Project for the Active Teaching of History logo

A Collaborative to Enhance the Teaching and Learning of American History
in Region 4






Fall Colloquia


Richard Rodriguez

Wednesday, September 25, 2002
University of Houston Hilton, Waldorf Ballroom

Pictures from the event | Streaming Video from the event (coming soon)

book cover of Richard Rodriguez's book Brown: The Last Discovery of America


book cover of Richard Rodriguez's book Hunger of Memory: The Educating of Richard Rodriguez


About Richard Rodriguez:

Richard Rodriguez is one of our country's most perceptive commentators about ethnicity, race and class. With the publication of Brown: The Last Discovery of America, he completes his trilogy on American public life that he began with the highly acclaimed memoirs Hunger of Memory (1982) and Days of Obligation: An Argument with My Mexican Father (1992). In Brown, he argues that Hispanics are coloring an American identity that traditionally has chosen to describe itself as black and white. The New Yorker praises his work, calling him “a writer of unusual grace and clarity, eloquent in all his reflections...He speaks with authority, in a voice of true clarity, and it is impossible to doubt him.”

The son of Mexican immigrants, Rodriguez was born in 1944 in San Francisco. He primarily spoke Spanish until he entered school at the age of six and his memoir Hunger of Memory describes how English language instruction distanced him from his parents’ native culture. The book is assigned widely in high school and college courses, and has achieved contemporary classic status despite its opposition to two programs many educators usually hold dear—affirmative action and bilingual education.

Rodriguez went on to earn his Bachelor’s Degree from Stanford University and his Ph.D. in English Renaissance Literature from UC Berkeley. His second book, Days of Obligation, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1993. In a series of essays it examines what it means to be Mexican/American, beginning with the 16th century meetings of the conquistadors and Aztecs and moving forward to modern San Francisco as it confronts the plague of AIDS.

In addition to his writing, Rodriguez works as an editor at Pacific News Service. His insightful commentaries on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer won him a Peabody Award. He is a contributing editor for both Harper’s Magazine and the “Opinion” section of the Los Angeles Times. The Village Voice names Rodriguez “the best American essayist...[He] doesn’t kowtow to political correctness. He shuns the pack, rides alone. He writes a lonely line of individualism, the grandeur and grief of the American soul.”



PATH logo

The Project for the Active Teaching of History

Funded by a major grant from the U.S. Department of Education, PATH seeks to enhance the teaching of American history throughout the Gulf Coast region. A joint project of Region 4 Education Service Center, the University of Houston Department of History and College of Education, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, PATH will host a series of summer seminars for teachers and colloquia for the general public.

For additional information: Please contact Debra Williams, Education Specialist in Science/Social Studies Services at Region 4 Education Service Center, 713-744-6846 or