Personal Statement:

Miroslava Chávez-García is Professor in the Department of History at the University of California at Santa Barbara and holds affiliate status in the Departments of Chicana and Chicano Studies and Feminist Studies. Miroslava is author of Negotiating Conquest: Gender and Power in California, 1770s to 1880s (University of Arizona Press, 2004) and States of Delinquency: Race and Science in the Making of California’s Juvenile Justice System (University of California Press, 2012). Her most recent book, Migrant Longing: Letter Writing across the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2018), is a history of migration, courtship, and identity as told through more than 300 personal letters exchanged among family members in the 1960s and 1970s. The book appears in the David J. Weber series in New Borderlands History from the University of North Carolina. Miroslava has also published numerous articles on related topics of migration, juvenile justice, and Chicana history as well as on mentoring young scholars of color in academia.

Miroslava has received awards and fellowships from the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University, Ford Foundation for Diversity, and Organization of American History (OAH) and the Committee for the Germany Residency Program, which awarded her a residency at the University of Tübingen in 2016. In April 2017, the Western Association of Women’s Historians awarded her the Judith Lee Ridge prize for the best article by any member of the organization for “Migrant Longing, Courtship, and Gendered Identity in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands,” published by the Western History Quarterly in Summer 2016. In November 2017, that same essay received the Bolton-Cutter Award from the Western History Association for the best article on Spanish Borderlands history. Most recently, the book won the 2019 Western Association of Women’s Historians Barbara “Penny” Kanner Award to honor the book that illustrates the use of a specific set of primary sources (such as diaries, letters, and interviews).

A first-generation, immigrant, Chicana of farm worker origins, Miroslava was born on the U.S.-Mexico border, in Mexicali, Baja California, and was raised in San Jose, California, where she attended K-12, graduating from Notre Dame, San Jose, in 1986. She received her B.A. (1991), M.A. (1993), and Ph.D. (1998), from UCLA. She still has family in San Jose and visits as often as possible.

Advisor to:

Current Projects:

Selected Publications:

Books & Articles (Selected)

  • Migrant Longing: Letter Writing across the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands (University of North Carolina Press, 2018).
  • States of Delinquency: Race and Science in the Making of California’s Juvenile Justice System. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012.
  • Negotiating Conquest: Gender and Power in California, 1770s to the 1880s. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2004.
  • “Navigating Successfully Grants and Fellowships Applications,” co-author with Luis Alvarez and Ernesto Chávez, in The Academic’s Handbook, 4th ed., revised and expanded, eds. Lori Flores and Jocelyn Olcott (Duke University Press, 2019, forthcoming).
  • “Youth, Evidence, and Agency: Mexican and Mexican American Youth at the Whittier State School, 1880-1920 (reprint).” In, The Chicana/o Education Pipeline: History, Institutional Critique, and Resistance, 23-47, eds. Michaela J. L. Mares-Tamayo and Daniel G. Solorzano. Los Angeles: Chicano Studies Research Center, UCLA, 2018.
  • “A Genealogy of Chicana History, the Chicana Movement, and Chicana Studies.” In, Routledge Handbook of Chicana/o Studies, eds. Denise Segura, Francisco Lomelí, Elyette Benjamin-Labarthe. New York: Routledge International Handbooks, 2018, forthcoming.
  • “Strategies for Publishing in the Humanities: A Senior Professor Advises Junior Scholars,” The Journal of Scholarly Publishing, 48, no. 4 (July 2017): 199-220.
  • “Migrant Longing, Courtship, and Gendered Identity in the Borderlands,” Western Historical Quarterly Vol. 47, no. 2 (Summer 2016): 137-160.
    • Winner, Bolton-Cutter Prize, Western History Association, 2017
    • Winner, Judith Lee Ridge Prize, Western Association of Women’s Historians, 2017.
  • “Chicana and Chicano Historians Reflect on the Model Mentorship of Norris Hundley, Jr.” In, Passing the Torch: Mentoring in the Social Sciences, 39-50, ed. by Frank A. Salamone and Marjorie Snipes. Cambridge Scholars Press, 2016.
  • “States of Incarceration,” with Mayela Caro, Marissa Friedman, and Sonia Mehrmand, Boom: The Journal of California, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Summer 2016): 36-41.
  • “Youth of Color and California’s Carceral State: The Fred C. Nelles Correctional Facility,” Journal of American History, The Carceral State, Vol. 102, No. 1 (June 2015): 47-60.
  • “Future Academics of Color in Dialogue: A Candid Q&A on Adjusting to the Cultural, Social, and Professional Rigor of Academia,” co-author with Mayra Avitia and Jorge N. Leal, in Beginning a Career in Academia: A Guide for Graduate Students of Color, 128-145, ed. by Dwayne Mack et al. New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group, 2014.
  • “Latina/o Youth Gangs in Global Perspective,” in East Meets West Perspectives in Juvenile Delinquency, pp. 93-118, ed. by Heather Ellis. Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
  • “The Interdisciplinary Project of Chicana history: Looking Back, Moving Forward,” Special Issue on Chicana/o History, Pacific Historical Review Vol. 82, No. 4 (2013): 542-65.
  • “Hispanic Women and the Law.” In, Latinas in the U.S., eds. Vicki L. Ruiz and Virginia Sánchez-Korrol, 700-703. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006.
  • “Race, Culture, and Justice in Mexican Los Angeles.” (Reprint). In, Unequal Sisters: An Inclusive Reader in U.S. Women’s History, 108-117, ed. by Vicki L. Ruiz with Ellen C. DuBois. New York: Routledge, 2008, 4th ed.“
  • In Retrospect: Anthony M. Platt’s The Child Savers: The Invention of Delinquency (1969, 1977),” Reviews in American History 35 (September 2007): 464-81.
  • “Intelligence Testing at Whittier State School, 1891 to 1920,” Pacific Historical Review, 76, no. 2 (May 2007): 193-228.
  • “Youth, Evidence, and Agency: Whittier State School and Mexican and Mexican American Youth” Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, 31 (Fall 2006): 55-83.
  • “Californians Loss of Land After U.S. Annexation in 1848 (reprint).” In, Major Problems in Latina/o History, 1st edition, ed. by Omar Valerio-Jiménez and Carmen Teresa Whalen, 55-63. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning, 2014.
  • “Women’s Studies and Chicana Studies: Learning from the Past, Looking to the Future.” Co-author with Monica Brown. In Women’s Studies for the Future: Foundations, Interrogations, Politics, eds. Liz Kennedy & Agatha Beins, 143-155. Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers Univ. Press, 2005.
  • “An Interview with Yolanda Cruz: A Filmmaker Documents Depopulation in Mexico,” Boom: California Studies Journal, 1, no. 3 (September 2011): 57-61
  • “Guadalupe Trujillo: Race, Culture, and Justice in Mexican Los Angeles.” In, The Human Tradition in California, eds. Clark Davis and David Igler, 31-46. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 2002.
  • “The Gwin Commission.” In, Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the U.S., eds. Suzanne Oboler and Deena J. González, 257-58. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
  • “‘The Crime of Precocious Sexuality’ Celebrates Thirty Years: A Critical Appraisal,” Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, Symposium, “The Crime of Precocious Sexuality,” 2 (Winter 2009): 88-94
  • “In Retrospect: Anthony M. Platt’s The Child Savers: The Invention of Delinquency (1969, 1977).” (Reprint). Introduction to The Child Savers: The Invention of Delinquency, Expanded 40th Anniversary Edition, xi-xxxv, by Anthony M. Platt with an introduction and critical commentaries compiled by Miroslava Chávez-García. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2009.
  • “A Chicana Scholar’s Long Road to Engaging in Public Scholarship,” Western Humanities Association Journal, 64, no. 3 (2011): 77-80.
  • “‘Pongo mi demanda‘: Challenging Patriarchy in Mexican Los Angeles, 1830-1850.” In Over the Edge: Remapping the American West, eds. Valerie Matsumoto and Blake Almendinger, 272-290. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.

Honors and Professional Activities:

  • Barbara “Penny” Kanner Award, Western Association of Women’s Historians, 2019
  • Bolton-Cutter Prize, Best Essay in Spanish/Borderlands History, Western History Association, 2017
  • Judith Lee Ridge Prize, Best Essay, Western Association of Women’s Historians, 2017
  • Organization of American History (OAH) Germany Residency Program, Summer 2016