Historian Wins National Fellowship
Sarah Rodriguez, assistant professor in the Department of History in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, has been awarded a highly competitive Huntington Library Fellowship. The postdoctoral fellowship is a $50,000 award.
Scholars come from around the world to conduct advanced humanities research using The Huntington's collections. Through a rigorous peer review program, the institution awards approximately 200 fellowships to scholars in the fields of history, literature, art, and the history of science. These scholarly pursuits lead to best-selling books, Pulitzer Prizes, acclaimed documentary films, and many history and social studies textbooks.
The Huntington's independent research library has significant holdings in British and American history; British and American literature; art history, the history of science and medicine; and the history of the book. The Library collections range chronologically from the eleventh century to the present and include 7 million manuscripts, 450,000 rare books, 440,000 reference works, and 1.3 million photographs, prints, and ephemera. A remarkable collection in the history of science and technology consists of some 67,000 rare books and reference volumes, as well as an important collection of scientific instruments.
The Art Collections contain several notable British and American paintings; innumerable fine prints and photographs; and an art reference library. In the library of the Botanical Gardens is a broad collection of reference works in botany, horticulture, and gardening, many referencing the botanical living collections.
Rodriguez will spend the 2019-20 academic year in residence at the Huntington completing work on her book project, Children of the Great Mexican Family: Anglo-American Immigration to Mexican Texas and the Making of the U.S. Empire, 1861-1867.
Rodriguez's work reconsiders the causes and consequences of the United States' dramatic rise to continental dominance at the middle of the nineteenth century by focusing on the thousands of Anglo American settlers who immigrated to Mexican Texas in the years following that country's independence from Spain. It takes their testaments of loyalty to Mexico seriously, argues that they were attracted to Mexico as much for its political promise as for its natural resources, and that they shared more in common with their northern Mexican neighbors than with their compatriots in the northeastern United States.
Children of the Great Mexican Family thereby exposes a profound political irony at the heart of the United States' rise to continental dominance — that it had to do with U.S. political failure rather than strength, and that Mexico presented an attractive and viable alternative to the United States.
Jim Gigantino II, chair
Department of History
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