Associate Professor of History and Ethnic Studies & Director, Institute for Ethnic Studies Profile Image
Associate Professor of History and Ethnic Studies & Director, Institute for Ethnic Studies History jgarza2@unl.edu (402) 472-2414; Ethnic Studies: (402) 472-6211 639 Oldfather Hall & 325J Louise Pound Hall
JOINED THE DEPARTMENT

2001

James A. Garza, Associate Professor of History and Ethnic Studies, Director, Institute for Ethnic Studies, earned his Ph.D. from Texas Christian University in 2001. His research focuses on 19th Century Mexico, Global / Comparative Environmental History and the U.S.-Mexican Borderlands. He is a specialist on the Porfiriato. In 2008, his book, The Imagined Underworld: Sex, Crime and Vice in Porfirian Mexico, was published by the University of Nebraska Press. In 2008, the study was published in Mexico by Editorial Aguilar under the title El Lado Oscuro del Porfiriato: Sexo, crimenes, y vicios en la Ciudad de Mexico. Garza's study explores how late 19th Century Mexican elites both imagined and constructed a criminal underworld, in the process transforming the world of Mexico City's underclass into a social and cultural landscape of criminality and danger.

In 2006, Garza published an article in Journal of the West, "The Long History of Mexican Immigration to the Rural Midwest." The piece won a prize as the best article published by the journal in 2006.

Currently, Garza is at work on a transnational history that examines how, in the late nineteenth century, the Mexican government and the British Engineering Firm Pearson and Son helped transform the Basin of Mexico through the construction of the Gran Canal, and how the canal's construction helped hasten the end of the lake system in the basin.  In addition, Garza is also working on a comprehensive history of ninteenth century Mexico.  He has an essay "Conquering the Environment and Surviving Natural Disasters" in A Companion to Mexican History and Culture (Wiley-Blackwell) and an article in the Oxford Research Encylopedia of Latin American History, "Foreign Travelers in Mexico: Chronicles and Stories" (Oxford).  He is also working on a co-edited volume, Engineeering Modern Mexico, with Justin Castro (Arkansas State University).  

Garza is also Director for the Institute for Ethnic Studies and serves on the University of Nebraska Press Advisory Board. He teaches a variety of courses, including Latin American history, Colonial Mexico, Modern Mexico, Ethnic Studies, Environmental History, and the History of Modern Crime.

Books
  • The Imagined Underworld: Sex, Crime and Vice in Porfirian Mexico City. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2008.
  • El Lado Oscuro del Porfiriato: Sexo, crìmenes, y vicios en la Ciudad de México. Trans. Gerardo Piña. Mexico, D.F.: Editorial Aguilar, 2008.
ARTICLES
  • “Dominance and Submission in Don Porfirio’s Belle Époque: The Case of Luis and Piedad” in Masculinity and Sexuality in Modern Mexico. Victor M. Macías-González and Anne Rubenstein, editors. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2012.
  • “Conquering the Environment and Surviving Natural Disasters” in A Companion to Mexican History and Culture, William H. Beezley, Editor. Wiley-Blackwell: May 2011.
  • “The Long History of Mexican Immigration to the Rural Midwest.” Journal of the West, 45: 4 (Fall 2006).
  • "Foreign Travelers in Mexico: Chronicles and Stories." Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History Online Publication Date October 2017

SELECTED CONFERENCE PAPERS AND INVITED LECTURES

  • September 18-21, 2014- Chicago, Illinois, XIV, Reunión Internacional de Historiadores de México "Poder, negociación e imperio durante el porfiriato: el proyecto del desagüe al norte de la ciudad de México."
  • February 28-March 2, 2013 - Fort Worth, Texas, Texas, Annual Meeting of the Texas State Historical Association “Mexicanos, Americanos, Porfiristas, and Revolucionarios in Laredo, Texas, during the1910 Mexican Revolution.”
  • October 25-28, 2012- New York City, Urban History Association Bi-Annual Meeting – Presentation “El Mundo se va a volver toditito a Chicharron: Earthquakes, Floods, and Perceptions of Disaster in Porfirian Mexico City.”
  • January 5-8, 2011-Chicago, Illinois, American Historical Association Annual Meeting – Presentation “Saints Days' Temblors, Deadly Floods, and Portents of Doom: Progress, Community, and Disaster in Porfirian Mexico.”
  • April 6-9, 2011- Santa Fe, New Mexico, Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies 58th Annual Conference - Presentation “Investigating Environment, Culture and Race in Porfirian Mexico.”
  • April 7-11, 2010- Boulder, Colorado, Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies-57th Annual Conference – Commentator on Panel “Voicing Resistance: Artistic and Literary Representations of National Dialectics of Difference.”
  • March 4-7, 2009 – Santa Fe, New Mexico, Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies 56th Annual Conference- Chair and Commentator on Panel “Satire, Civilizing Agency and Space: Interpretations of Mexican American Self-Expression."
  • April 23-26, 2008 – Denver, Colorado, Western Social Science Association – Presentation – “Omaha Bound: Mexican and African-American Migrations to Nebraska during the WWI Era.”
CURRICULUM VITAE
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND

Ph.D. Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, 2001
M.A. Texas A&M International University, Laredo, Texas, 1996
B.A. Texas A&M International University, Laredo, Texas, 1990

EXPERTISE

Modern Mexico, Latin America, Nineteenth Century, U.S.-Mexican Borderlands, Ethnic Studies, Global Environmental History