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Department News

Faculty Highlights

Dr. Debbie Kang's book, The INS on the Line: Making Immigration Law on the US-Mexico Border, 1917-1954 will be published by Oxford University Press in January "2017. "For much of the twentieth century, Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) officials recognized that the US–Mexico border region was different, confronting a set of political, social, and environmental obstacles that prevented them from replicating their achievements on Angel Island and Ellis Island, the most restrictive immigration stations in the nation. In response to these challenges local INS officials resorted to the law, nullifying, modifying, and even inventing immigration laws and policies for the borderlands. The INS on the Line traces the ways in which the INS on the US–Mexico border made and remade the nation’s immigration laws over the course of the twentieth century. While popular and scholarly accounts describe the INS primarily as a law enforcement agency, the author demonstrates that the agency defined itself not only as a law enforcement unit but also as a lawmaking body. Through a nuanced examination of the agency’s legal innovations in the Southwest, the author reveals how local immigration officials constructed a complex approach to border control, an approach that closed the line in the name of nativism and national security; opened it for the benefit of transnational economic and social concerns; and redefined it as a vast legal jurisdiction for the policing of undocumented immigrants. Despite its contingent and local origins, this composite approach to border control continues to inform the daily operations of the nation’s immigration agencies, American immigration law and policy, and our very conceptions of the US–Mexico border today.

Professor Carmen Nava was awarded the President's Outstanding Faculty Award for Service Leadership 2015-2016.

Dr. Katherine Hijard, Dr. Carmen Nava, Dr. Jeff Charles, and Dr. Alyssa Sepinwall
Dr. Katherine Hijar, Dr. Carmen Nava, Dr. Jeff Charles, and Dr. Alyssa Sepinwall

Student and Alumni Highlights

Mayela Caro (M.A. in History 2015) was awarded the prestigious Smithsonian Minority Awards Program-Visiting Student Internship. As part of the 10-week internship at the National Museum of American History, Mayela is helping to plan the national museum and research center’s Hispanic Heritage Month Festival that will be held September 17. Mayela is in the Ph.D program in History at UC Riverside, and her dissertation research focuses on the representations of gender and ethnicities in film, media, popular culture, print culture, and material culture.

Mayela Caro

Doris Morgan (M.A. In History, 2016) had a book review published in The Acentos Review, a quarterly literary and arts journal that promotes and publishes LatinX work. She reviewed Rosario Tijeras by Jorge Franco.  She recently completed her M.A. Project, “Crime, Kids, and a Panic on the Border."

Fawad Alizada is set graduate with a BA in History. He was accepted to the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies for an M.A in Middle Eastern history. He was also accepted into London School of Economics M.A. Program in the history of international relations. He will attending LSE and will focus his thesis on a transitional history of terrorism of Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda and ISIS.    

Fawad Alizada

Zane Cooper (M.A. in History 2016) has been accepted to the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania with full funding. His thesis, Raw Data: The Geopolitical History of Hard Drive Technology, 1978-2016, concerns the material and infrastructural history of digital storage, focusing specifically on the mining, processing, and acquisition of rare earth magnets. He plans to continue this work at UPenn and expand it into a dissertation. He presented his research at the History of Science Society Annual Conference in November.

Zane Cooper

Laura Padilla (B.A. History; Minor in Ethnic Studies, 2014) is completing her first year of the Chicana and Chicano Studies Graduate Program at SDSU. Her thesis will consider immigration reform discourse from the 2006 marches with regards to the family as a mode of reproducing heteronormativity which isolates and excludes non-normative individuals/families that identify as LGBT or Queer.

Laura Padilla

Sarah Wolk FitzGerald, a Ph.D. candidate and CSUSM history department alumna ('12), will be joining the team at the Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site as their new Curator. The Rancho, located in Long Beach, is a public museum housed in a Monterey-style adobe built in 1844. The museum's collections and programs reflect the Native, Spanish, Mexican, and American history of the site and region. The site also includes historic gardens, archives, and a research library. The Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site offers tours, public programs, and other events on a regular basis 

Sarah Wolk FitzGerald

CSUSM History M.A. Student Chelsea Snover had a book review published: Snover, Chelsea. Review of Religious Liberty and the American Supreme Court: The Essential Cases and Documents, by Vincent Phillip Muñoz. Western Legal History: The Journal of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society 27, no. 2 (Summer/Fall 2014): 232-234. The working title of Chelsea’s thesis project is "All Are Welcome: The New Thought Movement in San Diego, 1900-1930."

Jason Halub (History, 2004, magna cum laude), Major, U.S. Army, has completed two years at West Point as Instructor of International History and International Division Executive Officer. He will be attending Peking University as a senior visiting student in their History Department. The Department of History recognized Jason as a Distinguished Alumni in 2009.

Tony Acevedo (BA, CSUSM, 2004; MA, SDSU, 2007)  was recognized by the Department as the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus. Tony is a tenure-track faculty member in History at Hudson County Community College. He completed the NEH's "The Legacy of Ancient Italy" summer institute on Etruscan and Early Roman history in Switzerland and Italy. Tony was the 2015-2016 MetroCITI fellow at Columbia University's Teachers College.

Tony Acevedo