Core Faculty

  • Portrait
  • Lilia Fernández, Ph.D.
  • Associate Professor
  • LCS
  • History
  • Email
  • Phone: (848) 445-4344



Ph.D. 2005, University of California, San Diego
M.A. 2002, University of California, San Diego
Ed.M. 2000, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
B.A. 1994, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 

Research Interests

Twentieth Century Latino/a history * (Im)migration * Urban Inequality * Class Politics * Latinos/as and Criminal Justice * Women's History


Biographical Information

Lilia was the Henry Rutgers Term Chair in the Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies and the Department of History at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She is a scholar of 20th century Latino/a urban and immigration history and the author of Brown in the Windy City: Mexicans and Puerto Ricans in Postwar Chicago (University of Chicago Press, 2012), a history of the migration and settlement of Latinos in Chicago in the years after World War II. She is also the editor of 50 Events that Shaped Latino History: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic (ABC-CLIO/Greenwood, 2018), and has authored numerous book chapters, journal articles, book reviews, and essays on Latino/a community formation, labor migration, nativism and xenophobia, and urban history, Currently, she is working on several projects including a book on the history of pan-ethnic Latino politics in Chicago and an essay on Latinos, police abuse, and the criminal justice system.

Courses Regularly Taught

595: 101
Intro to Latino Studies
595: 369 Latino History
595: 351  Mexican American History




Brown in the Windy City: Mexicans and Puerto Ricans in Postwar Chicago (University of Chicago Press, 2012) 

50 Events That Shaped Latino Hisotry: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic (Greenwood, 2018)                                                                                                                                                                                                         

 Articles, Book Chapters, and Essays

“Between Poverty and Segregation: Latino/a Students Surviving the Urban Crisis in Chicago’s Public Schools” in Latino Education in the Midwest, edited by Angelica Rivera, Isaura Pulido, and Ann Aviles de Brady (University of Illinois Press, forthcoming).

“Living in the Shadow of the ‘Second Ghetto,’” essay commemorating the legacy of historian Arnold Hirsch, Journal of Urban History (December 2019).

"Race Baiting, Identity Politics, and the Impact of Conservative Economic Policies on Latinos/as" Latino Studies, 16, 4 (December 2018).

"Latino/a Immigration Before 1965: Mexicans and Puerto Ricans in Postwar Chicago" in The Latino Midwest Reader, edited by Omar Valerio-Jiménez, Santiago Vaquera-Vásquez, and Claire F. Fox (University of Illinois Press, 2017).

“Latinos/as in the Midwest: A Historical Overview,” white paper for Midwest Roundtable of The Future of Latinos in the United States, a project of the American Bar Foundation, May 2016.                                                         

“Moving Beyond Aztlán: Disrupting Nationalism and Geographic Essentialism in Chicano/a History,” in A Promising Problem: The New Chicana/o History, edited by Carlos K. Blanton (University of Texas Press, 2016): 59-83.

“Beyond Open Borders,” North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA), January 6, 2016. 

“Urban History and the Construction of Social Difference,” special issue roundtable discussion honoring Michael B. Katz, Journal of Urban History 41, 4 (July 2015): 566-571.

“Ronald Reagan, Race, Civil Rights, and Immigration,” in The Companion to Ronald Reagan, edited by Andrew Johns (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014): 185-203.

Reprinted excerpt of “Of Migrants and Immigrants: Mexican and Puerto Rican Labor Migration in Comparative Perspective, 1942-1964” in Major Problems in Latina/o History, edited by Omar Valerio-Jimenez and Carmen Theresa Whalen (Cengage, 2014): 267-274.

“Listening to House Music ‘Everywhere, Everyday’: Latino Youth Consuming and Producing Culture,” in Mapping Latina/o Studies: An Interdisciplinary Reader, edited by Angharad Valdivia & Matt Garcia (Peter Lang, 2012): 237-261.

“Of Migrants and Immigrants: Mexican and Puerto Rican Labor Migration in Comparative Perspective, 1942-1964.” Journal of American Ethnic History 29, no. 3 (2010): 6-39.

“From the Near West Side to 18th Street: Un/Making Latina/o Barrios in Postwar Chicago.” In Beyond el Barrio: Everyday Life in Latina/o America, edited by Gina Pérez, Frank Guridy, and Adrian Burgos (NYU Press, 2010): 233-252.

The Latino New Jersey History Project