Center of Mexican American Studies
Center of Mexican American Studies

2013 Américo Paredes Distinguished Lecture

The Center for Mexican American Studies (CMAS) is pleased to announce that Abel Valenzuela, Jr., Ph.D., Chair of the UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles will give the 2013 Américo Paredes Distinguished Lecture.

The title of the 2013 Américo Paredes Distinguished Lecture is Chicano Studies, Hispanic Studies, Latino Studies (?): Naming and the Future of Chicano Studies. Professor Valenzuela will examine how demographic changes and an increasing pan-ethnic Latino frame bodes for Chicano Studies.  U.S. demographics highlight the increasing share of children and descendants from Latin America, principally from Mexico, Central America, and the Spanish speaking Caribbean, but also increasingly from Columbia, Brazil, and Chile.  Immigrants from Latin America and their U.S. born counterparts have a wide U.S. distribution, increasingly locating in the new destinations of the U.S. South, Midwest, and New England.  College campuses and research universities are creating new programs and departments to meet student demand, attract faculty, and to research the largest "minority" population in the U.S, often referenced as Latino or Hispanic.  Where does Chicana/o Studies fit in a rapidly growing Latino milieu? Perhaps more importantly, how does Chicano Studies remain relevant in a "post-racial" Obama era, a more diverse student body, and a financially restructured and austere university?

Professor Valenzuela holds a joint appointment in the Cesar E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies and the Meyer and Renne Luskin School of Public Affairs. His research is primarily concerned with the issues faced by minorities and immigrants in the United States. His work focuses on three key areas, which are interrelated: 1) immigration and labor markets, 2) poverty and inequality, and 3) immigrant settlement patterns and related services. His work combines ethnographic, in-depth interviews, participant observation, and quantitative methods to document and explain the processes that govern the incorporation of immigrants into U.S. society.  At UCLA, Professor Valenzuela serve as the director of the Center for the Study of Urban Poverty. He teaches courses on immigration and U.S. society, urban poverty and public policy, labor markets, and planning issues in minority communities.

Professor Valenzuela was born and raised in Los Angeles, earned his B.A. at the University of California at Berkeley (1986) and obtained his M.C.P. (1988) and Ph.D. (1993) in urban and regional studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.