Carolina Ortega

Assistant Professor, Department of History

Assistant Professor, Latino Studies Program

Department of History

IU; IU Bloomington

Full Biography

I am a historian of migration, labor, religion, and Latinxs in the modern United States and Mexico. My current project, The Sending State: How the Mexican State of Guanajuato Shaped Twentieth Century U.S. Migration, is a multi-sided history that traces guanajuatense migration to the United States across the twentieth century, forcing us to recalibrate our understanding of the sustained cycles of Mexican migration by examining migratory journeys that have rarely been the object of scholarly study or popular discourse. Through a detailed examination of a century’s worth of Mexican migration from the state of Guanajuato, one of Mexico’s top states for out-migration, this book re-envisions the deep, fluid, and often ignored forces that tie U.S. and Mexican history. I argue that to understand Mexican migrants’ placemaking in the United States, we must also look to the migrants’ communities of origin.

I received my PhD from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where I was a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellow. Prior to arriving at Indiana University, Bloomington, I was an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M Corpus Christi. At IUB, I will be teaching undergraduate and graduate courses on U.S., Latinx, and Mexican history.


  • Ph.D., History, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2021)
  • B.A., History and Political Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison (2013)