Through film, Spanish-language discussions and visiting experts in the issues shaping Mexico, Maria Lorena Cook teaches The Mexican Revolution at 100: Politics, Economy and Society.
"I wanted to design a course that helps students understand the complex reality of contemporary Mexico in light of its revolutionary tradition," said Cook, associate professor of labor relations, law and history and chair of the ILR School's Department of International and Comparative Labor.
"We look at political dynamics, social movements, labor and human rights, popular culture, the economic consequences of NAFTA and up-to-the-minute issues such as immigration and violence stemming from cross-border trafficking in weapons from the U.S. and drugs from Mexico."
A leading scholar of Mexican labor and political affairs, Cook engaged a dozen world-class academics and practitioners to visit Cornell, including economist Enrique Dussel Peters and international criminal law expert Edgardo Buscaglia, who is coming to Cornell from a United Nations consulting assignment in Kabul.
Cook's guests are the centerpiece of the Cornell Latin American Studies Program Fall Semester Seminar series. The presentations are free and open to the public.
In addition to speaking in Cook's class, speakers meet with students for lunch, allowing for more intimate exchanges.
Cook, who received her doctorate in political science from the University of California-Berkeley, offers a one-credit Spanish-language section as part of the course. Led by Rocío Trujillo Chávez, a MILR student from Mexico, the section is part of the Latin American Studies Program Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum initiative.
In conjunction with Cook's course, Cornell Cinema has programmed "Visions of Mexico," a series of contemporary films.