Skip to main content

Spotlight on Marisa Belausteguigoitia

Marisa Belausteguigoitia earned her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies with an emphasis on women, race and sexuality at the University of California at Berkeley (2000). She is Full Professor at the School of Humanities at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)/National Autonomous University of México (2004), where she is also coordinator of curricular innovation from the gender, critical theory and cultural critique perspectives in Graduate Studies in the Humanities at UNAM (2010 until today) and advisor to the Comisión de Derechos Humanos del Distrito Federal (CDHDF)/ Commission on Human Rights of México City (2014 until today). She was Chair of the Programa Universitario de Estudios de Género (PUEG/UNAM) / Gender Studies Program at UNAM (2004-2013). She analyzes the relationship between critical pedagogies, artistic and juridical practices from a gender perspective to focus on women’s access to justice. She works with women in prison bridging academia towards the activation of academic knowledge from a pedagogical, artistic and juridical angle.

She is Director of the project Mujeres en Espiral: sistema de justicia, perspectiva de género y pedagogías en resistencia / Spiral turns: juridical system, gender perspective and pedagogies in resistance (2008 until today), an academic and activist initiative that fosters women’s access to real justice, through practices of pedagogical, juridical and artistic intervention in prison. This project has produced a variety of visual, textual, and juridical material (inter alia, murals in prison, fanzines, documentaries and short films, amicus curiae, benefits for women in prison, and reports on violation of rights in female prisons). The project has also created the Clinic of Public Interest Marisela Escobedo (2013), which works with specific cases of female juridical mistreatment, in order to render the gender-biased exercise of faulty justice against women visible. The Clinic is currently working on three cases of women mistreated by the juridical system waiting to be resolved by the Supreme Court. 

Her teaching and research analyses the imperative of public universities' participation in the solution of current social urgencies, that is to say the activation of academic knowledge for social intervention (the bridging of academia towards activism), particularly through the interaction of artistic, juridical, and pedagogical practices, from a gendered perspective in women’s full access to justice.

Her work has been recognized with several awards: Omecíhuat by el Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres INMUJERES DF/ Ministry for Women in México City, for her academic, theoretical and conceptual work in favor of the development of gender studies at the university (2009); Hermila Galindo award, offered by the Comisión de Derechos Humanos del Distrito Federal CDHDF / México City Commission of Human Rights, for her direction of the Gender Studies Program (PUEG) at UNAM (2004-2011). First prize in the Annual Award Mujer y Publicidad / Women and Advertising (Guadalajara/ México 2009), for the campaign created by the Gender Studies Program she directed (PUEG) La Igualdad entre mujeres y hombres, nuestra manera de ser Pumas / Equity between women and men our way of belonging). In 2013 the Gender Studies Program PUEG received the award Margherita von Brentano of the Freie Universität Berlin in Germany, given to the project MISEAL (Medidas para la inclusión social y equidad en Instituciones de Educación Superior en América Latina/Measures for social, racial and female inclusion to university studies, undergraduate and graduate in Latin-America) a project she directed, oriented to the social, gendered and racial inclusion in university studies- undergraduate and graduate- in Latin-America. In 2015, she was granted two first prizes (best film and best director) in the FICFUSA film festival in Colombia for the co-direction and screenplay of the documentary Nos pintamos solas/Mirrors and Walls in female prisons, a film that analyses the life of women in Mexican prisons. Most recently in 2017, the short film La Mentada de la Llorona/Women Hollowing Cry, produced collectively by the project she directs Mujeres en Espiral/ Spiral Turns and a group of female prisoners in México City, was awarded first prize in the category of best social short film in the Short Film Festival of La Rioja Argentina.

She has published around 100 articles and essays, a quarter of them in English, and 8 books, the most important being: Critical Terms in Caribbean and Latin American Thought: Historical and Institutional Trajectories (2016) in collaboration with Yolanda Martínez San-Miguel and Ben Sifuentes-Juauregui; Des/posesión: Género, Territorio y Luchas por la Autodeterminación / Dis/possession: Gender, Territory and the Fight for Self Determination (2015), co-edited with María Josefinda Saldaña-Portillo; Pintar los Muros: Deshacer la Cárcel / Murals in Female Prisons (UNAM, 2014); Pedagogías en Espiral: Los giros de las teorías de género y la crítica cultura/ Spiral Pedagogies: Turns in gender studies and critical theory (PUEG 2012), in collaboration with Rían Lozano; and Race and gender in the creation of new worlds (FCyS/PUEG, 2009). Professor Belausteguigoitia has been one of the most active scholars in translating, teaching and researching the work of Chicanas and Chicana theory in México. She has brought about into Spanish Borderlands/La Frontera. The New Mestiza and Chela Sandoval’s Methodology of the Oppressed, edited by UNAM. Most recently she has been granted the prestigious Andrés Bello Chair in Latin American Cultures and Civilizations at NYU (2019).

Her work in relation with the US academy is evident in her publications, lectures, key note speeches, and teaching activities. She has developed a very active academic relation with the US universities, especially Rutgers, NYU, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and most recently Northwestern. She also works actively with universities in Germany (Freie Universität Berlin, Potsdam University, and Humboldt University), Spain (Universidad Miguel Hernández in Elche), Columbia (Universidad de Antioquia), and Argentina (University of Buenos Aires).

Selected English Bibliography

"Visualizing Place: She looks, therefore...who is?" Development 41(2): 44-57.

"Scenarios of construction of the subject at the limit: Zapatistas and Chicanas." Dissertation under proquest.

"The Right to Rest: Women’s Struggle to be Heard in the Zapatistas’ movement." Development 43(3): 81-87.

"The Colour of the Earth: Indigenous women 'before the law'." Development, suppl. Place, Politics and Justice: Women negotiating globalization 45(1): 47-53.

"Naming the Cinderellas of Development: Violence and women's autonomy in Mexico." Development 47(1): 64-72.

"Indigenous Women and the Land: Shifting Language, Action, and Culture." Development 54(4): 433-436.

"Indigenous Women in Defence of Life and Land: An introduction." Development 54(4): 470-472. Co-written with Mariana Gómez Alvarez Icaza and Iván González Márquez.

“Chicana/o and Latina/o Literary Studies in México.” Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature. London and New York, Routledge: 95-106. Co-written with María del Socorro Gutíerrez Magallanes.

“Strategies for a Transnational Reading of Border Writers: Gloria Anzaldúa, Rosellano Castellanos, and Subcommandante Marcos: Pairing a Triangle.” Translocalities/Translocalidades: Feminist Politics of Translation in Latin/a Americas, eds. S. E. Alvarez and C. d. L. Costa. Durham, Duke University Press: 46-76.

“From Indigenismo to Zapatismo: Scenarios of Construction of the Indigenous Subject.” Critical Terms in Caribbean and Latin American Thought: Historical and Institutional Trajectories, eds. Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel, Ben Sifuentes-Jáuregui and M. Belausteguigoitia. London, Palgrave Macmillan: 23-36.

Selected Spanish Bibliography

Géneros Prófugos: Feminismo y Educación. Eds. Marisa Belausteguigoitia y Araceli Mingo, 1ª ed. México, Paidos.

Fronteras y cruces: Cartografía de escenarios culturales latinoamericanos. Eds. Marisa Belausteguigoitia y Leñero Martha. UNAM-PUEG-FCPYS, México.

Fronteras, violencia y justicia: nuevos discursos. Eds. Marisa Belausteguigoitia y Lucía Melgar. UNAM-PUEG-UNIFEM, México.

Enseñanzas desbordadas. Ed. Marisa Belausteguigoitia. UNAM-PUEG-FCPYS, México.

Güeras y Prietas: género y raza en la construcción de mundos nuevos. Ed. Marisa Belausteguigoitia. UNAM-PUEG, México.

En la punta de la lengua. Al filo de la imagen, libro conmemorativo por los 20 años del PUEG. Eds. Rían Lozano y Marisa Belausteguigoitia. PUEG/UNAM, México.

Pedagogías en Espiral. Experiencias y prácticas. Ed.. Rian Lozano y Marisa Belausteguigoitia. PUEG/UNAM, México.

Pintar los Muros. Deshacer la cárcel. Ed. Marisa Belausteguigoitia. PUEG-UNAM, México.

Desposesión: Género, territorio y luchas por la autodeterminación. PUEG/UNAM, México. 


"Tilting Pedagogies as Utopian Intervention: Outrage, Desire, and the Body in the Classroom" | Video
Keynote presentation at The Scholar & Feminist 2013: Utopia, Barnard College, March 2, 2013.