Staff Directory


Julia received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at El Paso in History. Most recently, Julia has been a Guest Faculty at Sarah Lawrence College and an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Texas at El Paso. Julia has published a book, Chinese Mexicans: Transpacific Migration and the Search for a Homeland, 1910-1960 (University of North Carolina Press, 2012, as well as chapters in books:  “Journey and Trials of the Fu Family: Transpacific Reverberations of the Anti-Chinese Movement in Mexico,” in Orientalism and Identity in Latin American: Fashioning Self and Other from the (Post) Colonial Margin, edited by Erik Camayd-Freixas (University of Arizona Press, 2013).



  • BA, History and Women’s Studies, University of Arizona.
  • MA, PhD, Borderlands History, University of Texas at El Paso.


  • Latin American History, Colonial Period to the Present This course focuses on Latin America history from the colonial period to the present. Students will gain an understanding of the cultures in the Americas before European contact, the various ways that the presence of the Spanish affected the lives and cultures of these people, the steps taken to gain independence, and the various ways that the cultures developed as independent nation states or territories as well as themes in the more recent past. Women and gender, race, ethnicity, and class are central concerns. The class is organized chronologically and thematically. We will develop our understanding with both breadth and depth. We will begin with a concise textbook to paint a broad picture of the region’s history. Subsequent books will help us conduct deeper explorations of particular eras and themes. In the summative discussions, we will compare and contrast the different types of texts we have read and the diverse sources used in student research projects, taking up the overarching themes of the course.
  • Asian American History This class takes a transpacific, transnational, and hemispheric approach to Asian American history, following the recent turn in the field. The course explores the factors that led to a growing Asian presence in the Americas and the uniquely hostile reactions Asians faced as immigrant groups as well as how they integrated into communities and nations, and the many experiences in between these extremes. The class studies the distinct ways Asian American groups created settlements, secured land and businesses, acculturated and assimilated or remained distinct, and made decisions regarding political participation. Although the United States is a focus, the larger course is about the Americas and considers the region in transpacific context. Other themes include identity construction, belonging, ethnicity, race and racial passing, interracial marriage, gender, sexuality, and family construction. The course critically examines the category “Asian.”
  • Literature and History: Memory of Revolution and Dictatorship in Modern Latin American Women’s Writing Literature and History are often thought to be very deeply entwined disciplines. Is there a fundamental difference between the two? In this foundation-level course, students will be introduced to the principal literary genre of prose as well as drama and poetry while considering the relationship between imaginative literature and historical narrative. Students will be introduced to historicism as a tool of literary analysis and investigate the sociopolitical function of the creative, “historical” imagination. Students will read “historical” creative texts, including those that examine closely concerns of the past or future. Together, we will consider the ways in which literature and creative expression enable reconsiderations of these historical subjects. Students may explore other prose genres and/or poetry and drama in their research projects. Latin America has a unique and complex history and literary tradition. We will explore these and also study memory in modern Latin America. The course is organized thematically. It begins with an introduction to the history of modern Latin American revolution and dictatorship. We will then take up the prose genres of memoir and testimonial biography from two countries, Cuba and Nicaragua, in light of each other. The texts remember and evoke revolutions and dictatorships among other themes  in distinct ways. We will deal with questions of point of view, audience, narrative, and fact v. fiction. Daily discussions will explore the relationship between history, literature, and memory. Social class, race and color, and family and motherhood are among the central themes in the texts. In the summative discussion, we will compare and contrast the different types of texts we have read, including in students’ research projects, taking up the overarching questions and themes of the course.


  • Julia is currently revising a historical fiction manuscript. Across the Pacific is a love story set during the anti-Chinese campaigns of the Mexican Revolution of 1910 and their aftermath. The novel follows two couples whose fates are entwined as they strive to carve out a future amid regret, uncertainty, and war on two continents.
  • In July 2016, she gave an invited visiting faculty talk at “The Galleon Trade & Chinese Exclusion in Mexico through Race and Gender.” The Chinese Exclusion Act and Immigration in America NEH Summer Institute at the Museum of Chinese in America in New York.


  • Chinese Mexicans: Transpacific Migration and the Search for a Homeland, 1910-1960. University of North Carolina Press, 2012.
  • “Crossing Boundaries, Claiming a Homeland: The Mexican Chinese Transpacific Journey to Becoming Mexican, 1930s-1960s.” Pacific Historical Review 78, no. 4 (2009): 545-577. Winner of the Louis Knott Koontz Memorial Award from the Pacific Historical Review. Reprinted in Paul Spickard, Race and Immigration in the United States: New Histories. Routledge, 2012.
  • “At the Borders of Identity: Asians, Mexicans, Interracialism, and Racial Ambiguities.” In The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, Vol. 24, Race, edited by Thomas C. Holt and Laurie B. Green. University of North Carolina Press, 2013.