Given the area’s rich, manifold history, the quest for knowledge about New Mexico and the Southwest is boundless. The Center for Regional Studies (CRS) at The University of New Mexico embodies that quest announcing visiting appointments for Dr. Anita Huizar-Hernández and Dr. Kara McCormack, both of whom will carry out semester-long research projects at UNM through the Center’s Scholar-in-Residence initiative.

A. Gabriel Meléndez, the director of CRS, is especially pleased with these appointments, noting that the work of each scholar aligns with the mission of CRS to promote knowledge about New Mexico and the Southwest through research, education, learning and related scholarly activities. CRS encourages inquiry that draws on evidentiary-based interpretation and analysis of historical and contemporary questions, and public policy issues in a regional context.

Anita Huizar-Hernndez
Anita Huizar-Hernndez

Huizar-Hernández is an assistant professor of Border Studies in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Arizona. While at UNM, Huizar-Hernández will conduct research to complete “Forging Arizona: The Peralta Grant and the History of Mexican American Identity in the West”, a book under contract at Rutgers University Press.

Huizar-Hernández will make extensive use of the U.S. Surveyor General records and archives in the Center for Southwest Research and at the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives in Santa Fe. She will also share her research with the New Mexico community, both on and off campus through public lectures and by speaking to UNM classes.

Kara McCormack received her Ph.D. in American Studies at UNM and has been a post-doctoral fellow in the Thinking Matters Program at Stanford University. Her book “Imagining Tombstone: The Town Too Tough to Die” was published by the University of Kansas in 2016. McCormack is enthusiastic about returning to New Mexico to continue her research and address topics related to the history and cultures of contemporary New Mexico.

Kara McCormack
Kara McCormack

While at UNM, she will undertake research to examine the ways the image of Roswell, N.M. has been filtered through multiple frameworks: science fiction, Cold War hysteria, and conspiracy theories, as well as the “Land of Enchantment” motif, a building-block notion of New Mexico’s tourism industry. McCormack will consult relevant collections at the Center for Southwest Research (Zimmerman Library) and conduct interviews and fieldwork in Southeastern New Mexico. She will also be available to present her research to UNM faculty and students.

Over the course of their residencies, both scholars will have the opportunity to visit with UNM students and faculty and exchange ideas with the UNM community.

For more information about the Center for Regional Studies and its Scholar-in-Residence Program, visit the CRS website.