Confencere, Criminalizing Immigrant Families: Race, Gender, and Family Separations at the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands (May 3rd, 2019).



Personal Statement:

I study transnational migration to Mexico and Mexican migration to the United States. My first book, The Other California: Land, Identity, and Politics on the Mexican Borderlands (UC Press, 2016), examines how communities of laborers changed the racially and ethnically diverse social landscape of the Mexico-U.S. borderlands.  Focusing on Baja California, my study is the first to examine the interplay of land reform and migratory labor and how global migrants and Mexican workers transformed the Mexico-U.S. borderlands between the years of 1850 and 1954. Previous research on migration and border crossings portrays the Mexican borderlands as a temporary place for transitory labor, a launching pad to enter the United States. I argue that the present-day Mexican borderlands emerged from efforts to keep Mexican labor moving across the U.S. border while fixing national communities in place. This intricate interplay shows how governments, foreign investors, and local communities, engaged in the making of the Baja California borderlands, leading to the booming cities of Tijuana, Mexicali, and Santa Rosalia.

My second book project, Women and Revolution: A Tale of Violence and Deception on the Mexico-U.S. Borderlands, uses photographic representations and testimonies of border women to examine their participation and experiences in the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920). During the Revolution, women were often targets of violence by the military and revolutionary caudillos. Several newspapers reported how women were often victims of rape, kidnappings, and even sold into prostitution.  Women and Revolution investigate how Mexican women negotiated injustice, violence, migration, and family across the Mexican-US borderlands.

I also serve as Book Reviews Editor for the Journal of Mexican Studies/ Studios Mexicanos UC Press.




Advisor to:

Current Projects:


The Other California: Land, Identity, and Politics on the Mexican Borderlands (UC Press, 2016)

*Honorable mention of the 2017 Gita Chaudhuri Prize from the Western Association of Women’s Historians.

Women and Revolution: A Tale of Violence and Deception Across the Mexico-U.S. Borderlands (book in progress).


“Historical Roots of Rural Migration: Agrarian Reform and the Displacements of Rural Farmers in Nayarit, Mexico, 1900-1952.” The Journal of Mexican Studies/ Estudios Mexicanos (University of California Press), 2013.

“Beyond Red-Light Districts” Agrarian Struggles and Transnational Labor in the Mexico-U.S. Borderlands.” in Lee and North ed., European and American Borderlands: A New Comparative Approach (Nebraska Press, 2016)

“Intermarriage and the Making of a Multi Cultural Society in Baja California, in Rodilla, Guevarra, and Spikard., ” Red and Yellow, Black and Brown: Decentering Whiteness in Mixed Race Studies. (In Press, Rutgers University Press, 2017).

“The Long History of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands,” (Article in progress)

“Negotiating the Revolution: U.S. Investors, Mexican Caudillos, and Gender in Revolutionary Nayarit.” (Article in progress)





Courses Taught:

History 168 CR: Studies in selected aspects of the United States-Mexico borderlands with an emphasis on social and economic history.

History 168 A: History of the Chicanos (cross-listed). The history of the Chicanos, 1821 to the present; traces the social-cultural lifeline of the Mexicans who have lived north of Mexico.

History 168 B: The history of the Chicanos, 1821 to the present; traces the social-cultural lifeline of the Mexicans who have lived north of Mexico.

History 201: A reading course in a field of the professor’s specialty. Introduces the student to the sources and literature of the field in question. Written work as prescribed by the instructor. (Usually offered quarterly.)
New Courses Listed for 2018-19
LAIS 101: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the histories and societies of Latin America and Iberia.
Issues central to the study of Latin America and Iberia across the social sciences and history. Topics include nationalism, revolution, politics and the state, economic development and international relations, labor, popular culture, race, gender, religion, migration, environment, imperialism, and colonialism.
History 56: Introduction to Mexican History.
An introduction to the basic issues and themes of Mexican history, from the pre-Hispanic era to the present.
History 136MHistory of U.S.-Mexican Relations from 1821- to the present.
Explores the history of U.S.-Mexican relations from 1821 to the present. Topics include U.S. intervention in Mexico, the Mexican Revolution, the Good Neighbor Program, immigration, NAFTA, the U.S.-Mexico border, and the War on Drugs.



Honors and Professional Activities:

    • UCSB Academic Senate Travel Grant 2018
    • Huntington Library Research Fellowship 2017
    • UCSB Academic Senate Travel Grant, 2016-17
    • UCSB Faculty Career Development Award, 2016
    • Ford Fellowship (alternate) 2015-16
    • Hellman Fellow 2014-15
    • UC President’s Research Fellowship in the Humanities
    • UC Regent’s Faculty Fellowship
    • UC Mexus Research Fellowship University of California
    • UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship
      .  Department of History, University of California, San Diego
    • The Peggy Marudin Research Fellowship
    • UC Graduate Fellowship