Gabriela Spears-Rico

Gabriela Spears-Rico


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Research interests

Gabriela Spears-Rico is a cultural anthropologist and an Assistant Professor of Chicanx Latinx Studies with a joint appointment in American Indian Studies. A P’urhepecha/Matlatzinca scholar and poet, Spears-Rico’s BA is from Stanford University and her Ph.D. in comparative ethnic studies from the University of California at Berkeley. Her work examines manifestations of consumption and cultural appropriation in touristic transactions between mestizos and indigenous people in Mexico. Her primary investment is in unraveling how the trauma of rape from the Spanish Conquest informs the mestiza/o desire to tour and inhabit indigenous communities. She is currently working on Mestiza/o Melancholia and the Legacy of Rape and Conquest in Michoacán, a book that explores how gendered violence has framed the racialization of indigenous people and the manufacturing of mestizaje in Mexico.  Spears-Rico's poetry reflects the working class and hybrid aesthetics of having grown up in migrant farm worker camps along the American West Coast. Her poetry has been published in numerous anthologies including Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas (University of Arizona Press, 2011), Tan lejos de Dios: poesia mexicana en la frontera norte (UNAM, 2010), and Love Rise Up: Poems of Social Justice, Protest and Hope (Benu Press, 2012).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification


Award Date: Aug 14 2015


Award Date: May 13 2006

BA, Stanford University

Award Date: Jun 15 2003

Research interests

  • Mexican indigenous communities
  • Tourism
  • Cultural Appropriation
  • Days of the Dead
  • anthropology of consumption
  • performane of resistance
  • gendered violence
  • mestizaje
  • Chicano indigeneity
  • politics of reprsentation


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