Miguel Díaz-Barriga
Chair and Professor of Anthropology
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Office Phone: (956) 665-2377
Cell Phone: (956) 330-8976


  • Mexican-American Culture
  • Border Studies
  • Border Security and Border Wall
  • Latin American Social Movements
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Minority Student Retention and Success
  • Latinos in the U.S.
  • Obama Immigration Reform

Curriculum Vitae site:


Dr. Miguel Díaz-Barriga received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Stanford University in 1991. He is currently a Professor of Anthropology at The University of Texas-Pan American. He is specialized in border culture, Chicano studies, and social movements in Latin America. His research focus is on the construction of the border wall in South Texas. Dr. Díaz-Barriga is also interested in visual anthropology, Mexican-American migration, and grassroots organizing in Mexico City. He is the President of the Association of Latino and Latina Anthropologists (ALLA) and has served as the Chair of the Committee on Minority Issues for the American Anthropological Association. He is now the Section-Convenor elect of the American Anthropological Association.

Current Research

  • Miguel Díaz-Barriga and Margaret E. Dorsey, Militarization on the Edge: Necro-Citizenship and the U.S.-Mexico Border Fence, book contract with The University of Texas at Austin Press.
  • Focus on Latino Student Retention and Success (FLRS), Co-authoring articles based on Latino/a stop-outs, mentoring, family dynamics, and faculty attitudes. FLRS research includes two surveys, faculty focus groups, student focus groups, telephone interviews, and a longitudinal analysis of student stop-out rates of The University of Texas-Pan American students and faculty.

Recent publications:

  • Miguel Díaz-Barriga and Havidán Rodríguez, "Poverty." In Oxford Bibliographies in Latino Studies, Ilan Stavans (ed.), New York: Oxford University Press, In Press, 2013.
  • Miguel Díaz-Barriga, "Remaking Culture and Truth: Cultural and Necro-Citizenship in the Borderlands," Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano/a Studies, 37(1): 191-204, 2012.
  • Margaret E. Dorsey and Miguel Díaz-Barriga, "Patriotic Citizenship, the Border Wall and the "El Veterano" Conjunto Festival." In Transnational Encounters: Music and Performance at the U.S.-Mexico Border, Alejandro L Madrid (ed.), Oxford University Press, 298-336, 2011.
  • Miguel Díaz-Barriga and Margaret E. Dorsey, "Border Walls and Necro-Citizenship: The Normalization of Exclusion and Death on the U.S. Mexico Border," (in English, Spanish, and French), In The American Wall: From the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, Maurice Sherif (ed.), Austin: University of Texas Press, 17-23, 2011.
  • Margaret E. Dorsey and Miguel Díaz-Barriga, "Beyond Surveillance and Moonscapes: An Alternative Imaginary of the U.S. Mexico Border Wall," Visual Anthropology Review, 26(2): 128-135, 2010.
  • Miguel Díaz-Barriga, "Distracción: Notes on Cultural Citizenship, Visual Ethnography, and Mexican Migration to Pennsylvania," Visual Anthropology Review, 24(2): 133-147, 2008.
  • Margaret E. Dorsey and Miguel Díaz-Barriga, Senator Barack Obama and Immigration Reform, Journal of Black Studies, 38(1), 90-104, 2007.
  • Miguel Díaz-Barriga, Virginia Adams O’Connell and Margarita Fermin, "Race Gender and Mentoring in Anthropology Departments, AAA Committee for Minority Issues in Anthropology, 2004.
  • Miguel Díaz-Barriga, "Materialism, Sensuality, and Dance: visualizing the devil in the Festival to Our Lady of Urkupiña," Visual Anthropology, 16 (2 and3): 245-261, 2003.
  • Miguel Díaz-Barriga, "Minority Issues in Anthropology," Anthropology News: 44(8), 2003.
  • Miguel Díaz-Barriga, "Carmen Lomas Garza: Artist as Curandera," article for the exhibit brochure, "Carmen Lomas Garza/Like the Aloe," List Gallery, Swarthmore College, 9-10, 2003.
  • Miguel Díaz-Barriga, "Spanish in the Social Sciences: Notes on the Challenges of Service-Learning Among Mexican Migrants in Pennsylvania," In American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese Professional Development Series, 5: 154-161, 2003.
  • Miguel Díaz-Barriga, "Mole," Slow Food, 2: 64-68, 2003.
  • "Vergüenza (shame) and Changing Chicana Narratives." Article reprinted in a collection edited by Matthew Gutmann, Mercurial Men and Masculinities in Latin America, Duke University Press, 2003.
  • Miguel Díaz-Barriga, "Repensando a la Virgen de Guadalupe: devoción, "empoderamiento" e identidad masculine chicana," Alteridades, 12(23): 35-47, 2002.

In the news articles

  • Praised in, "A City of Eden, A University for All the Americas," Rio Grande Guardian, McAllen, TX, April 15, 2012.
  • Interviewed for newscast on declining birth rates among Latinos/as, KVEO News Center 23, McAllen TX, Aired March 2012.
  • Reviewed in, "Pretty Ugly: Maurice Sherif’s Photos of the Border Wall are Undoubtedly Beautiful. And That’s Precisely the Problem," Texas Monthly, Austin TX, March 2011.
  • Quoted extensively in, "Wealthy Mexicans Fleeing Violence May Affect Valley," The Monitor, McAllen TX, January 5, 2011.
  • Quoted in, "In Eagle Pass Divided View of Border Fence," Austin American Statesman, Austin, TX, March 6, 2010.
  • Quoted in, "Borderline: When it Comes to Texas/Mexico Wall, No-One’s Sitting on the Fence," Texas Co-op Power Magazine, Austin, TX, December 2009.
  • Blog: "A Nation Divided: the Border Wall, Migration, and Citizenship, on the U.S. Mexican Border," Miguel Diaz-Barriga and Margaret E. Dorsey, 2008-present.
  • Quoted in, "Locals See No Clear Winner in VP Debate," The Monitor, McAllen, TX, October 2, 2008.
  • Quoted in, "After 36 Years, the Diploma," The Philadelphia Inquirer, B02, Philadelphia, PA, June 2, 2008.
  • Interviewed by Dan Rather for Dan Rather Reports, "The Hidden Face of Mexico: Subcomandante Marcos," June 19, 2007. HD-NET, Aired Summer 2007.
  • Quoted in, "Camp Fosters Mexican Heritage/Migrant Children Tackle Tough Issues. But Fun Comes First. The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA, B01, July 27, 1999.
  • Interviewed for Television Talk Show, "The Mexican-American War,"Conexion Latina, WYBE-TV, Public Television, Philadelphia, PA, May 1998.
  • Quoted in, "The Electronic Call to Arms. Internet Lets College Activists Sound the Call Far and Near, Free and Fast." The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA, A01, January 19, 1995.
  • Interviewed for University of Central America radio station with Juan José Garcia, Department of Sociology at the University of Central America, on the PHIL-UCA exchange program, San Salvador, El Salvador, June 11, 1992.


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