Institute Faculty and Schedule | Newberry

Institute Faculty and Schedule

Benjamin H. Johnson, Director.  Associate Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago and the co-editor of the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, Johnson has published widely on the history of North American borderlands and borders. He is author of Revolution in Texas: How a Forgotten Rebellion and Its Bloody Suppression Turned Mexicans into Americans (Yale, 2003), a study of the Mexican Revolution and the birth of the Mexican-American civil rights movement; Bordertown: The Odyssey of an American Place (Yale, 2008), a collaboration with photographer Jeffrey Gusky that tells the history of the U.S.-Mexico border from the vantage point of one South Texas town; and Escaping the Dark, Gray City:  Fear and Hope in Progressive Era Conservation (Yale, 2017). His articles on U.S. environmental politics and international borders have appeared in the Journal of American History, Environmental History, Reviews in American History, History Compass, and numerous anthologies. Johnson has been a scholar-in-residence at the Newberry since January 2012 and a participant in and co-coordinator of the Library’s Borderlands and Latina/o Studies seminar.

In addition to publishing his own scholarship, Johnson has worked extensively as an editor and reviewer of the work of a large body of scholars. In cooperation with Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, he and Andrew Graybill, now Director of the Clements Center at SMU, convened an international gathering to bring scholars of both the continent’s border regions into sustained conversation. The project resulted in the publication of Bridging National Borders in North America: Transnational and Comparative Histories (Duke, 2010) a compilation of new borderlands scholarship and a manifesto for a broader approach to the study of the continent’s borders. Johnson also serves as the co-editor for the David J. Weber Series in the New Borderlands History with the University of North Carolina Press, and of the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. Johnson’s other edited volumes are Steal this University: The Labor Movement and the Corporatization of Higher Education (Routledge, 2003); The Making of the American West (ABC-CLIO, 2007); and Major Problems in the History of North American Borderlands (Cengage Learning, 2011), co-edited with Pekka Hämäläinen, Rhodes Professor of American History at Oxford University.  Working with other scholars in the “Refusing to Forget” group (, he helped design a museum exhibit on the Mexican border violence of the 1910s at the Bullock Museum of Texas History.

Juliana Barr (Duke) is a leading scholar of native Americans and colonial history.  Her book, Peace Came in the Form of a Woman: Indians and Spaniards in the Texas Borderlands, (UNC, 2007), garnered six national awards.  She is co-editor of The Contested Spaces of Early America (Penn, 2014), and author of “Geographies of Power: Mapping Indian Borders in the ‘Borderlands’ of the Early Southwest,” from The William and Mary Quarterly, (January 2011). 

Kornel Chang (Rutgers-Newark) 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 Borderland (California 2012), won the Outstanding Book in History prize from the Association for Asian American Studies. Chang is currently pursuing these interests in the context of the incorporation of Alaska into the U.S. economy and political system. 

Geraldo Cadava (Northwestern University) is the author of Standing on Common Ground: The Making of a Sunbelt Borderland (Harvard, 2013), the winner of the Frederick Jackson Turner Award.  Standing on Common Ground 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.

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