Hinnershitz's research focuses on the history of immigration, race, ethnicity, and social movements in the United States. Her work explores the connections between immigration, law, civil rights, and race, with a special emphasis on Asian Americans, and their place in American political, social, and labor history. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History, but is on academic leave for the 2017-2018 year to serve as the American History and Diversity Studies Fellow at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.
In the News
Tells the story of the Asian American campus organizations that flourished on the West Coast from the 1900s through the 1960s. Discusses how, using their faith to point out the hypocrisy of fellow American Protestants who supported segregation and discriminatory practices, the student activists in these groups performed vital outreach to communities outside the university, from Californian farms to Alaskan canneries.
Shows how Asian Americans organized carefully constructed legal battles that often traveled to the state and federal supreme courts. Describes a movement that ran alongside and at times intersected with the African American fight for justice and restores Asian Americans to the fraught legacy of civil rights in the South.
Analyzes the American Legion's role in developing a discourse of exclusion surrounding the Immigration Act of 1924. Discusses how the Legion strategically used the political rhetoric of states' rights and federalism in addition to racist and nativist language to emphasize the need for increased federal restrictions on immigration.