Monica Pelayo, Ph.D.

Director of the Public History Program | Assistant Professor of History

Introduction to Historiography
Introduction to Public History and Popular Memory
Capstone in Public History

Professor Pelayo’s research interests include 20th-century social and cultural histories, American politics, immigration, race and ethnicity, and public history. She teaches courses in public history, immigration, and 20th-century history, both at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

A public historian, her research primarily deals with issues of race, immigration, and American collective memory.  Her recent project assesses how the narrative of “a nation of immigrants” circulated during and after the Cold War. Specifically, she examines how public history institutions such as the Smithsonian, Ellis Island, and Angel Island reproduced this narrative, and how the narrative changed over time. She has worked to secure artifacts and oral histories for the Bracero Oral History Project and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

She has worked at several notable cultural history institutions like the Getty Museum, the Autry National Center, the Smithsonian, the Huntington Library, and the Studio for Southern California History.