Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
Miguel A. Levario specializes in US-Mexico Borderlands, with emphasis on the twentieth century. His research focuses on the transnational context of immigration, militarization, and race in the U.S. West and Northern Mexico. His book, Militarizing the Border: When Mexicans Became the Enemy (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2012) explains current tensions and controversy over immigration and law enforcement issues centered on the US-Mexico border. In addition to his book, Levario has contributed to a number of edited volumes, including a chapter in Arnoldo De Leon's War Along the Border: The Mexican Revolution and Tejano Communities (Robert A. Calvert Book Prize 2011), titled "The El Paso Race Riot 1916." Additionally, Levario contributed a chapter covering the social history of the Trans-Pecos region in West Texas: A History of the Giant Side of the State (University of Oklahoma Press, 2014), edited by Paul Carlson and Bruce Glasrud. Levario has presented research at the Organization of American Historians, Texas State Historical Association, as well as, several other national, international, state and local conferences. Levario has published numerous articles and book reviews in the Journal of American History, Aztlán, The Chronicles of Oklahoma, Civil War History, among others. Several national and international media outlets have sought Levario for expert commentary on current and past conditions regarding immigration, drug smuggling, and national security along the US-Mexico border.
Levario was named the 2011-2012 Texas Tech Honors College Faculty Member of the Year. In 2011, Texas Tech University awarded Levario with the Scholars Incentive Award. In 2010, Levario was honored with the President’s Excellence in Diversity and Equity Award. He was also nominated for this award in 2009. In 2009, Levario was awarded the Marlene Nathan Meyerson Fellowship by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
As historian Miguel Antonio Levario explains in this timely book, current tensions and controversy over immigration and law enforcement issues centered on the US-Mexico border are only the latest evidence of a long-standing atmosphere of uncertainty and mistrust plaguing this region. Militarizing the Border: When Mexicans Became the Enemy, focusing on El Paso and its environs, examines the history of the relationship among law enforcement, military, civil, and political institutions, and local communities. In the years between 1895 and 1940, West Texas experienced intense militarization efforts by local, state, and federal authorities responding to both local and international circumstances. El Paso's “Mexicanization” in the early decades of the twentieth century contributed to strong racial tensions between the region's Anglo population and newly arrived Mexicans. Anglos and Mexicans alike turned to violence in order to deal with a racial situation rapidly spinning out of control.
Highlighting a binational focus that sheds light on other US-Mexico border zones in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Militarizing the Border establishes historical precedent for current border issues such as undocumented immigration, violence, and racial antagonism on both sides of the boundary line. This important evaluation of early US border militarization and its effect on racial and social relations among Anglos, Mexicans, and Mexican Americans will afford scholars, policymakers, and community leaders a better understanding of current policy . . . and its potential failure.
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