Aimee Villarreal

Aimee VillarealAssistant Professor of Anthropology
Office | ELA 271B
Phone | 512.245.7862
Texas State Email |
Curriculum Vitae

PhD, Cultural Anthropology, University of California at Santa Cruz, 2014
Master of Arts, Anthropology, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2007
Master of Arts, Bicultural/Bilingual Studies, University of Texas at San Antonio, 2001
Bachelor of Arts, New Mexico State University, Majors: Psychology and Spanish, 1997

Cultural anthropology, Mexican American Studies, Native American Studies

Research interests
Social movements in the US-Mexico borderlands; immigration and asylum; religion and transnationalism; Chicanx spiritual politics and performance; comparative ethnic studies.

Short Bio
I was trained in anthropology at the University of California at Santa Cruz (2014) with specialization in Mexican American culture and history. As a Chicana with roots in New Mexico and Texas, I descend from farmworkers, faith healers, educators, and community workers whose collective spirit I bring to my teaching, scholarship, and creative projects. I am committed to homeplace ethnography and applied projects in partnership with local stakeholders. My interdisciplinary research explores social movements and other acts of rebeldía for social justice, equity, and sustainable futures in the US-Mexico borderlands. I am also interested in ethnographic filmmaking. I produced and served as lead researcher for an award-winning documentary animation about the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. Currently, I am working on Unsettled Refuge, a historical project involving researchers in Canada and the U.S. who are documenting Indigenous practices of sanctuary and humanitarianism in North America. My forthcoming book Sanctuaryscapes in the New Mexico Borderlands tells time-traveling stories about how vulnerable people band together to create communities of protection and care.

I am accepting M.A. and Ph.D. students for fall 2023 with an interest in Latinx anthropology or borderlands studies. Interested students should email me to discuss potential collaboration. 


  • Villarreal, Aimee. “Anthropolocura as Homeplace Ethnography.” In Ethnographic Refusals, Unruly Latinidades, edited by Gina M. Perez and Alex E. Chavez, School of Advanced Research Press, 2022
  • Villarreal, Aimee. “The Day of the Dead in Art Showcases an Evolving Tradition.” Glasstire: Texas Visual Art, February 10, 2020
  • Villarreal, Aimee. “Sanctuaryscapes in the North American Southwest.” Radical History Review 135, no. 2 (2019): 43 – 70.
  • Villarreal, Aimee and Garcia, David F. “Our Laboratory of Anthropolocura.” Anthropology News Sections Edition, July 10, 2018.
  • Leaños, John Jota, Director, and Villarreal, Aimee, Researcher and Producer (2014): Frontera! Revolt and Rebellion on Río Grande. Animated Documentary of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.
  • Villarreal, Aimee and Leaños, John Jota. “Animating Resistance: Anthropology as Public Pedagogy.” Anthropology News, June 5, 2017.
  • Villarreal Aimee. 2015. “Bridging the Divide Between Ethnic Studies and Anthropology.” Anthropology News, July 10, 2015.
  • Villarreal, Aimee. “Biased-Based Policing at a Glance: An Evaluation of the Prohibition of Profiling Practices Act.” Somos Un Pueblo Unido, Public Report, 2012.