Mariela Nuñez-Janes | Department of Anthropology

Mariela Nuñez-Janes

Professor of Anthropology
Sycamore Hall 131

Mariela Nuñez-Janes (profe) specializes in education, immigration, and youth. Her areas of interest also include Latinxs, feminist pedagogies, and participatory methodologies. Dr. Nuñez-Janes' applied research focuses on the following interdisciplinary and pedagogical areas: 1) educational experiences of Latinxs and other marginalized populations, 2) youth-led social movements, and 3) innovative pedagogies and research methodologies that promote equity and empowerment. Profe joined the anthropology faculty at UNT in the fall of 2003. She is involved in research projects that include collaboration with students, youth, and local communities. At UNT she is a founding member of La Colectiva (, an advisory board member and mentor in the McNair Scholars Program ( and a member of the LMAS executive board ( Dr. Nuñez-Janes is the recipient of the 2017 UNT Foundation Community Engagement Award and elected to serve as President of the Council on Anthropology and Education (CAE) in 2020.


2003, Ph.D., Anthropology, University of New Mexico
1997, M.A., Anthropology, University of New Mexico
1991, B.A., Anthropology, Lawrence University

Selected Consulting Projects

2008-2014, "Digital Storytelling and Participatory Action Research"
Client: Texas School District/PALS

2007, "The Chicano/a Latino/a Oral History Project: Stories about and by Youth"
Client: Center for Spanish Language Media

2005, "Improving Literacy Among Diverse Populations: An Analysis of Best Practices and Recommendations for the Dallas/Fort Worth Region"
Client: North Texas Future Fund

2004, "The Impact of Bilingual Education on Identity and Inter-Ethnic Relations Among Elementary and High School Students"
Client: New Mexico Urban School District

Selected Publications


2020, Martinez, Pedro Santiago, Claudia Muñoz, Mariela Nuñez-Janes, Steve Pavey, Fidel Castro Rodriguez, and Marco Saavedra. Eclipse of Dreams: The Undocumented Youth-led Struggle for Freedom. AK Press

2017, Nuñez-Janes, Mariela, Aaron Thornburg and Angela Booker. Deep Stories: Practicing, Teaching, and Learning Anthropology with Digital Storytelling. De Gruyter Open.

2007, Aguado Odina, Teresa; Ballesteros Velásquez, Belén; Núñez-Janes, Mariela, et. al. Racism: What It Is and How to Deal With It. A Guide to Talking about Racism. Austria: Navreme Publications.

Chapters in Refereed Books

2018, Nuñez-Janes, Mariela, Amelia Kraehe, Andrea Silva, Alicia Re Cruz, Valerie Martinez-Ebers, and Bertina H. Combes. "La Colectiva: Peer Mentoring on the Path to Thrival." In Counternarratives from Women of Color Academics: Bravery, Vulnerability and Resistance edited by Manya Whitaker and Eric Anthony Grollman. London: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.

2017, *Kober, Ryan, *David Montalvo, *Monica Moreno, Mariela Nuñez-Janes, and *Autumn Tyler. "Grieving with Rage." In Pedagogies in the Flesh: Case Studies on the Embodiment of Sociocultural Differences in Education, edited by Sarah Travis, Amelia M. Kraehe, Emily J. Hood, and Tyson E. Lewis, 31-35. Gewerbestrasse: Palgrave/Macmillan.

2013, Nuñez-Janes, Mariela, and *Shaun Chapa. "'Do I look Illegal?' Undocumented Latino Students and the Challenges of Life in the Shadows." In The Education of the Hispanic Population, Volume 2 of the Hispanic Population Series, edited by Richard Verdugo and Billie Gastic, 99-117. Charlotte: Information Age Publishing.

Journal Articles

*indicates that co-author is a student

2016 Nuñez-Janes, Mariela and *Mario Ovalle. "Organic Activists: Undocumented Youth Creating Spaces of Acompañamiento." Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education: An International Journal 10(4):189- 200.

2016 Nuñez-Janes, Mariela. "When Ethnography Relates: Reflections on the Possibilities of Digital Storytelling" Anthropology & Education Quarterly 47(3):235-239.

2016 Nuñez-Janes, Mariela, *Guadalupe Solano-Pimentel and Steve Pavey. "La urgencia como elemento necesario en la praxis de la antropología aplicada/Urgency as a Necessary Element in the Praxis of Applied Anthropology." Asociación Latinoamericana de Antropología, IV Congreso Latinoamericano de Antropología, Memoria

2013 Henry, Lisa, Mariela Nuñez-Janes, Ann Jordan and Alicia Re Cruz. "Synonyms for Engagement Forging an Engaged Anthropology in North Texas." Theme issue, "Anthropology and the Engaged University." Annals of Anthropological Practice 37(1):90-112.

2009 Nuñez-Janes, Mariela and *Andrea Robledo."Testimoniando: A Latina Critical Feminist Approach to Racism in College Campuses." Chicana/Latina Studies 9(1):72-103.

2008 Nuñez-Janes, Mariela and Re Cruz. Alicia. "Digital Storytelling as a Culturally Relevant Pedagogy for Latin@ Students." Journal of Spanish Language Media 1: 192-199.

2007 Nuñez-Janes, Mariela. "Diversity as an Orientalist Discourse." Ethnic
Studies Review 30 (1 &2): 41-57.

2007 Nuñez-Janes, Mariela and Re Cruz, Alicia. "The Pedagogy of Teaching Online Graduate Courses in the Program of Applied Anthropology." Practicing Anthropology 29 (1): 20-23.

2002 Nuñez-Janes, Mariela. "Bilingual Education and Identity Debates in New Mexico: Constructing and Contesting Nationalism and Ethnicity." Journal of the Southwest 44(1): 61-78.

Other Publications

*indicates that co-author is a student

2018, Nuñez-Janes, Mariela, *Mario Ovalle, and *Stephanie Plancarte. "Creating Sanctuary: Practices of Acompañamiento/Creando Santuario: Practicando Acompañamiento." In Im/migration in the Trump Era, edited by Whitney Duncan, Lauren Heidbrink, and Kristin Yarris. Cultural Anthropology, January 31, 2018.

2008, Nuñez-Janes, Mariela and *Abbe, Marisa (site designer), Students as Researchers, a website dedicated to the scholarship of teaching and learning through participatory youth action research and collaborative student research projects,

2006, Nuñez-Janes, Mariela (producer) and *Skobarczyk, Josh (director). Unheard Voices.

Selected Presentations and Public Outreach

*indicates that co-presenter is a student or teacher

2019, "Acompañamiento in Ground Zero." Roundtable Discussion With *Rebeca Perfecto, *Sandra Avalos, *Erick Alonso at "UndocuU Reimagining Institutions Advocacy and Belonging with Undocumented Students and Mixed Status Families," California State University, Long Beach, CA (refereed)

2019, Co-organizer with Alicia Re Cruz, "Pushing Boundaries: A Conversation About Violence, Activism, and Witnessing Across Central and North America," Featuring journalist Oscar Martínez, writer and linguist Yásyana Aguilar, and visual anthropologist Steve Pavey. In collaboration with Consulate of Mexico (Dallas) and Wild Detectives (Dallas), UNT, TX

2019, "Educate the Educators." With *Ana Reyes, *Juan Adalpe, Araceli Cruz, GOAL Program, Denton, TX

2019, "Si se Puede: You Can Go To College as an Undocumented Student." With *Angela Andrade (North Texas Dream Team), DeLay Middle School, Lewisville, TX

2018, "Anthropologists Adapting to Anti-Immigrant Climates: Resistance and Resilience on Campuses and in Communities," Executive Session, Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, San Jose, CA (refereed)

2017, "Engaged Anthropology with Undocumented and Immigrant Students in the Trump Era" Executive Session, Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Washington DC (refereed)

2016, Invited panelist, "Art, Anthropology, and Activism." In Conjunction with the Exhibition Immigrant Laborers. With Lupita Murillo-Tinnen and Ramiro Luna. The Art Galleries at TCU, TCU, Fort Worth, TX

2015, Guest Panelist, "Our Races, Our Selves" Interviewed by Chris Boyd for KERA's THINK, June 24 ourselves/

2014, Opening Keynote "Crossing Borders with Undocumented Youth: Reflections on the Possibilities and Limits of a Pedagogy of Acompañamiento," Texas National Association for Multicultural Education 2014 Conference, Texas A&M International University, Laredo, TX

2008, "Digital Storytelling as Praxis: Engaging Youth Using Storytelling and Media Technology." Paper presented with *Tim Sanchez for the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, San Francisco, CA (refereed)

2008, "Youth Activism, Immigration, and the 2006 Walkouts." Paper presented for the Binational Conference on Immigration Trends and Immigrant Rights Movements in the United States and Spain, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX (invited)

2006, "Perspectives from the 'A' Side/Undisciplined Testimonios." Paper presented for the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, San Jose, CA (refereed)

2006, "Beyond Educational Borders: An Oral History of Chicanas/os in Higher Education." Discussant for the Annual Conference of the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies, Guadalajara, Mexico (refereed)

2006, "Educational Anthropology on the Edge: A Perspective on Research and Teaching from the Margins." Paper presented for the Annual Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology, Vancouver, Canada (refereed)

2006, "Leaving Diversity Behind: Experiential Explorations on Transitioning Towards a Decolonizing Praxis in the Academy." Paper presented for the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Ethnic Studies, San Francisco, CA (refereed)

Courses Regulary Taught

ANTH 3140.012 Latinos in the U.S.
ANTH 4610.019/5620/EDCI 5620 Anthropology of Education
ANTH 4701.027 Community Engagement Through Action Research
ANTH 4701.001 Borderlands: The U.S.-Mexico Border (experiential learning course with 1 week stay at Annunciation House in El Paso. Co-taught with Andrew Nelson and Alicia Re Cruz)