Professor of History and Latino & Latin American Studies
University Director, UConn Hartford
Areas of Specialty
Modern Mexico; U.S. Latinos/as; Las Américas
The graduate and undergraduate courses I teach examine the historical origins of the broad, transnational and interdisciplinary fields of Latin(o) American history, with special emphasis on the history of Greater Mexico (including the Mexico/US border and the Mexican diaspora). Topics analyzed in my courses include economic and political imperialism, human rights, migration, cultural nationalism, political membership, gender relations, race and racism, identity formation, religion, labor, immigration law, and the arts.
Current Research Interests
Transnational Migration and Empire; Mexico-US Migration
After completing my doctoral studies in Latin American history at Yale University (2002), I taught in the History and Chicano/a Studies Departments at Pomona College before coming to UConn in 2004. My first book, Visions of the Emerald City: Modernity, Tradition and the Formation of Porfirian Oaxaca, Mexico (Duke, 2006), analyzes how elites (city officials and Church leaders) and commoners (city artisans and female sex workers) mobilized visual cultures to construct and experience the mutually defining processes of modernity and tradition during late 19th and early 20th century Mexico.
My second book examines critical themes in the transnational history of migration between Mexico and the United States from the late nineteenth century to the present day. Beyond la Frontera (Oxford, 2011) brings together a group of leading scholars to analyze the history of Mexican migration from both sides of the border. I am also editor of the two volume series, Latino America: State by State, which addresses the historical significance of the growing Latin(o) American population throughout the United States. While paying careful attention to the transnational dimensions of Latin American migration to the U.S., individual chapters examine the wide range of different Latino/a identities, ethnicities, and social and political positions at the state level.
The research for my new book draws on epistemological and methodological elements of those earlier works to examine Latin American and Caribbean migration to new destinations — both within the hemisphere and to countries in Europe and Asia — shifting the analytical lens away from US-dominant interpretations to document the growing flow between and within destinations in the Global South and across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans: Global Latin(o) Americanos: Transoceanic Diasporas and Regional Migrations (Oxford University Press, History of the Americas Series, 2017).
Research Professor, Leonel Fernández Center for Latin American Studies, University of Jordan, Amman, 2014-2018.
I am a Faculty Associate of the Human Rights Institute and a UConn Honors Faculty Fellow. I served as the Co-chair for the Latino Studies Section of the Latin American Studies Association from 2012-2014.
I drew on my training as an historian to serve as an elected member and Chair of the West Hartford Board of Education (2011 – 2017).
Harvard University Graduate School of Education, Higher Education Program in Management
and Leadership Fellowship, 2016
SSRC International Migration Studies Fellowship, 2004
Translation Coordinator/Foreword, Fernando Saul Alanis Enciso, They Should Stay There: The Mexican Government and the Repatriation of Mexicans from the United States, 1834-1940. Latin American in Translation Series, University of North Carolina Press, 2017
Co-editor, Global Latin(o) Americanos: Transoceanic Diasporas and Regional Migrations. New York: Oxford University Press (History of the Americas Series), 2017.
“Centering and Decentering the Latin(o) American Migrant: Transnational and Comparative Race Formation in the Americas” in The Racial Turn in Ethnic History, Special Edition of Journal of American Ethnic History (University of Illinois Press), Vol. 36, No. 2, Winter 2017.
Editor, Beyond la Frontera: The History of Mexico-US Migration. Oxford University Press, 2011.
Visions of the Emerald City: Modernity, Tradition and the Formation of Porfirian Oaxaca, Mexico, Duke University Press, 2006 [2nd edition 2011].
- 2007 Best Book Prize, New England Council on Latin American Studies.
- Finalist, 2007 Urban History Association Kenneth Jackson Award for Best Book in North American Urban History.
Visiones de la ciudad esmeralda: Modernidad, tradición y la formación de Oaxaca porfiriana.[Translation of Visions of the Emerald City, revised and expanded edition with Preface by Dr. Francie Chassen-Lopez]. Oaxaca, Mexico: Universidad Autónoma “Benito Juárez” de Oaxaca, 2010.
Editor, Latino America: State by State. (2 vols.) Westport: Greenwood Press, 2008.
- 2009 American Library Association Booklist Editors’ Choice Winner.
Mark Overmyer-Velázquez & Enrique Sepúlveda, Guest Editors, Special Edition of LASA Forum, Global Latin(o) Americanos: Transoceanic Diasporas and Regional Migrations. Fall 2015, Vol. XLVI, No. 4.
“Good Neighbors and White Mexicans: Constructing Race and Nation on the Mexico-US Border” Journal of American Ethnic History (University of Illinois Press), Fall 2013, Vol. 33, No. 1, 5-34.
- Latin American Studies Association, Latino Studies Section Outstanding Article Award 2014
- Finalist, Conference on Latin American History, Vanderwood Article Prize, 2014
Connecticut Latinos: Evidence from the Connecticut Samples of the Latino National Survey –New England. Storrs, CT: University of Connecticut Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, 2010.
“Migration and Labor in the Americas: Praxis, Knowledge, and Nations” Co-authored with Raymond Craib. Special issue on the pedagogy of Latin American history, Hispanic American Historical Review (Duke University Press) May 2012, Vol. 92, No. 2, 245-267.
“Transforming Race and Nation: New Trends in Latin(o) American Migration.” Latin American Perspectives. (Sage Publications) Issue 6, Vol. 35, November 2008.
“Traspasando las fronteras: Pasado y futuro de los estudios de migración México-Estados Unidos” in Berenzon, Boris and Georgina Calderón, eds., Voces de la historiografía para una traza de América, Morelia, Michoacán, México: Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, 2007.
“Portraits of a Lady: Visions of Modernity in Porfirian Oaxaca City.” Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos. Vol. 23 No. 1 2007.
“A New Political Religious Order: Church, State, and Workers in Oaxaca City, 1887-1911.” in Martin A. Nesvig, ed. Religious Culture in Modern Mexico. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007.
“Tracking the Fugitive City: Recent Works on Modern Latin American Urban History.” Latin American Perspectives 29, 4 (July 2002): 87-97.
“The Renaissance of Oaxaca City’s Historical Archives.” Co-authored with Yanna Yannakakis, Latin American Research Review 37, 1 (2002): 186-198.
“Espacios publicos y mujeres publicas: La regulacion de la prostitucion en la Ciudad de Oaxaca, 1885-1991.” (“Public Spaces and Public Women: The Regulation of Prostitution in Oaxaca City, 1885-1911”) Acervos-Boletin de los Archivos y Bibliotecas de Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico 20 (2001): 20-26.