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Bancroft Seminar on Interdisciplinary Latina/o History

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The Bancroft Seminar on Interdisciplinary Latina/o History is comprised of a collective of northern California faculty dedicated to the interdisciplinary flourishing of Latina/o historiography—from the traditional subfields of social and political history to literary, intellectual, art, film, and beyond.

Our primary aim is to provide constructive feedback on book manuscripts with the goal of assisting junior faculty to produce cutting-edge work, and we do so in a collegial, amiable environment. The ideal candidate will have time to consider the feedback as they continue to prepare their manuscript for publication, usually about a year.

The Bancroft Seminar is inspired by the well-known Newberry Seminar in Borderlands and Latino/a Studies, but builds on the strength of Bay Area historians in order to both advance the field of Latina/o studies and raise conceptual questions related to historiography. The seminar meets twice a year, and has met since 2014. Since 2014, nine participants have published their books (see below for details).

Applying to the Seminar

The Bancroft Library Seminar on Interdisciplinary Latina/o History is accepting proposals for its 2019-20 book manuscript seminar. The seminar meets twice a year and focuses on one manuscript per session. The seminar begins with the candidate providing brief remarks on the project followed by a faculty member serving as a respondent to the manuscript after which discussion is open to everyone. The seminar concludes with a sponsored reception and dinner. Under the auspices of the Ethnic Studies Department, candidates are offered lodging during their visit.

To apply, please email the following information as a single PDF file to raulc@berkeley.edu:

  1. A cover page that includes:
    1. Name
    2. Email address
    3. Academic rank
    4. Institutional affiliation
    5. Where your project is in terms of publication (e.g., Do you have a book contract? When will you submit your manuscript to publishers?)
    6. When you would be able to present or any restrictions on when you cannot present.
  2. CV
  3. One page proposal outlining the main questions you would like the seminar to consider as we read your manuscript. Please also address your project's disciplinary and interdisciplinary interventions.
  4. A one-page manuscript abstract.
  5. The entire manuscript (you may turn in a final version six weeks prior to the seminar).

For more information on the seminar, please contact the seminar coordinator Raúl Coronado at raulc@berkeley.edu.

Speakers and Manuscripts

Current Year

Spring 2020

Celeste R. Menchaca, Assistant Professor of History, Texas Christian University
"Borderland Sightlines: Vision, Science, and the Production of a Nineteenth-Century U.S.- Mexico Border"

The book argues that state officials and scientists used scientific, visual, and bureaucratic methods to manufacture a border into a space to be explored, charted, and brought under control. In it, I investigate how members of the 1850s and 1890s U.S.-Mexico Boundary Commissions, surveying expeditions that determined and marked the international boundary line and examined the Rio Grande between both countries, incorporated observational techniques and technologies to locate, fix, and mark the initial line. While the scientific spatialization of the nation brought the management of nature and people under the purview of the state, it did not operate singularly in the southwest borderlands. Surveying practices collided and/or cooperated with other established ways of seeing. Indigenous, Mexican, and Anglo-European locals commanded the terms of exchange with the Boundary Surveys and inhibited the border-making process by misguiding the commission, obstructing surveyors' scientific sightlines, and/or raiding their supplies. American empire appeared as a sweeping and all-encompassing authority, however the everyday practices of local inhabitants demonstrate an orderly disorder to the enactments of empire.

Fall 2019

Daniel Morales, Assistant Professor of History, James Madison University
"The Making of Mexican America: The Dynamics of Transnational Migration 1900-1940"

The migration between Mexico and the United States is the largest emigration of people between two states in modern history. Today, thirty-six million Mexican Americans call the United States home, and the twelve million undocumented immigrants in the US stand as the most divisive political issue in American life. How did we get here? How did this social and demographic phenomenon come about? This interdisciplinary and transnational book, The Making of Mexican America: the Dynamics of Transnational Migration, is the first history of the creation of modern US-Mexico migration patterns narrated from multiple geographic and institutional sites, analyzing the interplay between the US and Mexican governments, civic organizations, and migrants on both sides of the border. The book utilizes the largest cohort study of Mexican migration in the early 20th century combined with qualitative research to show how large-scale migration became entrenched in the socio-economic fabric of the United States and Mexico. It offers a comprehensive view of Mexican migration as it was established in early twentieth century and reproduced throughout the century as a social and economic system that reached from Texas borderlands to California and to western agricultural regions and beyond to Midwestern farming and industrial areas. Notably, the migration system continued to be circular in nature even as permanent settlement increased. Migrants in the US were in constant interaction with families, villages, and towns throughout Mexico. I argue that large scale Mexican migration was created and operated through an interconnected transnational migrant economy made up of self-reinforcing local economic logics, information diffusion, and locally based transnational social networks. From central Mexico the book expands across the United States and back to Mexico to show how the migrant economy spread and reacted to political and economic crisis in the 1930s. These dynamics continued through the Bracero Program and set the stage for the rest of the twentieth century.


Christian Paiz, Assistant Professor, UC Berkeley
"Here Is Where We Meet: A Rank-and-File History of the United Farm Worker Movement in Southern California"

Here Is Where We Meet: A Rank-and-File History of the United Farm Worker Movement in Southern California follows the lives of Filipino and Mexican farmworkers during the United Farm Worker Movement in Southern California's Coachella Valley (1960s-1980s). Drawing from Latinx Studies, Asian American Studies and American Labor history, and using original oral histories, Here Is Where We Meet narrates a UFW history that transcends its more famous leadership. It argues that everyday people, and their aspirations, were of utmost historical significance: they initiated and propelled forward the UFW Movement, and helped determined our contemporary fortunes. History, in short, often sits amongst forgotten peoples.


Bernadine Hernández, Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico
"(In) Visible Bodies of a New Nation: Civility, Gender and Sexual Economies on the Nineteenth Century Borderlands"
Faculty Respondent: Raúl Coronado

The manuscript interrogates and examines nineteenth and early twentieth-century archival court cases, testimonios, narratives, visuals, editorials, and other historical documents to uncover a discourse of violence as tied to economics towards poor Mexican American women on the borderlands that becomes normalized throughout dominant histories, literary narratives, and imaginaries.



Jessica Ordáz, Assistant Professor, University of Colorado, Boulder
"The Rise of Immigration Detention: Forced Labor, Migrant Politics, and Punishment in California's Imperial Valley, 1939-2014"
Faculty Respondent: Marla Ramírez, SFSU

The Shadow of El Centro Published as:
Shadow of El Centro : A History of Migrant Incarceration and Solidarity (University of North Carolina Press, 2021)
UCB copy: JV6926.E43 O73 2021
Other institutions: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1191457490
Purchase: UNC Press


Natalie Mendoza, Post-Doctoral Associate, University of Colorado, Boulder
"The Good Neighbor Comes Home: The State, Mexicans and Mexican Americans, and Regional Consciousness in the US Southwest during World War II"
Faculty Respondent: Brian DeLay, UC Berkeley

Publication forthcoming.  Working title: The Good Neighbor at Home: Mexican American Identity and Civil Rights during World War II



Ana Raquel Minian, Associate Professor, Stanford University
"Undocumented Lives: Mexican Migration to the United States"
Faculty Respondent: Lorena Oropeza, UC Davis

Published as:
Undocumented Lives: The Untold Story of Mexican Migration (Harvard UP, 2018)
UCB copy: E184.M5 M5496 2018
Other institutions: https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1030304412
Purchase: Harvard University Press


Genevieve Carpio, Assistant Professor, UCLA
"Collisions at the Crossroads: Contesting Race and Mobility in the Making of California"
Faculty Respondent: Grace Peña Delgado, UCSC

Published as:
Collisions at the Crossroads: How Place and Mobility Make Race (UC Press, 2019)
UCB copy: HB1985.C2 C37 2019
Other institutions: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1060178815
Purchase: UC Press



Catherine Christensen, Assistant Professor, Palomar College
"Mujeres Públicas: Euro-American Prostitutes and Reformers at the California-Mexico Border, 1900-1930"
Faculty Respondent: Grace Peña Delgado, UCSC


Rosina Lozano, Associate Professor, Princeton University
"An American Language: Spanish Language Politics in the United States"

Published as:
An American Language: The History of Spanish in the United States (UC Press, 2018)
UCB copy: PC4826 .L69 2018
Other institutions: https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1008763469
Purchase: UC Press


Robert F. Castro, Associate Professor, CSU Fullerton
"Alien Bodies: Race, Liberty & American State-Building in the U.S. West (1848-1868)"
Faculty Respondent: Beth Haas, UC Santa Cruz


Mónica Martínez, Assistant Professor, Brown University
"'Inherited Loss' Reckoning with State Sanctioned Violence on the Texas-Mexico Border, 1910-Present"
Faculty Respondent: Brian DeLay, UC Berkeley

Published as:
The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas (Harvard UP, 2018)
UCB copy: F395.M5 M375 2018
Other institutions: https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1020313014
Purchase: Harvard University Press
Digital exhibit: Refusing to Forget



Tim Z. Hernández, Assistant Professor, UTEP
"All They Will Call You: The Telling of the Plane Wreck at Los Gatos Canyon"

Published as:
All They Will Call You: The Telling of the Plane Wreck at Los Gatos Canyon (U of Arizona Press, 2017)
UCB copy: TL553.525.C2 H47 2017
Other institutions: https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1002119030
Purchase: University of Arizona Press


Chris Zepeda-Millán, Associate Professor, UCLA "Dignity's Revolt: Threat, Identity, and Immigrant Mass Mobilization"

Published as:
Latino Mass Mobilization: Immigration, Racialization, and Activism (Cambridge UP, 2017)
UCB copy: JK 1764 .Z47 2017
Other institutions: https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1077734368
Purchase: Cambridge University Press


Melisa Galván, Assistant Professor, CSU Northridge
"From Contraband Capital to Border City: Matamoros, 1746-1848" (PhD Dissertation, UC Berkeley)


Lilia Soto, Assistant Professor, University of Wyoming
"(Im) Personal Knowledge of Migration: Imagination and Geographies in the Making of Migrants"

Published as:
Girlhood in the Borderlands: Mexican Teens Caught in the Crossroads of Migration (NYU Press, 2018)
UCB copy: HQ799.M6 S68 2018
Other institutions: https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1040072381
Purchase: NYU Press



Lori Flores, Assistant Professor of History at SUNY Stony Brook
"Fields of Division: Latino Struggles for Rights in the Heart of Agricultural California"

Published as:
Grounds for Dreaming: Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants, and the California Farmworker Movement (Yale, 2016)
UCB copy: HD6515.A29 F56 2016
Other institutions: https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1064523663
Purchase: Yale University Press


Tatiana Reinoza, Society of Fellows at Dartmouth College
"Latino Print Cultures in the U.S., 1970-2008" (PhD Dissertation, UT Austin)