Luisa Laura Heredia

Joanne Woodward Chair in Public Policy

BA, University of Notre Dame. MA, PhD, Harvard University. Research interests include Latino and immigration politics, with special interests in migration control regimes, social movements, inequalities in citizenship, and religion in the United States and Spain. Current work compares the development of US and Spain enforcement regimes, their constructions of racialized “illegal” bodies, and their radical movements to dismantle the state’s migration control practices. Her first book project, Illegal Redemption, investigates the crucial yet contradictory role that the Catholic Church has played in challenging a growing and restrictive regime of immigration control in the United States in the contemporary period. Author of “From Prayer to Protest: The Immigrant Rights Movement and the Catholic Church,” a chapter in the edited volume, Rallying for Immigrant Rights, by Irene Bloemraad and Kim Voss. SLC, 2014–

Undergraduate Courses 2017-2018

Public Policy

The Art of Protest

Open , Seminar—Year

Contentious, collective action is everywhere. Especially now, it is easy to recall the images of undocumented youth activists staring down Immigration and Customs enforcement officials or the face-off between protestors and police in Ferguson over the shooting of Michael Brown and the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” meme launched in solidarity. Protest is (and has been) a major form of claims-making for groups that find their voices shut out of traditional institutional spaces. People take to the streets to challenge policies and systemic violence; they collectively resist in their workplaces; and they confront and assert their place in distinct organizational spheres of society. Through their activism, they create alternative social and political spaces in their efforts to effect change by reforming or dismantling dominant societal institutions. In this course, we will bridge the academic literature on social movements and protest with case studies of different movements in the United States and transnationally. We will imagine and reimagine what a just society looks like and how protest can help to create that society—but also where it fails. Students will consider questions such as: Why do people protest? What gains can be made via protest? How is protest policed, co-opted, or contained as politics-as-usual? And, finally, is there a liberatory potential to fundamentally reshape society via protest?

Faculty
Related Disciplines

Constructing Citizenship, Dismantling Hierarchies: The Immigrant and Racial Struggle for Political Equality

Sophomore and above , Seminar—Year

In the past few years, we have witnessed the undocumented, African Americans, and Latinos taking to the streets in protest, engaging in acts of civil disobedience, calling and writing letters to policymakers, and participating in a variety of other political activities. Meanwhile, organizations—newly created and long standing, political and nonpolitical—are joining in by organizing political actions and lobbying on behalf of marginalized groups. Still, the impetus for these demonstrations, the mixed and sometimes nativist public reactions toward marchers, and the continued passage and implementation of punitive enforcement policies are also a reminder of the political marginalization of immigrant and racial and ethnic groups in the United States. This course examines this heightened activism by situating it within historical political and social contests over citizenship in the United States. The first part of the course will draw from immigrant adaptation, minority political incorporation, and social movements to examine the political incorporation of immigrant and racial groups in the United States. The second part of the course will provide a historical overview of citizenship and its legal and social constructions at key moments throughout US history. Specifically, we will examine moments in which citizenship was being constructed, challenged, and resettled. Citizenship is a multifaceted concept that is not fixed; rather, it is constantly being negotiated, contested, and reformulated. Students will not only be engaging in theoretical and empirical debates about citizenship but also will be asked to consider their own role in its contestation.

Faculty
Related Disciplines

Previous Courses

Immigration, Race, and the Making of the United States: An Immigration Policy Perspective

Open , Seminar—Year

Immigration has been a recurring and polarizing political issue in the United States and globally. While undocumented youth have forced their plight into the national debate, in an earlier moment “Positively No Filipinos” and “Irish Need Not Apply” signs were commonplace in places of business. And yet, in the contemporary political climate, immigration policy is debated as if it were ahistorical and fixed. In this yearlong course, students will explore immigration, immigrant integration, and societal inequality. We will answer questions such as: How has immigration policy changed over time? And how are immigrants integrating into society? We will delve into theoretical debates over why people migrate, the role of states in managing migration flows, the “actors” that have shaped immigration policy, and how today’s immigrants compare with earlier waves of immigrants. More specifically, this course will trace the history of immigration policy and of immigration flows into the United States, as well as the distinct trajectories of groups and cohorts along a series of societal indicators. Students will contribute to ongoing debates by reflecting on where we are and what we can we do to create a better system and a more equitable society.

Faculty
Related Disciplines

The Politics of “Illegality,” Surveillance, and Protest

Advanced , Seminar—Spring

Over the past few years, newspapers, television, Facebook and Twitter have disseminated images of unauthorized immigrants and their allies taking to the streets to protest punitive immigration policies. The aerial shot of downtown Los Angeles on March 25, 2006, with more than 500,000 immigrants and allies wearing white t-shirts, was only one in a series of images that captured the 2006-2007 demonstrations in big cities—like Chicago and New York, where they were expected—but also in smaller towns and cities in places such as in Nebraska, Colorado, and Indiana. More recently, images of unauthorized youth facing off with police and immigration officials have become more commonplace, with young people being taken away in handcuffs or the striking image of a young woman in Los Angeles sitting atop a ladder surrounded by police awaiting her fate. These images speak to us of a movement for immigrant rights that calls us to engage with questions of membership, policing, and immigration and race. In this course, we will explore the historical, legal, and cultural construction of “illegality.” We will assess contemporary policy debates and the role of key elite and grassroots actors in immigration politics. Students will use the theoretical tools provided by studies of immigration policy development, social movements, and the politics of membership and belonging in order to assess immigration politics over time and to offer ways forward in the contemporary moment.

Faculty
Related Disciplines

First-Year Studies: From Schools to Prisons: Inequality and Social Policy in the United States

Open , FYS

Inequality and social policy go hand in hand in the United States. From the schools to the criminal justice system, policies structure our lives by either contributing to or helping to dismantle inequality. This course introduces students to policymaking through the lens of different issue areas in the United States. Students will examine major policy areas—including immigration, criminal justice, health, and education—along three axes. First, we will explore these areas socially and historically to see how debates and policies have evolved. We will also draw from the social science literature to examine the strengths and weaknesses and the intended and unintended consequences of these policies. Second, we will explore the complicated system of institutions and actors that make public policy decisions in each of these areas and across federal, state, and local levels. Finally, we will explore the role of different actors in attempting to shape policy. We will analyze the efforts of organized interests, of experts, and of local communities in their efforts to influence and implement policy. Students will leave the class with an understanding of major policy issues, policymaking, and how to effect policy change. This foundational information will feed into broader discussion about inequality in the United States.

Faculty
Related Disciplines

The Art of Protest Politics

Open , Seminar—Fall

Protest is a major form of claim making for groups that find their voices shut out of traditional institutional spaces. People take to the streets to challenge policies and systemic violence, they collectively resist in their workplaces, and they confront and assert their place in distinct organizational spheres of society. They create alternative social and political spaces in their efforts to effect change by reforming or dismantling dominant societal institutions. In this course, we will bridge the academic literature on social movements and protest with cases studies of different movements in the United States and transnationally. We will imagine and re-imagine what a just society looks like and how protest can help to create that society—but also where it fails. Why do people protest? What gains can be made via protest? How is protest policed, co-opted, or contained as politics as usual? Is there a liberatory potential in protest?

Faculty

The Politics of Immigration and Race in the United States

Open , Seminar—Year

Immigration has been a recurring and polarizing political issue in the United States and globally. And yet, in the contemporary political climate, immigration policy is debated as if it were ahistorical and fixed. In this yearlong course, students will explore immigration, immigrant integration, and societal inequality. We will answer questions such as: How has immigration policy changed over time? And how are immigrants integrating into society? We will delve into theoretical debates over why people migrate, the role of states in managing migration flows, the “actors” that have shaped immigration policy, and how today’s immigrants compare to earlier waves of immigrants. More specifically, this course will trace the history of immigration policy and of immigration flows into the United States, as well as the distinct trajectories of groups and cohorts along a series of societal indicators. With this foundation, students will be asked to contribute to ongoing debates by reflecting on where we are and what we can we do to create a better system and a more equitable society.

Faculty

An Analysis of Activism

Luisa Laura Heredia

Read about Luisa Laura Heredia's “The Politics of ‘Illegality,’ Surveillance, and Protest” course in Sarah Lawrence Magazine.