Anne (Anna) Ríos-Rojas

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Anne (Anna) Ríos-Rojas

Associate Professor of Educational Studies

Department/Office Information

13 Persson Hall
  • TR 2:45pm - 4:15pm (Burke Lounge & Persson 13)


Anna Ríos-Rojas grew up in the diasporic space located in between San Francisco, California and Costa Rica. As an anthropologist of education, her ethnographic research takes up questions related to the (bio)politics of belonging, citizenship, and nationalisms as these are encountered and negotiated by transnational youth in Spain, Costa Rica and beyond. Her work has appeared in Harvard Educational Review and Anthropology & Education Quarterly.

As a scholar and educator, Anna's ethnographic sensibilities have been attuned to the ways that allegiances to Empire and nationhood structure the lived worlds of im/migrant youth. Understanding the power of resistance and movement that can emerge in even the tightest of spaces, her work is also always attentive to the important critiques of empire offered up by youth and how these counter-narrative might help to revise normative notions of belonging and citizenship being reproduced in schools and society.

She is currently working on a new ethnographic study with Nicaraguan youth in Costa Rica that explores the creative ways that immigrant youth navigate questions of conditional belonging and the politics of nation in the Costa Rican imaginary. Anna's other scholarly projects engage with Women of Color/Latina feminist epistemologies/pedagogies and the role of artistic activism within education.

  • PhD, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • MA, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • BA, University of California, Davis

The (bio)politics of belonging, citizenship, and nationhood; critical im/migrant youth studies; latinx/decolonial feminist epistemologies & pedagogies; global anthropologies of education.

Refereed Journal Articles

Ríos-Rojas, A. (2018). Conditional Citizens, Suspect Subjects: Producing "Illegality” and Policing Citizens in a Citizenship Education Classroom in Spain, Curriculum Inquiry.

Abu-El Haj, T., Ríos-Rojas, A., & Jaffe-Walter, R. (2017). Whose Race Problem? Tracking Patterns of Racial Denial in U.S. and European Educational Discourses on Muslim Youth, Curriculum Inquiry.

Ríos-Rojas, A. (2014). Conditional Belonging: Negotiating the Politics of Belonging and “Diversity” Catalonian Institut. Anthropology and Education Quarterly 45 (1): 2-21.

Ríos-Rojas, A. (2011) Beyond Delinquent Citizenships: Youth’s (Re)Visions of Citizenship in a Globalized World. Harvard Educational Review 81(1): 64-94.

Gibson, M. A., & Ríos-Rojas, A. (2006) Globalization, Immigration, and the Education of New” Immigrants in the 21st Century. Current Issues in Comparative Education 9(1): 69-75.

Book Chapters

Gibson, M. A., Carrasco, S., Pàmies, J., Ponferrada, M., & Ríos-Rojas, A. (2013).“Different Systems, Similar Results: Immigrant Youth at School in California and Catalonia.” In Richard Alba & Jennifer Holdaway (Eds.), The Children of Immigrants at School: A Comparative Look at Integration in the United States and Western Europe, NYU Press (pp. 84-119).

Ríos-Rojas, A. (2014). “The Diaspora Speaks Back: Youth of Migration Speaking Back toDiscourses of Power and Empire.” In Gilberto Conchas, Michael Gottfried, & Briana Hinga (Eds.), Inequality, Power, and School Success: Case Studies on Racial Disparity and Opportunity in Education. New York, Routledge Press (pp. 207-232).

Ríos-Rojas, A. (2014). “Mas Allá de la Pertencia Condiciónal: Jovenes Inmigrantes Navegando en Fronteras de la (No)Pertenencia en España.” In Ana Bravo-Moreno (Ed.), “Racialization, Etnicazión, Género y Clase en las Escuelas: Perspectivas Transdisciplinares en Contextos Internacionales”. Oxford: Peter Lang (pp. 119-137).

  • Spencer Small Grant Recipient (2015-2016). Project title: Conditional Be/longings? Immigrant Youth Negotiating Migration, Nation, and the Politics of (Non)Belonging in Costa Rica
  • Council on Anthropology & Education (CAE) Early Career Presidential Fellow (November 2010) 
  • Council on Anthropology & Education (CAE) New Scholar Award Recipient (December 2009)
  • Ford Diversity Fellowship Honorable mention (2009 Dissertation Program)
  • National Science Foundation Writing Fellowship (2008)
  • UC President’s Dissertation Fellow (2007-2008)
  • NSF/SSRC Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Award (2006-2007)
  • UCSC Women’s Club Scholarship (Spring 2006)
  • AAUW Scholarship (American Association of University Women) (Spring 2005)
  • CEMELA fellow (Center for the Math Education of Latinos/as) (2005-2006)
  • UCSC Regents Fellowship (2004)
  • Delta Kappa Gamma Scholarship (Spring 2004)
  • UCSC Regents Fellowship (2003)
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) recipient (1992-1993)

Youth of the Diaspora Speak Back: Struggles for Belonging and Dignity in the Identity Narratives of Immigrant and Refugee Youth; Co-authored paper (with Amelia Massoud-Tastor) presented at NYSFEA Annual Conference, Colgate University, Hamilton (April, 2013)

Immigrant Youth Negotiating Processes of Inclusion-Exclusion in a Citizenship Education Classroom in Catalonia, Spain; Paper presented at CIES Annual Conference, New Orleans (March, 2013)

Beyond Conditional Belonging: Transnational Youth in Spain Navigating Borders of (Un)Belonging During Global Times; Paper presented at American Anthropological Association Annual Conference, San Francisco (November 2012)

The Tensions and Contradictions of Learning Citizenship Identities in a Citizenship Education Classroom, Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Conference, Vancouver (April, 2012)

Youth of Immigration and the Politics of Belonging in a Citizenship Education Classroom in a Catalan Secondary School, Paper presented at the American Anthropological Association Annual Conference, Montréal (November 2011)

Between Cosmopolitanisms and Cosmophobias: Discourses of Belonging and Difference in a Catalonian Institut, Paper to be presented at the American Anthropological Association Annual Conference, New Orleans (November, 2010)

Beyond Delinquent Citizenship, Paper presented at American Anthropological Association Annual Conference, Philadelphia (December 2009).

Indexing Differences Through and Beyond Language: Immigrant Youth and the Politics of Language and Belonging in a Catalonian Institut, Paper presented at the UC LMRI (Linguistic Minority Research Institute) Annual Conference, Riverside (May 2009).

Immigrant Youth, Citizenships, and the Politics of Belonging in a Catalonian High School, Paper presented at the American Education Research Association (AERA) Annual Conference, New York (March 2008)

Contested Citizenships: Reflections on the Politics of Belonging for “Youth of Immigration” in the Greater Barcelona Area, Paper presented at the II International Conference on Ethnography and Education: Migrations and Citizenships Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain, (September 2007)

“Entre Familias”: A Critical Race Theory Perspective of Community Cultural Wealth Among Migrant Families, Paper presented at (April 2006) American Education Research Association (AERA, 2006)