Michael Aguirre | History | College of Liberal Arts




Michael D. Aguirre is a historian of United States, Mexican-American, and Latina / o / x history, and the US-Mexico border areas. He is particularly interested in political economy, work, (in-) migration, race and health. His first book project is a study of the western US-Mexico border areas from the 1960s to the 1980s. It focuses in particular on the Imperial Valley-Mexicali border areas and studies the development of a border regime that supports the free flow of capital, the regulation of people, and the work and health strategies of the working people on both sides of the border who support their cross-border movement. In addition to archival methods, Aguirre practices oral history to capture what has been left out of written records, as well as public history to communicate with a wider audience.

Prior to joining the department, Aguirre was a postdoctoral fellow with the Inequality Initiative at Harvard University. He was also a postdoctoral fellow on the World Economic Forum’s New Equality and Inclusion Agenda. At the University of Washington, his dissertation was awarded the Graduate School’s Distinguished Dissertation Prize.

Research interests

  • Mexican-American, Chicana / o / x, Latina / ox / story
  • USA 20th century
  • (Immigration
  • Borderland
  • Intersection of race, work and healthcare

Selected publications

  • Prasad Swaminathan and Laura D. Tyson et al., “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 4.0: A Toolkit for Our Leaders to Accelerate Social Progress in the Future of Work,” World Economic Forum, June 2020: 1-20.
  • “Identities, problems and emotions: work in the imperial-Mexican border areas”, Quarterly in Southern California, Vol. 102, No. 3 (autumn 2020): 222-249.
  • “Excavating the Chicano Movement: Chicana Feminism, Mobilization, and Leadership in El Centro de la Raza, 1972-1979”, in Chicana Movidas: New Narratives of Activism and Feminism in the Movement Era, Eds. Maylei Blackwell, Maria Cotera and Dionne Espinoza. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2018, 174-188.
  • “A Brief History of LGBTQ Activism in Seattle,” (with Kevin McKenna), Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project, 2016.

Courses taught

  • HIST 320: Hispanic Culture in the United States
  • HIST 403: Modern American Civilizations
  • HIST 444A / 644A: Border Areas Between the United States and Mexico
  • HIST 102C: US ​​History Since 1877


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