CSU Los Angeles -- September 29, 2003
Chair Initiates New Humanities Program, "American Communities," at Cal
California State University, Los Angeles recently announced the appointment
of Victor Valle (Pasadena resident) as the first endowed chair for a
new humanities program at Cal State L.A., effective Fall Quarter 2003.
Valle is the inaugural Joseph A. Bailey II, M.D. Endowed Chair for Cal
State L.A.’s new American Communities Program, established through
a National Endowment for the Humanities matching grant.
In his capacity as chair and director of the American Communities Program,
Valle will be responsible for developing and implementing the program’s
short- and long-range goals, designing and supporting public programs,
and distributing funds for humanities-based grant applications.
Valle will teach an annual seminar that explores the development of
historical and contemporary American communities and identities. Seminars
may include focus on the intersecting cultural, economic or political
forces relevant to the formation and perpetuation of American communities
and American identities.
Valle is a specialist on the subjects of racism in America culture,
Mexican American cultural images, Chicano/a non-fiction literature,
and he has taught numerous ethnic studies courses at Cal Poly San Luis
Obispo. He received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and master’s
degree in comparative literature from CSU Long Beach, and a master’s
degree in journalism from Northwestern University. This past June, he
completed a post-doctoral research fellowship from the Center for Chicano
Studies at UC Santa Barbara, which he dedicated to his most recent book
project, City of Industry: A Genealogy of Power. The case history proposes
to show how Los Angeles will complete its emergence as global metropolis
early in this decade thanks to the wealth, power, and development rationales
generated in suburbs such as the City of Industry.
For eight years, Valle worked as a Los Angeles Times staff writer, receiving
a Pulitzer Prize in 1984 as a member of the reporting team that wrote
a multi-article series on Southern California’s Latino community.
Valle has also won two Certificates of Excellence from the Greater Los
Angeles Press Club: one for an investigative series in 1986 on “Hands
Across America,” the other in 1983 for an investigative series
on undocumented Mexican workers. His book, Recipe of Memory: Five Generations
of Mexican Cuisine, garnered three nominations for its literary quality
from two of the nation’s leading culinary book competitions. This
book has been translated into Italian and a paperback edition is available
as well. His latest book, Latino Metropolis, in its third printing,
examines the political, economic, and cultural ramifications of an emerging
Latino majority in the greater Los Angeles area.
The Cal State L.A. American Communities Program and Endowed Chair explores
the question, “What does it mean to be ‘an American’?”
by studying the evolving nature of American identity through the humanities
disciplines. The endowment supports a two-three year rotating chair
and a variety of academic programs, such as faculty-student collaborative
research; new curriculum and teaching; seminars and public events; undergraduate
and post-doctoral fellowships; and faculty research grants.
The American Communities Program is supported by a grant from the National
Endowment for the Humanities and major matching funders including The
Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, The Ahmanson Foundation, Edison International
and individual donors. Joseph A. Bailey II, M.D., prominent San Bernardino
area physician, donated the culminating gift to name the chair and establish
a component of the chair focusing on African-American history and culture.
Contact: Carol Selkin, Media Relations Director, (323)