Dr. Marc Zimmerman's latest book documents the life and legacy of art activist, José Gamaliel González.
Bringing Aztlán to Mexican Chicago is the autobiography of José Gamaliel González, an impassioned artist willing to risk all for the empowerment of his marginalized and oppressed community. Through a series of interviews conducted over a period of six years by Zimmerman, González looks back on his life and his role in developing Mexican, Chicano, and Latino art as a fundamental dimension of the city he came to call home.
Zimmerman was honored to help his dear friend share his story."José knew this book offered him the one chance to speak of his world," said Zimmerman, "and it brings him great happiness to image people reading the book and enjoying the images of his early artwork."
With numerous illustrations, this book portrays González’s all-but-forgotten community advocacy, his commitments and conflicts, and his long struggle to bring quality arts programming to the city. By turns dramatic and humorous, his narrative also covers his bouts of illness, his relationships with other artists and arts promoters, and his place within city and barrio politics.
The UH Grants to Enhance and Advance Research (GEAR) program and the Small Grants program helped fund this and other book projects of CASA/LACASA, Latin American publishing house directed by Zimmerman.
Zimmerman is a professor of World Cultures and Literatures in the department Department of Modern & Classical Languages (MCL). He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California,San Diego and a M.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. By himself and with others, he has written and edited some thirteen books, including The Central American Quartet (four volumes 1980-96), U.S. Latino Literature (1992), Literature and Resistance in Guatemala (1995), and Globalización, nación y (post)modernidad: Estudios culturales puertorriqueños (2001).
Zimmerman is currently working on the second installment of González’s story along with a series on Latino Chicago.