Dr Monica Moreno Figueroa
College Position
Fellow in Social Sciences
University Position
Senior Lecturer in Sociology
Degrees and Honours

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

Research Interests

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 focusses on the intersectional lived experience of ‘race’ and racism in Mexico and Latin America; antiracism and academic-based impact; feminist theory, intersectionality and racism.  I am interested in understanding global flows of notions of race and the workings of racism as well as exploring the current ‘turn to antiracism’ in Latin America and the Global South. I am interested in the move from anti-racism to anti-oppression and the relevance of the emotional impact of oppression for social transformation.

In the summer of 2011, I co-founded the Collective COPERA (Colectivo para Eliminar el Racismo en Mexico) which has now has grown to include a wider group of academics and activists. The collective has been developing a series of initiatives to make racism visible in its multiple forms, link academia and activism and to incorporate a 'race' perspective in activism, social movements, and public policy. 

In terms of my research I am currently leading the development of a new research institute on Global Race, Racism and Anti-Racism in the Department of Sociology, provisionally entitled RAISE (Cambridge Institute for research on Race, Anti-Racism, Inequality and Social Exclusion) and I have secured seed funding from the W.K.K. Foundation for this.

I am also completing a British Academy Mid-Career fellowship 2022-23 for the project: “Internalised Oppression, Defensiveness and Resentment” which includes a book, a podcast, an animation film and a social media campaign to position the topic of internalised oppression in discussions of activism and social transformation.

My other latest research projects are: a project on blackness, representation and women’s economic trajectories in the Costa Chica in Mexico; a British Academy funded project on Institutional Racism in Oaxaca, Mexico; and a recently-completed large ESRC-funded research project, which she directed (together with Prof Peter Wade), “Latin American Antiracism in a ‘Post-Racial’ Age” LAPORA, on antiracist practices and discourses in Latin America, comparing experiences in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico.  A book edited with Peter Wade, Against racism: organizing for social change in Latin America (Pittsburgh University Press) was published in March 2022, Portuguese and Spanish translations have been published in 2023. 

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

Additional Links

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

This other video from 2013 explores some aspects of my work in relation to beauty and racism in Mexico (with English subtitles)

other recent pieces are:


Awards & Prizes
  • 2018   Commendation for ‘Innovative Teaching’ in the University of Cambridge Student Union’s Student-Led Teaching Awards (May 2018)
  • 2017   Pilkington Teaching Prize in recognition of the excellence of my teaching at the University of Cambridge. June 2017 - you can see this video about my teaching practice. The prizes are awarded to individuals who make a substantial contribution to the teaching programme of a Department, Faculty or the University as a whole.
  • 2017   Commendation for ‘Supporting Students’ in the University of Cambridge Student Union Student-Led Teaching Awards May 2017
  • 2016   Cambridge University Student Union’s Women’s Campaign ‘Academic of the Year’ Award 2015-16, June 2016.
Select Publications


Moreno Figueroa, Mónica G, and Peter Wade. 2022. Against Racism: Organizing for Social Change in Latin America: University of Pittsburgh Press. 

Moreno Figueroa Mónica G, and Peter Wade. 2023. Contra o Racismo: Mobilização para a mudança social na América Latina. Pittsburgh: Latin America Research Commons. 

Moreno Figueroa, Mónica G, and Peter Wade. 2023. Contra el racismo. Movilización para el cambio social en América Latina. Bogota: UNIANDES, UNAL, Abya Yala y UNAM 

Journal articles

Moreno Figueroa, M. G., & López Chávez, A. N. (2023) “A lo mejor yo soy auto-racista”: Un acercamiento al estudio del racismo internalizado en México (“Maybe I am racist towards myself”: An approach to the study of internalised racism in Mexico). Revista Euro latinoamericana de Análisis Social y Político (RELASP) Vol 3, No 6, 82-109,

Moreno Figueroa, M. G. (2022) "Entre confusiones y distracciones: mestizaje y racismo anti-negro en México." Estudios Sociológicos de El Colegio de México 40: 31-60 (Número especial).

Wade, Peter, & Mónica Moreno Figueroa. (2021) "Alternative grammars of anti-racism in Latin America."  Interface: A Journal on Social Movements 13 (2) 20-50. and in Spanish Gramáticas Alternativas del Antirracismo en América Latina

Mora, Marian & Mónica Moreno Figueroa (2021) ‘Reflections on Indigenous and Black Anti-racist and Anti-colonial Actions’ (co-written with Mariana Mora) in NACLA Report on the Americas (https://nacla.org) Link here

Moreno Figueroa, M. G. (2020) “De qué sirve el asco? Racismo anti-negro en México” (“What’s the use of disgust? Anti-Black racism in Mexico”) in Revista de la Universidad Nacional Dossier, Septiembre 2020, 62-67

Moreno Figueroa, M. G. (2016) “El Archivo del Estudio del Racismo en México”, (“The Archive of the Study of Racism in Mexico”) Desacatos 51, 92-107

Moreno Figueroa, MG and Saldivar, E. (2015) “We Are Not Racists, We Are Mexicans”: Privilege, Nationalism and Post-Race Ideology in Mexico. Critical Sociology 42(4-5), 515-533.

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: Whitenes, 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 (2021) ‘Picking your battles: beauty, complacency, and the other life of racism’ in Craig, Maxine (ed.) The Routledge Companion to Beauty PoliticsRoutledge

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 (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.