Previous Research

This section highlights previously funded research clusters and individual research from 2015 and 2016.

Research Cluster Grants

Research clusters are year-long group projects that bring together ASU faculty and external collaborators – faculty affiliates, international scholars, and community members– in order to pursue a body of focused research. Research clusters are platforms to support and enhance existing faculty expertise and/or facilitate the engagement of faculty in new research areas.


The Latino Pacific Archive: Digital Access to the Latina/o Experience in Oceania

Rudy P. Guevarra, Jr.  Asian Pacific American Studies, School of Social Transformation, ASU

Matthew Kester, Brigham Young University, Hawaiʻi

Alexandrina Agloro, Interactive Media and Game Development Program, Worchester Polytechnic Institute

The Latino Pacific Archive (LPA) is an interactive digital archive that informs educators, students, and the general public on the historical, cultural, social and economic contributions of Latina/os in Oceania, including Hawai’i and Aotearoa (New Zealand).  The LPA is an interdisciplinary collaboration between historians, an interactive media specialist, and an archivist. The LPA’s interactive digital format illustrates the rich, complex story of Latina/o experiences in the Pacific region. We will also give a preview of the project’s future directions, including plans to create online teaching tools and a videogame developed in collaboration with our oral history participants. 

Fostering transborder collaborations to promote healthy eating and physical activity among underserved Latino families living in the Southwest US-Mexico border

Noe Crespo, School of Nutrition and Health Promotion , ASU

Sonia Vega-López, School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, ASU

Maria Isabel Ortega Velez, Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, A.C.

This project is designed to establish strategic transborder collaborations between U.S. and Mexican researchers in order to develop research initiatives that aim to reduce health disparities among Latino families living in the Southwest US-Mexico border. The project involves researchers from ASU’s School of Nutrition and Health Promotion and researchers from the Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, A.C. The focus of this collaboration is to identify resources, expertise and common areas of interest and community needs that will serve to develop effective community-based behavioral interventions to reduce risk of chronic disease among Latinos living in the Southwest US-Mexico border.

Urban Sustainability across the US-Mexico Border: A Comparison of Urban Climate, Built Environments and Water Management in Phoenix and Hermosillo

Enrique Vivoni, School of Earth and Space Exploration, School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, ASU  

Agustin Robles Morua, Departamento de Ciencias del Agua y del Medio Ambiente, Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora, Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, Mexico.

Rolando Enrique Díaz Caravantes, Centro de Estudios en Salud y Sociedad, El Colegio de Sonora, Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.

Our project quantifies urban infrastructure characteristics of Phoenix and Hermosillo through comparative analysis that sheds light on the urban heat island effect and its impact on public health and mortality related to heat illness. We classify urban form, function and pace of urbanization through remote sensing data analyses and the use of city geographical information system layers. This analysis is complemented with data layers obtained from city, state and federal agencies describing demographic conditions, socioeconomics, climate, health statistics, urban planning and zoning, and documentation of green infrastructure projects related to stormwater management and water treatment.

Ecologies of cultural and linguistic adaptation for Indigenous Latina/o im/immigrant families with children: Implications for development and learning

Saskias Casanova, School of Transborder Studies, ASU

Brendan O’Connor, School of Transborder Studies, ASU

Vanessa Anthony-Stevens, University of Idaho

Francesca Lopez, University of Arizona

To date there has not been a large-scale project exploring the experiences of Indigenous Latina/o families from a multidisciplinary perspective that encompasses multiple ecological systems. There is also little research on acculturation for young Indigenous im/migrant children. Given our location in the U.S. Southwest, we have a unique opportunity to study these dynamics of acculturation, language socialization, and identity development in a vibrant, ever-changing transborder setting.

Insights from our study will help educators to better understand the racial and ethnic diversity found among Latina/o youth in the borderlands and will demonstrate the effects of multiple, complex ecological systems on their educational trajectories (Garcia-Coll et al., 1996). They will also aid service providers, local governments, and stakeholders in understanding the distinctive strengths and needs of Indigenous families within the larger Latin@/Mexican community. Ultimately, this study makes significant contributions to the understanding of immigrant and borderland communities in the U.S. and will advance the fields of education, anthropology, sociolinguistics, and psychology.

A United States-Mexico border socio-spatial framework for the study of the interface between people, place, and policy

Lisa Magaña, School of Transborder Studies, ASU

Francisco Lara-Valencia, School of Transborder Studies, ASU

Roberto Ham Chande, El Colegio de la Frontera Norte

Oscar Martinez, University of Arizona

During the last 20 years the fluidity and complexity of the U.S.-Mexico border has been augmented by contradictory national policies that selectively “thicken and thin” the border, affecting the mobility, interaction and cohesion of communities whose livelihoods and businesses depend on the permeability and steadiness of the border. An understanding of the mechanisms and the extent to which these policies are impacting these communities and changing the demography, identity, wellbeing and political economy of the borderlands is important both for scientific research and policy making reasons.  We propose an interdisciplinary and collaborative project with the aims of (1) developing the conceptual and methodological tools needed for the integrated analysis of the interaction between people, place and public policy in the U.S.-Mexico border region and (2) testing such frameworks by creating a typology of border communities based on relevant socio-spatial indicators and metrics. The ultimate goal of the project is to establish the foundations for a multiyear, multisite academic project involving U.S. and Mexican researchers working collaboratively toward the integrative understanding of the interface between population, territory and governance in the U.S.-Mexico border region and move the field of border studies toward theoretical models recognizing the inherent dynamism and complexity of transborder processes.

Entre NosOtr@s

Marivel Danielson, School of Transborder Studies, ASU 

Ilana Dann Luna, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, ASU

Nancy L. Godoy-Powell, Chicano Research Collection, ASU

Michelle Téllez, Northern Arizona University

Yolanda Broyles-González, Kansas State University

Entre NosOtr@s is a collaborative project producing conversations around Latina and Chicana issues, social justice movements, and culture through the critical lens of intersectionality. Entre NosOtr@s was created by a group of former and current students and faculty from Arizona State University and has grown to include members of the Metro Phoenix community who are working together to foster awareness of transnational Latin American, Chican@ and Latin@ studies and social justice movements. The vision of our collaboration is to produce artistic and scholarly events and conversations around transnational Chicana/o, Latina/o, and indigenous issues, cultura, and social justice movements as they relate to the socio-political climate of the state of Arizona where we live and work.



Individual Research Grants

Individual research seed grants provide ASU faculty academic year-long support to complete ongoing research or explore and develop new research projects.

Agriculture, climate change, and human rights education in the Peruvian Andes

Elizabeth A. Sumida Huaman, Justice and Social Inquiry, School of Social Transformation, ASU

Over the past two decades, research on environmental issues in Peru, including the impact of extractive industry, has yielded more current knowledge on complex human-environmental relationships that have local, national, and international economic, political, social, health, and cultural implications. Adding to this dynamic is climate change, examined increasingly over the last decade by national and international agencies and researchers with a variety of interests including environmental sustainability and GDP. Less examined are the ways in which Indigenous peoples locate environmental concerns and consider these concerns in relation to their own worldviews and cultural practices. Focusing on Quechua-speaking populations in the highlands and drawing from Quechua epistemologies, Quechua agricultural systems as Indigenous knowledge systems, and emerging discourses in human rights education, this exploratory study focuses on some of the most challenging threats to Indigenous farming today.  

Digital Borderlands

Andres Torres-Vives, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, ASU 

The DIGITAL BORDERLANDS map will incorporate multitude layers of demographic information, ecology, economic development, health, arts, etc. As with modern GIS or ArcGIS (geographic informational systems) the flexibility and capacity of such a map is practically limitless. The key difference of the DIGITAL BORDERLANDS map (vs. a generic GIS map) will be its focus on new media, design esthetics, community outreach and access to STS research. Key map locations (such as a public park) would be introduced through a video “personal portrait”. The video portrait introduces the user to a corresponding area of research, such as park design or maintenance; through the personal experience of a community member or stakeholder. This introductory portrait is then supported by links to further research work, data, photography and audio. Additionally, the Digital Borderland project would use the “Changing Boundaries: Historic Maps of the U.S.-Mexico Border” collection, as a base for exploring the borderlands through history. By using digital versions of historic maps, users will be able to “travel” through the historical landscape to further explore the region in multiple media. As the project develops further, these maps could be linked to historical photos, audio narratives (i.e. Simon Burrow, collection donor), and alternative research histories.

La Pocha Nostra live ART laboratory

Micha Espinosa, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, ASU

Arizona and ASU will be the site for a collaborative experiment between the artists of the renowned theatre company La Pocha Nostra and ASU Associate Professor and teaching artist Micha Espinosa. Espinosa is a master teacher of the Fitzmaurice Voicework and cultural voice advocate. During the residency, a select group of community artists, students, and Pocha affiliates will examines the boundaries between linguistic identity and cultural identity, the implications of abandoning one’s cultural voice and/or identity.   In this laboratory we will focus on language based, extended vocal techniques. At the end of the incubation phase we will have a two-­‐day workshop using Pocha pedagogy & the extended vocal techniques to bring community together to engage in forms of embodied practice.

Aloha Compadre: Latina/os in Hawaiʻi, 1832-2010

Rudy Guevarra, Jr., School of Social Transformation, ASU

My book manuscript in progress, “Aloha Compadre: Latina/os in Hawaiʻi, 1832 - 2010,” seeks to facilitate interdisciplinary discussions by exploring new boundaries of Latina/o migration beyond the North American continent, as well as the complexities of interethnic relationships in Hawaiʻi, which are transforming the political, social economic and cultural landscape of the state. To date no one has fully examined the history and contemporary experiences of Latina/os in Hawaiʻi. Unearthing these histories and exploring contemporary interethnic relationships in Hawaiʻi will center around three key issues: 1) redefine the concept of geopolitical and cultural borders and borderlands to include aquatic regions with regard to the migration of Latina/os in the Pacific, what historian Isaiah Helekunihi Walker calls the “boarder-lands,” 2) how issues such as race and ethnicity, labor, identity politics and citizenship are being contested and rearticulated as immigration increases over time, and 3) how the increased presence of Latina/os complicate and challenge Hawaii’s reputation as a beacon of racial and ethnic harmony given the current politics of immigration and indigeneity in the U.S. Indeed, current racial anxieties and economic insecurities over immigration, and the topic of settler colonialism are challenging these latter narratives in very complex ways. Examining these issues in Hawaiʻi will demonstrate how these social issues have larger implications for the U.S. and other countries that deal with growing immigrant populations, and how those relationships may one day define their nation.