Ph.D. Brown University

Dissertation: The Age of Encampment: Race, Migration, Surveillance, and the Power of Spatial Scripts, 1933-1950

Jonathan's is currently the 2022-2024 Early Career Provosts' Postdoctoral Fellow in Borderlands History in the Department of History at The University of Texas at Austin. Previously, they held the César Chávez Provost's Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies at Dartmouth College. Dr. Cortez received their doctorate from the Department of American Studies and their M.A. in Public Humanities from Brown University. Jonathan's research focuses on the history of federally-funded encampments (e.g., refugee camps, labor camps, incarceration camps) along the U.S.-Mexico border and throughout the U.S. during the 20th century. Their in-progress manuscript, The Age of Encampment: Race, Migration, Surveillance, and the Power of Spatial Scripts, 1933-1965, argues that the rise of camp architecture during the New Deal gave physical form to the precarity of racialized foreign- and U.S.-born populations during the 20th century. Further, Jonathan details how encampments built during the 1930s were transferred between government agencies and repurposed to concentrate other racialized populations during WWII and beyond. You can follow them on Twitter@joncortz