Faculty by Undergraduate Concentration

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Aims McGuinness
  • Pronouns he, him, his, his, himself
  • Title
    • College Provost, Merrill College
    • Associate Professor
  • Division Humanities Division, Undergraduate Education
  • Department
    • History Department
    • Merrill College
  • Affiliations History Department, Dolores Huerta Research Center for the Americas, Latin American & Latino Studies
  • Email
  • Office Hours Wednesdays, 9:30 am - 11:30 am and by Appt.
  • Mail Stop Merrill College
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High St. Mailstop: Merrill College Admin
    • Santa Cruz CA 95064
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise History
  • Courses His 124A: Panama Canal and U.S. Empire, His 82: California Gold Rush in Global History, His 100: Historical Skills and Methods, His 190V: Myths of California

Summary of Expertise

Latin America, Panamá, U.S. empire, race, labor, California Gold Rush, socialism, Cold War, transnational/global history/world history.

Research Interests

Race, popular politics, and U.S. empire in 19th and 20th-century Panama; socialist politics during the early years of the Cold War with a focus on Frank P. Zeidler, mayor of Milwaukee from 1948-1960.

Biography, Education and Training

Ph.D., History, University of Michigan, 2001. A.B., History, Princeton University, 1990. 

Honors, Awards and Grants


Hybrid Course Development Award. Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. UCSC. Summer 2021.

Chancellor’s Dear SLUG Teaching Square. Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL). UCSC. (Collaborator). Winter 2021.

Digital Humanities Lab Teaching Fellow. UWM. Fall 2019-Spring 2020. 

Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award, U. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Fall 2019 

Research in the Humanities Award, U. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2009

Morris Fromkin Research Grant and Fellowship (with Jasmine Alinder), U. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2004

Fellow. Center for 21st Century Studies, U. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2003-2004

Huntington Fellowship, Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, Spring 2003

W.M. Keck Foundation Fellowship, Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, Spring 2003

Fulbright Scholarship for Panama and Colombia, 1997-1998

Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, U.S. Department of Education, 1993-1996

Preson Slosson Fellowship, History Department, U. of Michigan, 1993-1997

Phi Beta Kappa, Princeton University, 1990

Selected Publications


McGuinness, Aims. Path of Empire: Panama and the California Gold Rush. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2008. Paperback edition, 2009.

Edited Books

Banerjee, Sukanya, Aims McGuinness, and Steven McKay, eds. New Routes for Diaspora Studies. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2012.

Scott, Rebecca J., Thomas C. Holt, Frederick Cooper, and Aims McGuinness, eds. Societies after Slavery: A Select Annotated Bibliography of Printed Sources on the British West Indies, South Africa, British Colonial Africa, Cuba, and Brazil. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2002.

Articles and Book Chapters

McGuinness, Aims. "Mourning María Pantalones: Military Rule and the Politics of Race, Citizenship, and Nostalgia in Panama." In Caribbean Military Encounters, edited by Shalini Puri and Lara Putnam. New York/London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

Lasso, Marixa and Aims McGuinness. "Alfredo Castillero en la historia global: la perspectiva de dos discípulos." In Historia y globalización: ensayos en homenaje a Alfredo Castillero Calvo. Bogotá: Editora Nova Art, 2017.

McGuinness, Aims. "Afterword: Diaspora and the Language of Neoliberalism." In New Routes for Diaspora Studies, edited by Sukanya Banerjee, Aims McGuinness, and Steven McKay. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2012.

McGuinness, Aims. "The Revolution Begins Here: Milwaukee and the History of Socialism." In Perspectives on Milwaukee's Past, edited by Margo Anderson and Victor Greene. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2012. 

McGuinness, Aims. "Sovereignty on the Isthmus: Federalism, U.S. Empire, and the Struggle for Panama during the California Gold Rush." In The State of Sovereignty: Territories, Laws, Populations, edited by Douglas Howland and Luise White. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009.

McGuinness, Aims. "La llegada del fantasma: la retirada de William Walker por Panamá y las raíces del imperialismo estadounidense en América Latina." Boletín de la Asociación para el Fomento de los Estudios Históricos en Centroamérica 36 (June 2008).

McGuinness, Aims. "In Defense of the Isthmus: Fighting Against Filibusters in Panama City in 1856." Maryland Historian 29, no. 1-2 (Winter 2005): 7-22.

McGuinness, Aims. "Aquellos tiempos de California: el Ferrocarril de Panamá y la transformación de la zona de tránsito durante la Fiebre del Oro." In Historia General de Panamá, edited by Alfredo Castillero Calvo, 141-159. Panamá: República de Panamá, 2004. Reissued in 2020.

McGuinness, Aims. "Defendiendo el Istmo: las luchas contra los filibusteros en la Ciudad de Panamá en 1856. Mesoamérica 24, no. 45 (enero-diciembre de 2003): 66-84.

McGuinness, Aims. "Raza, patriotismo e intervención estadounidense en Panamá, 1848-1860." In Historia y Memoria: sociedad, cultra y vida cotidiana en Cuba, 1878-1917, edited by José Amador, 244-263. Havana: Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo de la Cultura Cubana Juan Marinello/Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program of the University of Michigan, 2003.

McGuinness, Aims. "The Trials of Sovereignty: Justo Arosemena's Critique of the Nation in El Estado Federal de Panamá." Istmo: revista virtual de estudios literarios y culturales centroamericanos (noviembre-diciembre de 2003).

McGuinness, Aims. "Searching for 'Latin America': Race and Sovereignty in the Americas in the 1850s." In Race and Nation in Modern Latin America, edited by Nancy Appelbaum, Anne S. Macpherson, and Karin Alejandra Rosemblatt, 87-107. Chapel Hill: University of North Caroina Press, 2003. 


Selected Presentations

“Escaping the Exploding City: Nuclear War, Race, and Suburbanization in Milwaukee, 1948-1960.” Presented at the Conference of the World History Association. Conference was conducted virtually. July 9, 2021.  

“After the Party: Socialist Milwaukee in the New Deal and World War II.” Presented at the Conference of the Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA), Chicago, IL. Conference was conducted virtually. May 28, 2021.

"Progressives, Populists, and Socialists." Panelist. Conference of the Wisconsin Labor History Society. March 28, 2020. (Canceled.)

"Reinventing Municipal Socialism: Popular Mobilization and Urban Politics in Cold War Milwaukee, 1948-1960." Presented at the annual conference of the Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA), Durham, NC. June 1, 2019.

"Rethinking Panama: Empire, Race, and Migration." Roundtable Participant. Conference of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA), Barcelona, Spain. May 25, 2018.

"Lost Worlds? Touring the Radical Past with Milwaukee's Most Recent Socialist Mayor." Presented at the Labor History Seminar, Center for American History and Culture Programs. Newberry Library. Chicago, IL. January 29, 2016.

"Tramping Across History: Transnational History's Temporality Problem." Presented at "The Transnational Turn in the Humanities," a conference organized by the University of Buffalo Humanities Institute and the Department of Transnational Studies at the University of Buffalo, March 22-23, 2013." 

"History of an Unnamed Country: Political Fictions of Latin America, 1846-1918." Presented at the conference of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA), Toronto, Ontario, September 2010. 

"La historia de la California." Invited speech at the Museo del Canal Interoceánico de Panamá. Panama City, Panamá. June 2010.

"Género y el imperialismo en Panamá durante la California: Jenny White del Bal." Presented at the Universidad de Panamá, Santiago de Veraguas. June 2010.

Selected Exhibitions

Curator. "Panamanian Passages/Pasajes Panameños." Smithsonian Institution, Ripley Center. October 2009-May 2010. This exhibition was a collaboration between the Smithsonian Latino Center, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and the Museo del Canal Interoceánico de Panamá.

Teaching Interests

Latin America, Panama Canal and U.S. empire, California Gold Rush.