Alberto Garcia

Assistant Professor
Undergraduate Advisor

Areas of Interest

  • Twentieth-century Mexico
  • Latin American social and political movements
  • Immigration
  • American civil rights movements


Abandoning Their Beloved Land: Bracero Emigration and Religious and Agrarian Politics in Mexico's Rosary Belt (In-progress book manuscript)

"With Nothing to Fall Back On: The Bracero Program and the 1947 Hoof-and-Mouth Disease Outbreak" (In-progress journal article draft)

Selected Honors

UC Berkeley Connect Fellowship, 2015-2016

UC Berkeley Graduate Division Mentored Research Award, 2014-2015

UC Mexus Dissertation Research Grant, 2013-2014

UC Berkeley Chancellor's Fellowship, 2009-2013



I was born and raised in the Sacramento Valley, the youngest child of immigrant farmworkers from the Mexican state of Michoacán.  I received a double B.A. in Communication and History from the University of California, Davis, an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Stanford University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Berkeley.  After finishing my graduate work, I taught history courses as a lecturer at both UC Berkeley and Santa Clara University, and I then spent one year as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Texas at Austin's Institute for Historical Studies.  I joined the San José State University History Department as an assistant professor in fall 2018.

My in-progress book manuscript, tentatively titled Abandoning Their Beloved Land: Bracero Emigration and Religious and Agrarian Politics in Mexico's Rosary Belt, explores how the Mexican government administered the Bracero Program -- an initiative that allowed Mexican men to work in the United States as seasonal contract laborers between 1942 and 1964 -- and why rural workers from some of Mexico's most traditionally Catholic states -- Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacán, and Zacatecas -- were the ones most interested in migrating.  I am also drafting an article that examines instances when Mexican officials set aside bracero contracts for the victims of natural disasters, such as a hoof-and-mouth disease outbreak that devastated central Mexico's livestock population during the late 1940s.  I have presented and discussed my research at conferences and invited lectures in both the U.S. and Mexico.  More broadly, I am interested in twentieth-century Mexico, Latin American political and social movements, race and gender in Latin America, immigrant societies in the U.S., and American civil rights movements.

I am an ardent believer in California's system of higher public education and its ability to uplift members of traditionally underrepresented communities.  I am very much looking forward to working with San José State's diverse student population and helping prepare them for their careers and to be thoughtful and engaged members of their communities.  I teach single-topic and comparative undergraduate lecture courses on Latin American and U.S. history, as well as graduate seminars on U.S. and world history.