History Department
History Department

Monica M. Martinez


Associate ProfessorPh.D., 2012, American Studies, Yale University

Interests


US History, US-Mexico border, Texas, Latinxs in the United States, civil and human rights, race and memory, racial violence, public history

Biography


Monica Muñoz Martinez is an award winning author, teacher, and public historian. She received her PhD in American Studies from Yale University and her AB from Brown University. She offers courses in US history, Texas history, Latinx history, Mexican American history, borderlands history, women and gender history, public history, digital humanities, and civil rights history.  Her research has been funded by the Mellon Foundation, the Andrew Carnegie Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project, the Brown University Office of Vice President of Research, and the Texas State Historical Association. In 2017 Martinez was selected for the prestigious Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program. The fellowship provides grants for the “country’s most creative thinkers” to support research on “challenges to democracy and international order.” In 2019, NBC News included Martinez in their list, “Latino 20” recognizing twenty celebrities, CEOs, activists, and scholars using their voice and talent to empower Latino communities. In 2021, she received the Friend of History Award from the Organization of American Historians. The award recognizes an institution or organization, or an individual working primarily outside college or university settings, for outstanding support for historical research, the public presentation of American history, or the work of the OAH.

Her first book, The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas, (Harvard University Press Sept 2018) was awarded the Lawrence Levine Award from the Organization of American Historians; Caughey Western History Prize and the Robert G. Athearn Award from the Western History Association; María Elena Martínez Prize from the Conference on Latin American History; the Best Non-Fiction Book Award from the National Association for Chicano Chicana Studies Tejas FOCO; the TCU Texas Book Award from TCU Press and Friends of the TCU Library; and was a finalist for the Fredrick Jackson Turner Award from the Organization of American Historians. 

Martinez is the primary investigator for Mapping Violence: Racial Terror in Texas 1900-1930, a digital project that recovers histories of racial violence in Texas. The multifaceted project includes a digital archive of histories of racial violence, research for each documented case, curated content (including digital tours and historical essays), and an interactive map. The project documents multiple forms of violence (at the hands of law enforcement, US soldiers, and vigilantes) that targeted multiple racial and ethnic groups.

Martinez is also a leading public voice. She is a founding member of the award-winning non-profit organization Refusing to Forget that calls for a public reckoning with racial violence in Texas. Refusing to Forget helped developed an award-winning exhibit for the Bullock Texas State History Museum that marked the first time a cultural institution acknowledged state responsibility for a period of racial terror in the twentieth century. Martinez collaborated with the Texas Historical Commission to secure four state historical markers along the US-Mexico border and she has worked as a historical consultant for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Her research has been featured by media outlets including the New York Times, CNN, NBC, NPR, the Associated Press, Texas Monthly, Latina Magazine, the Texas Observer, and the Austin American-Statesman.

Martinez was born and raised in Texas.

Courses


MAS 316 • History Of Mexican Amers In Us

39855 • Spring 2022
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM JGB 2.324
CD HI

The reading and lecture course examines the historical development of the Mexican community in the United States since 1848, with an emphasis on the period between 1900 and the present.  The primary purpose of the course is to address time and place specific variations in the incorporation of the Mexican community as a national minority and bottom segment of the U.S. working class.  One of my central concerns is to explain two inter-related historical trends in this incorporation, steady upward mobility and unrelenting social marginalization.  I emphasize work experiences, race thinking, social relations, trans-border relations, social causes and larger themes in U.S. history such as wars, sectional differences, industrialization, reform, labor and civil rights struggles, and the development of a modern urbanized society. Also, I incorporate relevant aspects of the history of Latinos, African Americans, and Mexico.

Manuel G. Gonzales, Mexicanos, A History of Mexicans in the US (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999).

Angela Valenzuela, “The Drought of Understanding and the Hummingbird Spirit,” Unpublished essay in my possession.

Emilio Zamora, Claiming Rights and Righting Wrongs in Texas, Mexican Workers and Job Politics during WWII (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2009).

Emilio Zamora, “Guide for Writing Family History Research Paper.

Mid-term examination (25%),

Final examination (25%),

Research paper (30%),

Two chapter reports (10%)

Film report (10%).

 

MAS 392 • Intro To Public History

40009 • Spring 2022
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM PAR 10

Please check back for updates.

HIS 350R • Mapping Racial Violence Tx-Wb

39695 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
Wr HI

Mapping Violence: Racial Terror in Texas, 1900 - 1930 is a research project that aims to expose interconnected histories of violence, the legacies of colonization, slavery, and genocide that intersect in Texas. Although often segregated in academic studies, these histories coalesced geographically and temporally. Students in this course will learn interdisciplinary methods combining historical research methods, theories in public history and ethnic studies, and digital humanities methods to rethink the limits of archival research, historical narrative, and methods for presenting findings to public audiences. This research intensive seminar will allow students to develop historical research skills and to contribute original research to the Mapping Violence project.

Overall Objectives:
The overall goals for this course are for students to:

Develop an analytical understanding of the history of racial violence in Texas in the early twentieth century

Develop critical reading skills for evaluating different kinds of historical and cultural sources, their arguments, and their use of evidence

Develop archival research methods and skills for critically analyzing historical documents including newspapers, census records, court documents, diplomatic records.

Learn to write analytic essays drawing on archival documents and develop skills for presenting their findings to public audiences.

Learn methods public humanities and digital humanities methods for presenting academic findings to the public


COURSE READINGS:
To develop the historical and methodological training for the course students will be working through a hefty reading load. Some readings are more challenging than others, but seminar discussions will provide opportunity for more detailed analyses and individual questions.
Kidada Williams, “Regarding the Aftermath of Lynching.” Journal of American History , Dec 2014. doi: 10.1093/jahist/jau683
Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History Beacon Press 1995.
Ida B. Wells, The Red Record: Tabulated Statistics and Alleged Causes on Lynching in the United States. 1895.
William D. Carrigan and Clive Webb. Forgotten Dead: Mob Violence Against Mexicans in The United States, 1848-1928. Oxford University Press, 2013.
Ken Gonzales-Day, Lynching in the West, 1850-1935. Duke University Press, 2006.
Sadiya Hartman, “Venus in Two Acts.” Small Axe, June 2008.
Richard White, “What Is Spatial History?” Working paper, Spatial History Lab, February 2010.
Vincent Brown, “Mapping a Slave Revolt: Visualizing Spatial History through the Archives of  Slavery.” Social Text, no. 125 (2015): 134–41.
Andrea Roberts and Mohammad Javad Biazar. “Black Placemaking in Texas: Sonic and Social Histories of Newton and Jasper County Freedom Colonies.” Current Research in Digital History . Vol. 2 (2019)
Angel David Nieves, Kim Gallon, David Kim, Scott Nesbit, Bryan Carter, and Jessica Marie Johnson. “Black Spatial Humanities: Theories, Methods, and Praxis in Digital Humanities.” Digital Humanities Conference 2017.
Equal Justice Initiative. Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror . 2017 ed.
Rebecca Carter, “Valued Lives in Violent Places: Black Urban Place making at a Civil Rights Memorial in New Orleans.” City and Society (2014) 26: 239–261.
Jessica Marie Johnson, “Markup Bodies: Black [Life] Studies and Slavery [Death] Studies at the Digital Crossroads.” Social Text (2018)
Lauren Klein. “The Image of Absence: Archival Silence, Data Visualization, and James Hemings.” American Literature (2013)


Grading:
Short Response Assignments (10%) : Students are required to write short weekly responses to the readings. These short writing assignments will vary throughout the semester are designed to help facilitate informed discussions and reading comprehension. These short assignments will also provide a space for students to discuss research challenges and strategies in the second half of the semester. Further instructions for short-responses will be given in class.
Case Study Reports (40%) : Students will select three cases of racial violence included in the Mapping Violence database and search archival records to compile a research report on what is known about the case. Students will compile an annotated bibliography of primary and secondary sources, create a chronology of events (timeline) related to the selected case, write short biographies of the person targeted with violence, any known aggressors, and any known witnesses or surviving family members, and compile a research statement on what information is outstanding and what if any competing interpretations of the event exist. Students will complete these projects by drafting an approximately 350 word narrative of the event
Digital Prototype (20%): Students will develop a proof of concept or prototype for a proposed digital narrative related to the case study that they have researched and analyzed. Building on the research and storytelling work completed for the essay, the digital narrative should consider uses of archival media, demonstrate forms or interaction possible in digital contexts, and acknowledge where and how digital media is viewed and disseminated in twenty-first-century contexts
Reflections (10%) : Students will write one short essay reflecting on the methodological challenges of recovering histories of racial violence and the narrative challenges of writing these histories. Students will draw on themes from course readings and conversations to evaluate their own contributions and to consider histories that continue to be obscured or erased.
Student Presentations (20%) : Students will present on their research, essays, and digital narratives.

HIS 314K • Hist Of Mexican Amers In Us-Wb

39095 • Spring 2021
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
CD HI (also listed as MAS 316)

An examination of the historical development of the Mexican community in the United States since 1848, with an emphasis on the period between 1900 and the present.

HIS 385P • Intro To Public History-Wb

39590 • Spring 2021
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM
Internet; Synchronous

This graduate seminar is an introduction to the theories, methods, and best practices of public humanities. The course draws on theories and methods in history, ethnic studies, and American studies. We will consider case studies to see how practitioners put theories into practice. We will also consider contemporary debates, topics, and projects.  
 
In course readings we will discuss key questions: who is the public and what is the public sphere, how do public humanists work with the public, what is the place of expertise in public projects, and what is the place of community knowledge and public memory in public projects. We will also consider the role of race and histories of slavery, conquest, colonization, genocide, and war in shaping public understandings of the past. During the course readings participants will also explore the theories and foundations of cultural institutions and practices in the field: museums, memorials, public art, preservation, collecting, and digital humanities.

MAS 307 • Intro To Mexican Amer Cul Stds

36445 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM BUR 116
CD

This course introduces students to a variety of theoretical and substantive issues covered under the interdisciplinary rubric of Cultural Studies. Focusing primarily on the Mexican American historical, cultural, literary, and social experience, students will read and discuss a wide range of materials that explore and represent the general framework of Cultural Studies. A partial listing of this framework includes literary production, cultural critique, historical analysis, media studies and ways of knowing. This course focuses on distinct ways of “thinking” within cultural criticism, and their utility in the study of Mexican America and LatinX experience. A particular focus of this class is the relationship between representation and the production of difference: racial, gender, class, and other forms of social cleavage.

MAS 307 • Intro To Mexican Amer Cul Stds

36150 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM BUR 116
CD

This course introduces students to a variety of theoretical and substantive issues covered under the interdisciplinary rubric of Cultural Studies. Focusing primarily on the Mexican American historical, cultural, literary, and social experience, students will read and discuss a wide range of materials that explore and represent the general framework of Cultural Studies. A partial listing of this framework includes literary production, cultural critique, historical analysis, media studies and ways of knowing. This course focuses on distinct ways of “thinking” within cultural criticism, and their utility in the study of Mexican America and LatinX experience. A particular focus of this class is the relationship between representation and the production of difference: racial, gender, class, and other forms of social cleavage.