My work focuses on communities in the United States and Mexico that have experienced significant conflict, violence, and transformation, exploring broader questions about how communities absorb crises and how individuals and cultural groups live within them. A hallmark of my projects is that I use a variety of media, including documentary film, photographic exhibits, and books, to foster reflection within the communities I study and beyond them.
My work is highly interdisciplinary in character as reflected in my affiliations with the Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies, the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies, and the American Studies programs at the University of Texas at Austin, where I am also the M.K. Hague Centennial Professor in Education in the department of Educational Psychology.
In this work I have gravitated toward the methodological approaches more typically associated with anthropology, American Studies, Liberal Arts, and creative non-fiction, developing a hybrid methodology that I terms ‘psychoanalytic ethnography’ because I conduct in-depth interviews that typically have a deeply psychological character.
I am a native of Mexico City, Mexico, and a US citizen. I earned my Bachelor’s degree (Psychology) at the University of California at Berkeley, and my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Michigan. I am also board certified in psychology and psychoanalysis.