Author and essayist Richard Rodriguez will deliver the Association of Latin American Students lecture for the Assembly Series at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 8. The lecture, entitled “The Browning of America,” is free and open to the public, and will be held in Graham Chapel, located just north of Mallinckrodt Center (6445 Forsyth Blvd.) on the Washington University campus.
Rodriguez is known for his critically acclaimed books, the autobiographical Hunger of Memory and the Pulitzer-Prize nominated Days of Obligation: An Argument with my Mexican Father. He writes about the ever-present concepts of race and diversity in American culture, and what they mean in an ever-changing global culture. He believes that assimilation between races and peoples is not a concept, good or bad, but a fact of life.
In his most recent book, Brown: The Last Discovery of America, Rodriguez discusses what he terms the “Latinization” of American culture, rejecting America’s narrow definition of race as being solely “black-and-white,” and introducing the color brown as a more accurate description of the “melting pot” concept of the United States.
Rodriguez emigrated from Mexico to California at a young age, experiencing early on the difficulties of growing up in a Mexican-American family with two languages. Despite these educational challenges, he received degrees from Stanford and Columbia universities.
Rodriguez is currently an editor for the Pacific News Service in San Francisco and a contributing writer to other national publications such as Harper’s Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and U.S. News & World Report. He has won an Emmy and a Peabody Award for his work as a regular essayist on PBS’s “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.”
For more information, call (314) 935-4620 or visit the Assembly Series Web page (http://wupa.wustl.edu/assembly).