The Stone Center for Latin American Studies is excited to introduce visiting scholar Catherine Vézina—our Spring of 2022 Richard E. Greenleaf Scholar-in-Residence. Vézina is from Quebec, Canada, and has lived in Mexico City since 2012. She did her PhD in History at Université Laval. Her research on Mexican migration brought her to Mexico. Presently, Vézina is an associate professor at Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), in the History Department, where she enjoys a fantastic community of social researchers and historians engaged in their community and their work.
Get to know Vézina with this Q&A, introducing her background, research interests, and plans for her Tulane experience.
What are your research interests?
For more than ten years, I’ve been studying the Bracero Program (1942-1964) and North American migration history. My book, Diplomacia migratoria: una historia transnacional del Programa Bracero, 1947-1952 offers a transnational analysis of the adjustments to the Bracero Program that followed the end of the Second World War. In this book, I analyze local, national and bilateral interests that shaped the dynamic of the Bracero Program. I am now working on a related research project: Mexican migration containment strategy during the last decade of the Bracero Program (1954-1964). This research relies on various Mexican archives and some US and Californian archives. Very few books and articles explore the Mexican containment policy, the actions of Mexican governments to control the migration of its citizens. My objective is to document some of these strategies used by the priistas presidents (and governors) to stop or to redirect the flow of Mexican migrants and workers.
What you will be doing while at Tulane?
I will be teaching a seminar about North American Migration History. This seminar, “Immigration and Nation”, offers an introduction to migration history in Mexico, United States and Canada from 1867 to the 21st century. We study migration policies in relation with socioeconomic and political context of these three countries and observe the migratory dynamics that characterize the region.
I will keep conducting my research about the migration containment policies. I intend to explore the bibliographical resources, historical newspapers, and primary sources available at Tulane’s libraries. I would be glad to present some of my research results and receive comments from the academic and student community of Tulane University.
How do you plan to engage with Latin Americanist faculty and students in the Tulane community?
I had the opportunity to meet some members of the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research and I can see that interdisciplinarity is a strong value of this center. As a historian, I hope to bring a different, but useful perspective on Mexico’s realities. As a member of the Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Association, I would also like to organize a panel with some Latin Americanist faculty and students from Tulane’s community and invite them to participate to CALACS 2022 conference.
I would be glad to organize some talks on Mexican migration history, answer student’s and colleagues' questions about these actual and historical processes, and receive their comments on my work. I hope my historical analysis of Mexican immigration will contribute to the academic life of CIPR and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies.
During my appointment at Tulane, I would like to keep working on my research on Mexican migration containment policy and write some parts of my next book. Most important, I hope to meet students and colleagues interested in immigration policy, Latin American realities and history.
What do you hope to do in New Orleans during your time here?
Enjoy food and beautiful sights, and meeting interesting people!
We hope you take the opportunity to get to know Catherine Vézina during her time at Tulane. Welcome to the Stone Center!