Steering Committee & Staff

Catherine Ramirez Headshot Catherine S. Ramírez, Director

Associate Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies

Professor Ramírez's research and writing look at US cultural history via the lenses of Mexican American history and literature. Over 2016-17, she was the principal investigator of Non-citizenship, UC Santa Cruz's Andrew W. Mellon Foundation John E. Sawyer Seminar on migration, mobility, belonging, and rights. She is the author of The Woman in the Zoot Suit: Gender, Nationalism, and the Cultural Politics of Memory (Duke University Press, 2009) and numerous essays on race, gender, and science fiction. Her current book project, Assimilation: An Alternative History, narrates a history of assimilation as a theory and political project in the United States.

Jacquelyn Powell HeadshotJacquelyn Powell, Program Manager

Jackie manages daily operations of the CLRC, such as event planning, guest speaker relations, and factulty and student awards. Besides her work at the CLRC, Jackie is a yoga teacher for kids and adults. She has also lived in Bolivia, Guatemala, Nepal, and Nicaragua. She graduated from Gettysburg College with three degrees, one of which is in Latin American Studies/Spanish.

mramirez headshotMauricio E. Ramirez, Graduate Student Researcher (2017 – Present)

Latin American and Latino Studies

Mauricio is a third-year Ph.D. student in Latin American and Latina/o Studies. His research interests lie in the field of Latina/o visual studies, with a focus on public art and murals in the San Francisco Bay Area. Before arriving at UC Santa Cruz, he received a Masters of Arts in Teaching Visual Arts at The University of the Arts and his Bachelor’s degree in Art at UC Santa Cruz. Mauricio is also a part-time teacher at The Imagine Bus Project, where he teaches visual art to incarcerated youth at San Mateo Juvenile Hall.

Alma Villa HeadshotAlma Villa, Professional Career Development Program Intern

Sociology and Latin American and Latino Studies

Before arriving at UC Santa Cruz in the fall of 2015, Alma attended El Camino College Compton Center, where she received her Associate Degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences. Winner of the 2016 Blum Scholar Grant, Joel Frankel Award, STARS Re-entry Scholarship, and Weiss Family Scholarship, she is researching precarious housing among Latinos in Southern California, with a focus on the impact of the current housing crisis on low-income Latinos in Los Angeles. As CLRC Intern, she supports Nuestras Historias:  CLRC Archive Project, participates in our Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program, translates text in English and Spanish, and provides support at CLRC-sponsored events.

jdavila headshotJuan C. Dávila, Graduate Student Researcher (Summer 2017)

Latin American and Latino Studies

Juan, a journalist, documentary filmmaker, and Ph.D. student at UC Santa Cruz, is the creator of the CLRC's 2017 promotional video. His work focuses on environmental movements, job insecurity and the millennial generation. He has directed two feature documentary films: Compañeros de lucha (2012) and Vieques: una batalla inconclusa (2016). He currently works as a correspondent for Democracy Now!

Alina Ivette Fernandez HeadshotAlina Ivette Fernandez, Graduate Student Researcher (2014–2017) 

Latin American and Latino Studies

Alina is part of the inaugural cohort of students in the doctoral program in Latin American and Latino Studies. As Graduate Student Coordinator of Nuestras Historias: CLRC Archive Project, she helps oversee our Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program. Additionally, she supported our programming, particularly events we sponsored and cosponsored. Before coming to UC Santa Cruz, she received her B.S. in international relations and diplomacy and Latin American and Latino studies at Seton Hall University. Her research is on Latina and Latino Greek organizations and civic engagement.

CLRC Steering Committee


Gabriela Arredondo, ex officio

Associate Professor and Chair, Latin American and Latino Studies

Professor Arredondo (CLRC Director, 2008-13) received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Chicago and is the author of Mexican Chicago: Race, Identity, and Nation (University of Illinois Press, 2008) and co-editor of Chicana Feminisms: A Critical Reader (Duke University Press, 2003). Her research and teaching interests range from migration histories and critical race formations in the Americas, to comparative Latino histories and Chicana feminisms. Over 2015-16, she oversaw the oral history component of Nuestras Historias: CLRC Archive Project.

TJ Demos headshotT.J. Demos

Professor, History of Art and Visual Culture

Founder and Director of UC Santa Cruz's Center for Creative Ecologies, Professor Demos writes widely on the intersection of contemporary art, global politics, and ecology. He is the author of The Migrant Image: The Art and Politics of Documentary During Global Crisis (Duke University Press, 2013), winner of the College Art Association’s 2014 Frank Jewett Mather Award, and Return to the Postcolony: Spectres of Colonialism in Contemporary Art (Sternberg Press, 2013).  In January 2015, he co-curated Rights of Nature:  Art and Ecology in the Americas at Nottingham Contemporary and, in March 2014, he organized Specters: A Ciné-Politics of Haunting at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid.

Sylvanna Falcón HeadshotSylvanna Falcón

Associate Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies

Professor Falcón's research and teaching interests are in the areas of human rights, transitional justice in Peru, transnational feminism, and racism/anti-racism. Her book, Power Interrupted: Antiracist and Feminist Activists inside the United Nations (University of Washington Press, 2016), on ways in which a race and gender intersectionality approach in UN forums on antiracism has broadened opportunities for feminist activists in the Américas, won the 2016 National Women's Studies Association Gloria E. Anzaldúa Book Prize. She has published work in various journals, including the Journal of Women's History, Gender & Society, International Feminist Journal of Politics, Societies Without Borders, and Social Justice. Over 2016-17, she was a co-principal investigator of Non-citizenship, UC Santa Cruz's Mellon-funded Sawyer Seminar on migration and mobility, belonging, and rights.

AFelix.Headshot2Adrián Félix

Assistant Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies

Professor Félix's research focuses on México-U.S. migration, migrant transnationalism, and racial/ethnic politics and identity.  His work has been published in American Quarterly, American Behavioral Scientist, Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, Latin American Research Review, and North American Congress on Latin America. In addition to writing policy reports, he is working on Transnational (After)life: The Political Life Cycle of El Migrante, forthcoming from Oxford University Press. A former University of California President's Postdoctoral Fellow (2011-13) and fellow with the Center for Collaborative Research for an Equitable California, he has coordinated the CLRC Research Cluster Politics of Forced Migration.

JGonzalez.HeadshotJennifer A. González

Professor, History of Art and Visual Culture

Professor González's books include Subject to Display: Reframing Race in Contemporary Installation Art (MIT Press, 2008) and Pepón Osorio (University of Minnesota Press, 2013). Her essays about digital bodies and critical race studies have appeared in anthologies such as The Cyborg Handbook, Race in Cyberspace, Visible Worlds, and Only Skin Deep: Changing Visions of the American Self. She is now coediting with Tere Romo, Chon Noriega, and Ondine Chagoya Chicana/o Art: A Critical Anthology, forthcoming from Duke University Press.

MGreenberg.HeadshotMiriam Greenberg

Professor, Sociology

Professor Greenberg specializes in urban and cultural studies. She is the author of Branding New York: How a City in Crisis Was Sold to the World (Routledge, 2008) and co-author with Kevin Fox Gotham of Crisis Cities:  Disaster and Redevelopment in New York and New Orleans (Oxford University Press, 2014). She is coordinator of the Urban Studies Research Cluster at UC Santa Cruz and principal investigator of Critical Sustainabilities, a University of California Multi-campus Working Group that probes the history and politics of urban sustainability discourse in California. She teaches courses in global urban studies, with a particular interest in urbanization in Latin America, having lived in and done research on Buenos Aires.

KGruesz.HeadshotKirsten Silva Gruesz

Professor, Literature

Professor Gruesz teaches and writes on the long history of Chicanos and Latinos in the United States. In addition to Abassadors of Culture: The Transamerican Origins of Latino Writing (Princeton University Press, 2001), she has published over two dozen essays on topics ranging from early Spanish-language periodicals in the borderlands, to the Hispanic Gulf of Mexico, to the politics of making a contemporary Latino canon. Her current book, Cotten Mather's Spanish Lessons: Language, Race, and American Memory, is forthcoming from Harvard University Press. She is also coordinator of UC Santa Cruz's Latino Literary Cultures Project/Proyecto culturas literarias latinas.

Steve McKay headshotSteve McKay

Associate Professor, Sociology

An internationally renowned scholar of labor, migration, globalization, and race, Professor McKay is the author of the award-winning Satanic Mills or Silicon Islands: The Politics of High-tech Production in the Philippines (Cornell University/ILR Press, 2006) and co-editor with Sukanya Bannerjee and Aims McGuinness of New Routes for Diaspora Studies (Indiana University Press, 2012). In addition to serving on the CLRC Steering Committee, he directs the Center for Labor Studies and is the principal investigator of Working for Dignity, a project on low-wage labor in Santa Cruz County. He was also a co-principal investigator of Non-citizenship, UC Santa Cruz's 2016-17 Mellon-funded Sawyer Seminar on migration, mobility, belonging, and rights.

Juan Poblete HeadshotJuan Poblete

Professor, Literature

Professor Poblete's broad and myriad research interests include nineteenth-century Latin American literature, nation and nationalism, and popular culture in the Americas. Over 2016-17, he was a co-principal investigator of Non-citizenship, UC Santa Cruz's Mellon-funded Sawyer Seminar on migration, mobility, belonging, and rights. He is also author of Literatura chilena del siglo XIX: entre públicos lectores y figuras autoriales (Santiago: Cuarto Propio, 2003), editor of Critical Latin American and Latino Studies (University of Minnesota Press, 2003), and co-editor of Andrés Bello (with Beatriz Gonzalez-Stephan, IILI, 2009), Redrawing The Nation: National Identities in Latin/o American Comics (with Héctor Fernández-L'Hoeste, Palgrave, 2009), Desdén al infortunio: Sujeto, comunicación y público en la narrativa de Pedro Lemebel (with Fernando Blanco, Cuarto Propio, 2010), and Sports and Nationalism in Latin America (with Héctor Fernández L’Hoeste and Robert McKee-Irwin, Palgrave, 2015). He is coediting with Juana Suárez Humor in Latin American Cinema (forthcoming from Palgrave).

CRivas.HeadshotCecilia M. Rivas

Associate Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies

Professor Rivas' research and teaching explore transnationalism, media and communication, consumption, globalization, migration, race, ethnicity, gender, and bilingualism. She is the author of Salvadoran Imaginaries: Mediated Identities and Cultures of Consumption (Rutgers University Press, 2014) and is now working on a project on public health and migration from Central America to Mexico. 

FSchaeffer.HeadshotFelicity Amaya Schaeffer

Associate Professor and Chair, Feminist Studies

Professor Schaeffer is the author of Love and Empire: Cybermarriage and Citizenship across the Americas (New York University Press, 2013), an exploration of the relationship between global shifts and intimate circuits of desire, love, and marriage. Her current research is on surveillance technologies and the sexual criminalization of migrant bodies on and beyond the US-Mexico border. Other research interests include borderlands and transnationalisms; affect and capitalism; race, technology, and subjectivity; and Chicana and Latin American cultural studies. She was a co-principal investigator of Non-citizenship, UC Santa Cruz's Mellon-funded Sawyer Seminar on migration, mobility, belonging, and rights, over 2016-17.