Skip to content
UO Home | Arts & Sciences

Lynn Stephen Research

Dr. Stephen is Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences, Professor of Anthropology, and Director of the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies (CLLAS) at the University of Oregon. Her scholarly work has centered the impact of globalization, migration, nationalism and the politics of culture on indigenous communities in the Americas. Her multi-leveled approach which engages political-economy, ethnohistory, and ethnography has provided a hemispheric lens on major challenges faced by indigenous peoples such as out-migration, tourism, economic development, and low-intensity war and their creative responses to these challenges. Her work has also highlighted the accomplishments and importance of indigenous epistemologies and their theoretical and methodological importance to advancing our knowledge about human-environmental connectivity. In addition to her long-term work on indigenous peoples, she has produced ground-breaking analysis on gender, economic development, and migration; globalization and social movements, indigenous autonomy, and the history of Latino communities spread across multiple borders through her concept of transborder communities and migrations. She has a strong commitment to collaborative research and to projects that produce findings that are accessible to the wider public.

Dr. Stephen has carried out fieldwork in Mexico, El Salvador, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and the U.S. In the past 25 years she has published seven monographs and four co-edited volumes, three edited special journal issues, 71 refereed journal articles and book chapters.  Her most recent books include: We are the Face of Oaxaca: Testimony and Social Movements (2013, Duke University Press) with an accompanying website:; Otros Saberes: Collaborative Research on Indigenous and Afro-Descendent Cultural Politics (co-edited with Charles R. Hale, School for American Research Press, 2013,), and Transborder Lives: Indigenous Oaxacans in Mexico, California, and Oregon (2007, Duke University Press)

Dr. Stephen has received several major national book and achievement awards in anthropology. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for Humanities (twice), The Center for U.S.- Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego (three times), the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University, The Mexican Academy of Sciences, and research  and program development grants from the National Science Foundation, The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, The Ford Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Inter-American Foundation, among other sources.

She has recently conducted research on identity formation and political and civic participation among Mexican immigrant youth in Mexico and Oregon that is ongoing in collaboration with her students and colleagues at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Her newest projects include a book on renowned Mexican author Elena Poniatowska as a political actor, a documentary film on the experiences of extended families separated across the U.S.-Mexican borders tentatively titled “Tristeza/Alegria,”  and a collaborative research investigation titled “Political Asylum and Gendered Violence among Latin American Immigrants in the U.S.”

“Latino Roots in Oregon,” done in collaboration with Professor Gabriela Martínez, the Lane County Historical Museum, Latino community consultants, graduate and undergraduate students, and the University of Oregon Special Collections & University Archives, focuses on the oral histories of the diverse group of Latino immigrants and migrants found in Oregon. The project has resulted in a museum exhibit, oral history texts, videos, classes and websites. See research/latino-roots/ and

Dr. Stephen is also a founder of the Oregon Latino Heritage Collaborative (OLHC), which is dedicated to opening new avenues to preserve, share, research, study, and narrate Latino communities’ history as Oregon and American History. OLHC encourages Latinos in Oregon –and Latino-led organizations in particular—to document their history and works to build support for housing this documentation at the University of Oregon.