Lupe Flores

Lupe Alberto Flores is a PhD candidate in sociocultural anthropology at Rice University and Contingent and Community Writing Scholar at Colorado College’s Hulbert Center for Southwest Studies (2022-2023). Lupe works at the intersection of the anthropology of borders and the state, critical ethnic and migration studies, feminist surveillance studies and STS. His dissertation project, Surveilling Im/mobilities: Asylum Governance, Digital Technologies, and Migrant Solidarity in Mexico and the United States, is a multi-sited ethnography that investigates the data collection strategies of and racialized affective encounters between aid workers, state officials and asylum-seeking migrants within the il/legalizing regimes of liberal states. With Mexico’s “Refugee Law” and the US’ Migrant Protection Protocols and pandemic-era Title 42 health order serving as political backdrops, it interrogates the externalized bureaucratic and solidarity practices that emerged in migrant shelters, NGOs, and other humanitarian spaces as a consequence of state-led mass immobilization throughout Mexico and the turn to automated, biometric and digital technologies developed to facilitate the management of asylum migration at the Mexico-US border and throughout the Americas.

At Rice University, Lupe completed certificates in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Critical and Cultural Theory, served as co-coordinator in the Ethnography Studio (2020-2021), and was president of the Mutant Anthropologies graduate collective (2019-2021). He was previously Curatorial Assistant in the Border Studies Archive and Graduate Instructor in Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, where he wrote a master’s thesis on gender and migrant smuggling through a Chicana feminist ethnographic analysis and had his multimedia work on border walls and clandestine migration featured in Fencing In Democracy, an exhibition at apexart gallery in NYC.

Lupe’s doctoral fieldwork has been supported by the National Science Foundation, The Puentes Consortium and the Humanities Research Center at Rice University.


Flores, Lupe Alberto. 2023. "The Displaced Border." Anthropology and Humanism 00(0): 1-3.

Flores, Lupe Alberto. "Mobile Data, Immobile Bodies: Automating Border Inspections through CBP One and the Digital Externalization of the Mexico-US Boundary." In preparation for a Special Issue in Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology, edited by Tricia Redeker-Hepner and Magnus Treiber.

Flores, Lupe. 2020. “Surveillant Materialities of Migrant (Im)mobility: Reconceptualizing Border Technologies.” Platypus: The CASTAC Blog Online, July.

Review of All My Relatives: Lakota Belief, Ontology, and Ritual by David C. Posthumus, Magic, Ritual and Witchcraft 14(1): 297-299. November 15, 2019.

Flores, Lupe. 2017. Human Smugglers Roundtable Responses. openDemocracy: Free Thinking for the Word.

Flores, Lupe. 2017. “Border Life is a State of Confrontations.” #nof!ckingwall: A Special Issue of Poems & Numbers. Hermana Resist Press.

Flores, Lupe. 2016. Review of Seth Holmes’ Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Mexican Migrant Workers in the United States. Published online at Allegra Lab: Anthropology, Law, Art, World.

Flores, Lupe. 2014. “Over Both Edges: Coyotaje, Liminality and Militarization in Everyday Life in Ranchos Along the South Texas-Mexican Border.” Rio Bravo: A Journal of the Borderlands. UT-Pan American Press.

Flores, Lupe. 2013. “An Undergraduate Perspective on Coyotaje, or, How I Came to Document Border Crossings on the South Texas-Mexico Border.” Anthropology News. May Issue.

Research Areas

asylum, borders and im/mobilities; biometric and digital technologies; racialized surveillance; algorithms and automation; bureaucracy and governmentality; migrant refusals and solidarity; feminist ethnography and technoscience; Mexico-US and the Americas


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