Teresita Lozano Speaks on the Ballads of Mexican Migrants

February 17, 2022
Baylor University alumna Teresita Lozano will present a Lyceum Series lecture on Friday, February 25, beginning at 1:30 p.m. in Seminar Room 2 (Moody 304) of Crouch Fine Arts Library. Dr. Lozano is Assistant Professor of Musicology and Ethnomusicology at the University of Texas–Rio Grande Valley. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree, with an emphasis in flute, from Baylor University and a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology (Musicology) from the University of Colorado–Boulder.
Dr. Lozano’s Lyceum Series lecture is entitled “Songs for the Holy Coyote: Ghost Smuggling Ballads and the Migrant Journey.” Based on musical testimonies circulating over social media, several undocumented migrants have shared a collective ghost story of survival, religious devotion, and a mysterious apparition who guides them across the U.S.-Mexico border. A new phenomenon of corrido (Mexican ballad) composition and performance narrates the near-death experiences of undocumented migrants and their miraculous encounters with the ghost of Saint Toribio Romo.
Saint Toribio Romo, whom migrants have adopted as the Santo Coyote (Holy Smuggler) and Patron Saint of Immigrants, was a Cristero priest killed in 1928 in Jalisco during La Cristiada, the 1926-1928 Cristero Rebellion. (Cristeros were post-Revolutionary Mexican Catholic rebels who participated in an armed rebellion against the Mexican government, in response to the militant enforcement of anticlerical laws and perceived encroachment on religious liberty.) Saint Toribio Romo corridos, which Dr. Lozano defines as “ghost smuggling ballads,” depict the migrant journey in the desert space along the U.S.-Mexico border. Ghost smuggling ballads redefine the role of the coyote (smuggler) as a source of divine protection, sanctifying the migrant journey as a sacred pilgrimage.
This Lyceum Series lecture, made possible by the Meadows Foundation of Dallas, is free of charge and open to the public.
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