I first met USC professor Jody Agius Vallejo probably around 2007 or 2008, when she sent me an email pointing out that my ¡Ask a Mexican! column focused too much on poor and crazy Mexicans and not at all about middle-class Mexis. How DARE some academic criticize my columna! But she came in peace, asking me for help on a dissertation she was working on that eventually became Barrios to Burbs: The Making of the Mexican American Middle Class, a fabulous, pioneering study on...well, the Mexican-American middle class in Southern California.
And now, she gets to sit in the hot seat when she appears Feb. 28 at the Fullerton Public Library as part of "Gustavo's Awesome Lecture Series!"
The first one went without a hitch last month starring Los Angeles Times writer Hector Tobar, bringing in nearly 100 people to hear us chat about his work. The conversation with Vallejo will be similarly awesome, and I promise to be nice to her given she teaches sociology at USC and I'm a UCLA grad. As usual, the lecture starts at 7 p.m. and is FREE. Not sure about books this time, though: last I check, it was sold out, an unheard-of development in the academic world. GO GO GO!