Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies
Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies

Marisol LeBrón

Assistant ProfessorPh.D., New York University

Marisol LeBrón


  • Phone: 512-471-3587
  • Office: GWB 2.328
  • Office Hours: Mondays 11:30am-12:30pm and Thursdays 11am-2pm
  • Campus Mail Code: F9200


Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican diaspora, Latinx populations in the United States, transnational American studies, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, colonialism and empire, neoliberalism, spatial inequality, policing, incarceration, criminalization, militarization, youth, popular culture


Dr. Marisol LeBrón received her PhD in American Studies from New York University and her bachelor's degree in Comparative American Studies and Latin American Studies from Oberlin College. Prior to arriving at UT, Dr. LeBrón was an Assistant Professor of American Studies at Dickinson College and a Postdoctoral Associate in Latino/a Studies in the Global South at Duke University. 

An interdisciplinary scholar, Dr. LeBrón’s research and teaching focus on race, social inequality, policing, violence, and protest. Her book, Policing Life and Death: Race, Violence, and Resistance in Puerto Rico (forthcoming University of California Press, 2019), examines the growth of punitive governance in contemporary Puerto Rico. Dr. LeBrón has published her research in a variety of scholarly venues including Radical History Review, Journal of Urban History, Souls: A Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society, Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, NACLA Report on the Americas, and the edited volume Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter

Dr. LeBrón’s next project, tentatively titled Shared Geographies of Resistance: Puerto Ricans and the Uses of Solidarity, explores the role of Puerto Rican activists in international radical politics and freedom struggles over the course of the twentieth century. Drawing from rich archival data, this project will document how Puerto Ricans in the archipelago and in the diaspora have connected their struggles against U.S. colonial rule with other struggles against colonialism, racism, and military violence taking place around the globe.

Dr. LeBrón is an active contributor to popular conversations about Puerto Rico and its diaspora. She has published op-eds in The Guardian and Truthout (with Hilda Lloréns) and has been interviewed by a number of news outlets about Puerto Rico’s debt crisis as well as the impact of Hurricane María. Dr. LeBrón is also one of the co-creators and project leaders for the Puerto Rico Syllabus (#PRsyllabus), a digital resource for understanding the Puerto Rican debt crisis.


MAS 301 • Intr Mex Amer Latina/O Studies

40315 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM BUR 112

This course will examine historical and contemporary examples of Latina/o/x political, social, and cultural practices in the United States through an interdisciplinary lens. We will explore the transnational nature of Latinidad and how Latina/o/x culture and identity is shaped by power relations and socio-political dynamics both in the United States as well as in countries of origin. This course will begin with discussions of what constitutes Latino/a/x identity and what constitutes Latino/a/x studies, laying the foundation for the analytical work we will do for the remainder of the semester. We will turn to themes ranging from colonialism and conquest, to sexuality and gender, to transnationalism and immigration, to race, poverty, and spatial inequality, to language, music, and media representations. Within each section of the course, students will be asked to articulate their thoughts via both written work and class participation, creating a classroom environment wherein students collectively think through the politics, histories, and implications of Latina/o/x identity.

MAS 374 • Policing Latinidad

40578 • Fall 2018
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM BIO 301
CD (also listed as AMS 321, WGS 340)

Course Description:

How does the criminal justice system make itself felt in the everyday lives of Latinxs? From border enforcement, to stop and frisk, to the phenomenon of mass incarceration, many Latinxs find themselves and their communities enmeshed within a dense web of surveillance, punishment, and detention. This interdisciplinary course will examine the historical, political, economic, and social factors that have, in many ways, criminalized Latinidad and/or rendered Latinidad illegal.

We will examine how race, class, education, gender, sexuality, and citizenship shape the American legal system and impact how Latinxs navigate that system. This course will pay special attention to the troubled and unequal relationshi between Latinxs and the criminal justice apparatus in the United States and how it has resulted in the formation of resistant political identities and activist practices.


Timothy Black, When a Heart Turns Rock Solid: The Lives of Three Puerto Rican Brothers On and Off the Streets, New York: Vintage Books, 2009.

Kelly Lytle Hernandez, Migra!: A History of the U.S. Border Patrol, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010.

Patrisia Macia-Rojas, From Deportation to Prison: The Politics of Immigration Enforcement in Post-Civil Rights America, New York: New York University Press 2016.

Eduardo Obregon Pagan, Murder at the Sleepy Lagoon: Zoot Suits, Race, and Riots in Wartime L.A., Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003.

Victor M. Rios, Punished: Policing he Lives o Black and Latino Boys, New York: New York University Press, 2011.

All other readings for this course will be available online.

Assignments and Grading:

Class Participation: 15%

Presentations: 25%

Midterm Essay: 25%

Final Essays: 35%