Scripps College Presents “Bajito y Suavecito/Low and Slow: Cruising through Lowrider Culture in Los Angeles”

Denise M. Sandoval, PhD, will present Bajito y Suavecito/Low and Slow: Cruising through Lowrider Culture in Los Angeles in Scripps College’s Malott Commons, Hampton Room, on Wednesday, March 30, at noon, as part of the 2011 César Chávez celebration. The event is free and open to the public.

Sandoval, associate professor of Chicana/o studies at California State University, Northridge, creates an oral and visual narrative that demonstrates how lowriding developed from its East Los Angeles barrio beginnings to a multicultural practice. Their stories reveal the intersections of race/ethnicity, class and gender, both within Chicano culture and also within American culture.

Her study sheds light on key themes within lowrider culture, such as pride, respect, family, and brotherhood. In their pursuit of the art and style of cruising, lowriders reveal not only their passion for classic cars, but also important aspects of their cultural background. Using their vehicles as canvases for creative expression, they are able to realize dreams and fantasies as well as express notions of individual and community identity. Lowriders can be seen as embodiments of Mexican-American or Chicano social history, a heritage that is often misunderstood by other segments of the American populace.

Sandoval received her doctorate in cultural studies from Claremont Graduate University in 2003. She was the guest curator/community researcher for two exhibitions on lowrider culture at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles and for the virtual exhibition Lowrider: An American Cultural Tradition for the Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives. Her work was featured in two documentaries, Automaniac and Modern Marvels, for the History Channel, and she has several published articles on lowrider culture, such as in the anthology Black and Brown Los Angeles: A Contemporary Reader (2011).

This event is presented by the Malott Commons Office. Doors open at 11:45. Bring your own lunch or purchase lunch at the Malott Commons Dining Hall. For more information, contact the Malott Commons Office at (909) 607-9372.


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