Center of Mexican American Studies
Center of Mexican American Studies

Carlos E. Castañeda Postdoctoral Fellowship Profile (2012–14)

Monica Muñoz Martinez, Ph.D. is a recipient of the Carlos E. Castañeda Postdoctoral Fellowship in Mexican American Studies for the 2012–2014 academic years. She received her Doctor of Philosophy degree from the American Studies Program at Yale University in 2012. While at Yale she co-founded the Public Humanities Initiative in American Studies. Her work to institutionalize this initiative came from an investment as a Latina historian in bridging divides between academic and public centers of knowledge. For six years she worked as faculty and curriculum co-coordinator for a summer internship program at the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA where she mentored over one hundred and fifty underrepresented minorities who are continuing their education to receive Master of Arts degrees to work as teachers and administrators in K-12 education or Doctor of Philosophy degrees to join the academy and teach in the professoriate. She holds a Master of Arts degree in American Studies from Yale University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ethnic Studies and American Studies from Brown University. She is a native of Texas and was born and raised in Uvalde.

While in residence at CMAS, Dr. Martinez will complete her book manuscript based on her dissertation, “‘Inherited Loss’: Tejanas and Tejanos Contesting State Violence and Revising Public Memory, 1910-Present.” Martinez’s research examines how state-sanctioned racial violence in the early twentieth century continues to influence social relations in southwest Texas. She documents the efforts of women and families to reclaim political rights and rebuild their communities in the aftermath of lynching campaigns in the early twentieth century. In particular, this work examines the strategies utilized by Texas residents and Mexican immigrants to demand public reckoning with the long legacies of racial terror. In addition, she will complete research for two journal articles. The first outlines a historical methodology for locating histories of violence located in rural community archives. The second nuances the relationship between ranchers, border agents, and teachers in the early twentieth century who utilized methods of segregation, like barbed wire fences, to regulate Mexican migrants, agricultural labor, and organize the changing landscape.

Dr. Martinez will teach two undergraduate courses while at CMAS. She will teach “Introduction to Cultural Studies” in the fall semester 2012 and give a public lecture on her research in the spring semester 2013.

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