[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 31-Oct-2012
[ | E-mail Share Share ]

Contact: Melissa Carroll
mcarroll@uh.edu
713-743-8153
University of Houston

Best-selling author and 'ĦAsk a Mexican!' columnist speaks at UH, Nov. 15

Gustavo Arellano uses humor to debunk misconceptions of Mexicans

IMAGE: This is Gustavo Arellano.

Click here for more information.

The University of Houston (UH) has invited best-selling author Gustavo Arellano, whose work includes the nationally syndicated column "ĦAsk a Mexican!," to launch this year's Food for Thought Lecture Series at 5 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 15 at the Roy G. Cullen Building, Room 104. The event is free and open to the public.

Arellano will discuss his new book, "Taco, USA. How Mexican Food Conquered America," which details why the U.S. loves all things folded in a tortilla, when salsa overtook ketchup as the country's favorite condiment in the 1990s, nachos are the third-largest concession food after popcorn and soda, and the U.S. is the world's largest consumer of tequila. He addresses what constitutes "Mexican" food in the U.S.? What's "authentic" and what's "Taco Bell," and does it matter?

Arellano made his national reputation with the 'ĦAsk a Mexican!' column when he was perpetually amazed by local ignorance about Mexican culture and history. He invited reader submissions of questions about Mexico and started the column by making up the first question: "Dear Mexican: Why do Mexicans call white people gringos?" His response in jest was that "only gringos call gringos gringos." He said, "Mexicans preferred the derogatory term "gabachos."

"Arellano's work appeals to us because he brings his signature humor to questions of authenticity, skewering gatekeepers and reminding us of the centrality of Mexicanos to the preparation of American food and the interesting process of making American food Mexican," said Todd Romero, UH associate professor of history and co-director of the series. "He addresses the topics that animate our interests in studying food in wonderfully entertaining ways."

Arellano's 'ĦAsk a Mexican!' column has a circulation of more than two million in 38 markets. He has received the President's Award from the Los Angeles Press Club, an Impact Award from the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and a 2008 Latino Spirit Award from the California State legislature.

The Food for Thought Lecture Series is sponsored by the UH Center for Public History and the El Paso Lecture Series. The series focuses on the scholarly study of food and encourages cross-disciplinary collaboration on the many ways that food shape business, economies, nutrition and health, the environment and social relations.

WHAT:
Best-selling Author and "Ask a Mexican!" Columnist Gustavo Arellano
Food for Thought Lecture Series

WHEN:
5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15
A book signing will follow the event.

WHERE:
University of Houston
Roy G. Cullen Building, Room 104
http://www.uh.edu/maps/#map-directions
Visitor parking at the Welcome Center and Parking Garage
Entrance 1 off Calhoun Road
http://www.uh.edu/maps/buildings/?short_name=WC

WHO:
Free and open to the public. For more information, contact Todd Romero at tromero2@uh.edu

###

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation's best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city, UH serves more than 39,500 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country.



[ Back to EurekAlert! ] [ | E-mail Share Share ]

 


AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.