Best-selling author and ¡Ask a Mexican! columnist to speak at UTSA, Sept. 12

Aug 21, 2012

Editor's note: Missed Gustavo Arellano's talk at UTSA? Watch it here.

By Ryan Schoensee, Student Special Projects Writer
University Communications

The University of Texas at San Antonio celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with an evening with Gustavo Arellano, author of "Taco USA" and the nationally syndicated column "¡Ask a Mexican!," at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12 in the Buena Vista Street Building Theater (Room 1.326) at the Downtown Campus. A book signing will follow.

The event is free and open to the public, and free parking will be available.

Hailed in The New York Times as "the greatest (and only) living scholar of Mexican-American fast food," Arellano will discuss "How Mexican Food Conquered America," explaining what constitutes Mexican food in the United States, how it got here and why Americans love it so much.

Last year, Arellano contacted the UTSA Libraries Special Collections when doing research for his book. After studying the library's rich collections on San Antonio's history and contributions to food culture, he selected two photographs to include in "Taco USA" - one of the famous San Antonio chili queens and the other depicting a Gebhardt's Original Mexican Dinner package.

Arellano is the editor of OC Weekly, an alternative newspaper in Orange County, Calif., and a lecturer in Chicana and Chicano studies at California State University, Fullerton.

In his column "¡Ask a Mexican!," which appears in San Antonio CURRENT and has a weekly circulation of more than two million in 38 other newspapers nationwide, he answers any and all questions about America's largest ethnic group. In 2006 and 2008, the column received the Best Column award by the Association of Alternative Weeklies.

Arellano also received the President's Award from the Los Angeles Press Club, an Impact Award from the National Hispanic Media Coalition and a Latino Spirit Award from the California Legislature. He has appeared on "The Today Show," "Nightline," NPR's "Talk of the Nation" and "The Colbert Report."

The event is co-sponsored by UTSA Libraries, UTSA Office of the Vice Provost -- Downtown Campus, UTSA Mexico Center and San Antonio CURRENT.

>> For more information and to watch a live-streaming of Arellano's presentation Sept. 12, visit