Past Research

My M.A. thesis written at Columbia, “Mexico, Right Next Door: International Friendship and Understanding in U.S. Children’s Books on Mexico, 1900-1950,” explored popular culture and the history of children using an unusual, nearly forgotten set of historical sources: children’s literature. The thesis analyzes U.S. authors’ depictions of Mexico and the trope of international friendship as it was conveyed to young readers.

cover crop littlemexicandonkeyboy
Detail from the cover of The Little Mexican Donkey Boy, 1934.

At the Colegio de Jalisco, I completed a tesis de maestría that has now been published as a book. This project reconstructed the history of a binational education program for migrant children who traveled between California and Michoacán in the 1970s and 1980s, focusing on the issues of belonging, nationality, and transnationalism. In different chapters, I approach these themes from the perspectives of Mexican and U.S. government officials as well as the migrants themselves.

Image from the Arlene Dorn Papers, UC Santa Cruz Special Collections.
Image from the Arlene Dorn Papers, UC Santa Cruz Special Collections.

My undergraduate thesis, “Utopias of a Multiethnic Mexico: The Politics of Intercultural Education in Chiapas, 2000-2009,” won the Senior Essay Prize in Latin American Studies. Based on summer research in San Cristóbal de las Casas, this project examined the history of the founding and first years of the Universidad Intercultural de Chiapas, a university catering to indigenous students. I used institutional and periodical sources and conducted interviews with administrators, professors, and students. This project was supervised by Gilbert Joseph.

Photo by Rachel Grace Newman, 2008.