Dr Monica Moreno Figueroa
Fellow in Social Sciences
Senior Lecturer in Sociology

BA (UIA-León), MA (Goldsmiths), PhD (Goldsmiths)

An integral part of my academic work has been my commitment to explore different forms of engaged and engaging sociology with a deep concern for social justice. This has taken me to develop links and projects that aim to make racism public. My research has primarily developed around three areas: the study of racism in terms of its lived experience, its structural and institutional dynamics and the possibilities of antiracist practices and discourses; feminist theory and the interconnections between beauty, embodiment, emotions and racism; and, visual methodologies and applied research collaborations. I have focussed on Mexico and Latin America more broadly.

In the summer of 2011, I co-founded the Collective COPERA (Colectivo para Eliminar el Racismo en Mexico) alongside Dr Emiko Saldivar (University of California-SB) and Dr Alicia Castellanos (UAM-Iztapalapa) and now has grown to include a wider group of academics and activists. The collective has been developing a series of initiatives to make racism public in Mexico, to make racism visible in its multiple forms in the country and to incorporate a 'race' perspective in public policy and human rights activism.

In terms of my research I am closing and developing various projects: “Becoming Black: gender, racism and representation in the Costa Chica, Mexico” (2016) interrogated how the official recognition of blackness in Mexico has reconfigured tensions between mixedness and defined ethno-racial identities of indigenous, mestizo (mixed race) and black populations. In February 2018, I closed the British Academy funded project “Institutional racism and the logics of the contemporary Mexican state” (2016-2018), with Dr Juan Carlos Martinez (CIESAS-Pacífico Sur, Mexico). This was a research collaboration that aimed to strengthen the study of racism within scholarship on pluralism and legal anthropology and to understand how racism operates in the construction of the state. The project included exploring two case studies that analysed how the state defines and offers differentiated access to resources (water) and services (health and reproductive rights).

Currently I am half way of the £1m ESRC funded project “Latin American Antiracism in a ‘Post-Racial’ Age” (2017-2019), with Prof Peter Wade (University of Manchester), which investigates antiracist practices and ideologies in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico. The project contributes to addressing problems of racism and racial inequality in the region and to shaping on-going debates there about how to conceptualise and label racism, anti-racism, discrimination and the idea of race.

This video explores some aspects of my work in relation to beauty and racism in Mexico (with English subtitles.)

I was awarded the 2017 Pilkington Teaching Prize, you can see this video about my teaching practice.

Journal articles

Moreno Figueroa, MG and Saldivar, E. (2015) “We Are Not Racists, We Are Mexicans”: Privilege, Nationalism and Post-Race Ideology in Mexico. Critical Sociology. http://crs.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/06/09/0896920515591296.abstract

Moreno Figueroa, MG (2013) 'Displaced Looks: The Lived Experience of Beauty and Racism in Mexico'. Feminist Theory 2013, 14(2): 137-151.

Moreno Figueroa, MG (2010) 'Distributed Intensities: Whiteness, Mestizaje and the Logics of Mexican Racism', Ethnicities 10, 387-401.

Coleman, R and Moreno Figueroa, MG (2010) 'Past and Future Perfect? Beauty, Affect and Hope', Journal for Cultural Research 14(4), 357 – 373.

Moreno Figueroa, MG (2008) 'Looking Emotionally: Racism, Photography and Intimacies in Research' in History of the Human Sciences, 21(4), 66-83. Reprinted in Smart, B. et al (eds) (2013), Observational Methods, London: Sage. Volume 3, Part 3.

Moreno Figueroa, MG (2008) 'Historically-Rooted Transnationalism: Slightedness and the Experience of Racism in Mexican Families', Journal of Intercultural Studies, 29(3), 283-297.

Book chapters in edited collections

Moreno Figueroa, MG and Saldivar, E. (2015) “Comics, Dolls and The Disavowal of Racism: Learning from Mexican Mestizaje”, in Gutierrez, E, Little, M, and Tate, S. (eds.), Creolising Europe: Legacies and Transformations. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

Moreno Figueroa, MG (2013) 'Don't you see' [personal reflection], in Casanova, Eryn & Jafar, Ashfan (eds.), Bodies without Borders: Migrating Discourses of Embodiment, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 45-49.

Moreno Figueroa, MG (2012) 'Linda Morenita: Skin Colour, Beauty and the Politics of Mestizaje in Mexico' in Horrocks, C. (ed.) Cultures of Colour: Visual, Material, Textual, Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books, pp. 167-180.

Moreno Figueroa, MG (2012) ‘“Yo nunca he tenido la necesidad de nombrarme”: Reconociendo el Racismo y el Mestizaje en México’ in Castellanos Guerrero, A. and Landázuri Benítez, G. (eds.), Racismos y otras formas de intolerancia. De norte a sur en América Latina. Mexico: Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana.

Moreno Figueroa, MG (2011) 'Naming ourselves: Recognising Racism and Mestizaje in Mexico' in McLaughlin, J., Phillimore, P. and Richardson, D. (eds.), Contesting Recognition, Culture, Identity and Citizenship. Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 122-143.