Dr. Michelle Téllez has been committed to mapping projects of resistance, exploring shared human experiences and advancing social justice for the last 25-years. An interdisciplinary scholar, she writes about transnational community formations (and disruptions), Chicana mothering, and gendered migration.

Dr. Téllez has published in several book anthologies, and in journals such as Gender & SocietyFeminist FormationsAztlán, and Chicana/Latina Studies; and in online outlets such as The Feminist WireTruth Out and Latino Rebels. She has been involved in multiple projects for change at the grassroots level utilizing critical pedagogy, principles of sustainability, community-based arts, performance, and visual media.

Dr. Téllez is a founding member of the Chicana M(other)work Collective and the Binational Artist in Residency project. She is on the editorial review board for Chicana/Latina Studies: The Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social, on the executive board of directors for the Southwest Folklife Alliance and is the Faculty Fellow for the Guerrero Student Center. A single mother to a 13-year old daughter who loves to dance, she has also taken up the jarana in the last few years to co-form the Arizona Son Jarocho Collective.

In 2004-2005, she was a dissertation fellow in the department of Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. For the 2007-2008 academic year she was a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Latina/o Studies Program at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Téllez is a former Mellon Fellow for the Future of Minority Studies (FMS) Research Project at Cornell University and a 2017-2018 Tucson Public Voices Fellow for the OpEd Project. Dr. Téllez taught at Arizona State University for nine years, at Northern Arizona University for two years, and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Mexican American Studies Department at the University of Arizona.




Ph.D., Education, Emphasis in Critical Community Studies, Claremont Graduate University, 2005.
Master of Arts, Sociology and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, 2000.
Bachelor of Arts, Sociology with specialization in Chicana/o Studies, UCLA, 1995.

Selected Academic Awards, Honors, Fellowships

  • Tucson Public Voices Fellowship (2017-2018)

  • Beyond Boundaries, Project Director. Arizona Humanities Mini-Grant. (2016)

  • Dr. Manuel Servin Faculty Award: Achievement in research, mentorship of Latino students, leadership at ASU/the community, and community service/involvement, CLSFA, Arizona State University (2014)

  • Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2007-2008)

  • Mellon Fellow: Future of Minority Studies (FMS) Research Project, Cornell University (Summer 2007)

  • Chicana Dissertation Fellowship, UCSB (2004-2005)

Selected Academic Presentations   

  • Other Autonomies: Interstitial Spaces of Autonomy in Mexico. Panelist. Latin American Studies Association. Barcelona, Spain. (May 23, 2018)

  • Nuevas direcciones en investigación migratoria ante la era Trump: Dreamers y jovenes de retorno a México. Seminario Niñez Migrante. Colegio de Sonora. Hermosillo, MX. (November 30, 2017)

  • Beyond the Wall: Liberating Stories and Creative Resistance. University of Minnesota. Minneapolis, MN. (February 2, 2017)

  • Diversity as Backlash: Connecting Struggles from the "Frontlines" in a Time of Neoliberal Rule. American Studies Association. Denver, CO. (November 17, 2016).

  • Scholar-Activism and the emerging Chicana M(other)work Collective. UCLA-Research Advisory Committee on Critical Race Theory. Los Angeles, CA. (April 22, 2016)

  • Arizona Artivism: Feminist Collectives and Radical Interventions in Border Discourse. Panelist. Tenth Biennial Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference. Tempe, AZ. (October 31, 2015)

  • Mothers of Color in Academia: A Performative Dialogue and Workshop. Discussant. American Studies Association Conference. Los Angeles, CA. (November 6, 2014)

  • “Dehumanizing Productions and Corporeal Vulnerabilities: Critical Interventions for Revisioning the Social Imaginary in the Arizona Context and Beyond,” Panelist. Critical Ethnic Studies Conference. Chicago, IL. (September 21, 2013).  

  • “Critical Ethnic Studies in Arizona,” Panelist. Fanaticism and the Abolition-Democracy: Critical Theory in the Spirit of Joel Olson Conference. Flagstaff, AZ. (January 25, 2013).

  • “Decolonizing the Spiritualities of Chicana, Latina, and Indigenous Women,” Panelist. National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA), Oakland, CA. (November 9, 2012).

  • “Gender, Migration and Chicana Feminism,” Invited Panelist on Feminism: The Many Faces of the Movement; Womanity Summit, Tempe, AZ. (April 6 2012).

  • “Transfronteriza: Constructing Gender Identities and Rights at the U.S/Mexico Border,” Invited Speaker, (Hosted by Latin American Studies, Sociology, Gender and Women Studies), Cal State Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA. (March 5, 2012).

  • “Challenges in migration between Mexico and the United States,” International Workshop for the Right to Migrate Free from Violence, RAFTO Foundation, Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico (June 16, 2011).

  • “Transfronteriza: Constructing Gender Identities and Rights at the U.S/Mexico Border,” Institut des Ameriques: Frontieres/Transfrontieres dans les Ameriques, Invited Keynote Address, (2nd Annual Conference of Border Issues in the Americas); University of Nantes, Nantes, France (April 22, 2011).

  • “A Critical Inquiry into the Borderlands: Gender, Militarization, and Community Building at the U.S/Mexico Border,” Three-day Graduate Seminar, Universidad de Castilla La Mancha, Ciudad Real, Spain (March 9- 11, 2010).

Selected Public Talks

  • Chicana Power: Scholar-Activist Genealogies and Academic Disruptions, Keynote address at the Visions of Justice and Liberation Symposium. UCLA. Los Angeles, CA. (May 18, 2018).

  • Q & A with Prof. Noam Chomsky on Social Movements and Resistance. University of Arizona. Tucson, AZ. (February 23, 2017).

  • Liberating Stories: Border Disruptions and Creative Resistance. Organized by the Latina/o Studies Working Group and the Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research. Texas A & M University. College Station, TX. (March 23, 2016)

  • Violence Against Women, Guest Lecture. National Organization for Women, West Valley Chapter. Surprise, AZ (February 27, 2015)

  • Immigration, Panelist with Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), Black Life Matters Conference. Tucson, AZ. (January 16, 2015)

  • "Gender and International Development," Guest Lecture. National Organization for Women, West Valley Chapter. Surprise, AZ. (April 2, 2014 )

  • Black Power Mixtape film screening: Guest Scholar. Arizona Humanities Council. Phoenix, AZ. (February 18, 2014)

  • "Decolonization as a Catalyst for Self-Determination," Keynote Address; 9th Annual MEChA Youth Conference, ASU, Tempe, AZ. (February 7, 2014).

  • “Chunky: The Making of a Social Activist,” Panelist and project advisor; film screening and panel discussion. Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. (October 1, 2012).       

  • “Education: A Culture of Resistance,” Keynote Address, ASU 10th Annual Chicano/a Graduation, Phoenix, AZ. (May 5, 2012).

  •  “Birthing Along the Border,” Expert Panelist, Premiere of film Catching Babies (film by Barni Qassim).  Phoenix, AZ. (November 28, 2011).

  • “Realidades de las Mujeres Migrantes,” Kino Border Initiative; Universidad Pedagogica de Nogales, Nogales, Mexico (September 7, 2011).

  • “How We Got Here: Historical Roots of SB1070,” Plenary Lecture featuring Dr. Cornell West, Phoenix, AZ. (October 2, 2010).

  • Keynote Address; 5th Annual MEChA Youth Conference, ASU, Tempe, AZ. (April 24, 2010).

  • Keynote Address; 39th Annual Chicano Latina Graduation, San Diego City College. San Diego, CA. (May 16, 2009).

  • “Gender, Community Formation, and Transformation at the Border: Maclovio Rojas,” Plenary Speaker, Shephard Symposium on Social Justice, Laramie, WY. (March 25, 2008).

  • “Weaving Generations: Chicana Feminism and Activism as a Transformational Politic,” Chicana Caucus Plenary, National Association of Chicana/Chicano Studies, San Jose, CA. (April 7, 2007).

  • “Communities of Struggle,” International Women’s Day Conference, Southwestern College, Chula Vista, CA. (March 5, 2005).

  • "Globalization, Urban Planning, and Informal Urban Development in Tijuana:  The Case of Maclovio Rojas,” in_Site05, Dialogue 6, Cultural Center of Tijuana (CECUT), Tijuana, Baja CA. (November 21, 2004).