Dr. Laura Hooton of the Angelo State University history faculty has been named one of only four 2023-24 Research Fellows for the Clements Center for Southwest Studies in the Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences at Southern Methodist University.
As the David J. Weber Fellow for the Study of Southwestern America, Hooton will spend the 2023-24 academic year at the Clements Center completing her forthcoming book, “Black Baja: Little Liberia and the Fight Against White Supremacy.”
“My research concerns Little Liberia, an African American community in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands in the early 1900s,” Hooton said. “This isn’t a well-known story, and it addresses an important topic, which is the different ways people strive to make the world better for their communities.”
“We regularly talk about the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and the Southwest in our classes,” she added, “and the book will bring African Americans into these classroom conversations. I’m excited to contribute to our department’s proud tradition of publishing in these areas. This book fits within my larger plans at Angelo State, including the recent creation of an Ethnic Studies minor that celebrates the diverse experiences of Americans throughout history.”
An assistant professor in the Dr. Arnoldo De León Department of History, Hooton joined the ASU faculty in August 2021. She previously taught American history at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point from 2018-21, where she also created digital classroom materials about immigration in the American Southwest and founded the Black History Project. She teaches a variety of undergraduate history courses at ASU, and her research interests are just as diverse, including:
- African American history
- Social movements
- Migration and immigration
- Black, Chicana/o and ethnic studies
- U.S.-Mexico borderlands and the U.S. Southwest/American West
Hooton previously co-authored the second edition of the book, “Almost All Aliens: Immigration, Race, and Colonialism in American History and Identity,” as well as multiple journal articles, book reviews and peer-reviewed online encyclopedia entries for Blackpast.org. She has also presented her research at numerous professional conferences. Her many career honors include teaching excellence awards at West Point and the University of California, Santa Barbara, two Department of the Army Civilian Service Commendation Medals, and several research and travel grants.
A native of California, Hooton earned her bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California, San Diego, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in history from UC Santa Barbara.