People at ILR
Verónica Martínez-MatsudaAssistant Professor
Professor Martínez-Matsuda is an Assistant Professor at Cornell University’s ILR School, where she teaches courses on Immigration, Latinx Studies, and American Labor and Working-Class History. She received her PhD in U.S. History from The University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation—Making the Modern Migrant: Work, Community, and Struggle in the Federal Migratory Labor Camp Program, 1935-1947—was awarded the Barnes F. Lathrop Prize for Best Dissertation in the Department of History. It was also awarded "runner up" for the Best Dissertation Prize by Labor History (Routledge). Her current research examines the role of the federal migrant labor camp program in the lives of farmworker families across the United States. More generally, she's interested in the intersections between labor and citizenship, particularly immigrants’ and migrants’ social movements and cross-racial organizing efforts for improved living and working conditions. She is completing a book manuscript on this topic titled, Experiment in Democracy: Race, Rights, and Reform in the U.S. Migrant Labor Camp Program (forthcoming with the University of Pennsylvania Press, “Politics and Culture in Modern America” book series). Her research has received funding from the Ford Foundation, the Smithsonian, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, among others.
Dr. Martínez-Matsuda's teaching fields of interest and expertise include: U.S. Modern Social and Cultural History, The Great Depression and the New Deal, Immigration/Migration History, Latinx Studies, U.S.-Mexico Borderlands Studies, Women’s History, and Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies.
Dr. Martínez-Matsuda's research agenda is driven by the following questions: How do those excluded from the legal and everyday rights of American citizenship because of their political status, racial identity, or class standing as low-wage workers, express civic membership and claim national belonging? And, in their actions to envision, articulate and secure their civil rights, how do these marginal actors shape the political and sociocultural meaning of American citizenship? My current book in progress, “Experiment in Democracy: Race, Rights, and Reform in the U.S. Migrant Labor Camp Program,” examines these questions from the perspective of diverse farmworker families excluded from labor and social protections provided by the New Deal in the 1930s.
In addition to serving the ILR School as a member of the graduate field, I am a member of the Graduate Faculty of History. I am also a member of the Graduate Faculty in the (minor only) fields of American Studies, Latin American Studies, and Latinx Studies. As much as possible, I have worked to remain active in each of my academic communities across Cornell. In particular, I value service that involves student and public engagement.