Monica Perales receives award for best urban book

November 21, 2011

Monica Perales, an associate professor in the department of history at the University of Houston (UH), has been awarded the Kenneth Jackson Award for Best Book in North American urban history from the Urban History Association. Perales will be honored at the organization's biennial conference to be held in New York City in October 2012.

According to the awards committee, "Monica Perales' new book, 'Smeltertown: Making and Remembering a Southwest Border Community,' is an extraordinary study of a city that once epitomized industrial might, labor exploitation and human resilience in the face of both, that today lives on only in memory."

"Monica Perales', 'Smeltertown' is a powerful study because it is as personal as it is universal," said Martin V. Melosi, Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Professor of History at UH and a recipient of the Kenneth Jackson Award for Best Book in urban history in 2000.

"Her gift for oral history puts life into a story about Mexicans and Mexican Americans living and working in a community surrounding the American Smelting and Refining Co. in El Paso, Texas - her home town. The book never loses sight of the sense of place, nor the peoples' life-long attachment to it. And, it marvelously contrasts the earnest commitment to raising and providing for one's family juxtaposed against work that was inherently dangerous.

"'Smeltertown,' is a fitting winner of the Kenneth Jackson Prize, which recognizes the best book in U.S. urban history for 2010," Melosi said. "The award, given annually by the Urban History Association, is the most prestigious in the field, which speaks to the high scholarly achievement Dr. Perales has attained."

The awards committee notes, "Not only does Monica Perales place their story, the story of thousands of Mexicans, at the center of the century U.S. urban history, but she also asks scholars to consider far more seriously than they yet do how closely linked the worlds of work and those of city and community building were for the majority of those who lived in, and built, this nation.

"Eventually, Smeltertown faded from the landscape of the Southwest, but thanks to historian Monica Perales and her gift for oral history and for the recovery of collective memory, urban histories now have much to mull over, and much to reconsider, about how cities are defined and understood in the long 20th century."
-end-
Perales earned a Ph.D. in history from Stanford University in 2004, a B.A. in journalism in 1994 and M.A. in history in 1996 from the University of Texas at El Paso. She is the recipient of various fellowships, including the 2009 Women's Studies Faculty Summer Fellowship and the 2006-2007 Summerlee Fellow in Texas History at the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University. Her current research explores questions of race, gender, nation, community and identity on the border. She is presently working on a manuscript that explores the multiple meanings of Mexican motherhood on the border during the Progressive Era.



About the University of Houston

The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation's best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city, UH serves more than 38,500 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country.

University of Houston

Related History Articles from Brightsurf:

Reconstructing global climate through Earth's history
Accurate temperature estimates of ancient oceans are vital because they are the best tool for reconstructing global climate conditions in the past.

The colorful history of plastids
Emerging genome data provides new insight into plastid evolution.

The magnetic history of ice
The history of our planet has been written, among other things, in the periodic reversal of its magnetic poles.

Researchers map the evolutionary history of oaks
Oaks have a complex evolutionary history that has long eluded scientists.

Ancient Roman port history unveiled
A team of international researchers led by La Trobe University and the University of Melbourne have, for the first time worldwide, applied marine geology techniques at an ancient harbour archaeological site to uncover ancient harbour technologies of the first centuries AD.

The ancient history of Neandertals in Europe
Parts of the genomes of two ~120,000-year-old Neandertals from Germany and Belgium have been sequenced at the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology.

A history of the Crusades, as told by crusaders' DNA
History can tell us a lot about the Crusades, the series of religious wars fought between 1095 and 1291, in which Christian invaders tried to claim the Near East.

The history of humanity in your face
The skull and teeth provide a rich library of changes that we can track over time, describing the history of evolution of our species.

Retrieving climate history from the ice
In the context of a major European Union project, experts from 14 institutions in ten European countries have spent three years combing the Antarctic ice, looking for the ideal site to investigate the climate history of the past 1.5 million years.

Rivers raged on Mars late into its history
A new study by University of Chicago scientists catalogued these rivers to conclude that significant river runoff persisted on Mars later into its history than previously thought.

Read More: History News and History Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.