University of Southern California

Graduate Students

David-James Gonzales

Contact Information

E-mail: davidjag@usc.edu

Biographical Sketch


A native Southern Californian, I was born in Oxnard and raised by public school educators in the San Diego suburb of Chula Vista. I began my undergraduate education at Southwestern Community College and completed a bachelor's degree in History (Phi Beta Kappa) at UC San Diego. After graduation, I relocated to South Pasadena with my wife and children to begin the P.h.D in History at USC. In addition to my academic pursuits I have worked in mortgage finance and for-profit higher education.

At USC I have continued to pursue my interests in California and the West, U.S.-Mexico migration, and Latina/o identity and politics under the direction of George Sanchez.  As of May 2014 I advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D. in History. Currently, I am researching and writing my dissertation on Mexican American grassroots politics and civic engagement in Orange County after World War II.


Education

  • B.A. History, University of California, San Diego, 06/2011
  • M.A. History, University of Southern California, 05/2014


Employment History

  • Teaching Assistant, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, Department of History, University of Southern California, 2012-2013
  • Teaching Assistant, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, Department of History, University of Southern California, 2013-2014
  • Teaching Assistant, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, Department of History, University of Southern California, 2014

Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests


  • I am a U.S. historian with a temporal focus on the mid-twentieth century and a geographic emphasis on California and the West. In particular, I apply borderlands theory to multi-cultural/racial spaces in Southern California to better understand the identity formation and political mobilization of Mexican Americans from the 1930s to the 1960s. I am most interested in the grassroots organizing efforts of Mexican Americans prior to the Chicana/o Movement of the late-1960s and 1970s. Overall, my work seeks to complicate binary representations of Mexican American identity and politics by illuminating the temporal, spatial, and social circumstances of intra-group conflict and inter-racial and cross-class cooperation in Chicana/o-Latina/o efforts for social justice. Ultimately, my research strives to integrate Chicana/o-Latina/o grassroots organizing with the larger Civil Rights Movement of the 20th century.

Research Specialties


  • 19th - 20th century U.S., California and the West, U.S.-Mexico migration, Borderlands Studies, Chicana/o-Latina/o identity and politics.


Honors and Awards

  • Academic Professional Development Award, Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education, USC Graduate School, Office of the Provost, 5/19/2014-8/17/2014  
  • Research Fellow, Institute for California and the West / Hearst Foundation, 5/20/2012-8/19/2012  
  • Research Fellow, EDGE-First Summer Institute, National Science Foundation and USC Graduate School, 2011-2012   
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund Recipient, UC San Diego, 2010-2011   
  • Phi Beta Kappa Honory Society Inductee, UC San Diego, 2010-2011   
  • McNair Scholars Program, U.S. Department of Education, UC San Diego, 2009-2010   

Service to the University


Administrative Appointments


  • Academic Adviser and Program Coordinator, USC McNair/Gateway Scholars, 05/19/2014-  
  • Graduate Student Advocate for Diversity and Professional Development, USC Graduate School, 05/19/2014-  

Service to the Profession


Conferences Organized


  • Lead Coordinator and Facilitator, USC McNair Scholars Summer Research Institute Symposium, USC Davidson Conference Center, Los Angeles, CA., 05/19/2014-07/30/2014  
  • Lead Coordinator and Facilitator, USC McNair Scholars Poster Presentation Session, USC Bogardus Courtyard, Los Angeles, CA., 05/19/2014-07/17/2014  

Professional Memberships


  • National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies, 10/06/2014-  
  • American Historical Association, 09/01/2011-  
  • Organization of American Historians, 09/01/2011-  
  • Western History Association, 09/01/2011-