A Little Bit About Me…

My dog, Kiko, and I somewhere on the Northern Arizona side of the Grand Canyon, Circa 2018, ask me about this photo and I will tell you a funny story.

I am a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of California, Santa Cruz. I am currently in the research and writing stage of my dissertation tentatively titled “By Land and by Sea: Indigeneity, Mestizaje, and Nationalism at the Mexican Pacific Borderlands from 1824- 1934.” Through an Indigenous maritime lens, my work examines the intersections of early nineteenth-century racial exclusion with early twentieth-century articulations of nationalism and citizenship at the U.S.-Mexican Pacific Borderlands. Water sovereignty in the Mexican Pacific proved critical to Indigenous power and mitigated non-native encroachment onto ancestral lands into the early twentieth century. In the transition from late colonial encounters to early national identification, indigenous identities merged, yielded, and reformed in blended mestizo communities that would anchor, both historically and culturally, a distinct Chicanx identity in this borderland region.

I advanced to candidacy with distinction, and I hold an emphasis in Latin American and Latino Studies. I received my Bachelor’s degree in History and my Master’s in American Studies from Baylor University in 2011 and 2013, respectively. I am trained and have worked in oral history as a processing technician, transcriptionist, and graduate assistant at Baylor University’s Institute for Oral History, and am well-trained in what I call the Baylor School for Oral History. I have also worked as an oral history researcher for the National Endowment for the Humanities and have had numerous interviews co-deposited at the Southern Oral History Program at UNC-Chapel Hill and BUIOH. I am an Institute for Humanities Research Public Fellow and Scholar-in-Residence at the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center. I am the current oral historian for the COLA graduate student movement at UC Santa Cruz and the host of the COLA-fornia Dreaming podcast. I will also be the host of the Tucson Speaks! podcast and curator of the Tucson Speaks! Digital Exhibit launching in Winter 2023. You can currently find me chained to my desk in South Texas trying to finish my dissertation. Follow me on Twitter @bookish_tejana.