Omar Valerio-Jiménez joined the History Department in 2006. His first book, River of Hope: Forging Identity and Nation in the Rio Grande Borderlands (Duke University Press, January 2013), combines his research interests in the histories of Chicana/os, the American West, and borderlands. The book explores state formation and cultural change along the Mexico-United States border during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It traces changes in ethnicity, citizenship, and gender relations among borderland residents as jurisdiction over the area passed from native peoples to Spain, Mexico, and finally the United States. His research is based on Spanish- and English-language archives in each of these countries.
He is co-editor of Major Problems in Latina/o History (Cengage Learning, forthcoming in 2014), an anthology of essays and primary documents on Latina/o History. His published work has appeared in the Journal of Women’s History, Estudios Mexicanos/Mexican Studies, the Journal of American Ethnic History, Pacific Historical Review, Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, and Southwestern Historical Quarterly. He has also contributed chapters on Latinos, the American West, and the Spanish borderlands to various anthology collections including Migrants and Migration in Modern North America, A Companion to California History, America on the World Stage, Latinas in the United States, and The Atlas of the U.S. and Canadian Environmental History.
He has begun work on a study of Latinos in early twentieth-century Iowa that explores acculturation, labor, and gender relations. His longer-term project is a transnational study of the U.S.-Mexican War that examines memory, identity, and nationalism. His research and writing has been funded by the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University, the Newberry Library, the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Valerio-Jiménez received his MA and PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to becoming a historian, he worked as an electrical engineer for five years after graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Valerio-Jiménez was one of the co-organizers of The Latino Midwest, an Obermann-International Programs Humanities Symposium (October 11-13, 2012), at the University of Iowa. As part of a multi-year effort to promote Latino Studies at the university, he will be a co-director of “Teaching the Latino Midwest,” an Obermann Summer Seminar in 2013.
He has taught courses on the history of immigration, comparative borderlands, ethnic relations, the American West, Latina/os, and Chicana/os at universities in California, Texas, and New York. Courses recently taught at Iowa include:
• HIST:2251 (16A:051) Colloquium in History (American)
• HIST:42106 (16A:112) Mexican American History
• HIST:4217 (16A:113) Latina/o Immigration
• HIST:4221 (16A:132) Frontier in American History, 1840s-present
• HIST:4334 (16W:134) Topics in American Borderlands History
• HIST:7235 (16:280) Readings in Latina/o History
• HIST:7236 (16:281) Readings in Borderlands History
- Obermann Summer Seminar, Co-director with Claire Fox and Santiago Vaquera-Vásquez, “Teaching the Latino Midwest,” Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, University of Iowa, awarded 2012, scheduled for Summer 2013
- Arts and Humanities Initiative Conference Grant, Project Director with Claire Fox and Santiago Vaquera-Vásquez as key personnel, “The Latino Midwest,” Office of Vice President for Research, 2012
- James N. Murray Faculty Award, University of Iowa, 2012
- International Programs Major Projects Grant, Co-director with Claire Fox and Santiago Vaquera-Vásquez, “The Latino Midwest,” International Programs, University of Iowa, awarded Spring 2012, scheduled for Fall 2012
- Creative Campus Institute, Center for Teaching, University of Iowa, 2011.
- Faculty Fellowship, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Iowa, 2010
- Obermann Humanities Symposium Grant, Co-director with Claire Fox and Santiago Vaquera-Vásquez, “The Latino Midwest,” Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, University of Iowa, awarded 2010, scheduled for Fall 2012
- Research Grant, State Historical Society of Iowa, 2011
- Faculty Support Fund Grant, Office of the Provost, University of Iowa, 2010
- Crossroads Institute, Center for Teaching, University of Iowa, 2010
- Arts and Humanities Initiative Grant, University of Iowa, 2009
- Old Gold Summer Fellowship, 2007
- Huntington-WHA Martin Ridge Fellowship, Western History Association, 2001-2002
- Summerfield Roberts Postdoctoral Fellowship, Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University, 2001-2002
- Faculty Grant, University of California Institute for Mexico & the United States, 2001-2002