Personal Statement:

Miroslava Chávez-García is Professor in the Department of History at the University of California at Santa Barbara and holds affiliate status in the Departments of Chicana and Chicano Studies and Feminist Studies. She is author of Negotiating Conquest: Gender and Power in California, 1770s to 1880s (University of Arizona Press, 2004) and States of Delinquency: Race and Science in the Making of California’s Juvenile Justice System (University of California Press, 2012). Her current book manuscript, Migrant Longing: Letter Writing across the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, is a history of migration, courtship, and identity as told through more than 300 personal letters exchanged among family members in the 1960s and 1970s. The book will appear in May 2018 in the David J. Weber series in Borderlands history at the University of North Carolina Press. She is also co-authoring A Chicana & Chicano History of the United States (under contract with Beacon Press) with Professor Lorena Oropeza. Miroslava has also published numerous articles on related topics of migration, juvenile justice, and Chicana history as well as on mentoring young scholars of color in academia.

Most recently, Miroslava has received awards and fellowships from the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University, Ford Foundation for Diversity, and Organization of American History (OAH) and the Committee for the Germany Residency Program, which awarded her a residency at the University of Tübingen in 2016. Most recently, the Western Association of Women’s Historians awarded her the Judith Lee Ridge prize for the best article by any member of the organization for “Migrant Longing, Courtship, and Gendered Identity in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands,” published by the Western History Quarterly in Summer 2016. In November 2017, that same essay will receive the Bolton-Cutter Award from the Western History Association for the best article on Spanish Borderlands history.

Advisor to:

Selected Publications:

Books & Articles

  • Migrant Longing: Letter Writing in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands (University of North Carolina Press, May 2018).
  • States of Delinquency: Race and Science in the Making of California’s Juvenile Justice System. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012.
  • Negotiating Conquest: Gender and Power in California, 1770s to the 1880s. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2004.
  • A Chicana and Chicano History of the United States, co-author with Lorena Oropeza (Beacon Press, forthcoming 2018)
  • “Strategies for Publishing in the Humanities: A Senior Professor Advises Junior Scholars,” The Journal of Scholarly Publishing (July 2017, forthcoming).
  • “A Genealogy of Chicana History, the Chicana Movement, and Chicana Studies.” In, Routledge Handbook of Chicana/o Studies, eds. Denise Segura, Francisco Lomeli, Elyette Benjamin-Labarthe. (Routledge International Handbooks, forthcoming, 2017)
  • “Migrant Longing, Courtship, and Gendered Identity in the Borderlands,” Western Historical Quarterly Vol. 47, no. 2 (Summer 2016): 137-160.
  • “Chicana and Chicano Historians Reflect on the Model Mentorship of Norris Hundley, Jr.” In, Passing the Torch: Mentoring in the Social Sciences, 39-50, ed. by Frank A. Salamone and Marjorie Snipes. Cambridge Scholars Press, 2016.
  • “States of Incarceration,” with Mayela Caro, Marissa Friedman, and Sonia Mehrmand, Boom: The Journal of California, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Summer 2016): 36-41.
  • “Youth of Color and California’s Carceral State: The Fred C. Nelles Correctional Facility,” Journal of American History, The Carceral State, Vol. 102, No. 1 (June 2015): 47-60.
  • “Future Academics of Color in Dialogue: A Candid Q&A on Adjusting to the Cultural, Social, and Professional Rigor of Academia,” co-author with Mayra Avitia and Jorge N. Leal, in Beginning a Career in Academia: A Guide for Graduate Students of Color, 128-145, ed. by Dwayne Mack et al. New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group, 2014.
  • “Latina/o Youth Gangs in Global Perspective,” in East Meets West Perspectives in Juvenile Delinquency, pp. 93-118, ed. by Heather Ellis. Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
  • “The Interdisciplinary Project of Chicana history: Looking Back, Moving Forward,” Special Issue on Chicana/o History, Pacific Historical Review Vol. 82, No. 4 (2013): 542-65.

Courses Taught:

Fall 2017: HIST 144B Social Cultural History of the U.S.-Mexico Border

Social and Cultural History of the U.S. – Mexico Border

Examines the social and cultural construction of the United States and Mexico border.

In this class, we will examine the U.S.-Mexico border and Mexican immigration as a socially, culturally, and mutually constitutive process and place. To do so, we will trace the evolution of immigration policies and practices at the U.S.-Mexico border from the late 19th through the early 21st centuries and pay particular attention to the construction of Mexican “illegality” and racialization of “illegal immigrants.” Immigration, as we will see, is a hotly contested and closely regulated yet fluid process that has changed in volume and nature but has remained constant across the decades. Indeed, the border has a complex social and cultural history and presence. On the one hand, it is an international line differentiating two independent nations: one, a wealthy, technologically oriented, and military superpower, the other, an agricultural and manufacturing region. On the other hand, it is (and has always been) a porous boundary through which beliefs and practices, peoples, goods, and capital – among other social and cultural artifacts – flow freely and discreetly, though many attempts have been made to limit the ways in which travel across the border takes place. The zone has not been without conflict. In addition to facilitating political, economic, social, and cultural exchange, it has also witnessed resistance, conflict, and violence.

To examine the complicated social and cultural history of this place and process, the course begins by exploring briefly the region’s early history, that is, the period prior to the creation of the present-day border in 1853 with the Gadsen Purchase. The class then spends most of its time examining and analyzing significant social, political, economic, legal, and global developments and their impact on immigration policies and practices as well as social and cultural practices as they shaped and reshaped the border in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Honors and Professional Activities:

  • Bolton-Cutter Prize, Best Essay in Spanish/Borderlands History, Western History Association, 2017
  • Judith Lee Ridge Prize, Best Essay, Western Association of Women’s Historians, 2017
  • Organization of American History (OAH) Germany Residency Program, Summer 2016