Ana Raquel Minian

Associate Professor of History
Department
BA, University of Chicago, History and Gender Studies (2005)
M.Phil., Yale University, American Studies (2010)
M.A., Yale University, American Studies (2010)
PhD., Yale University, American Studies (2012)
Ana Raquel Minian Andjel
Ana Raquel Minian is an Associate Professor in the Department of History. Minian received a PhD in American Studies from Yale University. At Stanford University, Minian offers classes on Latinx history, immigration, histories of incarceration and detention, and modern Mexican history.

Minian's first book, Undocumented Lives: The Untold Story of Mexican Migration (Harvard University Press, 2018) received the David Montgomery Award for the best book in labor and working-class history, given jointly by the Organization of American Historians and the Labor and Working-Class History Association; the Immigration and Ethnic History Society’s Theodore Saloutos Book Award for an early career scholar’s work in immigration and ethnic history; the Western Association of Women Historians’ Frances Richardson Keller-Sierra Prize for best monograph in the field of history by a member; the Association for Humanist Sociology’s Betty and Alfred McClung Lee Book Award for best book in humanist sociology; and the Americo Paredes Book Award for Non-Fiction presented by the Center for Mexican American Studies at South Texas College. It was also a finalist for the Frederick Jackson Turner Award, given to the author of a first scholarly book dealing with some aspect of American history by the Organization of American Historians and received an honorable mention for the Latin American Studies Association’s Bryce Wood Book Award given to an outstanding book on Latin America in the social sciences and humanities published in English.

Minian's second book, In the Shadow of Liberty: The Invisible History of Immigrant Detention (Viking Press, forthcoming, April 2024) reveals the history of the immigrant detention system from its inception in the 1800s to the present. Braiding together the vivid stories of four migrants seeking to escape the turmoil of their homelands for the promise of America, the book gives this history a human face, telling the dramatic story of a Central American asylum seeker, a Cuban exile, a European war bride, and a Chinese refugee. As we travel alongside these indelible characters, In the Shadow of Liberty explores how sites of rightlessness have evolved, and what their existence has meant for our body politic. Though these “black sites” exist out of view for the average American, their reach extends into all of our lives: the explosive growth of the for-profit prison industry traces its origins to the immigrant detention system, as does the emergence of Guantanamo and the gradual unraveling of the right to bail and the presumption of innocence. Through these narratives, we see how the changing political climate surrounding immigration has played out in individual lives, and at what cost. But as these stories demonstrate, it doesn’t have to be like this, and a better way might be possible.

Additionally, Minian has published articles in the Journal of American History, American Quarterly, and American Historical Review.

In 2020, Minian was awarded with the prestigious Andrew Carnegie Fellowship.

Minian's third book project, "No Man’s Lands: A New History of Immigration Restriction," examines how during the late Cold War and its aftermath, U.S. officials created new spaces and territories designed to prevent Latin American and Spanish-speaking Caribbean migrants from entering the United States. Rather than a thought-out and coherent project, these various spatial enterprises were designed haphazardly in response to particular incidents and migrations.

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