Department of History > Faculty & Staff > Brian D. Behnken

Brian D. Behnken

Brian Behnken (Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University)Associate Professor
Jointly appointed with the U.S. Latino/a Studies Program
Affiliate Faculty in African and African American Studies

631 Ross Hall
Department of History
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-1202
Phone: (515) 294-3594



Ph.D., University of California, Davis

Research and Teaching Interests

Mexican American History
African American History
Latino/a Studies
Race and Comparative Race Relations
Civil Rights and Social Justice

Selected Publications


Civil Rights and Beyond: African American and Latino/a Activism in the Twentieth-Century United States (University of Georgia Press, 2016).

With Gregory D. Smithers, Racism in American Popular Media: From Aunt Jemima to the Frito Bandito (Praeger Publishers, 2015).

With Simon Wendt, Crossing Boundaries: Ethnicity, Race, and National Belonging in a Transnational World  (Lexington Books, 2013)

The Struggle in Black and Brown: African American and Mexican American Relations During the Civil Rights Era  (University of Nebraska Press, 2012)

Fighting Their Own Battles: Mexican Americans, African Americans, and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Texas(University of North Carolina Press, 2011)


“Comparative Civil Rights: Notes on the Fields of Black-Brown Relations and Multiethnic Freedom Struggles” Journal of Civil And Human Rights (Vol 1, No. 2)

“Controlling los hombres: American State Power and the Emasculation of the Mexican Community, 1850-1900,” in Simon Wendt and Pablo Dominguez, eds. Marginalized Masculinities and the Nation. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)

“The Movement in the Mirror: Civil Rights and the Causes of Black/Brown Disunity in Texas,” in Brian D. Behnken, ed. The Struggle in Black and Brown: African American and Mexican American Relations During the Civil Rights Era (Nebraska Press, 2012).

“‘We Want Justice!’: Police Murder, Mexican American Community Response, and the Chicano Movement,” in Dan Berger, ed., The Hidden 1970s: Histories of Radicalism (Rutgers University Press, 2010).

Professional Activities

Series Editor, Racism in American Institutions, Praeger Publishers
Editorial Board Member, Pacific Historical Review
Editorial Board Member, Journal of Civil and Human Rights