US 1900-Present, 2011

Research Interests

American West; Southwest history; borderlands; citizenship; higher education; social movements; American legal history; US government; racial formations; social reform; Bureau of Indian Affairs; Native American history; Mexican American history; Latino history; urban history


Filiberto Chávez Jr. specializes in the history of higher education, reform and social movements, and citizenship ties (or lack there of) to rights. Filiberto is studying how Native Americans became citizens of the United States. His dissertation project begins in the 1890s and focuses on reservation property, taxation law, and the relocation of Native American G.I.s to cities following World War II. His work seeks to contribute to larger debates on national belonging, civil rights, ethnic-identity movements, and the history of social movements. Filiberto is also interested in borderlands, the sovereignty of Indian nations, and how nation-states interact with Indian nations in North America.

Filiberto has an AB with honors in history and Chicano-Latino studies from the University of California at Berkeley (2010), where he specialized in Mexican American and American Indian history. His thesis focused on the Franciscan conversion of Indian noblemen in sixteenth-century colonial Mexico. He wrote an honors thesis on the origins of Native American studies at San Francisco State and UC Berkeley. Filiberto expanded this project at the University of Chicago in 2012 for his AM to understand how ethnic studies became a discipline. This project focused on debates the state, students, and professors had at university campuses and the US Senate on the intellectual basis of ethnic studies, student activism, minority access to higher education, and academic freedom. When Filiberto is not writing or preparing for a class, he is in the kitchen cooking, walking the city, or photographing street art.