Curating California’s rich culture is a task held exclusively by no individual. Amid California’s many wonders and challenges, we learn much from its great luminaries, from creative writers and editors, and from other stewards who challenge us to think differently about this remarkable, sacred place. But we also learn from stories underrepresented and often untold, and from what D.J. Waldie calls “the sacred ordinary.”
Boom California plays a critical part in all of this. Inching toward the completion of its first decade on the California scene, Boom California is relocating its primary operations to Fresno State University. After three years as Editor, Jason Sexton is transitioning to a new role at UCLA and becoming Boom’s Editor-at-Large. And we could not be more thrilled to announce a new editorial team suitable to embody Boom’s vision for hosting some of California’s most interesting conversations, in both scholarly and public-facing ways.
We are pleased to announce that the new editors are Dr. Romeo Guzmán and Carribean Fragoza. This new editorial team brings an exciting attention to place, along with a decade worth of public-facing humanities work, and an extensive network of intellectuals, artists and journalists throughout the state.
An award-winning public historian, Dr. Guzmán holds a Ph.D. in Latin American history from Columbia University and is the founding director of Fresno State’s Valley Public History Initiative. From the San Gabriel Valley to the San Joaquin Valley, Guzmán’s projects revolutionize the historical process by transforming how archives are built, how knowledge is produced, and how community members experience history. He has published on migration, archives, popular culture, and politics in both academic and popular outlets. Guzmán has also served as an editor at Tropics of Meta, one of the very first academic blogs. For Boom, he has written on the long history of charreria/rodeo in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and on Mexico’s influence on American and California soccer. For more on his work visit romeoguzman.com.
A graduate of CalArts’s MFA program, Carribean Fragoza is a well-known journalist, artist, and fiction writer. A native of South El Monte, Fragoza is dedicated to thinking deeply about place and working with underrepresented communities. As a former managing editor of KCET’s Departures, she built exciting and innovative editorial projects about Greater Los Angeles. Her short story collection is forthcoming with City Lights Publisher and you can find her writings in outlets such as Aperture, the American Prospect, Artbound, LA Weekly, as well as BOMB Magazine, Huizache, and Palabra Literary Magazine. For more on her work visit carribeanfragoza.com.
Together, Dr. Guzmán and Fragoza founded the South El Monte Arts Posse, an interdisciplinary arts collective dedicated to using the arts to foster critical conversations about place. Their forthcoming manuscript East of East: The Making of Greater El Monte (Rutgers Press: 2020) traces the experience of a California community over three centuries, from eighteenth-century Spanish colonization to twenty-first century globalization.
With new plans on the horizon, we trust Boom will continue to serve our wide-range of readers online, from policy-makers and workers to students and scholars, and everything in between. And we look forward to having you with us, faithful reader, as we hope to encourage and inspire you to see afresh this wonderful place so that we all might live more meaningfully here in our great state.