I am Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Faculty Affiliate of the Center for Inter-American and Border Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso. My primary research interests, which tend to overlap, are in the political philosophy of immigration, Latin American philosophy, philosophies of social identity, and feminist bioethics.
I am currently completing my first book entitled Socially Undocumented: Identity and Immigration Justice, which is situated in the areas of political philosophy and philosophies of race and racism. I argue that people with “socially undocumented identity” are those who are (a) presumed to be undocumented on the mere basis of their appearance; and (b) subjected to demeaning, immigration-related constraints on that basis. The fact that many people experience both (a) and (b) constitutes immigration injustice in the United States and beyond. I argue that while many people are both legally and socially undocumented, one can, in fact, have legal permission to be in the United States and still be socially undocumented. In broad strokes, my book explores how “being socially undocumented” is operative as a “real” social identity, as well as what this means for immigration justice in the United States and on a global scale.
I am also undertaking research that focuses on the ways in which crossing U.S. state and national borders for pregnancy-related medical care (including prenatal care, labor and delivery, and abortion care) impacts pregnant people’s self-trust and autonomy in the context of their pregnancy-related medical encounters. In 2016-2017, I conducted ethnographic research in the El Paso-Ciudad Juárez area through which I explored the experiences of Mexican women who travel from Juárez to El Paso to seek prenatal care and give birth in the United States. In the summer of 2017, I received an NIH Building Scholars Grant that enabled me to undertake a pilot project in two Albuquerque-based abortion clinics. As part of this research, I studied the experiences of women who had to cross U.S. borders to legally terminate pregnancies in their second or third trimesters.
Finally, I also have integrated teaching, research and outreach interests in philosophy for children (P4C). I am the founding director of two P4C programs: the Oaxaca Philosophy for Children Initiative, a non-profit program that provides free pre-college philosophy courses to K-12 youth in Oaxaca City, Mexico,and the Philosophy for Children in the Borderlands program, as part of which UTEP students lead weekly philosophical discussions with children and youth at various community centers in El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. I also serve on the American Philosophical Association Committee on Pre-College Instruction in Philosophy.
I completed my PhD in philosophy in 2014 at the University of Washington, where I wrote a dissertation entitled Immigrant Oppression and Social Justice. Prior to that I earned an MSc in philosophy and public policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. As an undergraduate I studied philosophy at Temple University and the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.