Camilla Fojas Named Director of ASU School of Social Transformation

May 26, 2021

In July, Camilla Fojas will join Arizona State University as the new director of the School of Social Transformation. She comes to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia, where she was a professor and chair of the Department of Media Studies with a cross-appointment in the Department of American Studies.

FOLLOWING: 4 New Directors Join ASU’s Social Sciences Division

In July, Camilla Fojas will join Arizona State University as the new director of the School of Social Transformation.

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“The School of Social Transformation is at the forefront of addressing important social issues facing our country and our world. With her years of experience and insight into these topics, Camilla Fojas will take the school to the next level with creative solutions and thought leadership,” said Pardis Mahdavi, Dean of Social Sciences at the College. “I look forward to working with her and seeing her blossom as a director.”

While at the University of Virginia, Fojas co-directed the Global South Lab and the Humanities Informatics Lab’s Surveillance and Infrastructure Research Area. She was previously the Vincent de Paul Professor at DePaul University, teaching Latin American and Latin American Studies as well as Global Asian Studies, LGBTQ Studies, and Critical Ethnic Studies. Additionally, she was a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellow.

Fojas said she was drawn to ASU for the innovation that takes place across the university and the opportunities for people from all walks of life.

“ASU is bold, and in that boldness is achieving things that other universities have not yet been able to achieve in terms of access for first-generation students, like me, and undocumented students. , ambitions for broad diversity and gender equity, not just in students and faculty, but in leadership. It’s unique and that’s really what draws me to ASU and the College,” Fojas said.

She completed her graduate studies at New York University, where she earned her PhD in Comparative Literature with a concentration in Film and Cultural Studies of the Americas in 1999 and her MA in Comparative Literature in 1996. She earned a BA in Literature Comparative Studies and Philosophy from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1993.

His research interests lie at the intersection of explorations of racial capitalism and frontier colonialism and imperialism. She is also interested in mixed race studies, comparative ethnic studies, and how surveillance cultures and visual codes of surveillance shape the way we view things like racialized boundaries, gender, and sexual norms. .

Much of her work draws from her background as a child of immigrants and a first-generation college graduate.

“My parents are immigrants to the United States from different parts of the world – from the Philippines and England. We also moved back and forth between Hawaii, where I was born, and California, where I was mostly raised. “, she said. “When you are a child of immigrants, it is difficult to feel fully belonging to the place where you were born or to the places where your parents were born. , this experience informs my work and explorations, for example, of the American empire in the expanded borders of the United States in the Philippines and Hawaii, and the experience and ideas of frontiers of all kinds, across races and the territories.

She has written and co-edited nine books on these topics, including the most recent “Border Optics: Surveillance Cultures on the US-Mexico Frontier.”

Fojas said his vision for the School of Social Transformation is to continue to elevate cutting-edge research and faculty and student activism, while exploring new avenues of curriculum and research.

“I am truly honored to be able to serve the faculty, staff and students of the School of Social Transformation. Although I have very specific ideas about the future of the school, I am also aware that any vision or mission can only be accomplished in collaboration with others. The School of Social Transformation includes a number of areas of study and research central to some of the most pressing cultural, social and political issues of our time. We can bring principled and fully theorized analyzes to the complex intersections of racial, queer, trans, Indigenous and feminist issues, and should be present in any conversation that engages them – at ASU and beyond.