Executive Council

Rafael Pérez-Torres

President, 2019-2020

Rafael Pérez-Torres, Professor of Languages in English at UCLA, studies the intersection of contemporary U.S. culture with social configurations of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. He is particularly interested in the intersection between contemporary Latinx cultural production and theories of representation. In addition to the book Movements in Chicano Poetry: Against Myths, Against Margins, he has written Critical Mestizaje: Voice, Agency and Race in Chicano Literature and Culture and co-authored Memories of an East L.A. Outlaw: To Alcatraz, Death Row and Back with Ernie López. He also co-edited The Chicano Studies Reader: An Anthology of Aztlán 1970-2000 with Chon Noriega, Eric Avila, Mary Karen Davilos, and Chela Sandoval. He has served on the editorial boards of such journals as America Literary History, American Literature, Aztlán, and Contemporary Literature and regularly teaches courses on Chicanx literature and culture, globalization and decoloniality, and the novel and its theories.

Leisy J. Abrego

Vice-President, 2019-2020

Leisy J. Abrego is Professor in the Department of Chicana/o Studies at UCLA. Her research and teaching interests are in Central American migration, Latina/o families, inequalities created by gender, and the production of “illegality” through U.S. immigration laws. Her first book, Sacrificing Families: Navigating Laws, Labor, and Love Across Borders (Stanford University Press, 2014), examines the well-being of Salvadoran immigrants and their families—both in the United States and in El Salvador—as these are shaped by immigration policies and gendered expectations. Her second book, Immigrant Families (Polity Press, 2016), is co-authored with Cecilia Menjívar and Leah Schmalzbauer and delves deeply into the structural conditions contextualizing the diverse experiences of contemporary immigrant families in the United States. Her scholarship analyzing legal consciousness, illegality, and legal violence explores how different subsectors of Latino immigrants, including undocumented students, internalize and react to immigration policies in search of justice in the United States.

Michael Innis-Jiménez

Treasurer, 2019-2020

Michael Innis-Jiménez is an associate professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of American Studies at The University of Alabama.  A historian by training, Innis-Jiménez has served as a consultant and team member with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s Latino New South Project and consultant with the Levine Museum of the New South (Charlotte, NC), the lead museum of the Latino New South Project’s three-museum consortium.  Innis-Jiménez’ books include Steel Barrio: The Great Mexican Migration to South Chicago, 1915-1940 (NYU Press, 2013) and Made in Chicago: Mexican Food, Tourism, and Cultural Identity(under contract with the University of Texas Press, in progress).

Lee Bebout

Secretary, 2019-2020

Lee Bebout teaches on and researches in the areas of race, social justice, and political culture. Earning his PhD from Purdue University’s Program in American Studies, Bebout is a professor of English at Arizona State University, where he is affiliate faculty with the School of Transborder Studies and the School of Social Transformation. His articles have appeared in Aztlán, MELUS, Latino Studies, and other scholarly journals.His book, Mythohistorical Interventions: The Chicano Movement and Its Legacies (Minnesota 2011), examines how narratives of myth and history were deployed to articulate political identity in the Chicano movement and postmovement era.  His second book, Whiteness on the Border: Mapping the US Racial Imagination in Brown and White (New York University Press 2016) examines how representations of Mexico, Mexicans, and Mexican Americans have been used to foster whiteness and Americanness, or more accurately whiteness as Americanness. He has recently co-edited (with Philathia Bolton and Cassander Smith) Teaching with Tension: Race, Resistance, and Reality in the Classroom (Northwestern UP), a volume on the challenges of and strategies for teaching about race.

Ana Patricia Rodríguez

Past President, 2017-2018, member ex-officio

Ylce Irizarry

Past Secretary, 2017-2018, member ex-officio