Skip to main content

Department ofHistory

Sonia Gomez

Sonia Gomez
Sonia Gomez
Assistant Professor

I am a historian of the 20th-century United States with research and teaching interests in comparative race relations, gender and sexuality, intimacy, and migration. I am committed to helping students develop historical empathy in theory and practice so that they may appreciate diverse historical experiences, understand change over time, and communicate their ideas clearly and convincingly both in written and spoken form.

My first book project, A Gendered Diaspora: Intimacy and Empire in the Making of Japanese America, 1908-1952, under contract with New York University (NYU) Press, is a history of Japanese immigration to the US that centers the experiences of women and unmarried men. Specifically, I explore the ways in which marriage created pockets of legal and social inclusion for Japanese immigrant women, on one hand, and exclusion for immigrant men who did not marry, on the other. Throughout the book, I pay careful attention to the ways that gender, sexuality, and intimacy intersect with race and ethnicity to produce categories of inclusion/exclusion.

I received my training at the University of Chicago where I earned a Ph.D. in history in 2018. In my last year of dissertation writing, I was a Pre-doctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a joint appointment in History, and Global Studies and Languages. In 2018-2019, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University. I earned my B.A. in History with high distinction in 2011 from the University of California, Berkeley and I also earned an Associate of Arts degree from Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, California.



“The Politics of Afro-Asian Intimacies in ‘Jim Crow Tokyo’.” Journal of American Ethnic History, Vol.  39, No. 1 (Fall 2019), pp. 35-65.

In Progress:

A Gendered Diaspora: Intimacy and Empire in the Making of Japanese America, 1908-1952 (book manuscript under contract at NYU Press)

“‘Yankee, Why Does a Big Man Like You Fear My Baby?’: The Gendered Politics of the Anti- Japanese Movement, 1908-1024,” (under review)

Public Writing:

Mr. Kay, Contingent Magazine (April 2019)

The Sound of the Japanese Diaspora: An Interview with G Yamazawa, Discover Nikkei (April 2019)

Why Women Have Become Targets in the Immigration Fight, Washington Post (March 2019)

Hapa Music is Black and Brown: Jhené Aiko and the Problem of Multiracial Self-Representation, Discover Nikkei (January 2019)