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Comparative Race and Ethnicity

Race and ethnicity are enduring themes of history in every society. Some regard them as artifacts of the modern period since the European Enlightenment, others as recurring issues throughout all ages and all cultures. The UCSB History Department has a large number of scholars whose work centers on or includes racial and ethnic issues—scholars of the United States, Latin America, Europe, Central Asia, East Asia, the Middle East, the ancient Mediterranean, public history, and the history of science. We exist in a university that has unparalleled resources in other departments for the comparative historical study of race and ethnicity, including distinguished faculty in the departments of Feminist Studies, Sociology, Religious Studies, Chicana and Chicano Studies, Black Studies, and Asian American Studies (Many of whom are affiliate faculty members of the History Department).

We offer a comparative, historical approach to the study of race and ethnicity, in order to help students stretch beyond the specifics of particular groups, times, and places. We intend that students will become knowledgeable about not just the histories of particular groups, but also of racial and ethnic theory and of similarities, differences, and connections between the experiences of groups that may be widely separated by time or space. We are particularly interested in ways that study of ethnicity may intersect with other issues, such as gender, class, religion, labor, nation formation, and the history of ideas.

Each quarter the department offers many undergraduate courses that address race and ethnicity.  The graduate field centers on a graduate readings course in historical constructions of race and ethnicity, offered at various times by many of the faculty listed below, History 201RE, Comparative Historical Literature of Race and Ethnicity. Also offered from time to time is History 268DE, a two-quarter research seminar in the comparative history of race and ethnicity.


Randy Bergstrom works in the history of public policy and public history, researching the contestation of racism in the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century U.S. – https://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/randy-bergstrom/

Debra Blumenthal explores the construction of religious, ethnic and gender identities in medieval Iberia and the history of slavery and race in the medieval and early modern Mediterranean world.  – https://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/debra-blumenthal/

Verónica Castillo-Muñoz is a historian of the Mexico-U.S. borderlands. She studies how gender, migration, and race intersect in northern Mexico and the U.S. Southwest. – https://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/veronica-castillo-munoz/

Miroslava Chavez Garcia‘s research interests span the fields of Chicana/o history, US-Mexico Borderlands, California history, the link between environmentalism and immigration restriction, and the history of disability and eugenics. – https://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/mchavezgarcia/

Juan Cobo Betancourt is a historian of colonial Latin America, whose work has explored the emergence and development of ideas and practices of race and difference in colonial contexts in the early modern world. – https://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/juan-cobo/

Adrienne Edgar researches race, ethnicity, and nationality in Russia, the Soviet Union and Central Asia. – https://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/adrienne-edgar/

Evelyne Laurent-Perrault explores, writes, and teaches African Diaspora Epistemologies, the Intersection of Race, Gender, and Honor in Colonial Latin America and the Caribbean. – https://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/evelyne-laurent-perrault/

Cecilia Méndez Gastelumendi focuses on the social and political history of the Andean region, primarily during the transition from colonial to republican rule. – https://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/mendez/

Taylor M. Moore researches Modern Middle East; history of science, medicine, and magic; critical race and slavery studies; history of the body; history of anthropology and museums; science and the speculative. – https://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/tmmoore/

Giuliana Perrone is a historian of North American slavery and abolition.  She trains graduate students in US History—the long 19th Century, legal history, slavery and abolition, and related fields. – https://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/giuliana-perrone/

Paul Spickard writes and teaches about racial theory, Black history, Asian American studies, immigration and membership, comparative racial and ethnic systems, and deconstructing White supremacy and racist monuments. – https://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/paul-spickard/

Butch Ware’s research centers on the relationship between Islamic knowledge practices and struggles for social justice in Africa and the Diaspora. He also directs the Initiative for the Study of Race, Religion, & Revolution (ISRRAR) an interdisciplinary endeavor bringing together academics, religious scholars, artists, and activists, to explore the relationship between spirituality and social change. – https://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/bware/

Salim Yaqub writes and teaches about modern U.S. history and the history of U.S. foreign relations, supplementing analysis of official policies with studies of popular culture and political and ethnically-based activism. – https://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/salim-yaqub/


Gerardo Aldana – Professor of Chicana/o Studies and Director of Repository for Archaeological and Ethnographic Collections – https://www.chicst.ucsb.edu/people/gerardo-aldana

Ralph Armbruster Sandoval – Professor of Chicana/o Studies – https://www.chicst.ucsb.edu/people/ralph-armbruster-sandoval

Eileen Boris – Hull Professor of Feminist Studies – does research on the history of household labor and domestic worker activism. She is writing a microhistory of US vs. Ingalls, a 1947 slavery case as well as working on post-COVID care. https://www.femst.ucsb.edu/people/eileen-boris

Rudy Busto – Associate Professor of Religious Studies – is interested in the intersections between religion and race, especially in Chicanx and Asian American communities.  His interest in difference and alterity has expanded to include religion/race in science fiction, and projection of racial and religious hegemonies in space exploration and first contact.  https://www.religion.ucsb.edu/people/faculty/rudy-busto/

Reginald Daniel – Professor of Sociology – works on race and ethnic relations, critical mixed race studies, comparative race and culture, race theory, comparative and historical sociology. https://soc.ucsb.edu/people/g-reginald-daniel

Jeannine DeLombard – Professor of English – specializes in African American and pre-1900 American literature, with a particular interest in the intersections of slavery, law, and culture. https://www.english.ucsb.edu/people/delombard-jeannine-marie

Cynthia Kaplan  – Professor of Political Science – does survey and interview research on youth in Kazakhstan focusing on democratic and conservative value differences among ethno-linguistic groups. https://www.polsci.ucsb.edu/people/cynthia-s-kaplan

Chris McAuley – Chair and Professor of Black Studies – teaches courses on the Caribbean, the Black Left, Race in American Politics, and US Foreign Policy Towards Africa. His research focuses primarily on how Black political economists have conceived of the rise and eventual demise of the global capitalist system.  https://www.blackstudies.ucsb.edu/people/christopher-mcauley

Mireille Miller-Young – Associate Professor of Feminist Studies – explores race, gender, and sexuality in visual culture and sex industries in the United States. https://www.femst.ucsb.edu/people/mireille-miller-young

Stuart Tyson Smith – Professor of Anthropology – his archaeological research centers on the civilizations of ancient Egypt and Nubia. He is particularly interested in the identification of ethnicity in the archaeological record and the ethnic dynamics of colonial encounters. Smith applies a postcolonial approach to modern scholarly and popular views of ancient Egypt and Nubia, confronting the intersection between racism and longstanding academic and social bias. https://www.anth.ucsb.edu/people/stuart-tyson-smith

Jeffrey Stewart – Distinguished Professor of Black Studies and MacArthur Foundation Chair – teaches African American history, African American art, Cultural Studies, History of Jazz, Black intellectual history, Biography, Museum and Curatorial Studies, Black Philosophy, Critical Theory, and the history of patronage. https://www.blackstudies.ucsb.edu/people/jeffrey-stewart

Xiaojian Zhao – Professor of Asian American Studies – studies Asian American history, immigration, family, gender, and law. https://www.asamst.ucsb.edu/people/xiaojian-zhao


Mario T. Garcia is a specialist in Chicano History focusing on immigration, civil rights, religion, and oral history.  He has published over 20 books on Chicano History.


Gokh Amin Alshaifhttps://www.history.ucsb.edu/graduate-student/galshaif/

Donna Doan Andersonhttps://www.history.ucsb.edu/graduate-student/danderson/

Claudia Ankrahhttps://www.history.ucsb.edu/graduate-student/c_ankrah/

Matt Brownhttps://www.history.ucsb.edu/graduate-student/mmbrown/

Carlyle Constantinohttps://www.history.ucsb.edu/graduate-student/carlyleconstantino/

Casey Haughinhttps://www.history.ucsb.edu/graduate-student/haughin/

Addison Jensenhttps://www.history.ucsb.edu/graduate-student/addisonmjensen/

Tara Kendallhttps://www.history.ucsb.edu/graduate-student/crkendall/

Mika Thornburghttps://www.history.ucsb.edu/graduate-student/mthornburg/

Mario Tumenhttps://www.history.ucsb.edu/graduate-student/mario-tumen/

Tandee Wanghttps://www.history.ucsb.edu/graduate-student/t_wang/

Mattie Webbhttps://www.history.ucsb.edu/graduate-student/mattie/


Zamira Abman – Director of the Comparative International Studies Program and Adjunct Professor of History, Women’s Studies, Center for Islamic and Arab Studies, and Weber Honors College, San Diego State University – https://history.sdsu.edu/people/abman

Ryan Abrecht – Associate Professor of History, University of San Diego https://www.sandiego.edu/directory/biography.php?profile_id=827&utm_source=directoryonesource&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=DirectoryOneSource

Paul Barba – Assistant Professor of History, Bucknell University https://www.bucknell.edu/fac-staff/paul-barba

Francisco Beltrán – Assistant Professor of History, Oklahoma State University  https://www.linkedin.com/in/francisco-beltran-0694811a1/

Bianca Brigidi – Designer and Lead Facilitator, Anti-Racist Pedagogies Program, Vancouver, British Columbia  https://www.linkedin.com/in/bianca-brigidi/?originalSubdomain=ca

Niccole Leilanionapae‘aina Coggins – Journal production editor at American Psychological Association  https://www.linkedin.com/in/niccolecoggins/

Ingrid Dineen-Wimberly – Faculty in History and Political Science, University of LaVerne  https://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/nebraska/9781496205070/

Brian Ernst – Lecturer of Composition, UCSB Writing Program  https://writing.ucsb.edu/people/brian-ernst

Leah Fernandez – History Teacher, The College Preparatory School, Oakland, CA  https://www.college-prep.org/

Monica I. Garcia – Graduate Specialist, School of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts, UC Merced  https://ssha.ucmerced.edu/content/monica-garcia

Sarah Griffith – Associate Professor of History, Queens University of Charlotte  https://www.queens.edu/artsci/campus-directory/sarah-griffith-phd/

Hanni Jalil – Assistant Professor of Latin American History, CSU Channel Islands https://ciapps.csuci.edu/FacultyBios/FacultyBiography/Details/585

Fang He – Postdoctoral Fellow, New York University Shanghai  https://shanghai-nyu.academia.edu/FangHe

Laura Hooton – Assistant Professor of History, Angelo State University   https://www.angelo.edu/live/profiles/11621-laura-hooton

Ken Hough – Lecturer in History and Engineering Ethics, UCSB  https://www.linkedin.com/in/kenneth-hough-57499415/ 

Alison Rose Jefferson – Public Historian and Consultant  https://alisonrosejefferson.com/

Matt Kester – Hollywood producer and writer on shows such as Animal Kingdom, Outsider, Forever, and Ke Nui Road  https://www.imdb.com/name/nm6916575/

Pablo Landeros – Professor and Chair of History, Estrella Mountain Community College  https://www.linkedin.com/in/pablo-landeros-10342289/

Chrissy Lau – Assistant Professor of History, California State University, Monterey Bay  https://csumb.edu/ssgs/ssgs-faculty–staff/sbgs-tt-lau-chrissy/

David McIntosh – Assistant Professor of History and Anthropology, Southeast New Mexico College

Laura Moore – Instructor in World History and United States History, Cate School, Carpenteria, CA  https://www.cate.org/education/faculty/history/

Sharleen Nakamoto Levine – American Studies and History Instructor, Honolulu Community College  https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharleen-nakamoto-levine-49784651

Elena Olivera

Chi-ting (ChiChi) Peng – Science officer, coordinator, and policy analyst, Academica Sinica  https://www.linkedin.com/in/chichi-peng/

Rana Razek – Independent scholar, Wichita, KS

Holly Roose – Director of the Promise Scholar Program, UCSB  https://promisescholars.sa.ucsb.edu/

Oliver Rosales – Professor of History and Faculty Coordinator of the Social Justice Institute, Bakersfield College  https://www.whiting.org/content/oliver-rosales

David Rouff – Associate Professor and Chair, Department of History and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, and Wollstenhulme Presidential Chair in History, UC Merced  https://ssha.ucmerced.edu/content/david-torres-rouff-1

Dan Shao – Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign  https://ealc.illinois.edu/directory/profile/danshao

Jean Smith – Lecturer in British Imperial History – King’s College London https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/jean-smith

Travis Smith – Professor and Chair, Department of History, Yuba College  https://apps.yccd.edu/Faculty/Profile?id=0284819&campus=WCC

Jason Stohler

Brian Tyrrell

Todd Wahlstrom – Assistant Professor of History, Pepperdine University  https://www.linkedin.com/in/todd-wahlstrom-37611391/

Isaiah Helekunihi Walker – Academic Vice President and Professor of History, Brigham Young University – Hawai‘i  https://about.byuh.edu/directory/isaiah-walker

Jackson Warkentin – Senior technical writer, Orange Logic  https://www.linkedin.com/in/jackson-warkentin-phd-200919160/

Lily Welty Tamai – Assistant Professor of History, Sacramento State University  https://www.linkedin.com/in/lilyanneweltytamai/

Kalina (Kali) Yamboliev  https://ucsb.academia.edu/KalinaYamboliev

Kirsten Ziomek – Associate Professor of History, Adelphia University  https://www.adelphi.edu/faculty/profiles/profile.php?PID=0621

Ben Zulueta – Lecturer in Asian American Studies, UCSB  https://www.asamst.ucsb.edu/people/benjamin-zulueta