7:00 - 8:00
Laura E Gómez will discuss her book, Inventing Latinos: A New Story of American Racism. Named One of the Best Books of the Year by NPR, part history, part guide for the future, the author, a professor of law, sociology and Chicana/Chicano studies at UCLA, presents a groundbreaking examination of how Latinos' new collective racial identity has changed the way race functions in this country.
Latinos have long influenced everything from electoral politics to popular culture, yet many people instinctively regard them as recent immigrants rather than a longstanding racial group. In Inventing Latinos, Gómez‚ illuminates the fascinating race-making, unmaking and re-making of Latino identity that has spanned centuries, leaving a permanent imprint on how race operates in the United States today.
Pulling back the lens as the country approaches an unprecedented demographic shift (Latinos will comprise a third of the American population in a matter of decades)‚ Gómez also reveals the nefarious roles the United States has played in Latin America—from military interventions and economic exploitation to political interference—that‚ taken together‚ have destabilized national economies to send migrants northward over the course of more than a century. It's no coincidence that the vast majority of Latinos migrate from the places most impacted by this nation's dirty deeds, leading Gómez to a bold call for reparations.
Gómez teaches at UCLA where she is affiliated with three diverse academic units: her primary appointment (and all of my teaching) is in the Law School. In 2000, she became only the second Latina tenured at a top-20 law school in the U.S. Gómez held joint appointments in the Sociology Department, a department consistently ranked in the top-10 nationally, and the Department of Chicana & Chicano Studies and Central American Studies which offers the nation’s only PhD in Chicana/o Studies.
Connect with Laura E. Gómez - Website