Yesenia Hunter headshot

Yesenia Hunter

Assistant Professor

Humanities

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Yesenia Navarrete Hunter was born in Mexico and came to the U.S. as a child. She is the daughter of Guadalupe Marquez and Alberto Marquez, now of Wapato, Washington, where she grew up as a migrant farm worker. Her current work, called “Entangled Histories of Land and Labor,” centers on the braided histories of immigrants and Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest. By looking at movement, migration, and material practices, Yesenia looks at how groups made places of belonging and crafted opportunities for new relationships. Her work is guided by the question: How do people make place and create rhythms of belonging in fragile spaces? The aesthetics of her work are guided by elements of place, memory, embodied practices, and relationality.

Along with her scholarly work, Yesenia and the Hunter family explore questions of belonging through what they call “Hunter Gatherings,” events that invite others to participate in dialogue and making. She is also an accomplished artist and combines her art and scholarship. Her current public history project, Fingerprints and Landscapes, explores place making through stories and art.

Yesenia is a scholar and an artist. Her work is fueled by her role as a mother and is deeply influenced by the material practices of the music, poetry, and community building elements of the practice of the transnational movement of fandango.

Education:

AA, Yakima Valley Community College

BA, Heritage University

MA, University of Southern California

Publications:

“From Single Stranded to Braided Histories of Race and Ethnicity in the Southern California Quarterly”, Southern California Quarterly, Volume 101, No. 1, pp 34-44, Spring 2019.

“Beautiful Blowouts: How Chicana students used space to organize a protest,” in Space on Space Magazine, February 2021.

Book Reviews

Public Los Angeles: A Private City’s Activist Futures, by Don Parson, edited by Roger Keil and Judy Branfman, The Southern California Quarterly, 2021

America’s social arsonist: Fred Ross and grassroots organizing in the twentieth century by Gabriel Thompson, The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics, and Culture, March 2020.

Latino City: immigration and urban crisis in Lawrence, Massachusetts, 1945-2000 by Llana Barber, The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics, and Culture, Winter 2019.

Web-Based Publications

2017-2020 Boyle Heights Museum, www.boyleheightsmuseum.org, researcher, contributor 2019 Lost LA Curriculum Project, consultant, contributor
2017 “Scholarship and Art as Sites of Belonging,” Imagining America Fellows Publication

Professional Organizations:

  • Western History Association
  • Organization of American Historians
  • Latin American Studies Association
  • Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West American Studies Association