After completing his doctoral studies in Latin American history at Yale University (2002), Overmyer-Velazquez taught in the History and Chicano/a Studies Departments at Pomona College before coming to UConn in 2004. His first book, Visions of the Emerald City: Modernity, Tradition and the Formation of Porfirian Oaxaca, Mexico (Duke, 2006), analyzes how elites (city officials and Church leaders) and commoners (city artisans and female sex workers) mobilized visual cultures to construct and experience the mutually defining processes of modernity and tradition during late 19th and early 20th century Mexico.
His second book examines critical themes in the transnational history of migration between Mexico and the United States from the late nineteenth century to the present day. Beyond la Frontera (Oxford, 2011) brings together a group of leading scholars to analyze the history of Mexican migration from both sides of the border. He is also editor of the two volume series, Latino America: State by State, which addresses the historical significance of the growing Latin(o) American population throughout the United States. While paying careful attention to the transnational dimensions of Latin American migration to the U.S., individual chapters examine the wide range of different Latino/a identities, ethnicities, and social and political positions at the state level.