Dr. Alejandro Lugo

Professor of Latina/Latino Studies
ANTHROPOLOGY; Affiliated Faculty of Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Professor of Anthropology
Professor of Gender and Women's Studies
Affiliate of Center for Global Studies

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Contact Information

    109 Davenport Hall
    607 S Mathews
    M/C 148
    Urbana, IL 61801
  • Telephone: (217)333-0823
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ALEJANDRO LUGO received his Ph.D. in anthropology from Stanford University in 1995, his M.A. in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1988, and his B.A. in anthropology from New Mexico State University in 1985. Prof. Lugo has taught at Bryn Mawr College (Spring 1992), at the University of Texas at El Paso (1992-1993 to 1994-1995), and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he has been teaching anthropology and Latino Studies since the fall of 1995. From 2006-2007 to 2009-2010, Prof. Lugo served as Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Head of the Department of Anthropology.          Professor Lugo is the author of Fragmented Lives, Assembled Parts: Culture, Capitalism, and Conquest at the U.S.-Mexico Border (University of Texas Press, 2008), which has received two national book awards. He is also co-editor (with Bill Maurer) of the 2000 volume Gender Matters: Rereading Michelle Rosaldo  (University of Michigan Press) and editor of the 2012 special publication, “Engaging and Celebrating Renato Rosaldo’s Culture and Truth” in Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies.  In addition to having served from Spring 2010 to Fall 2011 as Associate Editor of the interdisciplinary journal Latino Studies, he also served in the Editorial Boards of the journals Reviews in Anthropology from 2003 to 2005 and Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies from 2006 to 2008.

Research Description

  • Prof. Lugo’s research and writing have focused on the study of culture, power, and identity in the labor lives of working-class peoples (particularly maquiladora workers) in the context of late industrial capitalism as well as in the social lives of ethnic and racial minorities in the context of empire, including the Spanish and the American empires.  Throughout his professional career, he has maintained a broad theoretical interest in bridging the study of culture and meaning with political economy, history, and lived experience.  His main strategy in accomplishing this goal has been to conduct ethnographic work on how people’s differences in terms of class, gender, and color hierarchies manifest themselves in society and in everyday lives.  Ethnographically, Prof. Lugo has addressed these concerns through anthropological research conducted over the last two decades on the lives of working-class people at the U.S.-Mexico border.  Most recently,Prof. Lugo’s research has focused on the historical formation of Mexican communities in southern New Mexico from the mid-19th century to the present.  He has augmented ethnography with investigations of the historical and social science literatures about Mexicans and other Latinos/as in the United States (in the American Southwest and the Midwest and beyond).  Methodologically, Prof. Lugo has used structured and unstructured interviews, participant observation, life histories, and archival research of government population records (both colonial and modern) and newspapers.  With regard to the subfield of socio-cultural anthropology, Prof. Lugo’s research and writing projects contribute to the anthropology of capitalism (work, class and culture), the anthropology of borderlands and colonialism/postcolonialism, the anthropology of Mexico and transnational Mexicans, and the anthropology of gender and feminism.


  • Ph.D., Stanford University, 1995
  • M.A., University of Wisconsin at Madison, 1988
  • B.A., New Mexico State University, 1985

Distinctions / Awards

LLS Titles & Affiliations

  • Professor of Latina/Latino Studies and Anthropology, Affiliate of Center for Global Studies, Gender & Women's Studies, and Latin American and Caribbean Studies



  • Fragmented Lives, Assembled Parts: Culture, Capitalism, and Conquest at the U.S.-Mexico Border. . Austin: University of Texas Press, 2008.

Book Contributions

  • Lugo, Alejandro. "Border Inspections, Then and Now." Mapping Latina/o Studies: An Interdisciplinary Reader. . Ed. Angharad N. Valdivia and Matthew Garcia. New York: Peter Lang Press, 2012.

  • Lugo, Alejandro. "Theorizing Border Inspections." Globalizing Cultural Studies: Ethnographic Interventions in Theory, Method, and Policy. . Ed. Cameron McCarthy et al.. New York: Peter Lang, 2007. 101-121.

  • Lugo, Alejandro. "Reflections on Border Theory, Culture, and the Nation." Race, Identity, and Representaion in Education (Second Edition). . Ed. Cameron McCarty, Warren Crichlow, Gred Dimitriadis, and Nadine Dolby. New York: Routledge, 2005. 43-57.

  • Lugo, Alejandro. "Michelle Z. Rosaldo." Biographical Dictionary of Social and Cultural Anthropology. . Ed. Vered Amit. New York: Routledge, 2004.

  • Lugo, Alejandro. "Genders Matter: Women, Men, and the Production of Feminist Knowledge." Disciplines on the Line: Feminist Research on Spanish, Latin American, and U.S. Latina Women. . Ed. Anne Cruz, Rosalie Hernandez-Pecoraro, and Joyce Tolliver. Newark, Delaware: Juan de la Cuesta Press, 2003. 79-100.

  • Lugo, Alejandro. "Reflecciones sobre la teoría de la frontera, la cultura, y la nación." Teoría de la Frontera. . Ed. David Johnson and Scott Michaelsen. España: Ed. Gedisa, 2003.

  • Lugo, Alejandro. "Destabilizing the Masculine, Refocusing ‘Gender’: Men and the Aura of Authority in Michelle Z. Rosaldo’s Work." Gender Matters: Rereading Michelle Z. Rosaldo. . Ed. Alejandro Lugo and Bill Maurer. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000. 54-89.

  • Lugo, Alejandro. "Preface." Gender Matters: Rereading Michelle Z. Rosaldo. . Ed. Alejandro Lugo and Bill Maurer. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000.

  • Lugo, Alejandro, and Bill Maurer. "Introduction: “The Legacy of Michelle Z. Rosaldo: Politics and Gender in Modern Societies." Gender Matters: Rereading Michelle Z. Rosaldo. . Ed. Alejandro Lugo and Bill Maurer. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000.

  • Lugo, Alejandro. "Reflections on Border Theory, Culture, and the Nation." Border Theory: The Limits of Cultural Politics. . Ed. Scott Michaelsen and David Johnson. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997. 43-67.

  • Lugo, Alejandro. "Economic Development, Maquiladoras, and Cultural Process in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico." Sociological Explorations: Focus on the Southwest. . Ed. H. Daudistel and C. Howard. St. Paul, MN: West Publishing Co., 1994. 161-177.

Edited Books

Journal Articles

  • Lugo, Alejandro. "Introduction: Renato Rosaldo’s Border Travels." Aztlan: Journal of Chicano Studies 37.1 (2012): 119-144.
  • Lugo, Alejandro. "“Cruces”: A Photo Essay." South Atlantic Quarterly 105.4 (2006): 745-754, in addition to book cover.
  • Lugo, Alejandro. "Theorizing Border Inspections." Cultural Dynamics 12.3 (2000): 353-373.
  • Lugo, Alejandro. "Durkheim, Mauss, and Levi-Strauss: An Anthropological Dynasty." Finisterre: Revista Literaria 8 (1992): 44-50.
  • Lugo, Alejandro. "Gloria Trevi: Resistencia, Desesperacion y Locura." Cuadernos del Norte 17.Noviembre-Diciembre (1992): 37-39.
  • Lugo, Alejandro. "La ‘Teoria del Interes’: On the Work of Barth, Bourdieu, and Ortner." Finisterre: Revista Literaria 10 (1992): 31-37.
  • Lugo, Alejandro. "Madonna: Inmaculada." Cuadernos del Norte 15.May-June (1991):
  • Lugo, Alejandro. "Cultural Production and Reproduction in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico: Tropes at Play among Maquiladora Workers." Cultural Anthropology 5.2 (1990): 173-196.

Special Issues of a Journal

  • Lugo, Alejandro. "Photo Essay: Cruces." The Last Frontier: The Contemporary Configuration of the U.S.-Mexico Border. Spec. iss. of The South Atlantic Quarterly 105.4 (2006):