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USC Ph.D. Alum Discusses New Book on California’s Inland Empire

A University of Southern California Ph.D. alum, Dr. Genevieve G. Carpio, recently released a new book about California’s Inland Empire. Dr. Carpio says the book, Collisions at the Crossroads: How Place and Mobility Make Race is her answer to a series of puzzling contradictions she witnessed growing up in the multicultural area where a diverse population often clashed over race, memory and place making.

“What I found is conflicts over cultural belonging have materialized over the meanings, practices, and policies attached to mobility across the 20th century,” said Dr. Carpio. “This realization motivated me to work towards making sense of relational histories of race-making in this diverse place, where effective movement across the region shapes power in sites as different as bicycle ordinances, immigration policy, incarceration, traffic checkpoints, and Route 66 heritage.”

Dr. Carpio is currently an Assistant Professor in UCLA’s César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies. She completed her Ph.D. in American Studies and Ethnicity at USC. Her new book is based on the interdisciplinary work she did as a Ph.D. candidate at USC.

“As someone who grew up at the crossroads of Los Angeles and the Inland Empire, studying in Southern California was a huge advantage” explained Dr. Carpio. “It allowed me to complete the project in ways that felt right to me—for instance, by maintaining my connections to community-based organizations engaged in the practice of connecting the past and the present.”

Dr. Carpio has carried much of her research with her to her role at UCLA. Her current work focuses on how people of color have navigated, accommodated and resisted barriers to their free movement. She has a few different projects going on including a piece about African American mobility in postwar Los Angeles and a piece on the movement of Latinx inspired architecture in 1920’s Los Angeles to places like Australia and New Zealand. Dr. Carpio says the courses she teaches investigate how space changes over time and how that impacts power in multiracial places.

Dr. Carpio knows the trials and tribulations of life as a Ph.D. student and encourages people currently in the process to take time for themselves.

“Sleep and eat and foster your social relationships now,” said Dr. Carpio. “It doesn’t get any easier down the line and these are vital skills.”

Dr. Carpio has an Instagram account (@DrGenaGarpio) where she talks about academic life for graduate students and junior faculty.

You can find her book on Amazon or at Powell’s Books.