Given the overwhelming success organizers had with lectures at the Fullerton Public Library regarding the Alex Bernal housing-desegregation case and Lalo Alcaraz, the Fullerton Public Library and Cal State Fullerton's Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies (for which I'm a part-time lecturer) have allowed me to create a lecture series. I didn't create the pretentious title–“Gustavo's Awesome Lecture Series!” was agreed upon by Facebook fiat. But I did pick the format: me interviewing people whom I find fascinating, usually titans of Orange County Latino history but not always. Film, screenings, plays, comic books, taco trucks–something for everyone!
The schedule for the next six months after the jump!
Unless otherwise noted, all the events start at 6:30 p.m. and happen at the main branch of the Fullerton Public Library, 353 W. Commonwealth Ave.,
(714) 738-6333. Admission is free, all ages allowed, and it doesn't costing Fullerton taxpayers a dime, 4Fers!
The series starts next Thursday with a partial reading of The Mexican OC, the acclaimed 2006 play created by Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble that dramatizes some of the key moments in Orange County Mexican history. Afterward, Cal State Fullerton drama professor Melissa Hidalgo will sit down with some of the cast members to discuss the play. This is the only one of the series that won't be held at the Fullerton Library's main branch, instead being held at the Hunt branch (201 S. Basque Ave., Fullerton, 714-738-3122).
Feb. 24 brings Jaime Hernandez, one-half of the legendary brotherly duo behind the acclaimed Love and Rockets graphic-comic series. I'll talk to him about his career, and he'll sign copies of his new book, The Art of Jaime Hernandez: The Secrets of Life and Death.
March 24 brings another legendary artist: Emigdio Vasquez, OC's most prominent Chicano muralist and the man behind the fading stunner above. We'll focus on his career, but also touch on the controversy Chicano murals in general have faced in Orange County.
April 28 gets simultaneously more cerebral and puerile as William Nericcio, professor of English at San Diego State University and author of the brilliant Tex(t)-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of the “Mexican” in America and the blog of the same name, stops by. Topic at hand? His specialty: deconstructing Mexican stereotypes and showing off part of his amazing collection of such stereotypes.
May 11 is something everyone can agree with: taco trucks! This semester, I'm going to oversee Cal State Fullerton students doing oral histories of Latino restaurants in Orange County. For this lecture . . . well, I still don't know yet. Maybe they'll present their findings; maybe I can convince Roy Choi of Kogi fame to sit down for a second. Regardless–taco trucks!
And June 23 closes this batch of lectures with a screening of one of my favorite films: Born In East LA, which remains the best commentary on our nation's love-hate relationship with Mexican immigrants EVER. Maybe by then, I can convince Cheech Marín to sit down for a talk afterward. . . .