Nicole Trujillo-Pagan

Nicole Trujillo-Pagan

Associate Professor


2256 FAB (Sociology)3315 FAB (Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies)

Curriculum Vitae

Nicole Trujillo-Pagan

Research Interest/Area of Expertise

  Race/Ethnicity, Immigration


American Dreams, Latino/a Realities: Reconciling Poverty and Mobility in the Hyper-Segregated City

A tradition of scholarship explores the relationship between culture and poverty. While scholars have moved toward more careful analyses of when and how culture shapes the experience of inequality, we still know relatively little about how Latino/a youth understand their possibilities and opportunities. This project uses interview data to explain how Latino/as identify and act upon opportunity in Detroit. In particular, it looks at how Latino/as navigate their ambivalent social location in a majority-minority city. On the one hand, their racialized experience implicates them in the color line, which is particularly marked in the black-white binary of the city and its suburbs. On the other hand, Latino/as in mixed-status households struggle as an immigrant ethnic group to “make it” relative to a mainstream economy shaped by space beyond the city’s boundaries, including the U.S.-Canadian border and suburban areas that have been known as the “whitest” in America. The urban and national boundaries shaping the experience of Latino/as in Detroit also informs the way they use space to navigate this ambivalent position.

Education – Degrees, Licenses, Certifications

Ph.D. - Sociology (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

Selected Publications


(Under contract). American Dreams, Latino Realities: Reconciling Poverty and Mobility in the Hyper-Segregated City, Brill Academic Publishers.

Trujillo-Pagán, Nicole. 2013. Modern Colonization by Medical Intervention: U.S. Medicine in Puerto Rico, Brill Academic Publishers.


Select Refereed Articles

Forthcoming. “Home is Where the Metropoliz Is: Global Movements and Local Commoning in a Roman Squat/Occupation,” Urban Geography.

Trujillo-Pagán, Nicole. 2018. "Crossed out by LatinX: Gender neutrality and genderblind sexism," Lat Stud.

Trujillo-Pagán, Nicole. 2018. “A Tale of Four Cities: The Boundaries of Blackness for Ethiopian Immigrants in Washington, D.C., Tel Aviv, Rome and Melbourne,” Social Identities.

Cumberbatch, Prudence and Trujillo-Pagán, Nicole. 2016. “Hashtag Activism and Why #BlackLivesMatter In (and To) the Classroom,” Radical Teacher, 106.

Trujillo-Pagán, Nicole. 2014. “Emphasizing the “Complex” in the “Immigration Industrial Complex,” Critical Sociology, 40, 1, pp. 29-46.


Under Review/Revision

Trujillo-Pagán, Nicole. “The Language of ‘Juan Crow’ in Alabama.”

Trujillo-Pagán, Nicole. “Self-Deportation” as “Speak Softly” Discourse: Opposed Metaphors and the “Whistle” of White Supremacy”

Trujillo-Pagán, Nicole. “The Illusion of Choice and Illegal Enforcement: ‘Self-Deportation’ as Forced Migration”

Trujillo-Pagán, Nicole. “Blurred Borders and Reclaimed, “Forgotten” Urban Space”


Public Presentations

2018. “Sobremesa” talk show, on Wayne State Student Radio (WAYN).


Public Scholarship

“No Shock or Awe about ‘Acting’ LatinX”

Currently Teaching

Learning about Your Community through Research

 Social Problems

 LAS 3610: Latino Urban Problems

 SOC 6060: Contemporary Social Theory

Courses taught

Sociological Theory
Social Problems
Race Relations in an Urban Society
Sociology of Immigration and Ethnicity
Introduction to Sociology
Project Community: Women's Issues

Latina/o/x Studies
Learning about Your Community through Research
Seminar in Latino Urban Problems
History of Latinos in the United States
Comparative Studies in African, Asian, and Latin American Cultures
Puerto Ricans and Dominicans: Comparative Perspectives and Contemporary Issues
History of Puerto Rico since 1815
Puerto Rican Communities in the United States: Settlement and Evolution
Institutions of Urban Life and the Latino Experience
Latin America
Emerging Realities and Alternatives for Puerto Ricans and other Latinos in the U.S.
Puerto Ricans in the United States

Citation Index