Photo of Julia Ornelas-Higdon
Assistant Professor: History

Contact Information


B.A. History, Pomona College
M.A. History, University of Southern California
Ph.D. History, University of Southern California


Dr. Ornelas-Higdon specializes in the history of California and the West. Her research focuses on the intersections of race, agricultural and labor histories. Dr. Ornelas-Higdon’s current project explores California’s 19th century wine industry as a site of conquest, imperialism, and racialization.

Dr. Ornelas-Higdon received her B.A. in History from Pomona College and went on to earn her Ph.D. in History from the University of Southern California. As a graduate student, she received a USC Provost Fellowship and was a Smithsonian Institution Latino Studies Fellow at the National Museum of American History. Dr. Ornelas-Higdon is the proud granddaughter of two Braceros, whose participation in the Bracero Program inspired her research. Originally from the Bay Area, her work also draws from the agricultural roots of her hometown, Fairfield, California.

Representative Courses Taught

  • HIST 270 The United States to 1877
  • HIST 271 The United States since 1877
  • HIST 369 California History and Culture
  • HIST 401 Immigration, Race, and Citizenship in the United States



U.S. History, California History, Race