"Chicano writers from El Paso are the most progressive, open-minded, far-reaching, and inclusive writers of them all."

Octavio Romano

Friday, May 28, 2010

Honors for John Haddox: 50 years of professorship

This past March (2010), the University of Texas at El Paso honor Dr. John Haddox for his 50 years of professorship at the University of Texas El Paso.

Many of us activists know John Haddox for his association with UTEP MEChA and many other causes throughout the years.

Colleagues put on a 2-day conference in his honor and included such presenters as Mimi Gladstein, poetry reading by Rafael Jesús González and Ben Saenz, presentation by Juan Ferret, Elizabeth Pando, Crisol Escobedo, Marilyn Verney, Lee Stauffer, Jon Amastae, Gabe Camacho, Carlos Sanchez, John Siqueiros, Jules Simon, Richard Jarvis, Howard Daudistel, and Carmen Haddox, wife of John Haddox. 

The event also included a dinner that raised funds for the establishment of the Dr. John Haddox Endowment to promote excellence in the Department of Philosophy. 

The keynote speaker at the dinner was Oscar Marti, will present a Keynote Address on behalf of Haddox. Marti, a Cuban-American philosopher, works in Chicano Studies and Philosophy at California State University at Northridge and has known Haddox for over 30 years. He is the current president of the Society for Iberian and Latin American Thought. 

I personally love this professor, and in my studies and research about the Chicano Movement at UTEP, I ran across Haddox name more than once and was able to get Haddox oral history. Felipe Ortego once call Dr. Haddox the only "non-Chicano Chicano on the Chicano Faculty." 

Haddox is the author of Vasconcelos of Mexico: Philosopher and Prophet, and Antonio Caso: Philosopher of Mexico and for many years thought the Chicano Philosophy class at UTEP. I remember when MEChA brought Lalo Delgado in the late 1990s, I was taking Haddox' class and Lalo was a guess lecturer.

Haddox is one of the major academics who brought Jose Vasconcelos, Antonio Caso, and other Mexican philosophers to the attention of the U.S. philosophy arena.

The UTEP philosophy department has always been somewhat a center for rebellion UTEP. In my oral history, I asked Haddox how it turned out that way and he said, "Because I recruited them." 

I remember Dr Haddox, Dr. Norma Hernandez, and others protesting in front of the UTEP administration building when Dr. Diana Natalicio was named president of the university and for the way the secretive hiring process was done. Dr. Haddox, as well as Dr. Springer, were some of those who went to the county jail in support of the 30 arrested Chicano students in 1970 after the takeover of the UTEP administration building.

Dr. Haddox has been supportive of Chicano Students when many times, professors who are Chicano were not. I know it is easier for a professor with tenure to support controversial causes. And I know its easier for White professors to support controversial causes at the university level then Chicano professors, but professors like Haddox who stand up are becoming a rare breed.

Congrads to Dr. Haddox!

You can see more information about what happen at this event at: 

There was a book released about the work of John Haddox. More on that later.


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