ABOUT LYDIA OTERO
A few bio highlights:
• Being born and raised in Tucson with deep family roots on both sides of the Arizona-Sonora border inspired my interest in regional history.
•Pima County Library selected In the Shadows of the Freeway: Growing Up Brown & Queer to receive a 2021 Southwest Book Award.
• Philip J. Deloria, President of the Organization of American Historians (OAH), appointed me a OAH Distinguished Lecturer in 2021.
• I served as “Historian” for the Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission for two years (January 2020-2022).
• In 2019, Arizona’s César E. Chávez Holiday Coalition awarded me the Dolores Huerta Legacy Award for my activism and scholarship focusing on bringing awareness to Mexican American and local history.
• My first book, La Calle provided the source material for the local Borderland’s Theater's “Barrio Stories,” a site-specific theatrical event that took place over four days in 2016, and that attracted over 5,000 people. Click here to learn more and watch a documentary on "Barrio Stories."
• In 2011, the Border Regional Library Association awarded my book, La Calle: Spatial Conflicts and Urban Renewal in a Southwestern City a Southwest Book Award.
• I worked as a electrician in IBEW Local Union 11 in Los Angeles, 1982 to 1994. My labor contributed to building some of the most iconic structures in Los Angeles, such as the U.S. Bank Tower, Universal Studios’ CityWalk, and the Metro Rail.
• I was active in Lesbians of Color from 1979 to 1982. I also attended the First National Lesbians of Color Conference in 1983 in Malibu, California.
• I was active in Gay and Lesbian Latinos Unidos in Los Angeles from 1983 to 1991. I also served as President for two years, 1988-1990.
• I was one of the original or founding members of Lesbianas Unidas in 1983.
I served as co chair multiple years. and remained active in the group until 1991.
• I received a BA in 1992 and MA in 1996 from Cal State LA.
• I have a PhD in History.
• I was a tenured professor in the Department of Mexican American Studies at the University of Arizona (2003-2020).