Maurice Rafael Magaña

About Maurice Rafael Magaña

Maurice Rafael Magaña is a sociocultural anthropologist whose research focuses on the cultural politics of youth organizing, transnational migration, urban space, and social movements in Mexico and the United States. Specifically, Dr. Magaña’s work examines how youth construct themselves as political actors in relation to multiple communities across time and space. His research aims to provide a transnational perspective on historic marginalization, racialization, youth political culture and the role of art in activism.

Dr. Magaña's first book, titled Cartographies of Youth Resistance: Hip-Hop, Punk, and Urban Autonomy in Mexico, was published by University of California Press in 2020 and was awarded the Anthony Leeds Prize for outstanding book by the Critical Urban Anthropology Association in 2021. His research has been funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Ford Foundation and the Tokyo Foundation. Dr. Magaña’s work has been published in scholarly journals including the Ethnic and Racial Studies, American Anthropologist, Latin American & Latinx Visual Culture, Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, Social Justice, and American Studies, as well as in the edited volumes, The Routledge Handbook on Indigenous Development and Rethinking Latin American Social Movements: Radical Action from Below. Professor Magaña’s classes have included Youth Culture, Migration, & Social Movements; Introduction to Social Justice; Latina/o Ethnography; Immigrant Rights, Labor & Higher Education; and Mexican American Studies: Cultural Perspectives.

Maurice received his Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology from the University of Oregon. His dissertation, Youth in Movement: the Cultural Politics of Autonomous Youth Activism in Southern Mexico, was named as one of the "50 Best Dissertations in Cultural Anthropology of 2013" and he received a "Community Award" from MEChA, University of Oregon. Before coming to the University of Arizona, Dr. Magaña was the UCLA Institute of American Cultures Visiting Researcher in Chicano Studies in 2013-14 and before that he was Visiting Scholar at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego in 2012-13. While at UCLA, Dr. Magaña also worked with the UCLA Labor Center and the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies, both from 2014-16. 

Maurice is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, a board member of the Association of Latina and Latino Anthropologists, and previously served on the board of the Society for the Anthropology of North America and the American Anthropological Association’s (AAA) now defunct Working Group on Racialized Police Brutality and Extrajudicial Violence. He was a Leadership Fellow of the AAA in 2020 and a fellow of the University of Arizona's inaugural cohort of Hispanic Serving Institution Fellows Program in Spring 2019.


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Contact Information

Maurice Rafael Magaña
Associate Professor
Telephone: (520) 621-1037
Fax: (520) 621-7966
Office: Chávez, Room 207C