Biographies Natalia Molina


Natalia Molina is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. Her research explores the intertwined histories of race, place, gender, culture, and citizenship. She is the author of the award-winning books, “How Race Is Made in America:  Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts” (University of California Press, 2014) and “Fit to Be Citizens?: Public Health and Race in Los Angeles, 1879-1940” (University of California Press, 2006). Her most recent book is “A Place at the Nayarit: How a Mexican Restaurant Nourished a Community” (University of California Press, 2022), on immigrant workers as placemakers —including her grandmother—who nurtured and fed the community through the restaurants they established, which served as urban anchors. She co-edited “Relational Formations of Race: Theory, Method and Practice” (University of California Press, 2019), and is now at work on a new book, “The Silent Hands that Shaped the Huntington: A History of Its Mexican Workers” (forthcoming). In addition to publishing widely in scholarly journals, she has also written for the LA Times, Washington Post, San Diego Union-Tribune, and more. Molina is a 2020 MacArthur Fellow.  She 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.

Selected Works at the Library of Congress

Videos from the Library of Congress