Dr. Alfonso Gonzales is an Associate Professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California Riverside. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from UCLA (2008), and M.A. in Latin American Studies from Stanford University (2002). Prof. Gonzales is a theorist of Latino and Latin American politics with a research agenda focused on issues of migration control, human rights, migrant social movements and the politics of race in the U.S., Mexico, and Central America. His research is in simultaneous dialogue with scholarly debates in Latino politics, political theory, Latino and Latin American studies, and critical ethnic studies. His underlying concern is to understand how Latino migrant and refugee social movements influence policy and the politics of migration control from the ground up.
Dr. Gonzales is the author of the award-winning Reform without Justice: Latino Migrant Politics and the Homeland Security State (Oxford University Press, 2013). The book explores post-9/11 migration control policies and Latino migrant activism through the lens of neo-Gramscian theory and includes interviews with over 60 migrant activists in Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, D.C, as well as with deportees in Mexico and Central America. This book was awarded the Américo Paredes Book Prize for the best book in the field of Chicana/o and Latina/ o studies. In 2014, Reform without Justice alsogarnered an honorable mention as the best nonfiction book in its category at the Los Angeles Times Book Festival. His numerous academic articles have been published in Latino Studies, Camino Real: Estudios de las Hispanidades Norteamericanas, and North American Congress on Latin America’s (NACLA) Report on the Americas, and with the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C.
Since writing Reform without Justice, Professor Gonzales has started a second book project on Mexican and Central American asylum claims in the U.S. This project grew out of his experience as an expert witness in Mexican and Central American asylum cases in numerous immigration courts in California, Texas, and New York. His popular writings on these issues have appeared in op-eds, co-written with colleagues across the country, in major outlets such as Politico, Huffington Post, and The Hill. In 2016 he spearheaded an international conference on migrant detention and Latino asylum seekers through the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies at UT Austin. In June of 2016 he had the honor of sharing his most recent research as the keynote speaker at the annual Global Studies Association conference in Austin Texas.
As a first generation college student, born in Tijuana and raised in the working-class community of Mira Loma located in Western Riverside County, Alfonso Gonzales is particularly thrilled to be teaching at the University of California Riverside.