Senior Fellows

Neil Foley

The Robert H. and Nancy Dedman Chair in History, Co-director of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies, SMU

Dallas Hall 302
(214) 768-3753

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Professor Foley's current research centers on the changing constructions of race, citizenship, and transnational identity in the Borderlands, Mexico and the American West; Mexican immigration; and comparative civil rights politics of African Americans and Mexican Americans. He is the co-editor of New York University Press series, American History and Culture, and served on the selection jury for the Pulitzer Prize in history in 2004. Professor Foley is a Distinguished Lecturer of the Organization of American Historians and has lectured extensively in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. For a number of years he lived and taught in Mexico (Mexico City), Germany (Berlin, Heidelberg, Stuttgart), Spain (Salamanca, Zaragosa), and Japan (Misawa; Naha, Okinawa). He also spent two years living on aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean Sea where he taught sailors of the U.S. Navy's 6th Fleet in its Program for Afloat College Education (PACE).

Professor Foley’s teaching fields include 19th and 20th century U.S. History; Borderlands/Southwest History; Mexican American and Latino History; The American West; Immigration, Citizenship, and Transnational Identity in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands; African American and Latino Civil Rights Politics in the 20th Century; and Legal, Labor, and Political History of the American Southwest. 

Education and Honors

  • Ph.D., American Culture, University of Michigan, 1990
  • M.A., American Culture, University of Michigan
  • M.A., English and American Literature, Georgetown University
  • B.A., English, University of Virginia 

Publications, Speeches and Presentations

  • Latino USA: Mexicans and the Making of  America (forthcoming, Harvard, 2013).
  • Quest for Equality: The Failed Promise of Black-Brown Solidarity (Harvard, 2010).
  • Co-authored (with John R. Chávez) Teaching Mexican American History (2002).
  • Editor of Reflexiones: New Directions in Mexican American Studies (1998).
  • The White Scourge:  Mexicans, Blacks, and Poor Whites in Texas (Berkeley, 1997).