative strategies employed by governmental and non-governmental institutions will be also explored. In addition, students will have the opportunity to engage in a community service learning project in collaboration with local non-profit organizations in Central Texas whose missions are to counter human trafficking.

Grading

  • Attendance + Participation 10%
  • Discussion 20%
  • Critical Essays 20%
  • Class Project 50%

Possible Select Readings

  • Sanchez, Gabriella E. Human Smuggling and Border Crossings. New York: Routledge, 2015.
  • Shelley, Louise. Human Trafficking: A Global Perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

MAS 308 • Intro To Mex Amer Policy Stds

40510 • Fall 2018
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM GWB 1.130
CD

This course examines contemporary Mexican-American issues from the perspective of a policy analyst. Students will learn the basic tools of policy analysis and apply them to a variety of issues and proposed policy solutions. The course has two objectives: (1) To train students how to inform public policy by providing decision makers with objective policy analysis. (2) To help students understand why public policy decisions often diverge from the recommendations made by policy analysts. In other words, this is a course about both policy analysis and the politics behind policymaking.

While the focus of this course is on policy issues that affect Mexican-Americans and/or Latinos, students will learn that policies often have widespread impact on many groups. Policy also often results in unintended consequences.

Students will also learn about the challenges policy analysts face when they attempt to use objective public policy metrics to analyze policies that often have moral or symbolic frames.

MAS 319 • Drug History In The Americas

40545 • Fall 2018
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM WAG 201
CDGC (also listed as AMS 315, LAS 310)

DESCRIPTION: 

The international traffic in illegal drugs is a phenomenon loaded with important implications for democracy, public health, and politics. Yet it is also freighted with misunderstanding, prejudice, and bad data. In an effort to demystify, this course examines the narcotics trade from a historical and transnational perspective, tracing the multiple and intertwined histories of psychoactive substances, law enforcement, and diplomacy. We will explore the origins of marijuana and poppy cultivation, the medical development of cocaine, the popularization of hallucinogens, the invention of synthetics, while also considering why other mind-altering substances like tobacco, coffee, sugar, and many pharmaceuticals remain legal. We will also examine the rise of the Columbian and Mexican crime syndicates and the dramatic expansion and internationalization of law enforcement and incarceration. 

 

TEXT: 

Andreas, Peter. "The Politics of Measuring Illicit Flows and Policy Effectiveness." In Sex, Drugs, and Body Counts, edited by Peter Andreas and Kelly Greenhill. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2010.  

 

Mintz, Sidney. Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History. New York: Viking, 1985.  

 

Pendergrast, Mark. Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World. New York: Basic Books, 1999.  

 

Gootenberg, Paul. "Talking About the Flow: Drugs, Borders, and the Discourse of Drug Control." Cultural Critique, no. 71 (2009).  

 

Astorga Almanza, Luis. "Cocaine in Mexico: A Prelude to 'los narcos'." In Cocaine: Global Histories, edited by Paul Gootenberg, 183-191. New York: Routledge, 1999.  

 

Camp, Roderic Ai. Mexico's Military on the Democratic Stage. Westport, Conn.; Washington, D.C.: Praeger Security International; published in cooperation with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2005. 

 

GRADING:  

Participation: 25%  

Midterm: 25%  

Debate: 25%  

Final exam: 25%

MAS 374 • Latino Migrations And Asylum

40577 • Fall 2018
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM CBA 4.344
CD (also listed as LAS 322)

The purpose of this seminar is to study the politics of asylum practices in the United States and forced migration from Latin America. Students will gain knowledge on Latino migrations, asylum and detention through both the lens of global political economy, and critical race theory and through practical engagement with refugee and migrant organizations/legal practitioners. The course will focus on asylum policies and practices from the 1980s to the present and will draw upon case studies based on asylum seekers from Mexico and Central America among other migrant sending regions. There will be an emphasis on how groups with competing interests and visions struggle to conserve or transform the contemporary asylum regime in a transnational model of society and economy between the United States and Latin America. Finally, the seminar will also consider the relationship between asylum and the growth of detention practices and explore the efforts of refugees and legal practitioners to challenge and reform the contemporary asylum regime.

Text:

  • Andrew I. Schoenholtz, Philip G. Schrag, Jaya Ramji-Nogales(Eds). Lives in Balance: Asylum Adjudications by the Department of Homeland Security. New York, NY: NYU, 2014.
  • Elena, Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Gil Loescher, Katy Long, Nando Sigona (Eds). The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2014.
  • Garcia, Maria Cristina. Seeking Refuge: Central American Migration to Mexico, The United States, and Canada. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006.
  • Loyd, Jenna Et al. Beyond Walls and Cages: Prisons, Borders and Global Crisis.Atlanta, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2012.
  • Paley, Dawn. Drug War Capitalism. AK Press, 2014.
  • Rosa Linda Fregoso and Cynthia Bejarano (Eds.). Terrorizing Women: Feminicide in the Americas. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010.

Grading:

  • Participation (20 points) Students are required to participate in course discussions and are expected to attend all the course sessions. Participation will be evaluated based upon the student’s contributions to class discussion and presentations. Each student will be required to facilitate select reading assignments during a week of class discussion. Students must turn in a summary of the readings for the day that they chose to facilitate discussion. The two-page summary and analysis should also have thoughtful discussion questions for the class.
  • Asylum Group Project (30 points) Each student will be required to work on an immigration relief project case study. This will require doing country specific research on a particular social group seeking relief from deportation. Each student will be required to be responsible for one of four components of each project. The Four components are 1) Coordinator, 2) Expert Witness, 3) Researcher 1, and 4) Researcher 2.
  • Midterm (25 points) Students will receive a take home midterm comprised of a series of questions related to the contents covered in class. The midterm will be in essay format and will be roughly 6-8 pages long.
  • Final (25 points) Students will receive a take home final comprised of a series of questions related to the contents covered in class. The final will be in essay format and will be roughly 6-8 pages long.

 

 

 

 

 

Profile Pages