Stanford University

Post image for Albert Camarillo looks back on four decades teaching Mexican American history at Stanford

Growing up in Compton, California in the 50s and 60s, by his own admission Albert Camarillo was not a particularly good student. “But a light went on in sixth grade when I had my first male teacher,” he recalls, sitting in the living room of his Menlo Park home. “Another inspiration was my older brother who excelled as a high school student.”

Al did his undergraduate and graduate studies at UCLA, where he was mentored by Juan Gómez-Quiñones. “Initially I was going to study marine biology, but that changed quickly,” he chuckled. “I switched to political science but changed again to history, taking the first Mexican-American history class when I was a junior. That became my academic passion.”

After getting his Ph.D., Al came to Stanford where he has remained. He is widely regarded as one of the founders of the field of Mexican American history and Chicano Studies and has received numerous awards and fellowships over the course of his career.

The moniker, Chicano Studies, he views as a “historical phenomena of my generation that’s lost it’s salience as ‘more acceptable’ phrases were adopted.” Terminology aside, he is incredibly fulfilled “by the huge expansion of a field of study that I helped create.”

“Today there are 1,000 people teaching Mexican American history in higher education,” he said. “When I stared there were a couple of dozen. You can’t understand American history without knowing about our country’s second largest minority group.”

Al will soon be wrapping up his career at Stanford. “I’m teaching my last classed in the winter/spring quarter,” he said. “My wife and I look forward to visiting all of our grandchildren. And I still have a couple of books in the making.”

Photo by Scott R. Kline (c) 2018

{ Be the first to comment }

Alison Carpenter Davis talks about her book “Letters Home from Stanford”

Thumbnail image for Alison Carpenter Davis talks about her book “Letters Home from Stanford”

Alison Carpenter Davis, author of the new book Letters Home from Stanford, is appearing at the Menlo Park Library on March 21. The book is a collection of written and electronic correspondence by generations of Stanford students, from the Pioneer Class to the 21st century. Alison, a class of 1979 Stanford grad, compiled the letters in collaboration […]

Click to read more →

Learn about Stanford’s Middle Plaza project at community meeting on March 16

Thumbnail image for Learn about Stanford’s Middle Plaza project at community meeting on March 16

In a press release issued today, Stanford University said there will be a community meeting tomorrow (Thursday, March 16) to provide local residents with the latest information on the plans to turn an 8.4-acre stretch of vacant car lots along El Camino Real in Menlo Park into a mix of housing, offices and retail. Known as Middle Plaza, the […]

Click to read more →

Atherton resident Sarah Mummah named 2012 Gates Cambridge scholar

Thumbnail image for Atherton resident Sarah Mummah named 2012 Gates Cambridge scholar

Atherton resident Sarah Mummah is one of 40 Americans recently selected as 2012 Gates Cambridge Scholars. Sarah is the executive director of DreamCatchers, a nonprofit she founded as a Stanford undergraduate in 2008 that aims to build an effective after school model for improving the health and education outcomes of low-income middle school students. DreamCatcher’s […]

Click to read more →

Stanford food drive for Second Harvest Food Bank

The Stanford women’s gymnastics team is reaching out to its west Menlo Park neighbors so the university can “beat Cal” in a competition to collect food for Second Harvest Food Bank. The “Big Drive” takes place during the two weeks leading up to the Big Game the Saturday, Nov. 20. The gymnastics team left shopping […]

Click to read more →

Sean Falconer: Navigating the ultra-complex and the ultra-high

Thumbnail image for Sean Falconer: Navigating the ultra-complex and the ultra-high

Sean Falconer’s instructions for meeting him on the Stanford campus were a minor marvel. Navigating Stanford’s city-sized campus sprawl is no mean feat, even for those with experience, but Sean’s email was concise – a 20-odd word description making it very clear where he’d be at the appointed hour. He arrived exactly on time. Which […]

Click to read more →