Presenter: Al Camarillo, the Leon Sloss Jr. Memorial Professor and Professor of American History, Emeritus, Stanford University
The establishment of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE) at Stanford in 1996 ushered in what our presenter Professor Al Camarillo refers to as “Ethnic Studies 2.0.” As the founding director of CCSRE and one of the founding scholars of Mexican American history and Chicano studies, Professor Camarillo shares a series of “origin stories” about the formation of CCSRE and the history of ethnic studies at Stanford and beyond. These origin stories are particularly important for understanding why the university is making plans to develop a new Institute for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Society and a Department of African and African American Studies.
Al Camarillo’s storied career at Stanford began in 1975 when he was appointed in the Department of History. He is widely regarded as one of the founders of the field of Mexican American history and Chicano studies (he is the first Mexican American in the nation’s history to receive a PhD in U.S. history with a specialization in Chicano History). He has published seven books and dozens of articles on the history of Mexican Americans and other communities of color. He is the only faculty member in the history of Stanford to receive six of the highest awards for excellence in teaching and service to the university. Camarillo is the past president of the Organization of American Historian, the nation’s largest membership association for historians of the United States and past president of the American Historical Association-Pacific Coast Branch. His memoir, Going Back to Compton: A Native Son Searches for Racial Equality, will be published by Stanford University Press in 2022-2023.