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Anita Brenner
Art critic Anita Brenner

UTSA presents Jan. 27 lecture on Mexican critic

(Jan. 22, 2004)--UTSA Hillel and the Women's Studies Institute present a lecture by author Susannah Glusker at 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 27 in the University Center Retama Auditorium (2.02.02) at the 1604 Campus.

The lecture, "Anita Brenner: The Formation and Expression of a Cross-National Identity," is free and open to all and is part of a continuing series of Hillel programs on Hispanic Jewish literary history.

Glusker, a professor at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, will discuss her book, "Anita Brenner: A Mind of Her Own," a biography of her mother, a respected Mexican art critic.

Brenner was born in 1905 in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Her father, a Latvian Jew, immigrated to Mexico via Chicago, where he met Brenner's mother. The family left Mexico in 1910 during the revolution, moved back and forth from Mexico to Texas and in 1916 permanently settled in San Antonio.

Brenner was educated in the United States, but always thought of Mexico as her homeland. She spent her life writing for a mostly American audience about Mexican art, history and culture.

The University of Texas Press describes Brenner as one of Mexico's most discerning interpreters and an independent liberal who defended Mexico, workers and all those who were treated unfairly, whatever their origin or nationality.

She became an important writer in the 1920s, establishing herself as an advocate for the Mexican Revolution and its revolutionary art. While at the University of Mexico, Brenner developed lifelong friendships with artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.

According to Daniel Katz of Rutgers University, Glusker's book contributes to the limited knowledge of the Jewish experience in Latin America, particularly regarding Jewish women's lives.

Glusker's book traces Brenner's intellectual growth and achievements from the 1920s through the 1940s, drawing on Brenner's unpublished journals, an autobiographical novel and her published writings, including Brenner's three major books, "Idols Behind Altars," "Your Mexican Holiday" and "The Wind That Swept Mexico."

For more information, contact Rosalind Horowitz, Hillel director and professor in the College of Education and Human Development, at 210-458-2672.

--Tim Brownlee

University Communications
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