Founding Director; Professor of History, American Studies, and Ethnicity, Race, & Migration

Professor Stephen Pitti
Professor Stephen Pitti

Stephen Pitti is a Professor of History, American Studies, and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration at Yale University. He is also the Founding Director of Yale’s Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration, and the Associate Head of Ezra Stiles College. He is the author of The Devil in Silicon Valley: Race, Mexican Americans, and Northern California (2003), American Latinos and the Making of the United States (2012), and articles on Latinx history and historiography. He has provided expert reports on the history of racial animus for federal civil rights cases, and he is currently writing a book entitled The World of César Chávez. Appointed a Distinguished Lecturer by the Organization of American Historians and a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, he has delivered the Américo Paredes Distinguished Lecture at the University of Texas and keynoted the Latinos/as in Historic Preservation National Conference. He co-edits the “Politics and Culture in Modern America” series for the University of Pennsylvania Press and serves on the editorial board for the journal California History. At Yale he has organized or co-organized conferences and academic gatherings focusing on Mexican Music and Social Justice; Racism and the Radical Right in Europe and the United States; Japanese American Wartime Incarceration; and New Directions in Ethnic Studies.

As a past member of the National Park Service Advisory Board and chair of the National Historic Landmarks Committee, Professor Pitti led an effort to identify, preserve, and interpret historic sites that capture a broad and more accurate history of the United States. He has taught courses about the Smithsonian and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Yale-Smithsonian Initiative. He has chaired Yale’s Faculty Advisory and Selection Committee for the Mellon-Mays and Bouchet Fellowships since 2006. He has worked as a reviewer for the American Council of Learned Societies and other foundations, and he has chaired postdoctoral selection committees designed to support scholars in Ethnic Studies and related fields. He is a past member of the Faculty Advisory Committee on Athletics, the Board of Directors of Freedom University in Atlanta, the Steering Committee of the McDougal Center in the Yale Graduate School, the Advisory Board for the Bracero History Project at the National Museum of American History, the Yale-NUS College Advisory Committee, the Yale University Budget Committee, the Standing Committee on Yale College Expansion, the Faculty Advisory Committee of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, the Yale Creative and Performing Arts Committee, the University Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming (in the aftermath of the Charleston massacre), and the Steering Committee for Yale College.

Professor Pitti received a B.A. from Yale College and both an M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. He has been a President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, San Diego and a Visiting Scholar at the Julian Samora Research Institute at Michigan State University.