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Saavedra is a interdisciplinary, intersectional socio-cultural historian and Chicana/o Studies scholar specializing in 19th  and 20th Century U.S. History, Borderlands History, History of the U.S. West, Chicana/o History, California History, and Gender and Sexuality History. Her research interests include the intersection of race, power, identity, colonialism, nationalism, gender and sexuality.