Bringing Aztlán and Borinquen to Chicago: Mexican and Puerto Rican Art in the City from 1968 to the Age of Trump

Professor Emeritus at the U. of Illinois Chicago, and the U. of Houston, Marc Zimmerman studied one year at Dartmouth, but then left for the west coast, eventually earning his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature. Working mainly in Latino community and university programs in California and the Midwest, he eventually founded LACASA Chicago Publications directing its series on Latin American and Latino cultural studies. Among his thirty-plus academic books and editions are his U.S. Latino Literature (1992) and his award-winning Defending Their Own in the Cold: The Cultural Turns of U.S. Puerto Ricans (2011). His co-edited collections include works on Latin American-U.S. transnational processes, on Latinos in U.S. cities, and four texts on Chicago Mexican art—above all, Bringing Aztlán to Mexican Chicago (2010). His Latino- themed “memoir fictions” include one text on Latino Chicago and another on the San Diego/ Tijuana area.

Zimmerman’s presentation will focus on Chicago Latino art from the city’s “Latino cultural explosion” of the 1970s and on to new generations responding to crises in Latin America and the U.S. involving questions of discrimination, gentrification, displacement and struggle. He will examine Chicago Latino art as examples of regional diasporic and transnational processes. Issues of national, gender, ethnic and spatial identifications will be featured as Zimmerman reviews the materials appearing on his LACASA Chicago website ( , and previews the wider range of interviews, images and documents he has recently donated to the Smithsonian Institution.