Natalia Molina, 2023 Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar
Natalia Molina, Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity and Dean’s Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, will visit our campus and chapter on Oct. 23-24, 2023 as part of the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program. Since 1956, the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program has offered undergraduates the opportunity to spend time with some of America’s most distinguished scholars.
Prof. Molina, a 2020 MacArthur Fellow, researches and writes about the interconnected histories of race, place, gender, culture, and citizenship. She is the author of three award-winning books: How Race Is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts; Fit to Be Citizens?: Public Health and Race in Los Angeles, 1879-1940; and, most recently, A Place at the Nayarit: How a Mexican Restaurant Nourished a Community, which the Los Angeles Times includes on its “Ultimate L.A. Bookshelf.”
“A Place at the Nayarit” chronicles the lives of immigrant workers, including Molina’s grandmother, who became placemakers, nurturing and feeding their communities at restaurants that served as urban anchors.
Professor Molina is also proud of her efforts to advance diversity in higher education. At the University of California, San Diego, she served as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Diversity and Equity and as the Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities; her work was recognized by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. She was also Director of the University of California Education Abroad Program in Spain and a member of the Faculty Advisory Committee for the University of California’s President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. She served a six-year term on the board of California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and currently serves on several boards, including those of the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens and the Scholars Council for the Library of Congress.
As a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar, Prof. Molina will meet with UCSC students and faculty in classes and small settings, and she will present a public lecture on A Place at the Nayarit: How a Mexican Restaurant Nourished a Community,her most recent book. The winner of the Popular Culture Association book award, a finalist for a James Beard Award, and the recipient of honorable mentions from several other organizations, A Place at the Nayarit chronicles the lives of immigrant workers, including Molina’s grandmother, who became placemakers, nurturing and feeding their communities at restaurants that served as urban anchors.
The public lecture will be held on Monday, October 23 at 4:00 p.m. in the University Center Alumni Room, followed by reception and book signing at 5:00 p.m. This event is co-sponsored by The Humanities Institute and the Latin American and Latino Studies Department.
To register for the public lecture, please fill out this Google form.