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David-James Gonzales

Assistant Professor
History, History

2107 JFSB
Provo, UT 84602


David-James Gonzales is a native of Southern California. He began his collegiate studies at Southwestern Community College in Chula Vista, CA and completed his B.A. in History summa cum laude at the University of California, San Diego in 2011. In 2017, he completed the Ph.D. in History at the University of Southern California writing his dissertation on the Mexican American struggle against segregation in Orange County, CA from 1920 to 1950. During the 2017-2018 academic year, David-James was Preceptor in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, where he taught courses on Latina/o politics and Borderlands History in the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity. Additionally, David-James has lectured in the Cesar E. Chavez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at UCLA, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses on Latina/o/x Urbanism and urban social inequality.

David-James is also a producer and host of the scholarly book review podcast “New Books in Latino Studies,” part of the New Books Network, available on Apple podcasts, Stitcher, and on demand at:

Outside of academia, he has worked in mortgage finance and for-profit higher education. Alongside his wife Karla, David-James is the proud parent of four children.

Research Interests

DJ’s research centers on the relationship between migration, urbanization, and civil rights in Southern California. His scholarship has been published in academic journals and anthologies including the Journal of American Ethnic History, American Studies, and 50 Events that Shaped Latino History. His current book project, tentatively titled Breaking Down the Walls of Segregation: Mexican Americans, Grassroots Politics, and Civil Rights in Orange County, CA, 1890-1965, maps a new vision for the history of Orange County that centers on the lived experiences and seminal impact of ethnic Mexicans and their fight against social, economic, and political marginalization.

Teaching Interests

U.S. 19th and 20th c., race and ethnicity, immigration, U.S.-Mexico borderlands, Latina/o/x culture, identity, and politics.


  • Ph.D., History , University of Southern California (2017)
  • M.A., History , University of Southern California (2014)
  • B.A., History , University of California, San Diego (2011)

Honors and Awards

  • Butler Young Scholar Award, Charles Redd Center for Western Studies (2021 - 2024)
  • Career Enhancement Fellowship, Institute for Citizens and Scholars (Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation) (2021 - 2021)
  • FHSS Individual Research Grant, BYU FHSS College (2020 - 2021)
  • Fellow with the Summer Institute on Tenure & Professional Development, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Duke University (2019 - 2021)
  • Young Scholar, Institute for Latino Studies, University of Notre Dame (2019 - 2019)


  • Latina/o Studies Association (2016 - Present)
  • Urban History Association (2016 - Present)
  • American Historical Association (2011 - Present)
  • Organization of American Historians (2011 - Present)
  • Western History Association (2011 - Present)

Professional Citizenship

  • Other, New Books Network (New Books in Latino Studies) (2015 - Present)

Courses Taught


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