Michelle Vasquez Ruiz is a PhD candidate, USC Mellon Humanities in a Digital World PhD Fellow and a USC Provost Fellow  in the department of American Studies and Ethnicity at USC. Through the usage of oral histories, archival research, and digital mapping, her work analyzes the ways Indigenous populations in Los Angeles have historically navigated spatial and racial inequalities in the city. Currently she serves as a curator for the Boyle Heights Museum in Los Angeles. Since the museums foundation in 2017 she has worked with various universities, archival institutions and community organizations to create exhibits that highlight the enriching history of Boyle Heights. She strongly believes in the museums mission to “preserve and celebrate the multi-ethnic history of Los Angeles.” She holds a BA in Political Science and Chicano Studies from the University of California, Irvine and an MA in History from California State University, Los Angeles.


  • M.A. American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California, 2020
  • MA History, California State University Los Angeles, 2017
  • BA Political Science, University of California, Irvine, 2014
  • Book Review

    • Vasquez Ruiz, M. (2021). Latin American Indigeneities through Settler Colonialism, Neoliberalism, and Cyberspace. American Quarterly.pp. 403-14.

    Journal Article

    • N. Leal, J., Navarrete, Y., Vasquez Ruiz, M., Flores-Montano, C., Delgado, A., Noriega-Rocha, R., Galeano, I., Rodriguez, I., Polt-Gifford, A. (2022). Building Confianza: Collective Public History in the Time of Distance – a Joint Reflection from the Boyle Heights Museum Team. History, The Journal of the Historical Association. Vol. 107 (374)
    • Vasquez Ruiz, M. (2022). Mobile Postcards: Zapotec Imagined Mobility. Mobilities. PubMed Web Address


    • Vasquez Ruiz, M. (2018). Public Scholarship: Strategic Lessons for Resistance. PAGE Blog Salon, Imagining America. PubMed Web Address
    • Vasquez Ruiz, M. (2022). Algún día este autobús me llevará a casa / Someday this bus will take me home. Ethnic Studies Review. PubMed Web Address