The College of Liberal Arts Inaugural Common Book Program: Lecture — Luis Alberto Urrea

March 25, 2011

The College of Liberal Arts Inaugural Common Book Program: Lecture — Luis Alberto Urrea

Luis Alberto Urrea is a Pulitzer Prize finalist as well as a member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame. Urrea is a prolific and acclaimed writer who uses his Mexican-American culture to explore greater themes of love, loss, and triumph. He has published extensively in all the major literary genres. His book The Devil’s Highway (2004) won the 2004 Lannan Literary Award and is the work with which he was awarded finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize.

Sponsors: The College of Liberal Arts, the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, the College of International, Continuing and Professional Education, the University Honors Program, the New Partnership Foundation, the American Studies Program, the International Studies Program, the Department of Chicano & Latino Studies, the Department of Comparative World Literature & Classics, the Department of Geography, and the Department of Human Development

This inaugural Common Book Program is focused on Luis Alberto Urrea’s The Devil’s Highway, which recounts the true story of 26 Mexican men and boys who crossed the border into an area of the Arizona desert known as the Devil’s Highway. Only 12 of the original 26 men and boys made it safely across. Urrea is an award-winning writer, Pulitzer Prize Finalist, and poet. He will be visiting our campus to give a public lecture and to participate in small-group discussions with students who are reading the book this semester. We are also pleased to have filmmaker Anayansi Prado screen her film Children in No Man’s Land as part of the week’s program.

These events follow on the heels of the recent History Students Association event about the Bracero Program and will be followed by an event, hosted by the Department of Linguistics, about borders and language later in April. In short, we have an active semester in terms of welcoming the much-needed discussions concerning border issues, immigration, and the resulting social/cultural geographies.

All are welcome to the 2011 Common Book events! Sign-in sheets for student attendance will be available.

For more information, please contact Dr. Deborah Thien at