Maurice Rafael Magana

Associate Professor, Mexican American Studies

Maurice (Mauricio) 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 research has been funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Ford Foundation and the Tokyo Foundation. His work has been published in scholarly journals like the Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, Social Justice, and the Journal of Contemporary Anthropology, as well as in the edited book, Rethinking Latin American Social Movements: Radical Action from Below. Dr. Magaña is currently working on a book manuscript tentatively titled, Cartographies of Resistance: Hip-hop, Punk and the Production of Counter-Space. Professor Magaña’s classes have included Youth, Culture and Social Change, Latina/o Ethnography, Immigrant Rights, Labor and Higher Education.

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 American Anthropological Association’s Working Group on Racialized Police Brutality and Extrajudicial Violence, 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.