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Jorge Ramirez

Ph.D. Candidate in history, UC San Diego

Residency: September 2018 – May 2019

Research Project: Becoming Indigenous: Race, Violence, and Agriculture in Cold War Oaxaca and Along the U.S.-Mexico Pacific Coast, 1970-2006

Research Interests: Relational Race and Ethnicity, Violence, Latina/o studies, Modern Mexico, Comparative Immigration, and US-Mexico Borderlands


Jorge Ramirez is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of California San Diego. His dissertation centers on the relationship between indigeneity, race, and violence that linked together rural western Oaxaca, Mexico and the agricultural regions along the U.S. and Mexico Pacific Coast since the late 20th century. Specifically, he analyzes how notions of race and violence took on a distinct shape in Oaxaca’s Mixteca region between indigenous people, such as the Triqui and Mixtec people, and the expansion of coffee in the first half of the twentieth century by regional elites. He argues that this process played an important role in exacerbating intra- and inter-communal conflicts and the justification of physical force through racial discourse, which became most visible in the 1970s and 1980s as Triqui and Mixtec people’s efforts to regain control over their own lives transformed through new tactics. Ultimately, this dynamic became one aspect of indigenous migration and incorporation to the agribusinesses of the Pacific Coast. The experiences of the past became crucial sites to negotiate alliances or perpetuate conflicts as indigenous migrant farmworkers confronted new forms of racialization and violence under a different but interconnected political economy.

Ramirez received an A.A. at Santa Rosa Junior College, received a B.A. in black studies and sociology at UC Santa Barbara, and an M.A. in history at UC San Diego. His research has been supported by numerous grants and fellowships, including UC San Diego’s Chancellor’s Research Excellence Scholarships (CRES, 2018-2019), the Fulbright-García Robles Research Grant (2017-2018) and the Social Science Research Council’s Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship (DPDF, 2015).