Profile picture of Yvette Saavedra

Yvette Saavedra

Associate Professor
WGSS Director of Graduate Studies; Convener Women of Color Faculty Project
IRES, Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Phone: 541-346-5521
Office: 218 Hendricks Hall
Office Hours: Please email for appointment.
Research Interests: Chicanx History and Studies; Chicana Feminist Theory; U.S.-Mexico Borderlands History and Studies; History of U.S. West; 19th and 20th century U.S History; California History; 19th and 20th century gender and sexuality in the U.S.


Saavedra is a interdisciplinary, intersectional socio-cultural historian and Chicana/o Studies scholar specializing in 19th  and 20th Century U.S. History, Borderlands History, History of the U.S. West, Chicana/o History, California History, and Gender and Sexuality History. Her research interests include the intersection of race, power, identity, colonialism, nationalism, gender and sexuality.





Ph.D. History, University of Texas El Paso

M.A. Borderlands History, University of Texas El Paso

B.A. History & Chicana/o Studies, Pitzer College



Saavedra's book, Pasadena Before the Roses:  Race, Identity, and Land Use in Southern California, 1771-1890, (University of Arizona, 2018) examines and details the social and cultural history of how Spanish, Mexican, American and Indigenous groups’ competing visions of land use affected the formation of racial and cultural identity in Pasadena, California, during this period. This work reconceptualizes how culturally subjective ideas about race, masculinity, and visions of optimal land use became tangible representations of political projects of conquest, expansion, and empire building.  


She has published on topics ranging from Chicana Feminism, Chicana/o History, LGBTQ History, U.S. History, and Borderlands History.  Other research includes the recently published "Of Chicana Lesbian Terrorists and Lesberadas: Recuperatin the Lesbian/Queer Roots of Chicana Feminism, 1970-2000" (Feminist Formations, Summer 2022) examining the lesbi-queer roots of Chicana feminism, and an article titled "Speaking for Themeselves: Rancheras and Respectabilty in Mexican California, 1800-1850," (California History, Spring 2023) tracing the development of hegemonic ranchera femininty in nineteenth century Californio culture.   


Her current research agenda reflects work on several projects including her second full length book tentatively titled Living la Mala Vida: Transgressive Femininities, Morality, and Nationalism in Mexican California, 1810-1850 a study that (re)defines masculinity, femininity, gender, and sexuality within Mexican nationalism and concepts of political and social citizenship. 


She was the recipient of the 2019 Western History Association Huntington Library Martin Ridge Fellowship, the 2021 Oregon Humanities Center Faculty Research Fellowship, a 2021-2022 Research Grant from the University of Oregon's Center for the Study of Women in Society,  and a 2022 Research Grant from the University of Oregon's Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies. Saavedra was recently awarded the 2023 "Chicana Caucus Publication Recognition" by the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies' Chicana Caucus.  and she is co-editor of BorderVisions, a borderlands studies book series with the University of Arizona Press. 



Spring 2024

Courses: No teaching this term

Office Hours:  No scheduled office hours for Spring 2024, please email for an appointment. 

Director of Graduate Studies: Please email for appointment