Monica Perales, Ph.D.

Associate Vice Provost of the Institute of Texan Cultures,

Dr. Monica Perales' Headshot


Dr. Monica Perales is Associate Vice Provost of the Institute of Texan Cultures and holds a faculty appointment in the Interdisciplinary School for Engagement. A historian of Texas and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, her first book, Smeltertown: Making and Remembering a Southwest Border Community (UNC Press) received the 2010 Kenneth Jackson Award for Best Book from the Urban History Association and was a finalist for the William P. Clements Prize for the Best Non-Fiction Book on Southwestern America. Her current research examines Mexican women, labor, and food in the US Southwest in the 20thcentury. She has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including the University of Houston Teaching Excellence Award and the Ruth A. Allen Pioneer in Working Class Studies Award. Prior to joining UTSA, she was also the director of the UH Center for Public History, which is dedicated to creating collaborative research projects with university and community partners as well as training the next generation of public humanities practitioners. In this capacity, she created multiple internships in various cultural institutions, historical consulting firms, and local non-profit organizations to prepare undergraduate and graduate students for careers in the public humanities. She authored and collaborated on successful internal and external grants to support public history education and projects, including awards from the Summerlee Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Dr. Perales has served on the boards of Humanities Texas (the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities), Foodways Texas, the Texas State Historical Association, the Urban History Association, and the Labor and Working-Class History Association.

Research Interests

  • US-Mexico Borderlands History
  • Texas History
  • Latinx History
  • Food Studies
  • Public History


  • B.A. in Journalism and M.A. in History from the University of Texas at El Paso
  • Ph.D. in History from Stanford University