Ena H. Thompson Lectureship

Natalia Molina, PhD

Ena H. Thompson Lectureship, 2022-2023
November 3, 2022 at 7:15pm
Rose Hills Theater

“How The Nayarit Built a World: Feeding Los Angeles and Becoming Mexican-American”

A Reading and Conversation with Natalia Molina, PhD, McArthur Fellow Awardee (2020)

Sponsored by the Ena H. Thompson Fund and the History Department at Pomona College. Event is open and free to the Public.

Attendees are required to wear masks inside Rose Hills.

“In a world that sought to reduce Mexican immigrants to invisible labor the Nayarit was a place where people could become visible once again, where they could speak it, claim space, and belong. In 1951, Doña Natalia Barraza opened the Nayarit, a Mexican restaurant in Echo Park, Los Angeles. Historian Natalia Molina traces the life’s work of her grandmother, remembered by all who knew her as Doña Natalia - a generous, reserved, and extraordinarily capable woman. Doña Natalia immigrated alone from Mexico to L.A., adopted two children, and ran a successful business. She also sponsored, housed, and employed dozens of other immigrants, encouraging them to lay claim to a city long characterized by anti-Latinx racism. Together, the employees and customers of the Nayarit maintained ties to their old homes while providing one another safety and support.”

About the Lectureship

Endowed in 1980 through the generosity of Ena H. Thompson, these annual lectures encourage a broader understanding and appreciation of history. Generally held in the spring semester, the lectureship brings a distinguished historian to the Pomona College campus for a week of intensive interaction with students, faculty, and alumni. The visiting lecturers are elected both on the basis of their past contributions to the discipline and of the importance of their current research in advancing the field. Typically, they offer two public lectures on campus during the week of their residency and another lecture for alumni at a dinner event in the greater Los Angeles area.

Past Ena H. Thompson Distinguished Lecturers

2021      Angela Davis
2019      Kate Brown
2018      Andrew Bacevich​
2017      James C. Scott
2016      Greg Grandin
2015      Kasia Cwiertka
2014      Tiya A. Miles
2013      Gail Hershatter
2012      Fred M. Donner
2011      Gilbert Gonzales
2010      Thomas R. Metcalf
2009      Louis A.  Pérez, Jr.
2008      Pamela H. Smith
2007      David Roediger / Stanley Nelson
2006      Patricia Ebrey
2005      Dominick La Capra
2004      Robin D. G. Kelley
2003      Gilbert M. Joseph
2002      Patricia Nelson Limerick
2001      Linda Colley
2000      Vicki L. Ruiz / Antonia Castańeda
1999      Allan Bérubé
1998      Lynn Hunt
1997      Peter Brown
1996      Tetsuo Najita
1995      Ramón Eduardo Ruiz
1994      John Higginson
1993      G.W. Bowersock
1992      John H. Elliot
1991      Bernard Bailyn
1990      Ramón Gutiérrez
1989      Wolfgang J. Momsen
1988      Jonathan P. Spence
1987      A.W.B. Simpson
1986      Keith Thomas
1985      Natalie Zemon Davis
1984      Carl E. Schorske
1983      Richard Pipes
1982      Arthur Schlesinger Jr.
1981      Emmanuel Leroy Ladurie
1980      Peter Gay