Aims McGuinness

September 01, 2020

Associate Professor Aims McGuinness

Aims McGuinness is the author of Path of Empire: Panama and the California Gold Rush (Cornell U. Press, 2008), which retells the history of an iconic event in California history as an event in the history of Panama. He is co-editor of New Routes for Diaspora Studies (Indiana U. Press, 2012) and Societies after Slavery: A Select Annotated Bibliography of Printed Sources on the British West Indies, South Africa, British Colonial Africa, Cuba, and Brazil (U. of Pittsburgh Press, 2002). He curated a bilingual (Spanish/English) exhibition about the history of Panama at the Smithsonian Institution’s Ripley Center in 2009-2010. The exhibition was a collaboration between the Smithsonian Latino Center, the Museo del Canal Interoceánico de Panamá, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Before coming to UCSC, Prof. McGuinness taught for nineteen years at the U. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he received the university’s distinguished undergraduate teaching award. His current book project is a history of socialist politics in the early years of the Cold War with a focus on Frank P. Zeidler, a socialist who served as mayor of Milwaukee from 1948 to 1960.

Prof. McGuinness is excited about teaching courses that encourage students to think beyond the conventional boundaries of California, Latin American, and U.S. history. His first course at UCSC, in Winter 2021, will be about the Panama Canal and the history of U.S. empire in Latin America. In the spring quarter of 2021, he will teach a course about the California Gold Rush as an event in global history.