Department of History
Research area: Borderlands, Latina/o, American West, Immigration
Office: MH 4.04.16
Office hours: W 11AM-1PM or by appointment
Omar Valerio-Jiménez, Associate Professor of History, was born in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, and grew up in Taft, Corpus Christi, and Edinburg, Texas. After graduating from MIT, he worked as an engineer for five years before attending UCLA, where he obtained his master’s and doctorate degrees. He has taught courses on borderlands, Latinas/os, immigration, race/ethnicity, and the American West at universities in California, New York, Texas, and Iowa.
His first book, River of Hope: Forging Identity and Nation in the Rio Grande Borderlands (Duke University Press, 2013), explores state formation and cultural change along the Mexico-United States border during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He is a co-editor of Major Problems in Latina/o History (Cengage Learning, 2014), which contains scholarly essays and primary sources on the migration and racialization experiences of various Latino populations. He is also a co-editor of The Latina/o Midwest Reader (University of Illinois Press, 2017) an interdisciplinary anthology that examines the history, education, literature, art, and politics of Latinas/os in the Midwest. His current book project, “Remembering Conquest: Mexican Americans, Memory, and Citizenship,” analyzes the ways in which memories of the U.S.-Mexico War have shaped Mexican Americans’ civil rights struggles, writing, oral discourse, and public rituals. His next project explores the efforts of scholars to challenge the omissions and negative characterizations of Tejanos in the state’s history and in public school textbooks during the mid-twentieth century.
His articles and essays focus on Chicana/o history, gender, comparative racializations, political economy, and Latina/o studies. In addition to publishing articles in the Journal of Women’s History, the Journal of American Ethnic History, Estudios Mexicanos/Mexican Studies, and the Annals of Iowa, he has written anthology chapters on Tejanos in the U.S. Civil War, border corridos, Spanish-Mexican women, U.S.-Mexico borderlands culture, the U.S.-Mexico War, and immigration. His most recent journal article, “Racializing Mexican Immigrants in the Heartland: Iowa’s Early Mexican Communities, 1880-1930,” (in Annals of Iowa) won the 2017 Dorothy Schwieder Prize for Best Article in Midwestern History by the Midwestern History Association and the 2017 Mildred Throne-Charles Aldrich Award for most significant journal article on Iowa history by the State Historical Society of Iowa. His most recent anthology essays are “Contested Citizenship: Border Corridos, Transnational Ties, and Intercultural Conflict” in Border Folk Balladeers: Critical Studies on Américo Paredes and “‘Although We are the Last Soldiers’: Citizenship, Ideology, and Tejano Unionism,” in Lone Star Unionism, Dissent, and Resistance: Other Sides of Civil War Texas.
He serves on the editorial board of Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, Studies in Midwestern History, Journal of Texas Archeology and History, and is a series editor of Latinos in Chicago and the Midwest Series for the University of Illinois Press. In support of his research and writing, he has obtained fellowships from SMU’s William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, the Western History Association, UCSD’s Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, the Charles Redd Center, the Newberry Library, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Among his university and professional service are promoting the humanities, increasing diversity in the academy, and providing student mentorship. He has been involved in several public humanities projects on Greater Mexico by engaging university students with public history projects on immigration and borderlands history, and participating in workshops for public school teachers. As a former first-generation university student, he is dedicated to mentoring first-generation and underrepresented college students, and to increasing the diversity of university student and faculty populations.
For more information, visit his website
Main Office: MH 4.04.06
Department of History
University of Texas at San Antonio
College of Liberal and Fine Arts
One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, TX 78249-1644