Deanna Barenboim

BA, Sarah Lawrence College. MA, PhD, University of Chicago. Special interests in political/legal anthropology and medical/psychiatric anthropology; transnational migration, diaspora, and mobilities; race, ethnicity, and indigeneity; urbanism, space, and place; expressive culture; new media; Maya peoples, languages, and cultures; Mexico and Latin America; North America. Recipient of grants and fellowships from the US Department of Education, Fulbright, and National Science Foundation. SLC, 2009–

Undergraduate discipline: Anthropology

Courses taught in Anthropology

Courses from previous years

  • Indigenous Rights and Representations
  • Mobilities and Moorings
  • Migration and Experience
  • Spaces of Exclusion, Places of Belonging
  • Culture, Power, and Violence in Latin America
  • Migration and Experience

Connect with Deanna Barenboim

Web site:

Research Interests

My research focuses on transnational migration, (im)mobilities, and socio-legal inequalities. I ask how movement across borders and encounters with immigration policies and enforcement practices produce emergent political subjectivities, experiential orientations, and forms of exclusion and belonging. Over the past decade, my research has centered on indigenous Mexican migration to the United States, with particular attention to Maya migration from the Yucatán region to California. Between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s, over 50,000 people of Maya heritage migrated from Mexico to California, with the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles as the two major receiving hubs. Through my transnational research on this new Maya diaspora, I analyze how race, legal identity, and claims to space, place, and movement co-construct indigenous experience and imaginaries. Emerging from this project, my monograph, Belonging Out of Place, addresses migrants’ experience of racial and legal exclusion in an unexpected place: a zone that offers official sanctuary protections. In related work, I write about the relationship of law enforcement, migrant imaginaries, and Indigenous (im)mobilities in the context of particular immigration policies and deportation campaigns, as well as the linkages of indigenous heritage, material culture, and historical legacies of dispossession. Currently, I am undertaking a research project that looks at the effects of return migration, deportation, and familial separation on transborder citizenship and belonging.

Selected Publications

  • “The Specter of Surveillance: Navigating ‘Illegality’ and Indigeneity Among Maya Migrants in the San Francisco Bay Area”
    Political and Legal Anthropology Review, In press
Deanna Barenboim

Deanna Barenboim