Natalie Santizo

Natalie Santizo

Natalie Santizo

Graduate Student

Cohort 2016-17

Office: 7349 Bunche Hall



Natalie explores the relationship between identity, race, and ethnicity through a food studies lens. She is particularly interested in analyzing the role of food spaces and pathways in developing conceptions of identity, race and ethnicity in the San Gabriel Valley of Southern California. How do interethnic relationships inform identity concepts and what role does structure and landscape play in suburban areas? How do these experiences shape self identity among millennials and how do these experiences then replicate meanings of identity? Natalie uses an array of methodology, including qualitative interviewing, cognitive mapping, surveys and census data to draw rich cultural histories in the San Gabriel Valley. She hopes to continue her work in the San Gabriel Valley to further expand the research of this geographical, culturally rich suburb of Los Angeles


  • Ph.D. Chicana/o Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, expected 2022
  • M.A. Chicana/o Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, 2019
  • M.S. Justice Studies, Arizona State University, 2016
  • B.A. Psychology and Sociology, University of Southern California, 2014


  • Natalie Santizo is a Ph.D. student in Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles
  • Her research focuses on mapping Latina/o/x foodways-the production, consumption, and distribution of foods and foodstuffs- and San Gabriel Valley History in the early 20th century
  • Utilizing local archives, primary documents, oral history, and GIS mapping, Natalie focuses on Latino farmer-entrepreneurs and laborers, she tells the history of the Central San Gabriel Valley (Baldwin Park, El Monte, La Puente) from a Latina/o/x perspective through a centralizing of foodways.
  • Natalie has provided digitization of historic phone directories in her hometown of Baldwin Park and continues to work with the local historical society to digitally preserve items
  • Making local history accessible in the San Gabriel Valley is an important part of her work. You can follow her social media project @writewithnat on Instagram to see how she carefully integrates digital humanities into her work.

Selected Publications

  • Book Reviews
    • Flavors of Empire: Food and the Making of Thai America by Mark Padoongpatt. Journal of Asian American Studies, Vol. 22, No. 2, June 2019.
    • Mexican Origin Foods, Foodways and Social Movements- Decolonial Perspectives, eds. Devon Peña, Luz Calvo, Pancho McFarland, and Gabriel R. Valle. Aztlan, Vol. 44, No. 1, Spring 2019.
    • Food Across Borders, eds. Matt Garcia, E. Melanie DuPuis and Don Mitchell. Gastronomica, Vol. 18, No. 4, Winter 2018.


  • Teacher’s Assistant
    • Introduction to Chicana/o Studies
    • Chicana/o Studies: Social Structure and Contemporary Issues
    • Chicana/o Studies: Theory
    • Chicana/o Studies: Space, Place, and Race