VC announces schedule for John W. Stormont Lecture Series on South Texas

Jeremy Mauer, VC government instructor, will deliver introductory presentation at Stormont Lectures

This year’s John W. Stormont Lecture Series on South Texas is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 2 and Friday, Feb. 3 in the Victoria College Johnson Symposium.

The conference, highlighting South Texas, is sponsored by Victoria College’s Division of Arts, Humanities, and Social and Behavioral Sciences along with funding from the College, the Kathryn Stoner O'Connor Endowment and the John W. Stormont Endowment.  All lectures free and open to the public.

The series begins on Thursday, Feb. 2 at 9:25 a.m. with a brief welcome and introduction, followed by Jeremy Mauer, VC government professor, lecturing on “Los Jueces: Hispanic Representation on South Texas Justice Courts.”  As the population of Texas changes, so too does local politics. This lecture focuses on how the election of local Justices of the Peace in South Texas is tied to changes in the Hispanic population.

Following at 11 a.m. will be author Mary Jo O’Rear lecturing on “Port, Politics and the Hurricane of 1919.”  O’Rear’s lecture covers the fallout from 1919 hurricane by putting it into the political context of the times, revealing the unvarnished truth about Progressive “reforms” in early twentieth-century Texas.

The series continues on Friday, February 3 starting at 9 a.m.  The Kathryn Stoner O’Connor Lecture on South Texas will be delivered by McMurry University’s Stephen L. Hardin regarding “Plácido Benavides: Fighting Tejano Federalist.”  Plácido Benavides was also a hero of the Texas Revolution.  Hardin will discuss Benavides’s many contributions to Victoria and the Lone Star State, along with revealing new documentation that will shock some and surprise most.

Beginning at 10 a.m., the Stormont Lecture Series will feature a panel discussion called “Big Sky, Big Hair: A Panel of South Texas Poetry.” Among the authors featured on this unique panel is Scott Wiggerman, who is also an editor of the local Dos Gatos Press, which publishes the “Texas Poetry Calendar,” is now in its thirteenth year.

Also featured on the panel are local poets Laurie Ann Guerrero, Cyra S. Dumitru, Jim LaVilla-Havelin and David Meischen.

At 11 a.m., the Grady McWiney Research Foundation’s Joe W. Specht will present “Ruff Neck Paycheck: Oil Patch Songs from South Texas and the Coastal Bend.”  Specht’s presentation will focus on several oil field songs waxed by Jesse Rodgers, Al Dean, Robert Earl Keen, and Darryl Lee Rush to illustrate how these musical narratives speak to life in the oil patch as well as to the continuing social and economic impact of the industry itself.

The series will conclude with a luncheon lecture starting at noon in the VC Student Center delivered by Dale Fowler, President of the Victoria Economic Development Corporation. Fowler’s presentation will focus on “Recruiting Business to Victoria: How Others See Us.”  A $14 reservation fee is required by from those planning to attend the final lecture and catered luncheon.  Reservation deadline is January 28.

The John W. Stormont Lecture Series began in 1978 as the Social Sciences Symposium. The conference is intended to give students, faculty and the community an opportunity to hear presentations focusing on Victoria and South Texas.

To make reservations for the luncheon, please contact Sandra Drozd at 361-582-2530 or via e-mail at  For more information on the history and on-going evolution of the John W. Stormont Lecture Series, please visit the VC Web site at


If You Go...

What: John W. Stormont Lecture Series

When: Thursday, Feb. 2 & Friday, Feb. 3

Where: VC Johnson Symposium

Who: All lectures in VC's Johnson Symposium are free & open to the public. Saturday luncheon requires registration and fee. Call 361-582-2530 to make reservations.



posted on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 by Katy Long


Published: Thursday, 26 January 2012

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