Albert Camarillo

Professor of American History; Leon Sloss Jr. Memorial Professor; Special Assistant to the Provost for Faculty Diversity in charge of the Faculty Development Initiative of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.
camar@stanford.edu
Phone: 
723-1966

At Stanford Since

1975
Ph.D., University of California at Los Angeles; BA, University of California at Los Angeles

Bio Sketch

Al Camarillo is the President of the Organization of American Historians for 2012-13, the nation’s largest membership association for historians of the U.S. He is also the past president to the American Historical Association-Pacific Coast Branch.

A member of the Stanford University History Department since 1975, Camarillo is widely regarded as one of the founding scholars of the field of Mexican American history and Chicano Studies. He was born and raised in the South Central Los Angeles community of Compton where he attended the Compton public schools before entering the University of California at Los Angeles as a freshman in 1966. He continued his education at UCLA in the Ph.D. program in U.S. History where he received his doctorate in 1975 and where his dissertation was nominated that year as one of the best Ph.D. theses in the nation in American history. Camarillo has published seven books and dozens of articles and essays dealing with the experiences of Mexican Americans and other racial and immigrant groups in American cities.

Camarillo’s newest book, Mexican Americans and Ethnic/Racial Borderhoods in American Cities, 1850-2000 will be publish in spring 2013 by Oxford University Press. Two of his books, Chicanos in a Changing Society: From Mexican Pueblos to American Barrios (Harvard University Press, 1979, six printings; Southern Methodist University Press edition, March 2005) and Chicanos in California: A History of Mexican Americans (Boyd and Fraser, 1984, four printings) have been widely read. He is currently working on a book entitled Going Back to Compton: Reflections of a Native Son on Life in an Infamous American City, an autobiographical and historical account of Compton from the 1950s to 2010.

Over the course of his career, Camarillo has received many awards and fellowships. He is the only faculty member in the history of Stanford University to receive six of the highest and most prestigious awards for excellence in teaching, service to undergraduate education, and contributions to the University and its alumni association. At Stanford’s Commencement in 1988 and in 1994 respectively, he received the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Outstanding Service to Undergraduate Education and the Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 1997, he was awarded the Bing Teaching Fellowship Award for Excellence and Innovation in Undergraduate Teaching. Camarillo was awarded the Miriam Roland Prize for Volunteer Service for 2005, an award that recognizes a Stanford Faculty member who “over and above their normal academic duties engage and involve students in integrating academic scholarship with significant volunteer service to society.” Most recently, he received the Richard W. Lyman Award from the Stanford Alumni Association in 2010 and the President’s Award for Excellence Through Diversity in 2011. Camarillo has also received various awards for research and writing including a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship; he was also a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and at the Stanford Humanities Center.

Camarillo has served in many administrative positions during his career. In 2007 he was appointed as Special Assistant to the Provost for Faculty Diversity, directing the Faculty Development Initiative, a faculty recruitment and hiring program in collaboration with the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE). He is also the founding director of CCSRE (1996-2002), the founding director of the Stanford Center for Chicano Research (1980-85), and the founding executive director of the Inter-University Program in Latino Research (1985-88). He also served as Associate Dean and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the School of Humanities and Sciences from 1990 to 1992. 

Research Interests

  • Comparative urban histories of ethnic and racial minorities in the US
  • Mexican American history
  • African Americans and Latinos in Contemporary Urban America
  • American West and California

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Race and Ethnicity in 20th Century America
  • Introduction to Mexican American History
  • Poverty and Homelessness in America
  • California History
  • Twentieth Century America
  • Introduction to Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity
  • Graduate Seminar on Race, Ethnicity, and Culture in 20th Century US
  • Graduate Core Colloquium in American History

Major Publications

  •  Mexican Americans and Ethnic/Racial Borderhoods in American Cities (to be published by Oxford University Press)
  • Chicanos in a Changing Society: From Mexican Pueblos to American Barrios, 1850-1930 (Harvard University Press, six printings, 1996; Southern Methodist University Press edition, 2005)
  • Chicanos in California: A History of Mexican Americans (Boyd and Fraser Publishers, 1984, fourth printing)
  • The American Southwest: Myth and Reality (with Ray Allen Billington; Clark Memorial Library Publications, UCLA, 1975)
  • State of Chicano Research in Family, Labor, and Migration Studies (co-editor and author, Stanford University, 1983)
  • Furia y Muerte: Los Bandidos Chicanos (co-author and co-editor, UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Publications, 1973)
  • over thirty published articles, essays, and book chapters; three published research bibliographies

Awards:

  • President's Award for Excellence through Diversity, 2011
  • Richard L. Lyman Award, Stanford Alumni Association, 2010
  • Miriam Roland Prize for Volunteer Service, 2005
  • Bing Fellowship Award for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching, 1997-2000
  • Ernest A. Lynton Award for Faculty Professional Service and Academic Outreach, National Honorable Mention, 1997
  • Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching, Stanford University Commencement, 1994
  • Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Outstanding Service to Undergraduate Education, Stanford University Commencement, 1988

Fellowships:

  • Fellow, Stanford Humanities Center, 1988-89 and 2002-03
  • Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, 1994-95 and 1982-83
  • Fellow, The Huntington Library, 1990
  • Rockefeller Foundation Research Fellowship, 1982-83
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship, 1977-78

University Service:

  • Professor of History, Stanford University (1975-present)
  • The Leon Sloss, Jr. Memorial Professor, (2011-present)
  • Miriam and Peter Haas Centennial Professor in Public Service (2001-2010)
  • Mellon Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies (1991-94)
  • Director, Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity (1996-2002)
  • Associate Dean and Director of Undergraduate Studies, School of Humanities and Sciences (1992-94)
  • Executive Director, Inter-University Program for Latino Research (1985-88)
  • Director, Stanford Center for Chicano Research (1980-1985)

Professional Affiliations:

  • President, Organization of American Historians 2012-13
  • President, American Historical Association-Pacific Coast Branch, 2005-06
  • American Historical Association
    • Division Committee on the Profession, 1987-90
    • Task Force on NAEP, U.S. History Assessment, 1991-92
    • Council Member, Pacific Coast Branch, 1997-99, 1980-82
    • Chair, Program Committee, Pacific Coast Branch, 1984
  • Organization of American Historians
    • Program Committee, 1999-2000
    • Executive Board, 1992-1995
    • Committee on Minority History and Historians, 1987-89
    • Nominating Board, 1982-84
    • Editorial Board Memberships (Pacific Historical Review, Western Historical Quarterly, Mexican Studies Journal)

Prof. Camarillo in the News