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Laura Oviedo

Ph.D. Student
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Dr. Felipe Hinojosa

Research Interests

Laura Lee Oviedo is a doctoral candidate of history at TAMU and Project Historian for the Smithsonian’s Philanthropy Initiative at the National Museum of American History. Laura specializes in 20th/21st c. U.S. history, public history, and oral history and her research areas include Chicana/o/Latina/o studies, war and society, race and ethnicity, civil rights, and philanthropy. The core of her scholarship examines how war and militarization impacts racialized communities and shapes their understanding of identity, rights, and belonging. Laura’s doctoral dissertation Forsaken Bodies, For Sake of Nation uses bi-lingual sources from Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the continental U.S. to show how militarization in Texas and Puerto Rico during World War II, two crucial geo-political sites of inter/national security and diplomatic relations, catapulted the roles of Latinas into the realm of hemispheric politics as Women’s Army Corps servicemembers, mothers, wives, and workers. In doing so, she argues it constructed a hemispheric borderland where Latinas embodied the crux of overlapping, contradictory, and negotiating racializations, empires, and nationalisms. Laura has been a Visiting Research Scholar in the Institute of Caribbean Studies at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, a curatorial fellow for the Division of Armed Forces History at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and a project historian for the Smithsonian’s War & Latinx Philanthropy Initiative. Her research has received support from UT-Austin Center for Mexican American Studies, Society for Military History, ABC-CLIO, University of North Texas Libraries, Smithsonian Institution, and others.


  • Author, Criterion Essays, American World War II Heritage City ProgramNational Park Service and National Council on Public History
  • “The Puerto Rican Experience in the U.S. Military: A Century of Unheralded Service and Celebration of National Borinqueneers’ Day,” Commentator, Center for Puerto Rican Studies at The City University of New York, (April 13, 2021), Webinar
  • The Spirit of Latina/o Giving from the Shadows of War,” (January 2020), Smithsonian National Museum of American History, blog article
  • Smithsonian Pre-Doctoral Curatorial Fellowship, (2018-2019), Division of Armed Forces History, National Museum of American History
  • Latina/os and World War II,” 50 Events That Shaped Latino History, ABC-CLIO (2018), co-authored with Dr. Jesse Esparza