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John Mckiernan-González

John Mckiernan-Gonzalez Faculty Picture, 2019Office: Brazos 214
Phone: 512.245.2224

Curriculum Vitae

Educational Background
Ph.D. - The University of Michigan
M.A. - The University of Michigan
B.A. - Oberlin College

I have long been interested in public health and Latino social movements. My first job after college was in HIV testing and prevention for the Cook County Health Department, while I volunteered with the Immigrant Rights Network. In both jobs, I wanted something that could connect the long presence of Mexican communities in the United States to the history of American public health. There were none then. I decided to pursue a career researching and writing the history of these connections. I completed my Ph.D in History at the University of Michigan. My first book, Fevered Measures: Public Health and Race at the Texas-Mexico Border, 1848-1942, examines how the United States Public Health Service built its first medical border in the Texas-Mexico borderlands and how Mexican, Mexican American, and Black communities responded to the drawing of this medical border across their communities. My next project, Working Conditions: Medical Authority and Latino Civil Rights, examines how Latino communities sought to transform medical authority, a tool often used against minority communities, into an instrument for social justice. This project examines this complicated process in Texas, Chicago, California, and New York. My other project, Race against Labor, examines the way modern black and Mexican migrations shaped cultural movements and cultural boundaries in Southern and Mexican history.

Dr. Mckiernan-González specializes in Mexican American History, Latino Studies, Social and Cultural History of Medicine, and Immigration History


John Mckiernan-González, Fevered Measures: Public Health and Race at the Texas -Mexico Border, 1848-1942 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, August 2012).

John Mckiernan-Gonzalez, Race across the Border: Black Labor and the Transnational Worlds of Coal and Cotton, (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, to be submitted Summer 2014) under advance contract with the University Press of Florida, 10/31/2012

Co-Edited Collection:
Martin Summers, Laurie Green, and John Mckiernan-González, co-editors. Precarious Prescriptions: Contested Histories of Race and Health in North America, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, Forthcoming Spring 2014)

Peer Reviewed Articles:
“Building Austin, Building Justice: Immigrant Construction Workers, Precarious Labor Regimes and Social Citizenship.” Co-authors: Rebecca Torres, Rich Heyman, Solange Muñoz, Lauren Apgar, Emily Timm, Cristina Tzintzun, Charles R. Hale, John Mckiernan-González, Shannon Speed, Eric Tang. Geoforum, V. 45, 2013.

Book Chapters:
John Mckiernan-González, “Making the Nation’s Edge: African-Americans and Smallpox in the Mexican American Borderlands,” Making Race, Making Health: Race, Medicine and Public Health in Historical Perspective, under contract at the University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming Spring 2014.

John Mckiernan-González, “Science and Medicine,” American Latinos in the Making of the United States (Washington, DC: G.P.O. / OAH, August 2013)

John Mckiernan-González, “Going Public? Tampa Youth, Racial Schooling, and Public History in the Cuentos de mi Familia Project,” in Beyond El Barrio: Everyday Life in Latina/o America, eds. Gina M. Pérez, Frank A. Guridy, and Adrian Burgos, Jr. (New York, NY: New York University Press, 2010), pp.189-210.

Courses Taught

Mexican American History

Latino Histories

Health and Illness in American History

Borderlands History

American Immigration Histories