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Rebecca Galemba

Assistant Professor of International Studies, University of Denver
Chapter Member: Colorado SSN
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About Rebecca

Latin America; informal and illicit networks; globalization; development; legal anthropology; immigration and transnationalism; qualitative methods; anthropological demography; immigrant and labor rights; wage theft


Wage Theft in Denver – Realities and Solutions

In the News

"How Immigration Policies Create Smugglers," Rebecca Galemba, Irregular Migration Projects, Allegra Lab, April 7, 2016.
Rebecca Galemba quoted on states' use of the term 'irregular migration,' border regulations and policing, "Human Smugglers Roundtable: is Human Smuggling the Province of Organised Crime?" openDemocracy, March 29, 2016.


"Development Across Learning Boundaries: Student Collaboration with a Grassroots NGO in Mexico and Guatemala" (with Roisin Duffy-Gideon, Saran Stewart, Catherine Orsborn, Anita Smart, and Juana Bernarda Hernandez Gomez). The Applied Anthropologist 33, no. 2 (2013): 21-29.

Addresses issues of power, positionality, and engaged service-learning by evaluating an evolving collaborative relationship between a Master's Level International Development Course at the Joseph Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver (DU); Natik, a grassroots NGO working on development in Chiapas, Mexico, and Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala; and Natik's partner communities in the field. 

"Illegal Anthropology: An Introduction" (with Kedron Thomas). Political and Legal Anthropology Review 36, no. 2 (2013): 211-214.

Discusses anthropological dimensions and conceptions of legality and illegality. Investigates concepts of "illegality" and "illegalization" alongside studies of the state, power, ethics, and the law.  Draws on and critiques scholarly contributions to this arena. 

"Illegality and Invisibility at Margins and Borders" PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 36, no. 2 (2013): 274-285.

Posits new directions in the study of legitimacy, legality, and morality in borderlands. By making illegality central, the article reveals the politics and power dynamics that shape how people differentially experience the law, using illegality as a theoretical lens to reexamine what constitute worthy subjects of research and standards for ethical and methodological practice.

"Remapping the Border: Taxation, Territory, and (Trans) National Identity at the Mexico—Guatemala Border" Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 30, no. 5 (2012): 822 - 841.

Examines how rural communities on a clandestine road crossing the Mexico-Guatemala border stake claim over this route while deligitimizing state control. Argues that the margins of the state can be critical junctures for examining how everyday people and state actors continuously negotiate and reconfigure the shifting materializations and meanings of territory, state power, and (trans)national space.

""Corn is Food, Not Contraband": The Right to "Free Trade" at the Mexico-Guatemala Border" American Ethnologist Journal of the American Ethnological Society 39, no. 4 (2012): 716-734.

Demonstrates the effects of neoliberal trade policies on locals' buying and selling of corn along the Mexico-Guatemala border. Finds that as locals participate in this growing trade and negotiate with state officials, they may contribute to the neoliberal economic dynamics, increasing regional inequalities, and patron-client state relations they otherwise protest.