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Chávez–García, Miroslava 1968-

Chávez–García, Miroslava 1968-


Born November 9, 1968, in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico; married Ebers Garcia (a graphic designer); children: Eliana Aliyah, Evan Abraham. Education: University of California, Los Angeles, Ph.D., 1998.


Office—University of California, Davis, Chicana/o Studies Department, 2119 Hart Hall, Davis, CA 95616. E-mail—[email protected]


Academic and historian. University of California, Davis, associate professor. Also works with the California Hispanic Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Inc.


Negotiating Conquest: Gender and Power in California, 1770s to 1880s, University of Arizona Press (Tucson, AZ), 2004.


Miroslava Chávez-García is an academic and historian. Born in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, in 1968, she is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and grew up in Holtville and San Jose, California. Chávez-García's upbringing as the daughter of working-class Mexican immigrants led her to study the immigrant experience in the United States, particularly that of Mexicans.

Chávez-García earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1988. Upon completion of her doctoral degree, she started working as an assistant professor, later becoming a professor in the Chicana/o Studies Program at the University of California, Davis. She contributes articles to scholarly journals on the topics of patriarchy, gender, and nineteenth-century California law. In addition, she assists the California Hispanic Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Inc. with their newsletter at the Latino Technical Assistance and Training Institute on legislation, medical breakthroughs, substance abuse, and other related issues. Chávez-García's academic research interests include Chicana/o and Latina/o history, race, juvenile justice, youth, early twentieth-century California reform schools' science education, Mexico-U.S. border relations, research methodologies, and California juvenile justice of Mexican, Mexican-American, and African American males in the early twentieth century.

Chávez-García published her first book, Negotiating Conquest: Gender and Power in California, 1770s to 1880s, in 2004 through the University of Arizona Press. The book analyzes the ways in which Native American and Mexican women broke the mold of their traditional patriarchal cultural systems from the Spanish Catholic rule in the late eighteenth century through the rise of the Euro-American Protestant and capitalist society. Chávez-García shows the role that gender played in policy creation and the ways in which the Spanish came to dominate the region by using the concept of family to aid in stability. This, however, began a process of destabilizing the authority of women, with men gaining supremacy in the arena of the home, in divorce, inheritance, and other legal issues.

Sarah Deutsch, writing in the Historian, found the book to be "more narrowly focused on court cases and offering more quantitative analysis than other recent studies on women in the U.S. Southwest" during the nineteenth century. Deutsch concluded that Chávez-García's account "is not a simple tale of declension. This is a useful and illuminating study to put beside the handful of other important works on California and New Mexico in this era."



Historian, spring, 2006, Sarah Deutsch, review of Negotiating Conquest: Gender and Power in California, 1770s to 1880s, p. 132.

Journal of the West, summer, 2005, Febe Pamonag, review of Negotiating Conquest, p. 92.

Reference & Research Book News, November, 2004, review of Negotiating Conquest, p. 68.

Western Historical Quarterly, winter, 2006, Louise Pubols, review of Negotiating Conquest, p. 513.


University of California-Davis Web site, (March 23, 2008), author profile.

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