Lisa Marie Cacho

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Personal profile

Personal profile

Lisa Cacho's scholarship interrogates the ways in which human value is both ascribed and denied relationally along racial, gendered, sexual, national, and spatial lines.

Research Interests

  • comparative race and ethnic studies
  • criminalization and immigration
  • women of color feminism and queer of color critique

Professional Information

Lisa Cacho's work demonstrates how race, gender, sexuality, class, nation, and legality work interdependently to assign human value and to render relations of inequality normative, natural, and obvious in both dominant and oppositional discourses. To understand how the rhetoric and discourse of value are both institutionalized and popularized to devastating effect, she analyzes a range of sources, such as ballot measures ascribing “illegality” to persons, legal provisions targeting “criminal aliens,” court documents evaluating degrees of “guilt,” and related media accounts that manage and make sense of racial contradictions. Her book, Social Death: Racialized Rightlessness and the Criminalization of the Unprotected (NYU press, 2012) examines the ways in which representations of race and race relations mediate how we affectively and intellectually apprehend criminal justice and civil/human rights.

Education/Academic qualification

Ethnic Studies, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego

… → 2002

Ethnic Studies, MA, University of California, San Diego

… → 1998

Ethnic Studies, BA, University of California, San Diego

… → 1996

Literature/Writing , BA, University of California, San Diego

… → 1996

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  • 18 Similar Profiles
criminalization Social Sciences
violence Social Sciences
monopoly on violence Social Sciences
immigration Social Sciences
devaluation Social Sciences
illegitimacy Social Sciences
death Social Sciences
direct democracy Social Sciences

Research Output 2000 2018

Civil Rights, Commerce, and US Colonialism

Cacho, L. M., Jun 2018, In : Social Text. 36, 2 (135), p. 63–82

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

people of color
civil rights
colonial age

Historically mapping contemporary intersectional feminist media studies

Molina, I. & Cacho, L. M., 2014, The Routledge companion to media and gender. Carter, C., Steiner, L. & McLaughlin, L. (eds.). New York: Routledge, p. 71-80 10 p. (Routledge Media and Cultural Studies Companions).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The Presumption of White Innocence

Cacho, L. M., Dec 1 2014, In : American Quarterly. 66, 4, p. 1085-1090 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Presumption of Innocence

Gang members, juvenile delinquents, and direct democracy

Cacho, L. M., 2012, Reinventing Race, Reinventing Racism. Betancur, J. J. & Herring, C. (eds.). Brill, p. 259-269 11 p. (Studies in Critical Social Sciences; vol. 50).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

direct democracy
juvenile law

"If I turn into a boy, I don't think I want huevos": Reassessing Racial Masculinities in What Night Brings

Cacho, L. M., Jan 1 2012, In : GLQ. 18, 1, p. 71-85 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

monopoly on violence
domestic violence