2024 Program Committee Members


 
Sonia Hernández is an Associate Professor of History at Texas A&M University. She is a former UT Board of Regents Scholar and former Fulbright scholar and currently a Chancellor EDGES Fellow. Hernández earned a PhD in Latin American History from the University of Houston in 2006 and specializes in the intersections of gender and labor in the U.S.-Mexican Borderlands, Chicana/o history, and Modern Mexico. She is the author of Working Women into the Borderlands (Texas A&M University Press, 2014) which won the Sara A. Whaley Book Prize (NWSA) and the Liz Carpenter Award (TSHA), among others. A Spanish translation of this book was published as Mujeres, trabajo y región fronteriza (Tamaulipas: ITCA; Mexico City: INEHRM, 2017). She is the author of For a Just and Better World: Engendering Anarchism in the Mexican Borderlands, 1900-1938 (University of Illinois Press, 20121) which earned the Philip Taft Labor Book Award (Cornell & LAWCHA) and is co-editor with John Morán González of Reverberations of Racial Violence: Critical Reflections on the History of the Border (University of Texas Press, 2021).  She is co-founder of the award-winning public history project Refusing to Forget which brings public awareness of the role of state-sanctioned, anti-Mexican violence in the early 20th century. Hernández is at work on a new book project, “Por un compatriota: Transnational Networks, State Violence, and the Case of Gregorio Cortez, 1900-1920,” which re-visits the 1901 near-lynching attempt of Cortez in south central Texas from a gendered, transnational, and multi-national archival perspective.

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Dr. Carlos Kevin Blanton is currently a Professor of History.  He joined the Aggie community in 2001 from teaching at Portland State University and a PhD at Rice University.  His authored books are The Strange Career of Bilingual Education in Texas, 1836–1981 (TAMU, 2004) and George I. Sánchez:  The Long Fight for Mexican American Integration (Yale, 2014) and he has recently edited A Promising Problem:  The New Chicana/o History (Texas, 2016).  Blanton’s work has been honored with the Coral Horton Tullis Award for best book in Texas history (2005), the Bolton Cutter Award for best article in Borderlands history (2010) and the National Association of Chicana-Chicano Studies best book award (2016).  He has also published in the Journal of Southern History, the Pacific Historical Review, the Western Historical Quarterly, the Southwestern Historical Quarterly, the Teachers College Record, and in other history and interdisciplinary journals.  In the spring of 2017 Blanton will serve as a Glasscock Center for Humanities Research Faculty Fellow as he works on his next book project, Between Black and White:  The Chicana/o in the American Mind.  He enjoys teaching 20th Century U.S, Texas, and Chicana/o history.

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James Harkins is the Director of Public Services for the Texas General Land Office Archives and Records. He graduated from Texas State University – San Marcos in 2005. In 2010, he received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, also from Texas State, and is the 2010-2011 James W. McGrew Research Award winner for his graduate thesis from the American Society for Professional Administrators (ASPA). He has also been awarded the 2021 The Cecilia Steinfeldt Fellowship for Research in the Arts and Material Culture,  the 2020 Larry McNeill Research Fellowship in Texas Legal History. He has worked for the Texas General Land Office since May of 2005.  

 

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Bobbi Rodriguez is the Coordinator for Social Studies in College Station ISD, a role that allows her to support teaching and learning in social studies across the district in grades K-12. She received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Texas A&M University (B.A. History, M.Ed. Curriculum & Instruction).  Prior to accepting her current role, Bobbi served as a classroom teacher at Gregory-Portland High School and A&M Consolidated High School.  She also worked with the College Board and Cengage Learning to develop materials for teaching AP US History.  She has been recognized as an honoree at the 2019 Texas A&M College of Education and Human Development's Dean's Roundtable and was a recipient of the 2022 George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum’s Outstanding Educator Award. She continues to work to advance social studies instruction across the state through her participation in the Texas Council for the Social Studies and the Texas Social Studies Supervisors Association. 

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Wesley G. Phelps is an associate professor of history at the University of North Texas in Denton, where he teaches courses on recent United States history, the American South, and LGBTQ history. He received his Ph.D. in history from Rice University in 2010 and taught for eight years at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville before joining the history department at UNT in 2019. His research focuses on how democracy operates at the grassroots level and how marginalized groups of people have struggled to participate in the democratic experiment. His book, A People’s War on Poverty: Urban Politics and Grassroots Activists in Houston, was published by the University of Georgia Press in 2014. He has also published in the Journal of Southern History and Peace and Change. Phelps’s forthcoming book is titled Before Lawrence v. Texas: The Making of a Queer Social Movement, and will be published by the University of Texas Press in 2023.

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Shennette Garrett-Scott is committed to recovering and telling little-known stories about African American women’s enterprise. A historian of gender, race, and capitalism, Garrett-Scott’s work rethinks Black women’s relationships to the U.S. political economy, particularly their quest for economic and social justice. She is an associate professor of history at Texas A&M University, College Station. Her first book Banking on Freedom: Black Women in U.S. Finance Before the New Deal (Columbia University Press, 2019) was shortlisted for the Hagley Museum & Library and Business History Conference Hagley Prize for best book in business history, and it won the Southern Historical Association (SHA) award for best book in southern economic history as well as best book in African American women’s history prizes from both the Association of Black Women Historians (ABWH) and the Organization of American Historians. Her scholarly writings have appeared in U.S. and international journals, including the Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Business History Review, Enterprise and Society, and Quaderni storici. Her work has also appeared in popular venues, such as Time, Financial History, and Southern Cultures magazines. She is featured in the PBS documentary Boss: The Black Experience in Business. Her second book, Black Enterprise: Black Capitalism in the Making of America, is forthcoming from W.W. Norton. Follow her on Twitter at @EbonRebel.

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W. Caleb McDaniel is the Mary Gibbs Jones Professor of the Humanities and Professor of History at Rice University, where he also serves as chair of the Department of History and co-chair of the university's Task Force on Slavery, Segregation, and Racial Injustice. He is the author of Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America, which won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in History and the Civil War and Reconstruction Book Prize from the Organization of American Historians. His first book, The Problem of Democracy in the Age of Slavery: Garrisonian Abolitionists and Transatlantic Reform, received the Merle Curti Prize for Intellectual History from the OAH and the James Broussard First Book Prize from the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. In addition to his academic articles about the history of slavery, antislavery, and emancipation in the nineteenth century, his essays have appeared in the New York Times, Smithsonian, The Atlantic, and TIME.

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Dr. Shepherd joined the Department of History at UTEP in 2002, after receiving his PhD from Arizona State University.  He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in U.S., Indigenous, Borderlands, Western, Environmental, and Public History.  He has chaired several dissertation and masters committees on topics as diverse as colonial era Spanish masculinity in Texas, the Bracero Program, Indigenous-African relations in the early Florida borderlands, Native peoples and legal borderlands, and the tri-racial dimensions of settler-colonial violence in nineteenth century New Mexico.  His research interests include Indigenous peoples in North America, particularly the Apache/Nde’ and Native groups in the U.S. – Mexico borderlands; environmental history; biography; and historical memory.  His first book, We Are an Indian Nation: A History of the Hualapai People, was published in 2010 with the University of Arizona Press; and his second book, The Guadalupe Mountains National Park: An Environmental History of the Southwest Borderlands, came out in 2019 with the University of Massachusetts Press.  His most recent articles and chapters include, “Land, Labor, and Leadership: The Political Economy of Hualapai Community Building,1910-1940,” in Brian Hosmer and Colleen O’Neil (Eds.) Native Pathways: Economic Development and American Indian Cultures (University Colorado, 2004); “At the Crossroads of Hualapai History, Memory, and American Colonization: Contesting Space & Place," in The American Indian Quarterly; “Reflections from the U.S.–Mexico Borderlands on a ‘Border-Rooted’ Paradigm in Higher Education,” with Cynthia Bejarano, in Ethnicities, (January 2018); and, “Race, Blood, and Belonging: Transnational Blackfoot Bands and Families along the U.S. – Canada Border, 1870-1915,” in Pablo Mitchell and Katrina Jagodinsky (Eds.) Beyond the Borders of the Law: Critical Legal Histories of the North American West, (The University of Kansas Press, 2018).  He is presently working on several monographs: a biography of Wendell Chino, who was president of the Mescalero Tribe for nearly 40 years; an investigation into the Apache Treaty of 1852; and an analysis of the Washita Battlefield National Historic Site as an example of settler colonial memory making, racial violence, and the politics of historical commemoration. He is also working on several projects associated with Indigenous Peoples throughout Texas: one focusing on Native People and the border wall, and a collaborative project with the McDonald Observatory in West Texas.  In addition, he is the co-editor (with Myla Vicenti Carpio) of the book series, Critical Issues in Indigenous Studies, through the University of Arizona Press.  He has received grants and contracts from the American Philosophical Society, the Andrew H. Mellon Foundation, The Charles Redd Center at Brigham Young University, Texas Tech University, The American Historical Association, and the National Park Service.  Between 2011 and 2019 he was Director of the PhD Program in History, and has been Department Chair since 2019.  

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Mark A. Goldberg is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Houston.  His first book, Conquering Sickness: Race, Health, and Colonization in the Texas Borderlands (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), examines the role of health and healing in imperial expansion, nation building, and race formation in the 18th- and 19th-century Texas-Mexico border region. Health concerns drove Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo American colonization in Texas, and colonists regularly articulated what behaviors fostered healthy and successful settlement and what behaviors threatened human bodies. In the process, Spaniards, Mexicans, and Anglos defined nonwhites as medical threats to society, empire, and nationhood. Goldberg is currently working on another book project on the history of Jewish Latinxs.

At the University of Houston, Professor Goldberg teaches courses in Latinx history, early America, Jewish Studies, and the history of race and ethnicity. He is an affiliate of the Jewish Studies Program, the Center for Mexican American and Latina/o Studies, and the Center for Public History.

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Jeffrey L. Littlejohn serves as Professor of History at Sam Houston State University. A native of Dallas, Texas, he completed his undergraduate degree at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, and his MA and PhD at the University of Arkansas. He is the co-author or co-editor of three books: Elusive Equality: Desegregation and Resegregation in Norfolk Public Schools (2012); The Enemy Within Never Did Without: German and Japanese Prisoners of War at Camp Huntsville, Texas, 1942-1945 (2015); and The Seedtime, the Work, and the Harvest: New Perspectives on the Black Freedom Struggle in America (2018). Littlejohn has also published more than a dozen articles with his co-author Charles H. Ford, including: In the Best American Tradition of Freedom, We Defy You: The Radical Partnership of Joseph Jordan, Edward Dawley, and Leonard Holt,” Journal of African American History (2021) and
“The Cabiness Family Lynching: Race, War, and Memory in Walker County, Texas,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly (2018). Littlejohn’s scholarship and digital projects, including Lynching in Texas, have received funding from the National Foundation for the Humanities and Humanities Texas. He can be reached on the web at: http://studythepast.org.

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Rachel Michelle Gunter received her Ph.D. in history from Texas A&M University and is a Professor of History at a community college in North Texas. Her research focuses on the woman suffrage movement and its effects on the voting rights of other groups including immigrants, servicemen, WWI veterans, Mexican Americans and African Americans. Her publications include“ Immigrant Declarants and Loyal American Women” in the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (2020) and “Without Us, It is Ferguson with a Plurality,’ Woman Suffrage and Anti-Ferguson Politics” in Impeached: The Removal of Texas Governor James E. Ferguson (2017) published by Texas A&M University Press. Dr. Gunter is a consultant and co-writer for Citizens at Last, a documentary history of the Texas Suffrage Movement released in 2021 and currently streaming on the PBS ap. She is the Texas Coordinator for the Online Biographical Dictionary of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the United States and serves on the Executive Advisory Committee of the Handbook of Texas Women for the Texas State Historical Association. She is currently working on a book manuscript, Suffragists, Soldiers, and Immigrants: The Drastic Changes to Voting Rights During the Progressive Era. She is active on twitter @PhDRachel and her website is RMGunter.com.

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A native of Huntsville, Texas, Dr. Lila Rakoczy earned degrees in history and archaeology at King’s College London and the University of York, where she specialized in early modern warfare. She worked for six years in the British museum, heritage, and academic sectors, and upon returning to the U.S. taught for three years as a Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Sam Houston State University. Between 2016 and 2019 Lila was the Military Sites Program Coordinator for the Texas Historical Commission, and presently serves as the Education and Outreach Specialist for the Texas General Land Office. Her current research focuses on African American Texans in World War I, and has resulted in the identification of nearly 30,000 WWI Black veterans, the traveling centennial exhibit No Man’s Land: East Texas African Americans in WWI, and a manuscript in progress.

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Trinidad Gonzales is a history and Mexican American Studies instructor at South Texas College. He is a co-founder of Refusing to Forget, a public history project devoted to examining state-sanctioned violence against ethnic Mexicans in Texas during the 1910s. RTF has been recognized with the Western Historical Association's Autry Public History prize, American Historical Association's Herbert Feis Award and the Organization of American History's Friend of History Award. He is a board member of the National Humanities Alliance which is a coalition of organizations that advocates for the teaching of the humanities.

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Joaquín Rivaya-Martínez is an associate professor of History at Texas State University. He holds a B.A. in History from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Anthropology from UCLA. A fellow of SMU’s Clements Center for Southwest Studies, he is the author of numerous scholarly presentations and essays on the indigenous peoples of the US-Mexico Borderlands and the southern Great Plains. Several institutions have funded his research, including the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, the Newberry Library, the Philips Fund for Native American Research, UC MEXUS, UCLA’s Institute of American Cultures, and Mexico’s CONACyT.
His multidisciplinary, ethnohistorical research incorporates indigenous voices and perspectives. He is the editor of the forthcoming volume The Indigenous Borderlands of the Americas and is currently working on a book manuscript provisionally titled Comanche Captivity. Dr. Rivaya-Martínez’s other research interests include Spanish-indigenous relations and the presence of US-based independent Indians in nineteenth-century Mexico.

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Dr. Amy M. Porter is a Professor of History at Texas A&M University-San Antonio where she teaches classes on early America and Texas.  She received her Ph.D. in History from Southern Methodist University.  Dr. Porter’s research focuses on women in the Spanish borderlands, and her 2015 book is entitled Their Lives, Their Wills: Women in the Borderlands, 1750-1846. This book was the recipient of the Lou Halsell Rodenberger Book Prize in History, Culture, and Literature from Texas Tech University Press and a co-recipient of the Fabiola Cabeza de Baca prize from the Historical Society of New Mexico.   She published a chapter on the Tejana rancher María del Carmen Calvillo in the 2019 book Texas Women and Ranching: On the Range, at the Rodeo, and in their Communities edited by Deborah M. Liles and Cecilia Gutierrez Venable.  She is currently co-authoring a textbook entitled The Mexican American History of Texas and Beyond with Andrés Tijerina, Emilio Zamora, Sonia Hernández, and Guadalupe San Miguel, Jr.

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