Roundup: July 8, 2015
Almansor Court – 700 S. Almansor, Alhambra, CA
Social Hour: 5:00 PM
Dinner: 6:00 PM
Speaker: Michael M. Brescia
Subject: The Living Legacies of Spain in the North American West: Law, Natural Resources, and International Treaties in the Borderlands
Michael M. Brescia, Ph.D., Associate Curator of Ethnohistory at the Arizona State Museum and Associate Professor of History at the University of Arizona and this year’s Autry Fellowship recipient examines the role of Spanish water rights in the American Southwest in light of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the Gadsden Purchase. As the drought enters its second decade in most of the West, common law understandings of natural resources compete with U.S. treaty obligations that have obliged the judicial system to adjudicate certain water and land disputes under the old laws of Spain and Mexico. The talk will also examine the manner in which the two treaties protect natural resources that had been recognized as property rights when the Southwest was part of Mexico’s far northern frontier.
Dr. Brescia is a specialist in Mexican and Borderlands history and has served as a consultant and expert witness in several water rights cases in Arizona and New Mexico. He is the co-author of two books as well as numerous articles and essays. He also has served as lead curator of three museum exhibitions that have examined the links between Mexican and U.S. history.