Carolina Ortega

Profile picture for Carolina Ortega

Contact Information

309 Gregory Hall
810 S. Wright Street
M/C 466
Urbana, IL 61801

Research Interests

Modern U.S. History
Modern Latin American History
Immigration History
Urban History
Latina/Latino Studies

Research Description

A product of archival research across the United States and Mexico, my dissertation traces the history of guanajuatense  migration to the U.S. throughout the twentieth-century. It argues that even though much has been written about Mexican migration, there is still surprisingly little known about how its history looks from and in sending communities. By beginning the story in early twentieth-century Guanajuato, one of Mexico’s most prolific--but often overlooked--sending states, my work illuminates previously ignored long-term push factors of mass migration. The project’s focus on the lived experiences of migrants whose transborder histories extend far beyond the singular focus of their arrival in the U.S. deepens scholar’s and the broader public’s understandings of the ways in which the local and regional shaped the migrant journey.


B.A. History and Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2013


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2019-2020
Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities Fellowship, 2017-2018
University of Illinois Graduate College Conference Travel Award, 2017
Tinker Summer Field Research Fellowship, Summer 2015
University of Illinois Latina/Latino Studies Department Conference Travel Award, 2014
University of Illinois Graduate College Fellowship, 2013-204; 2014-2015; 2016-2017
University of Illinois Summer Pre-Doctoral Institute Fellowship, 2013

Awards and Honors

Western History Association Graduate Student Prize, 2019

Courses Taught

Teaching Assistant, History 172: United States History Since 1877
Teaching Assistant, History 173: United States History Since 1877-Advanced Composition

Highlighted Publications

Parcels: Memories of Salvadoran Migration by Mike Anastario Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies (Forthcoming) 2019.
Grounds for Dreaming: Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants, and the California Farmworker Movement by Lori A. Flores Diálogo Journal 19 2 2016, p. 139-141.