Monica Muñoz Martinez is an award-winning author, educator, public historian, and active participant in developing solutions that address racial injustice. A national authority on the history of race, Martinez is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research specializes in histories of racial violence, policing on the US-Mexico border, Latinx history, women and gender studies, public humanities, digital humanities, and restorative justice. Born and raised in Texas, Martinez received her Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University.
Her first book The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas (Harvard University Press, Sept 2018) is a moving account of a little-known period of state-sponsored racial terror inflicted on ethnic Mexicans in the Texas–Mexico borderlands. She is currently at work on Mapping Violence a digital research project that recovers histories of racial violence in Texas between 1900 and 1930.
Martinez is a founding member of the non-profit organization Refusing to Forget that calls for public commemorations of anti-Mexican violence in Texas. The team developed an award-winning exhibit for the Bullock Texas State History Museum in 2016 that marked the first time a state cultural institution acknowledged state responsibility for this period of racial terror in the twentieth century. Martinez also helped secure four state historical markers along the US-Mexico border.
In 2017 she received the prestigious Andrew Carnegie fellowship, awarded to the country’s “most creative thinkers” advancing research on the challenges to democracy and international order. Martinez is currently a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American History and works as a historical consultant for museums, like the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, and for documentary films. In 2019, NBC News included Martinez in their list, “Latino 20” recognizing twenty celebrities, CEOs, activists, and scholars using their voice and talent to empower Latino communities. In 2021, she and her Refusing to Forget collaborators received the Friend of History Award from the Organization of American Historians. The award recognizes an institution or organization, or an individual working primarily outside college or university settings, for outstanding support for historical research, the public presentation of American history, or the work of the OAH.
Her research has been funded and supported by the Mellon Foundation (MMUF) , the Andrew Carnegie Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Social Science Research Council (MMUF-GIP), the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project, the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers, the Brown University Office of Vice President of Research, and the Texas State Historical Association. This work was made possible in part by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the author.