Deborah Kanter

John S. Ludington Endowed Professor of History
Latin American History/Latino History



University of Virginia, Ph.D. in History,
             Dissertation: Hijos del Pueblo: Community
             and Gender in Rural Mexico, the Toluca, 1730-1830
Advanced studies in history and anthropology, 
             El Colegio de Michoacan, Zamora, Mexico
University of Virginia, M.A. in History, Thesis: Indian Education in Late 
             Colonial Mexico: Policy and Practice
University of Michigan, B.A. (honors), Phi Beta  Kappa,
              in History and American Culture and History
Studies in art history and political economy, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de
              Mexico, Mexico City

Courses Offered

Mexican American History
Modern Latin American History
Slave Societies of the Americas
Latin American Immigration & the United States
Latin America-U.S. Relations
Contact & Conquest in the Americas
After the Melting Pot: Issues in 20th-Century U.S. Immigration


Chicago Católico: Making Catholic Parishes Mexican. University of Illinois Press, 2020.
Hijos del Pueblo: Gender, Family and Community in Rural Mexico, 1730-1850.
University of Texas Press, 2009.

Chapters in Books (partial):
"Mexico: Colonial Period." Handbook of Latin American Studies: No 62 Humanities, University of Texas Press, 2007, pp.113-122.
Their Hair was Curly': Afro-Mexicans in Indian Villages Central Mexico 1700-1820." In Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds. Editors Tiya Miles and Sharon P. Holland. Duke University Press, 2006.

Journal Articles (partial):
“Mexican Priests and Migrant Ministry in the Midwest, 1953-1961,” U.S. Catholic Historian, vol. 39: 1 (2021), pp. 93-112.
“At the intersection between Latino and religious history,” Reviews in American History, vol. 48:4 (2020), 576-81.
“Truly Inbetween People: Situating Latinos in 20th-Century Urban History.” Journal of Urban History, vol. 41:6 (2015), 1143-51.
“Faith and Family for Early Mexican Immigrants to Chicago: the Diary of Elidia Barroso,” Diálogo, vol. 16:1 (Spring 2013), pp. 21-34.
“Making Mexican Parishes: Ethnic Succession in Chicago Churches, 1947-77,” U.S. Catholic Historian, vol. 301:1 (2012), pp. 35-58.
"Native Female Land Tenure and its Decline in Mexico, 1750-1900," Ethnohistory, vol. 42:4 (1995), pp. 607-616.

Recent Presentations:
Chicago Católico: Making/Unmaking Mexican Parishes.” Chicago Urban History Seminar, Chicago History Museum, November 19, 2020. 
“The Resurrection of Chicago’s `Mexican Cathedral.’” American Historical Association, Chicago, January 3-6, 2019.
“Making a Migrant Ministry in Michigan, 1950-64.” American Historical Association/American Catholic Historical Association, Washington DC, January 4-7, 2018.

Grants and Fellowships (partial)

President's Advisory Committee on Intercultural Affairs Faculty Recognition Award, Albion College, 2012
Mark Sheldon Putnam, '41 and Mildred Plate Putnam, '41 Faculty Mentoring Award, Albion College, 2011
Hewlett-Mellon Fund for Faculty Development Grant, Albion College, 2001-09, 2012
ACM Newberry Library Program in the Humanities, Faculty Fellow, 2000
National Endowment for the Humanities, Fellowship for College Teachers and Independent Scholars, 1995-96

Current Research

Making a Migrant Ministry in the Midwest, 1950-64: In the 1950s the number of braceros (temporary Mexican contract workers) more than doubled, traveling far north of the historic centers of Mexican settlement. The Mexican Catholic church partnered with U.S. bishops to send Mexican priests to follow the braceros to northern states each summer. Most of the Mexican priests spent their summer in Michigan or Ohio. My work focuses on the “Bracero-Misioneros” and their work with braceros and other migrant workers in small rural parishes. This curious experiment in binational ministry often invigorated local efforts to develop effective ministry to Spanish-speaking people which, in turn, raised awareness about the plight of migrant workers in the U.S.