José Luis Serrano Nájera

Photo: José Luis Serrano Nájera

Assistant Professor


Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles: History; M.A. University of California, Los Angeles: History; M.A. California State University, Dominguez Hills: Interdisciplinary Studies; B.A. University of California, Los Angeles: History and Chicana/o Studies; A.A. Long Beach City College: Liberal Arts

CV:  download PDF


José Luis Serrano Nájera is proud son of immigrant parents from Guerrero and Zacatecas by way of Mexicali, Baja California, México. He grew up on the westside of Long Beach, CA and is part of the first generation of his family to earn a college education in the U.S. He was a community college transfer student who ended up focusing on Chicana/o/x History at the University of California, Los Angeles.


Professor Serrano Nájera’s research foci are national and transnational Civil and Human Rights activism and social movements utilizing archival and oral history research methods. In the past, Professor Serrano Nájera’s publications have focused on advocacies, social movements, and armed insurrections countering colonial and imperial powers in U.S. and México during the modern era. He is currently working on a book manuscript tentatively titled “Confronting Colonial Legacies: Chicana/o Transnational Activism and Indigeneity, 1968-2000.” Professor Serrano Nájera is also currently working on research projects that focus on Chicana/o/x educational advocacy and transnational labor activism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


In his teaching, Professor Serrano Nájera emphasizes cultural, political, social, and transnational topical foci, while at the same time working to achieve student learning objectives of understanding diversity, intersectionality, and the development of Chicana/o/x communities across the U.S.  He focuses on cultural and human rights expressions in the U.S. and Latin America from an interdisciplinary background in History, Chicana/o/x Studies, Native American Studies, and Cultural Studies. Overall, students in Professor Serrano Nájera’s courses focus on Chicana/o/x and Latina/o/x peoples while challenging the hegemonic westernized definitions of politics, culture, identity, governance, and human rights.


Research Interests:

 Social Movement Practices and Ideologies, Chicana/o Indigeneity, Chicana/o and Latina/o Civil Rights Movements, Twentieth-Century Transnational Human and Civil Rights Activism, and Oral History Methods

Publications: Articles                                                                                                          

“Interethnic Mayan and Afro-descendent Relations through War, Trade, and Slavery during the Mayan Caste Wars, 1848-1901.” UCLA Historical Journal 28, no. 1 (2017): 1-22.

“Chicana/o Movement Pedagogical Legacies: Indigenous Consciousness, Critical Pedagogy, and Constructing Paths to Decolonization.” Regeneración Tlacuilolli: UCLA Raza Studies Journal 1, no. 1 (2014): 27-67. 

Publications: Journal and Book Introductions

“Introduction,” Regeneración Tlacuilolli: UCLA Raza Studies Journal 2, no. 1 (2016). 

“Introducing Regeneración Tlacuilolli: UCLA Raza Studies Journal.” Regeneración Tlacuilolli: UCLA Raza Studies Journal 1, no. 1 (2014): 1-7.

Introduction to Indigenous Quotient/Stalking Words: American Indian Heritage as Future, by Juan Gómez-Quiñones, 8-9. San Antonio: AztlanLibre Press, 2012.

Publications: Book Reviews

Review of Mestizos Come Home!: Making and Claiming Mexican American Identity. By Roberto Con Davis-Undiano (University of Oklahoma Press, 2017), in the New Mexico Historical Review 93, no. 4 (2018):

Review of Leaders of the Mexican American Generation: Biographical Essays. By Anthony Quiroz. (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2015), in the New Mexico Historical Review 91, no. 4 (2016): 485-486.

A Prelude to Liberation: Raising Our IQ. A Book Review of Indigenous  Quotient/Stalking Words: American Indian Heritage as Future by Juan Gómez-Quiñones.” SomosenEscrito: The Latino literary online Magazine, Jan. 30, 2012, 

Submitted and Accepted Publications: Encyclopedia Entries

“Transnationalism” in The Chicana and Chicano Movement: From Aztlan to Zapatistas, A Reference Encyclopedia for Movements of American Mosaic Series (Greenwood/Praeger, publication in Spring 2021)


Advanced Seminar in Chicana/o Studies

Latinas/os and Chicanas/os in a Global Society