The entrance to the Department of History’s office in Sidney Smith Hall

Erica Toffoli

PhD Program

Fields of Study Geographical Fields:

Latin America and Caribbean; United States

Fields of Study Thematic Fields:

Cultural and Intellectual; Migration/Diaspora; State, Politics, and Law

Areas of Interest:

Imagining "Illegality": The Origins and Reinvention of the Mexican "Illegal Alien" in the United States, 1965-1986


Program: PhD

Major and Minor Fields: USA, 1877-Present (Major), 20th-Century U.S. Foreign Policy (Minor), Latin America, 1810-Present (Minor)

Supervisor: Russell Kazal

Previous Degrees:
M.A., University of Toronto (2012)
B.A. (Honours) (2011)

American Historical Association's Albert J. Beveridge Grant for Study of the History of the Western Hemisphere, 2016-2017

Dissertation and Research Interests: My research explores the United States’ encounter with Latin American immigrants in the post-World War II period. I examine the legal and cultural constructions of the “illegal immigrant,” and migrants’ responses to “illegality” in the post-1965 U.S. More broadly, I am interested in 20th-century U.S. domestic and foreign policy history, immigration history, labour history, and U.S.-Latin American relations.

Academic Service:
Assistant Editor, Past Tense: Graduate Review of History
Organizing Committee Member, 10th Annual Graduate History Symposium, University of Toronto


  • 2013-2014