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Sarah McNamara

Assistant Professor
Areas of Speciality
  • Latino/a
  • U.S. South
  • Race, Ethnicity and Immigration
  • Oral History
  • Labor
  • History of Women and Gender
  • (979) 845-7151
  • Melbern G. Glasscock Building, 208
Professional Links
Ph.D., University of North Carolina 2016

Research Interests

Sarah McNamara is Assistant Professor of History and core faculty in the Latina/o/x & Mexican American Studies Program at Texas A&M University. McNamara’s research centers on Latinx, women and gender, immigration, and labor histories in Florida, the U.S. South, and the modern United States.

Her first book, Ybor City: Crucible of the Latina South (2023), is the history of three generations of migrant, immigrant, and U.S. born Latinas and Latinos— predominantly from Cuba, the Caribbean, and the Americas—who collided in Tampa, Florida between the late nineteenth and the mid-twentieth centuries. While popular narratives of Latina/o/x Florida focus on Cuban immigrants who fled the rise of Fidel Castro in the 1950s and 1960s, McNamara centers on earlier generations whose migration, labor, activism, and leftist politics established the foundation of latinidad in the sunshine state. Ybor City highlights the underexplored role of women’s leadership within movements for social and economic justice as it illustrates how people, places, and politics become who and what they are. Currently, McNamara is at work on her next book project— a history of the Florida vote.

McNamara is dedicated to sharing her scholarship with broad audiences through public history and community engagement. She developed the project, “Nuestra Historia,” an historical memory and preservation project that unites public art with historical markers within the City of Tampa. The first site of this project commemorated the 1937 Antifascist Women’s March of Ybor City and unveiled in Tampa during Women’s History Month of 2023. McNamara regularly collaborates with community groups to coordinate history programs that range from historical photography exhibits to educational events for adults and works on K-12 curriculum development and teacher training through organizations such as the National Humanities Center.

McNamara’s work has received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Association for University Women, the Institute for Citizens and Scholars, the American Historical Association, and the Tulane Center for the Gulf South. In recognition of McNamara’s commitment to teaching and student mentorship at Texas A&M University, she has received the Montague-Center for Teaching Excellence Award, the Early Career Teaching Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching. Sarah McNamara is a native of Tampa, Florida and her family is from Ybor City.