Photo of José M. Alamillo
Professor: Chicana/o Studies

Contact Information


Ph.D., University of California, Irvine
M.A., University of California, Irvine
B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara


Dr. Alamillo was born in Zacatecas, Mexico and raised in Ventura County, California. His family worked in the year-round lemon industry which allowed him to attend local public schools uninterrupted. At middle school age, he took part in University of California, Santa Barbara's Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and earned B.A. degrees in Sociology and Communication at UCSB. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Cultures at University of California, Irvine. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at University of California, Los Angeles’ Chicano Studies Research Center, he taught courses in Chicano/a Studies, Ethnic Studies, Immigration and Labor for nine years in the Department of Comparative Ethnic Studies at Washington State University.

Dr. Alamillo’s research focuses on the ways Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans have used culture, leisure, and sports to build community and social networks to advance politically and economically in the United States. His family’s experiences in the lemon industry inspired his first book, "Making Lemonade out of Lemons: Mexican American Labor and Leisure in a California Town, 1900-1960" ( University of Illinois Press, 2006) He co-authored the first textbook on Latinos in Sport titled "Latinos in U.S Sport: A History of Isolation, Cultural Identity, and Acceptance" (Human Kinetics, 2011). He recently published, "Deportes: The Making of a Sporting Mexican Diaspora" (Rutgers University Press, 2020).

He has also worked closely with students and community groups in oral history projects and museum exhibitions and seeks to build bridges between CSUCI and surrounding Latino/a communities. In 2010, he worked with students to conduct oral history interviews with ex-Braceros and their families, research local newspapers and archives, scan photographs, and designed an exhibition. “The Braceros of Ventura County” that opened to the public from Sept. 9 to Oct. 31, 2010. He is currently working with ¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los barrios y las grandes ligas, a bilingual exhibition at Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History opening in Washington D.C. on October 9, 2020.

Dr. Alamillo brings a strong commitment towards building a dynamic Chicano/a Studies Program at CSU Channel Islands, one that offers an extensive curriculum with an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary, transborder/transnational, ethnic studies and community service learning focus.

Representative Courses Taught

  • CHS 331 Transborder Perspectives in Chicana/o Studies
  • CHS 350 Chicana/o History and Culture
  • CHS 292 Chicana/o Service Learning and Engagement
  • CHS 491 Theoretical Foundations in Chicana/o Studies
  • CHS 425 Contemporary Immigration Issues



Chicano/a Studies, Latino/a Studies, Immigration Studies, Oral History Method, Sport Studies, Ethnic Studies

Additional Teaching and Research Information