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.

Honors & Awards

John Hope Franklin Award for Best Book in American Studies, 2013
Outstanding Asian American Faculty/Staff Award, 2010
Department of Latina/Latino Studies Award for Teaching Excellence, 2011


Introduction to Asian American Studies (AAS 100)
Theory and Methods in LLS (LLS 385)
Introduction to Latina/Latino Studies (LLS 100)
U.S. Citizenship Comparatively (AAS 215, AIS 295, AFRO 215, LLS 215, GWS 215)
Race, Sex, "Deviance" (LLS 465, AAS 465, AFRO 465, GWS 465)

Office Address

1207 W. Oregon Street, M/C 136

Office Phone


Education/Academic qualification

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

… → 2002

Ethnic Studies, MA, University of California at San Diego

… → 1998

Ethnic Studies, BA, University of California at San Diego

… → 1996

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

… → 1996


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