Official Website of Author
Carol Lynn McKibben
Urban History | Immigration | Race & Ethnicity | Gender
Dr. Carol Lynn McKibben is an Affiliate Scholar and Lecturer for the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University and has been teaching courses in California history, Urban history and Immigration history for the Department of History and Urban Studies at Stanford University since 2006. Her recent book, SALINAS: A History of Race and Resilience in an Agricultural City was published in January 2022, Stanford University Press.
Dr. McKibben has engaged in numerous community-based research projects on the Monterey Peninsula for thirty years.
Her first book, Beyond Cannery Row: Sicilian Women, Immigration, and Community in Monterey, 1915-1999 placed women at the center of a transnational migration story that focused on the ways migration re-shaped Sicilian fishing families as they moved back and forth from villages in Sicily to Monterey, California and, at the same time, altered the character of the city over the course of the twentieth century.
Dr. McKibben served as Director of the Seaside History Project from 2005-2012. Her second book, Racial Beachhead: Diversity and Democracy in a Military Town (Stanford University Press, 2012) showed how federal investment and diversity of personnel stationed at nearby Fort Ord transformed a small community, Seaside, into an important center of civil rights activism in California.
From 2016-2021 Dr. McKibben served as director of the Salinas History Project. She published her third book SALINAS: A History of Race and Resilience in an Agricultural City (Stanford University Press) in 2022. She tells the story of "the Salad Bowl of the World" as a complex story of community-building in a multiracial, multiethnic city where diversity has been a cornerstone of civic identity. Dr. McKibben's scholarship is based on extensive original research, including oral histories and never-before-seen archives of local business groups, tracing Salinas's ever-changing demographics and the challenges and triumphs of Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, and Mexican immigrants, as well as Depression-era Dust Bowl migrants and white ethnic Europeans. McKibben takes us from Salinas's nineteenth-century beginnings as the economic engine of California's Central Coast up through the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on communities of color today, especially farmworkers who already live on the margins.
She is currently engaged in a new book project: Water Politics in an Age of Drought on the Central Coast of California, which is part of a larger project at Stanford's Bill Lane Center on Environment and the West .
NEW RESEARCH & TEACHING
Dr. McKibben taught from SALINAS: A History of Race and Resilience in an
Agricultural City in her role as Faculty Development Series Organizer for the Salinas Union
High School District, Spring Semester 2023.
Currently, Dr. McKibben is engaged in researching and writing about the
political conflicts and efforts at a coalition building over water issues in the Central Coast
region. Her work is part of a larger project on drought and environment in California in association
with The Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University.
This book will explore the political battles over water in the Central Coast region,
the conundrum, the players, and the politics to make sense of an issue that defines the new
century in California.
“This important and engaging study of Salinas tells a vital story of racial divides—of how they have at times been exacerbated, but also often crossed, and at times even dissolved. This is a major contribution to California history, the history of race relations, urban history, agricultural history, and oral history. What is more, this book is instructive for the state and the nation.”
—David Wrobel, author of America’s West: A History, 1890-1950
IMAGES OF AMERICA:SEASIDE
BEYOND CANNERY ROW
DOWNLOAD A FULL CV HERE
IN THE PRESS
A fascinatingly splendid book that challenges conventional wisdom about the power of race to shape urban life. This book illustrates the role of
small communities in the transformation of the twentieth-century American society.
Sardines migrate; fishermen persist in following their paths—until, that is, women community builders declare an end to the constant shifting of home, family, and identity required by
this distinctive way of life. In her fascinating study of the fishing networks that linked Sicily, California, and Alaska, historian Carol McKibben makes a compelling case for female power. Her work reveals migration and settlement as deeply gendered processes in which female labor and decision making can be determinative.
McKibben has written a provocative study whose implications extend well beyond the boundaries of its unassuming subject. She calls into question our conventional understanding of modern American urban history.
UNIVERYSITY OF WASHINGTON
DONNA R. GABACCIA
COEDITOR OF ITALIAN WORKERS OF THE WORLD
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY,
Numerous public speaking events 2022-current