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Teach-In Speakers

Katherine Benton-Cohen

©2008 David Burnett / Contact Press Images
January 30 2009
Washington DC
Katie Benton-Cohen
author of the book "Borderline Americans"

Katherine Benton-Cohen is professor of history at Georgetown University. The Arizona native is the author of Inventing the Immigration Problem: The Dillingham Commission and Its Legacy (Harvard University Press, 2018) and Borderline Americans: Racial Division and Labor War in the Arizona Borderlands (Harvard University Press, 2009). She also served as historical adviser to the non-fiction feature film, Bisbee ’17 (dir. Robert Greene, 2018), which won the American Historical Association’s John O’Connor Award for Best Historical Documentary.

Benton-Cohen a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has received research fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the American Philosophical Society, the New York Public Library and elsewhere. She and her work have appeared in a variety of media outlets, including Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien, PBS American Experience, the BBC,, and Lapham’s Quarterly.

She currently serves as an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer, and in 2018, she served as an OAH-JAAS Resident Fellow at Chuo University in Tokyo, Japan. Her current research is global history of the Phelps-Dodge family, whose capitalist and philanthropic links between New York, the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands and the Middle East profoundly changed each region. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two children.

César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández

César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández is a writer and law professor at the University of Denver who focuses on migration policing. In December 2019, he published his second book, Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession with Locking Up Immigrants, about the United States’ reliance on prisons to enforce immigration law. Kirkus calls Migrating to Prison “a chilling, timely overview of the American tendency to first exploit and then criminalize migrants.”

His analyses frequently appear in leading news sources in the United States and abroad. He has written for The New York TimesThe GuardianNewsweekSalon and more. In recent months, he has made appearances on MSNBCBBCNational Public RadioCNN EspañolPublic Radio International and many other publications. César publishes, a blog about the convergence of criminal and immigration law. He has been a Fulbright scholar in Slovenia and is currently a member of the American Bar Association Commission on Immigration. In 2015, he published his first book, Crimmigration Law.

César’s impact has been recognized by the Association of American Law Schools Section on Minority Groups which, in 2014, honored him with its Derrick A. Bell, Jr. Award, issued to a professor who “has made an extraordinary contribution to legal education, the legal system or social justice.” In 2019, the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center granted him its Challenging Discrimination Award.

Tomás R. Jiménez

Tomás Jiménez is a professor of sociology and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University, where he also serves as director of graduate studies in sociology and director of the Undergraduate Program on Urban Studies.

His research and writing focus on immigration, assimilation, social mobility, and ethnic and racial identity. He has written two books: The Other Side of Assimilation: How Immigrants Are Changing American Life (University of California Press, 2017) and Replenished Ethnicity: Mexican Americans, Immigration, and Identity (University of California Press, 2010). Jiménez has also published his research in ScienceAmerican Sociological ReviewAmerican Journal of SociologyProceedings of the National Academy of SciencesSocial ProblemsInternational Migration ReviewEthnic and Racial StudiesSocial Science QuarterlyDuBois Review and the Annual Review of Sociology.

Jimenez’s research has appeared in several leading academic journals and his commentary has been published in leading news outlets, including The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times.

Alan Kraut

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Alan_Kraut, CAS,  faculty

Alan M. Kraut is Distinguished Professor of History at American University and a non-resident fellow of the Migration Policy Institute. Specializing in immigration, ethnic history and the history of medicine in the United States, he is the author or editor of nine books and many scholarly articles. Volumes include The Huddled Masses: The Immigrant in American Society, 1880-1921 (1982, 2nd edition, 2001), Silent Travelers: Germs, Genes, and the “Immigrant Menace” (1994),  Goldberger’s War: The Life and Work of a Public Health Crusader (2003)Covenant of Care: Newark Beth Israel and the Jewish Hospital in America (co-authored), and, most recently, Ethnic Historians and the Mainstream: Shaping America’s Immigration Story (2013).

He is currently writing a history of xenophobia and nativism throughout American history. Among the awards his publications have received are the Theodore Saloutos Prize (Immigration and Ethnic History Society), the Henry Adams Prize (Society for History in the Federal Government), the Arthur Viseltear Prize (American Public Health Association) and the Author’s Award from the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance. 

 Kraut’s research has been supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Smithsonian Institution and the National Institutes of Health. He is a past president of the Organization of American Historians and serves as the current president of the National Coalition for History. He is an elected fellow of the Society of American Historians. In 2017 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Immigration and Ethnic History Society.

Patricia Limerick

Patty Limerick is the faculty director and chair of the Board of the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado, where she is also a professor of history. Limerick has dedicated her career to bridging the gap between academics and the general public and to demonstrating the benefits of applying historical perspective to contemporary dilemmas and conflicts. In January 2016, Gov. Hickenlooper named Limerick as the Colorado State Historian, a position she served until 2018. In addition, in January 2016 she was appointed to the National Endowment for the Humanities advisory board, the National Council on the Humanities.

Limerick was born and raised in Banning, California, and graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1972. She received her doctorate in American studies from Yale University in 1980, and from 1980 to 1984, she was an assistant professor of history at Harvard. In 1984, Limerick moved to Boulder to join the History Department of the University of Colorado, where she was promoted to tenured associate professor in 1987 and to full professor in 1991. In 1985 she published Desert Passages, followed in 1987 by her best-known work, The Legacy of Conquest, an overview and reinterpretation of Western American history that has stirred up a great deal of both academic and public debate. Limerick is also a prolific essayist, and many of her most notable articles, including “Dancing with Professors: The Trouble with Academic Prose,” were collected in 2000 under the title Something in the Soil.

Limerick has received a number of awards and honors recognizing the impact of her scholarship and her commitment to teaching, including the MacArthur Fellowship (1995 to 2000) and the Hazel Barnes Prize, the University of Colorado’s highest award for teaching and research (2001). She has served as president of several professional organizations, advised documentary and film projects, and completed two tours as a Pulitzer Nonfiction jurist, as well as chairing the 2011 Pulitzer jury in history. She regularly engages the public on the op-ed pages of local and national newspapers, and in the summer of 2005, she served as a guest columnist for The New York Times. Limerick is also known as an energetic, funny and engaging public speaker who is sought after by a wide range of Western constituencies that include private industry groups, state and federal agencies, and grassroots organizations.

Limerick has served as president of the Organization of American Historians, American Studies Association, the Western History Association and the Society of American Historians, and as the vice president of the Teaching Division of the American Historical Association, where she co-wrote a successful proposal to the Lumina Foundation, on “tuning” (as in tuning up an orchestra) the historical profession’s teaching efforts. She is currently the president of the Organization of American Historians.