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Cal Poly Ethnic Studies Professor Awarded Fulbright Scholar Grant

Cal Poly ethnic studies Professor Victor Valle has been selected to receive a 2014-15 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant.

The Fulbright Scholar Program gives faculty and professionals the opportunity to lecture, teach and conduct research in a foreign country, with the aim of building relationships across continents.

With the grant, Valle will temporarily live in Mexico to continue his research on his latest book project, “The Poetics of Fire: On the Art of Chile-Eating.” Valle’s project explores how North Americans perceive the aesthetics of chile-eating. The research examines the metaphors and narratives that drive how people discuss chile-eating and how these metaphors and narratives have evolved over time.

Valle has been with the Cal Poly since 1992. He began his writing career in the 1970s by publishing poetry and literature translations and editing literary magazines. After graduating from the Medill School of Journalism in 1981, he joined the staff of the Los Angeles Times. During his residency there, Valle and fellow Chicano journalists received a Pulitzer Prize and other honors for investigative journalism. 

As an author, Valle’s book “Recipe of Memory: Five Generations of Mexican Cuisine,” has been reviewed in more than a dozen scholarly journals and has been reproduced in “American Food Writing: A Literary Anthology” by the Library of America publishers. His last book, “City of Industry: Genealogies of Power in Southern California,” was published in 2009.

“Professor Valle is not only an acclaimed scholar and writer but also an activist who truly lives out ethnic studies and Cal Poly’s commitment to transformative knowledge,” said Denise Isom, Ethnic Studies Department chair.

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