I am an anthropologist whose research interests include theories of race, materiality, the body, Mexican migration, border analysis, and class relations. I earned my Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2015); M.A. in Anthropology from the University of California at Riverside (2006), and B.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Illinois (2005). As of Fall 2017, I am a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Latino Studies Program at Indiana University at Bloomington where I teach courses on Latino Studies, Latino History, and American Borderlands.
My first ethnography is entitled, Class, Labor, and Color Hierarchies: An Ethnographic Study of Mexican Yarderos in South Chicago (2014), examines the extent class, labor, and color hierarchies from Mexico coexist with American ethnic and racial classifications. By focusing on Mexican gardeners in Chicago, I ethnographically demonstrate that “Mexicaness” in the context of the United States is saturated with color meanings. Likewise, I document the centrality of labor in driving cultural transformations in a new land as well as documenting the politico-historical transformation that give rise to a new working class formation—los yarderos. This research is slated to be published as a book at the University of Illinois Press under the series Latinos in Chicago and the Midwest under the title, “Los Yarderos: Mexican Yard Workers in Neoliberal Chicago” for Spring 2018.
A recalibration of my sociocultural lens has allow me to work on other projects on Mexican immigration that look for example at the gender, color, and power processes that give rise to what I call “transborder Mexico” in the United States. This work will appear in a book currently under contract with Michigan State University Press. Moreover, I am also now focusing on the relations between health, migration, and class in a project that examines how Latin@ cancer patients experience this disease and the ways in which culture works to cope with it.