OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

Steven W. Hackel

Portrait of Steven W. Hackel
Image Credit: Carlos Puma, University of California, Riverside

A professor of history at the University of California, Riverside, Steven W. Hackel specializes in colonial America, the Spanish borderlands, California missions, and California Indians. A leading scholar of Spanish California, he is the author of Junípero Serra: California’s Founding Father (2013), a comprehensive biography drawing on extensive archival research in Spain, Mexico, and California, and the award-winning Children of Coyote, Missionaries of Saint Francis: Indian-Spanish Relations in Colonial California, 1769-1850 (2005), a sweeping examination of Spanish California centered on Indian life in Mission San Carlos which Serra established in Monterey in 1770. Hackel is also the author of numerous articles on Spanish California and the editor of a volume of essays on colonial California, Alta California: People in Motion, Identities in Formation (2010). He is the general editor of the Huntington Library’s Early California Population Project, a database of the baptism, marriage, and burial records from all of California’s twenty-one missions, and the director of the Early California Cultural Atlas, a spatial history of colonial California funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Born and raised in California, Hackel is a member of the board of directors of the California Missions Foundation, the California Missions Studies Association, and the Historical Society of Southern California.

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

This lecture uses extensive visual materials to explore the various ways that California's founding father, Junipero Serra, has been remembered and commemorated in art and other arenas since his death in 1784.