- PhD, University of California, 2000
- CPhil, University of California, 1998
- MA, University of California, 1997
- BA, University of California, 1991
I am a historian of North American borders. My research interests query nationalism, citizenship, and identity construction from a transnational perspective. My first monograph, Making the Chinese Mexican: Global Migration, Localism, and Exclusion in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands (Stanford, 2012) explores the interlocking global and local systems of migration that underlay Chinese borderlands communities. I show that Chinese fronterizos carved out vibrant and enduring transborder communities in the backdrop of national unrest in Mexico and in the era of exclusionary immigration policies in the United States. My second monograph traces the construction of a morals border at the U.S. northern and southern divides. “Sex and State: Citizenship and Morals Policing in America’s Early Twentieth-Century Borderlands” argues that the convergence of immigration law and morals purity movements, beginning in 1907, constructed the U.S. northern and southern borders as sites of gender and sexual exclusions. At the turn of the twentieth century, policing the Canada-U.S.-Mexico borderlands, I contend, was a gendered and sexualized project of the American state that sought to prohibit the admission of “alien” women and girls practicing prostitution and those who procured them.
I am also directly engaged in public history projects. I collaborate with the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center History Program to record oral histories, collect primary sources, and lecture on and write about the history of this important borderlands community.
I closely mentor undergraduate and graduate students with similar research interests.
“Sex and State: Citizenship and Morals Policing in America’s Early Twentieth Century Borderlands” (March - 2012: under peer review at University of Arizona Press)
Making the Chinese Mexican: Global Migration, Localism, and Exclusion in the US-Mexico Borderlands (Stanford University Press, February 2012)
“Border Control and Sexual Policing: White Slavery and Prostitution along the U.S. – Mexico Borderlands, 1903 - 1910,” Western Historical Quarterly 63, no. 2 (May, 2012).
“Neighbors by Nature: Relationships, Border Crossings, and Transnational Communities in the Chinese Exclusion Era,” Pacific Historical Review 80, no. 3: 401 - 429.
Awards and Service:
Haag Research Fund recipient, Pennsylvania State University (2012)
Kent Forster Memorial Junior Faculty Development Award, Pennsylvania State University (2009)