Mexican LA: The Long 20th Century
Moderated by Gustavo Arellano of the Los Angeles Times, join us for a discussion with historians Kelly Lytle Hernández and Natalia Molina about their new books addressing culture, ethnicity, and dissent in 20th century Los Angeles.
Gustavo Arellano is author of Orange County: A Personal History and Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times and host of its daily news podcast "The Times," and has been an essayist and reporter for various publications and a frequent commentator on radio and television. He was formerly editor of OC Weekly, an alternative newspaper in Orange County, California, and penned the award-winning "¡Ask a Mexican!," a nationally syndicated column in which he answered any and all questions about America's spiciest and largest minority. Gustavo is the recipient of awards ranging from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies for Best Columnist to the Los Angeles Press Club President's Award to an Impacto Award from the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and was recognized by the California Latino Legislative Caucus with a 2008 Spirit Award for his "exceptional vision, creativity, and work ethic." Gustavo is a lifelong resident of Orange County and is the proud son of two Mexican immigrants, one whom came to this country in the trunk of a Chevy.
Kelly Lytle Hernández is a professor of History, African American Studies, and Urban Planning at UCLA where she holds The Thomas E. Lifka Endowed Chair in History and directs the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies. One of the nation's leading experts on race, immigration, and mass incarceration, she is the author of Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol (University of California Press, 2010), City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles (University of North Carolina Press, 2017), and the forthcoming book Bad Mexicans: Race, Empire, and Revolution in the Borderlands (Norton, 2022). She also leads Million Dollar Hoods, a big data research initiative documenting the fiscal and human cost of mass incarceration in Los Angeles. For her historical and contemporary work, Professor Lytle Hernández was named a 2019 MacArthur "Genius" Fellow. She is also an elected member of the Society of American Historians, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Pulitzer Prize Board.
Natalia Molina is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. Her research explores the intertwined histories of race, place, gender, culture, and citizenship. She is the author of the award-winning books, How Race Is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts and Fit to Be Citizens?: Public Health and Race in Los Angeles, 1879-1940. Her most recent book is A Place at the Nayarit: How a Mexican Restaurant Nourished a Community, on immigrant workers as placemakers —including her grandmother—who nurtured and fed the community through the restaurants they established, which served as urban anchors. She co-edited Relational Formations of Race: Theory, Method and Practice, and is now at work on a new book, The Silent Hands that Shaped the Huntington: A History of Its Mexican Workers. In addition to publishing widely in scholarly journals, she has also written for the LA Times, Washington Post, San Diego Union-Tribune, and more. Professor Molina is a 2020 MacArthur Fellow.