Faculty Directory

Marisol LeBrón

Biography, Education and Training

Marisol LeBrón is an interdisciplinary scholar whose research and teaching focus on race, social inequality, policing, violence, and protest. Prior to arriving at UCSC, she held appointments at the University of Texas at Austin, Dickinson College, and Duke University. She received her PhD in American Studies from New York University and her bachelor's degree in Comparative American Studies and Latin American Studies from Oberlin College.

 

She is the author of Policing Life and Death: Race, Violence, and Resistance in Puerto Rico (University of California Press, 2019) and Against Muerto Rico: Lessons from the Verano Boricua (Editora Educación Emergente, 2021). Along with Yarimar Bonilla, she is the co-editor of Aftershocks of Disaster: Puerto Rico Before and After the Storm (Haymarket Books, 2019). She has published her research in a variety of venues including Signs, Society and Space, Modern American History, Radical History Review, Journal of Urban History, Souls, Women & Performance, and NACLA Report on the Americas.

 

She is currently at work on a new book project, Up Against the Wall: Policing and the Making of Latinxs, which is under contract with University of California Press’ American Studies Now series. Up Against the Wall aims to uncover the centrality of policing to the emergence and consolidation of Latinx identity in the United States. The book demonstrates that policing has played an essential, although chronically underexamined, role in shaping how we understand Latinxs and their place within American society. When and how diverse Latinx communities have come into contact with the United States’ law enforcement apparatus tell us a great deal about how Latinx groups are positioned within hierarchies of belonging related to race, citizenship, class, and spatial location in ways that continue to have deadly reverberations. In particular, Up Against the Wall traces how policing functions as a structuring component of everyday life for Latinxs that both facilitates and manages the effects of (settler) colonial dispossession, imperialist expansion, economic exploitation, and racial differentiation.

 

An active contributor to popular conversations about policing as well as Puerto Rico and its diaspora, she has published op-eds in The Washington Post, The Guardian and Truthout in addition to being interviewed by a number of news outlets. She is one of the co-creators and project leaders for the Puerto Rico Syllabus (#PRsyllabus), a digital resource for understanding the Puerto Rican debt crisis. She is also one of the editors for The Abusable Past, a digital project that features unique and original content related to the praxis of radical history in this social and political moment. She is currently the Vice President/President Elect of the Puerto Rican Studies Association and a member of the Executive Committee of the American Studies Association.

Selected Publications

Books

 

La vida y la muerte ante el poder policiaco: raza, violencia y resistencia en Puerto Rico. Spanish Language translation of Policing Life and Death. Translated by Beatriz Llenín Figueroa. Cabo Rojo, PR: Editora Educación Emergente, 2021.

 

Against Muerto Rico: Lessons from the Verano Boricua/ Contra Muerto Rico: Lecciones del Verano Boricua. Bilingual book translated by Beatriz Llenín Figueroa. Cabo Rojo, PR: Editora Educación Emergente, 2021.

 

Policing Life and Death: Race, Violence, and Resistance in Puerto Rico. Oakland: University of California Press, 2019.

 

Edited Volumes

 

Aftershocks of Disaster: Puerto Rico Before and After the Storm, co-edited with Yarimar Bonilla. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2019.

 

Edited Special Issues and Forums

 

The Decolonial Geographies of Puerto Rico’s 2019 Summer Protests: A Forum, co-edited with Joaquín Villanueva, Society and Space, published online February 25, 2020.

 

Eye of the Storm: Capitalism, Colonialism, and Climate Change in the Caribbean, co-edited with Laura Weiss and Michelle Chase, NACLA Report on the Americas (2018) 50.2.

 

Journal Articles

 

“Policing Coraje in the Colony: Towards a Decolonial Feminist Politics of Rage in Puerto Rico,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society (2021) 46.4: 801-826.

 

“They Don’t Care if We Die: The Violence of Urban Policing in Puerto Rico,” Journal of Urban History (2020) 46.5: 1066-1084.

 

“Puerto Rico, Colonialism, and the U.S. Carceral State,” Modern American History (2019) 2.2: 169-173.

 

“Carpeteo Redux: Surveillance and Subversion Against the Puerto Rican Student Movement” Radical History Review (2017) 128: 147-172.

 

“Policing Solidarity: State Violence, Blackness, and the University of Puerto Rico Strikes” in Souls: A Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society (2015) 17.1-2: 113-134.

 

“‘Con un Flow Natural’: Sonic Affinities and Reggaeton Nationalism” in Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory (2011) 21.2: 219-233.

 

Book Chapters

 

“Mano Dura Contra El Crimen and Premature Death in Puerto Rico” in Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter, eds. Jordan T. Camp and Christina Heatherton (Verso, 2016): 95-108.