Alberto Ledesma presents: Diary of a Reluctant Dreamer: Undocumented Vignettes from a Pre-American Life, Monday, April 22, 2019, 5:30-7:00 p.m., Classroom Unit 2

June 30, 2018

By , Associate Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies Department 

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Alberto Ledesma’s Diary of a Reluctant Dreamer: Undocumented Vignettes from a Pre-American Life (The Ohio State University Press, 2017) combines text and illustrations, political and social commentary, and autobiography to narrate its protagonist’s transition from nervous, undocumented immigrant kid to university professor and administrator, artist, and activist. Using words and images that tap visual traditions as varied as twentieth-century Mexican social realism, New Deal social documentary photography, and DC Comics, it exposes the pre- American experience as a sort of probationary citizenship—as a period when the prospective citizen must prove deservingness. This courageous and timely illustrated memoir vividly shows
that undocumented immigrantness is not only a formal status; it is also an experience that disciplines the people who undergo it.

Directions to Classroom Unit 2. 


Alberto Ledesma grew up in East Oakland, California, and received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from UC Berkeley, where he earned a PhD in Ethnic Studies in 1996. He is a former faculty member at California State University, Monterey Bay, and a lecturer in Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. He has also held several staff positions at UC Berkeley, including Director of Admissions at the School of Optometry, and Writing Program Coordinator at the Student Learning Center. His current position is as Assistant Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in the Arts and Humanities. As a writer, Dr. Ledesma has published academic articles, poetry, and short stories in such venues as Con/Safos: A Chicana/o Literary Magazine, Gary Soto’s Chicano Chapbook Series, and The Berkeley Poetry Review. His essays have also appeared in ColorLines, New American Media, and The Harvard Journal of Education. He is also a past member of Sandra Cisneros’s Macondo Writers Workshop and the Voices of Our Nations Artists Writers Workshop. His latest book is Diary of a Reluctant Dreamer.


This free, public lecture is cosponsored by the Research Center for the Americas, El Centro: Chicanx Latinx Resource Center, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, Kresge College, the Latin American and Latino Studies Department, Educational Opportunity Programs, the History of Art and Visual Culture Department, the Patricia and Rowland Rebele Endowment for the History of Art and Visual Culture, and Porter College.

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