Susan B. Coutin

Associate Professor, Criminology, Law & Society
School of Social Ecology

PH.D., Stanford University, 1990, Sociocultural Anthropology

Phone: (949) 824-1447
Fax: (949) 824-3001

University of California, Irvine
2369 SEII
Mail Code: 7080
Irvine, CA 92697

Law, culture, immigration, human rights, citizenship, political activism, Central America
Working Group in Law, Society and Culture
2003 Law and Society Association Best Article Prize (with Bill Maurer and Barbara Yngvesson) for “In the Mirror: The Legitimation Work of Globalization.”
Susan Bibler Coutin holds a Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology and is assistant professor in the Department of Criminology, Law, and Society at the University of California, Irvine. Her research has examined social, political, and legal activism surrounding immigration issues, particularly immigration from El Salvador to the United States. Her first book, THE CULTURE OF PROTEST: RELIGIOUS ACTIVISM AND THE U.S. SANCTUARY MOVEMENT (Westview 1993) analyzed how congregations that declared themselves "sanctuaries" for Salvadoran and Guatemalan refugees constructed a means and a language of protesting U.S. refugee and foreign policy in the 1980s. Her second book, LEGALIZING MOVES: SALVADORAN IMMIGRANTS' STRUGGLE FOR U.S. RESIDENCY (U. Michigan Press, 2000), analyzed how Salvadoran immigrants negotiated their legal identities in the United States in the 1990s, a period characterized by immigration reform in the U.S. and post-war reconstruction in El Salvador. Her current project identifies the new and not-so-new forms of citizenship and belonging that are being forged as Salvadoran immigrants in the U.S. negotiate their relationships to their countries of origin and residence.
Publications Forthcoming. "The Formation and Transformation of Central American Community Organizations in Los Angeles." In Latina/o Los Angeles: Global Transformations, Settlement, and Political Activism, Gilda Ochoa and Enrique Ochoa, eds. University of Arizona Press.

Forthcoming. “Contesting Criminality: Illegal Immigration and the Spatialization of Legality. Theoretical Criminology.

Forthcoming. “Sanctuary.” In Global Migration: An Encyclopedia, Matthew Gibney and Randall Hansen, eds. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO.

2004 “Salvadorans’ Odyssey.” NACLA Report on the Americas. 37(6):38-41, 43.

2003 "Cultural Logics of Belonging and Movement: Transnationalism, Naturalization, and U.S. Immigration Politics." American Ethnologist 30(4):508-526.

2003 "Borderlands, Illegality and the Spaces of Non-existence." In Globalization and Governmentalities, Richard Perry and Bill Maurer, eds. University of Minnesota Press, pp. 171-202.

2003 "Suspension of Deportation Hearings: Racialization, Immigration, and 'Americanness.'" Journal of Latin American Anthropology 8(2):58-95.

2002 "Reconceptualizing Research: Ethnographic Fieldwork and Immigration Politics in Southern California." In Practicing Ethnography in Law: New Dialogues, Enduring Methods, June Starr and Mark Goodale, eds., pp. 108-127. New York: Palgrave.

2002 "In the Mirror: The Legitimation Work of Globalization." Co-authored with Bill Maurer and Barbara Yngvesson. Law and Social Inquiry 27(4):801-843. (Awarded the 2002 LSA best article prize.)

2001 "Questionable Transactions as Grounds for Legalization: Immigration, Illegality and Law." Crime, Law and Social Change 37:19-36.

2001 "Cause Lawyering in the Shadow of the State: A U.S. Immigration Example." In Cause Lawyering and the State in a Global Era, Austin Sarat and Stu Scheingold, eds., pp. 117-140. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  2001 "Cause Lawyering in the Shadow of the State: A U.S. Immigration Example." In Cause Lawyering and the State in a Global Era, Austin Sarat and Stu Scheingold, eds., pp. 117-140 Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  2001 "The Oppressed, the Suspect, and the Citizen: Subjectivity in Competing Accounts of Political Violence." Law and Social Inquiry 26(1):63-94.
  2000 "Anthropology and Pedagogy: An Interview with Bill Maurer." With Jennifer Heung. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 23(2):146-160.
  2000 "Denationalization, Inclusion, and Exclusion: Negotiating the Boundaries of Belonging." Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 7(2):585-593.
  1999 "Clandestinity and Citizenship among Salvadoran Immigrants." PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review. 22(2):53-63.
  1999 "Advocating for Immigrants' Rights: An Interview with Susan Alva." PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review. 22(2):110-119.
  1998 "From Refugees to Immigrants: The Legalization Strategies of Salvadoran Immigrants and Activists." International Migration Review 32(4):901-925.
  1998 "Naming Resistance: Dissidents, States and Ethnographers." Co-authored with Susan F. Hirsch. Anthropology Quarterly 71(1):1-17.
  1996 "From Refugees to Immigrants: The Legal Strategies of Salvadoran Immigrants and their Advocates." Working paper series, Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, University of California, Los Angeles.

1996 "'Differences' within Accounts of U.S. Immigration Law." PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review, 19(1):11-20.

1995 "'Your Friend, the Illegal': Definition and Paradox within Newspaper Accounts of Immigration Reform." Co-authored with Phyllis Chock. Identities 2(1-2):123-148.

1995 "Smugglers or Samaritans in Tucson, Arizona: Producing and Contesting Legal Truth." American Ethnologist. 22(3):549-571.

1995 "Ethnographies of Violence: Law, Dissidence, and the State." Review essay for Law and Society Review. 29(3):517-539.

1994 "Enacting Law as Social Practice: The U.S. Sanctuary Movement as a Mode of Resistance." In Susan Hirsch and Mindie Lazarus-Black, eds., Contested States: Law, Hegemony, and Resistance, pp. 282-303. New York: Routledge.

1993 "The Chicago Seven and the Sanctuary Eleven: Conspiracy and Spectacle within U.S. Courts." PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 16(3):19-28.
Grant 2004-2005 Research and Writing Grant, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Link to this profile
Last updated 10/14/2004