2015-2016 César Chávez Fellow

Almita Miranda is the 2015-2016 César Chávez Fellow

Almita A. Miranda is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Northwestern University. Her research interests are in cultural and political/legal anthropology, race/ethnicity, gender, (im)migration, citizenship, transnationalism, Latino families and grassroots organizing in the U.S. and Mexico/Latin America.

Her dissertation, “Living in Legal Limbo: Migration, Citizenship, and Mexican Mixed-Status Families in the Neoliberal Era,” is a dual-site ethnographic study of Mexican mixed-status families, examining the ways in which undocumented immigrants and U.S. citizens navigate the legal and social constraints to which their family’s uncertain status exposes them. Drawing on years of ethnographic fieldwork, working with immigrant rights organizations, Latino families in Chicago, IL, recently returned migrants (including deportees) in Zacatecas, Mexico, and local and transnational social actors, Miranda explores larger questions of state power and liminal subject-formation; race, legality, and citizenship; and shifting patterns of kin and transnational migrant networks. Miranda’s research contributes to larger academic and public discussions of unauthorized migration under neoliberal globalization, attending to both the political-economic and legal processes contributing to the rise of mixed-status families, and the ways in which citizenship and “illegality” are being reconfigured and experienced “on the ground.”

Miranda has also helped coordinate a community-engaged project with undergraduate and community volunteers, conducting oral history interviews with former braceros and their families in the Chicago area as part of the Smithsonian’s bilingual exhibition, Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program (1942-1964). She currently serves on the board of the Association of Latina and Latino Anthropologists (ALLA), and has spearheaded a mentoring program for young scholars of color. Miranda’s work has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and the Roberta Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies, among others.

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The César Chávez Fellowship is a dissertation fellowship for underrepresented minority scholars,supporting graduate scholars for a year-long residency at Dartmouth. To read more about the program, click here. To view a list of past fellows, click here.