Bridging National Borders in North America: Faculty

Bridging National Borders in North America will be led by Benjamin Johnson, a historian at UW Milwaukee, scholar in residence at the Newberry, and co-editor of the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. A leading scholar in borderlands history, Johnson is author of Revolution in Texas: How a Forgotten Rebellion and Its Bloody Suppression Turned Mexicans into Americans (Yale University Press, 2003) and Bordertown: The Odyssey of an American Place (Yale University Press, 2008). Last year, Johnson and Andrew Graybill established The David J. Weber Series in the New Borderlands History for the University of North Carolina Press. He has also edited several anthologies in borderlands history: Bridging National Borders in North America: Transnational and Comparative Histories (with Andrew Graybill, Duke University Press, 2010) and Major Problems in the History of North American Borderlands (with Pekka Hämäläinen, Cengage Learning, 2011). Johnson’s articles on environmental history and international borders have been published in The Journal of American History, Environmental History, Reviews in American History, and History Compass. He is currently finishing a book on American environmentalism in the early 20th century.

The seminar will feature five invited and three in-house faculty members. These faculty include:

Geraldo Cadava, Assistant Professor of History, Northwestern University, is the author of Standing on Common Ground: The Making of a Sunbelt Borderland (Harvard, 2013), which examines how Sonoran and Arizonan elites forged transborder cultural, economic, and political bonds, and how protest movements and rising anti-immigrant sentiments unraveled many of these ties. His current research examines Latino conservatives.

Kornel Chang, Assistant Professor of History, Rutgers-Newark. Chang studies international migration and border controls, Asian diaspora, and the United States in the Pacific world. His book, Pacific Connections: The Making of the U.S.-Canadian Borderlands, was published in 2012 by the University of California Press. Chang is currently pursuing these interests in the context of the incorporation of Alaska into the U.S. economy and political system.

Kelly Lytle-Hernandez, Associate Professor of History, University of California, Los Angeles. Lytle-Hernandez’s book Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol (University of California Press, 2010) is the first academic history of the U.S. Border Patrol. In the process of that research she played an instrumental role in preserving and cataloging records produced by the Instituto Nacional de Migración, Mexico’s analogue of the Border Patrol. Her current research, building on her interest in the criminal justice state, examines the social history of incarceration and policing in Los Angeles from the 1870s the 1960s.

Rachel St. John, Associate Professor of History, New York University. Author of A Line in the Sand: A History of the Western U.S.-Mexico Border (Princeton, 2011), a study that used archival research in Mexico and the United States to pay close attention to changes in the natural and built environment of the U.S.-Mexico border. Her current research examines nation-building efforts in nineteenth-century North America.

Alan Taylor, Distinguished Professor, University of California, Davis. A renowned historian of the colonial and early national periods, most of his work has been set in the U.S.-Canada borderlands. This includes The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution (Vintage, 2007) and The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels & Indian Allies (Vintage, 2011). His current research more deeply addresses migration and state-building efforts in the Spanish and Mexican borderlands as well.

Newberry staff includes:

James Akerman, Director, Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography, Newberry

Daniel Greene, Vice President for Research and Academic Programs, Newberry

Carmen Jaramillo, Program Assistant.

Liesl Olson, a recipient of fellowships from the NEH and the Mellon Foundation, is a literary scholar and Director of the Dr. William M. Scholl Center for American History and Culture. Olson’s first book, Modernism and the Ordinary (Oxford UP, 2009), examines a broad range of twentieth-century writers and how their works present the habitual and unselfconscious actions of everyday life. She is currently writing a book about Chicago’s literary and cultural centrality during the early twentieth century, Chicago Renaissance: How the Midwest Made Modernism (forthcoming, Yale UP). Last summer she directed an NEH summer institute, Making Modernism: Literature and Culture in Twentieth-Century Chicago, 1893-1955.

Patricia Marroquin Norby, Director of the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies, Newberry

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