7271 E. Sonoran Arroyo Mall Mail Code 2780
Mesa, AZ 85212
Mail code: 2780
Rafael Martínez is an Assistant Professor of Southwest Borderlands in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts. At ASU, he teaches courses on the American Southwest, Arizona History, the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, and Transborder Chicano Literature. Rafael is also a Program Faculty for the MA Narrative Studies program in CISA.
Rafael’s work focuses on immigration, migration, the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, and the American Southwest. His first book manuscript willanalyze the rise of Undocumented Youth Social Movements in the U.S. and immigrant youth’s contributions to the broader Immigrant Rights Movements. Rafael's work engages in Borderlands Studies to demonstrate how communities along the Mexico-U.S. border contribute to the social, political, and economic fabric of the U.S.
Rafael is engaged in public projects that seek to connect academic work with community development. As such, he has focused considerable efforts in exploring the historical contributions of Latinx and ethnic communities in Phoenix's East Valley. In 2023, Rafael completed a project, Querencia: Voices from Chandler's Latinx Barrios, where he collected the oral histories of Latinx community members across Chandler's historical barrios and contemporary immigrant neighborhoods. The project's success culminated in an exhibit and digital archive of the oral histories with the Chandler Museum.
Ph.D. University of New Mexico (2020), American Studies
M.A. University of New Mexico (2014), American Studies
B.A. California State University, Dominguez Hills (2012), History and Chicana and Chicano Studies
Rafael Martinez's research interests include: immigration and migration, undocumented youth social movements and identities around illegalization and DACAmented status.
He approaches these research themes and topics through research medthods such as: oral histories, testimonials, storytelling, digital humanities and digital archives, and media productions.
Martínez, Rafael. “Transformative Borders in Cinema: Evolving Concepts of Migrant Crossings.” La Frontera: Reflections on Borders in American Culture, edited by Judit Agnes Kadar and Andras Tarnoc. Americana eBooks, 2017. https://ebooks.americanaejournal.hu/books/la-frontera/
Martínez, Rafael, Orozco, Froilan, Canales-Navarrete, Nancy. “‘Even if you’re not going to plant, use your water:’ Forging Identity Through Cultural Practices.” Chamisa: A Journal of Literacy, Performance, and Visual Arts of the Greater Southwest, vol. 1, no. 1, 2021, p. 101-116. https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/chamisa/