Deborah Kanter

Deborah Kanter
Chair and John S. Ludington Endowed Professor of History
Latin American History/Latino History

Office: Robinson Hall 212
Phone: 517/629-0399



1993    University of Virginia, Ph.D. in History,
             Dissertation: Hijos del Pueblo: Community
             and Gender in Rural Mexico, the Toluc,
1987    Advanced studies in history and
               anthropology, El Colegio de Michoacan,
               Zamora, Mexico
1987    University of Virginia, M.A. in History, 
              Thesis: Indian Education in Late 
              Colonial   Mexico: Policy and Practice
1984    University of Michigan, B.A. (honors), Phi
              Beta  Kappa, in History and American
              Culture and History
1983   Studies in art history and political economy, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de
             Mexico, Mexico City

Courses Offered

Mexican American History
Modern Latin American History
Slave Societies of the Americas
Going North: Latin American Immigration & the United States
Latin America-U.S. Relations
Contact & Conquest in the Americas
Gender and Sexuality in the 'Hispanic' World
After the Melting Pot: Issues in 20th-Century U.S. Immigration


Chicago Católico: Making Parishes Mexican. University of Illinois Press, forthcoming.
Hijos del Pueblo: Gender, Family and Community in Rural Mexico, 1730-1850.
University of Texas Press, 2009.

Chapters in Books (partial):
"Mexico: Colonial Period." Handbook of Latin American Studies: No 62 Humanities, University of Texas Press, 2007, pp.113-122.
Their Hair was Curly': Afro-Mexicans in Indian Villages Central Mexico 1700-1820." In Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds. Editors Tiya Miles and Sharon P. Holland. Duke University Press, 2006.

Journal Articles (partial):
“Truly Inbetween People: Situating Latinos in 20th-Century Urban History.” Journal of Urban History, vol. 41:6 (2015), 1143-51.
“Faith and Family for Early Mexican Immigrants to Chicago: the Diary of Elidia Barroso,” Diálogo, vol. 16:1 (Spring 2013), pp. 21-34.
“Making Mexican Parishes: Ethnic Succession in Chicago Churches, 1947-77,” U.S. Catholic Historian vol. 301:1 (2012), pp. 35-58.
"Native Female Land Tenure and its Decline in Mexico, 1750-1900," Ethnohistory vol. 42:4 (1995), pp. 607-616.
"Viudas y vecinos, milpas y magueyes--el impacto del auge de la población en el Valle de Toluca: el caso de Tenango del Valle en el siglo XVIII," Estudios demográficos y urbanos vol. 7:1, pp. 19-33.

Recent Presentations

“The Resurrection of Chicago’s `Mexican Cathedral.’” American Historical Association, Chicago, January 3-6, 2019.
“Making a Migrant Ministry in Michigan, 1950-64.” American Historical Association/American Catholic Historical Association, Washington DC, January 4-7, 2018.
“Faith & Community in Chicago’s Catedral Mexicana.” CEHILA-USA, Austin, February 22-24, 2013.
"Making Mexican Parishes: Ethnic Succession in Chicago Churches, 1947-1977." American Historical Association/American Catholic Historical Association, Chicago, January 5-8, 2012.

Grants and Fellowships (partial)

President's Advisory Committee on Intercultural Affairs Faculty Recognition Award, Albion College, 2012
Mark Sheldon Putnam, '41 and Mildred Plate Putnam, '41 Faculty Mentoring Award, Albion College, 2011
Hewlett-Mellon Fund for Faculty Development Grant, Albion College, 2001-09, 2012
ACM Newberry Library Program in the Humanities, Faculty Fellow, 2000
National Endowment for the Humanities, Fellowship for College Teachers and Independent Scholars, 1995-96

Current Research

Making a Migrant Ministry in the Midwest, 1950-64: In the 1950s the number of braceros (temporary Mexican contract workers) more than doubled, traveling far north of the historic centers of Mexican settlement. The Mexican Catholic church partnered with U.S. bishops to send Mexican priests to follow the braceros to northern states each summer. Most of the Mexican priests spent their summer in Michigan or Ohio. My work focuses on the “Bracero-Misioneros” and their work with braceros and other migrant workers in small rural parishes. This curious experiment in binational ministry often invigorated local efforts to develop effective ministry to Spanish-speaking people which, in turn, raised awareness about the plight of migrant workers in the U.S.