Farm Workers Picking Oranges

Graduate Student Profiles

Jessica Christian

Cohort Year: 2008
B.A., Scripps College, 2007, History & Gender and Women's Studies
M.A., University of California, Irvine, 2011, History

Curriculum Vitae

Advisor: Dr. Vicki Ruiz
First Field: U.S. History
Second Field: World History
Thematic Emphasis: California, Women, and Gender

Dissertation Title:
Return to the Mission: Gendered Bonds, Women, and Colonization in San Diego, 1769-1910

Research Abstract:
My dissertation explores the interactions, relationships, and bonds among women across race and class in the San Diego area, from 1769 to 1910. Under Spanish, Mexican, and American colonization, settler and native women played pivotal roles, especially in the areas of education and labor. Whether church or state sanctioned, through private organizations or personal relationships, new arrivals deployed strategies of uplift in their dealings with indigenous peoples. My work interrogates the continuities in colonial relationships, especially with regards to women. Approaching the subject by asking about similarities demonstrates how gendered education and labor served as the foundation of colonial settlements across time.