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College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Curriculum Vitae


Catherine Nolan-Ferrell, Associate Professor of History, received an A.B. from Cornell University, an M.A. from Tulane University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Nolan-Ferrell's research interests are in migration, citizenship, and national identity in Modern Mexico and Guatemala, as well as the history of gender in Latin America. Her book, Constructing Citizenship: Transnational Workers and Revolution on the Mexico-Guatemala Border, 1880-1950, (University of Arizona Press, 2012), focuses on how laborers who worked in the coffee industry along the Guatemalan/Mexican border developed an understanding of nationality, particularly after the implementation of agrarian reforms in the late 1930s.

Her current work examines the movement of Guatemalan campesinos into southern Mexico and the U.S., both as economic migrants and as refugees. In the 1950s, Central Americans, particularly Guatemalans, migrated to Mexico in search of better economic opportunities. With the expansion of the Guatemalan civil war (1960-1996), however, thousands of indigenous villagers escaped the violence by becoming refugees in southern Mexico. Families became divided by those who maintained a “Guatemalan”/ indigenous identity, and those who “Mexicanized.” Children, either those who fled with their families or who were born in refugee camps, often sought to move further north, to the U.S., for both security and economic opportunity. Dr. Nolan-Ferrell has been doing archival and oral history field work with these border communities since the summer of 2013.


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Department of History

University of Texas at San Antonio

College of Liberal and Fine Arts

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San Antonio, TX 78249-1644