Macarena Gomez Barris

Associate Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-3600
Office: KAP 352

Curriculum Vitae

Biographical Sketch

I work at the intersections of Sociology, Ethnic Studies, and Race. My current work is on cultural memory and indigeneity in the Americas using a decolonial and feminist framework.


  • B.A. 'Third World Studies', University of California, San Diego, 6/1992
  • M.A. Latin American Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 6/1997
  • M.A. Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz, 6/1999
  • Ph.D. Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz, 6/2004

  • Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

    Tenure Track Appointments
    • Associate Professor, University of Southern California, 2004-2012  
    Other Employment
    • Interim Chair, ASE, University of Southern California, 2011-2012   
    • Director of Center for Feminist Research, University of Southern California, 2011-2012   

    Description of Research

    Summary Statement of Research Interests
    Macarena Gomez-Barris' research interests focus on memory, culture, and power. Her book Where Memory Dwells: Culture and State Violence in Chile, examines the memory politics of representation and culture in the aftermath of Chile's dictatorship (UC Press 2009). She co-edited a volume that provides methodological and epistemological guidance for a reconstructed Sociology, entitled Towards a Sociology of the Trace (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2010). Her current research is on religious tourism in Cusco, Peru and Jerusalem.
    Research Specialties
    Associate Professor of Sociology and American Studies and Ethnicity. Research interests include: Political Violence and Its Aftermath; Memory; Culture; Latina/o and Latin American Studies; Religious Tourism.

    Funded Research

    Contracts and Grants Awarded
    • Religious Tourism (Center for Religion and Civic Culture), Macarena Gómez-Barris, $5,000, 2010-2011   
    • Advancing Humanities and Social Sciences Fellowship (USC), Macarena Gomez-Barris, $19,850, 2008-2009   
    • Democracy and Villa Grimaldi, Chile (Woodrow Wilson and Ford Foundation), Macarena Gomez-Barris, $10,000, 09/01/2006-06/01/2007  
    • Plaza Mexico - Politics and Religion (Center for Religion and Civic Culture), Macarena Gomez-Barris, Clara Irázabal, $35,000, 09/01/2005-03/01/2007  
    • Latina/o New Urbanism (Urban Initiative), Macarena Gómez-Barris, Clara Irázabal, $68,000, 2005-2006   


    • Gomez Barris, M., Gray, H. (2010). Towards a Sociology of a Trace. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
    • Gomez Barris, M. (2009). Where Memory Dwells: Culture and State Violence in Chile. (UC Press, Ed.). Berkeley and Los Angeles.

    Book Chapter
    • Gomez Barris, M. (2012). Memories from the South: Moyenei Valdes' Sonic Performances. (Vol. NA). Transnational Feminisms in the Americas.
    • Gómez-Barris, M. (2011). Andean Gateways: Spiritual Tourism and New Age in the Sacred Valley, Peru. Hanover: Dartmouth College Press.
    • Gomez Barris, M. (2010). Doubling 9/11: Ariel Dorfman and Isabel Allende's Exilic Politics. (Vol. n/a). Toward a Sociology of a Trace.
    • Gomez Barris, M. (2007). Transnational Communities of Affinity: Patricio Guzmán’s The Pinochet Case. (Vol. NA). New York.: Sites of Production, History, Film and Cultural Citizenship/Routledge.

    • Gómez-Barris, M. (2011). Against the Grain: Cultural Politics After Peru's troubled Times. E-Misférica.
    • Gómez-Barris, M. (2010). Introduction to Sociology of the Trace. Minneapolis. University of Minnesota Press.

    Journal Article
    • Gómez-Barris, M. (2011). Brechas Andinas: Indigeneity, Gender and Spiritual Tourism in the Sacred Valley, Peru. Latin American Perspectives.
    • Gómez-Barris, M. (2010). Visual Testimonies of Atrocity: Archives of Political Violence in Chile and Guatemala. Journal of Visual Culture.
    • Gómez-Barris, M. (2010). Witness Citizenship: The Place of Villa Grimaldi in Chile's Memory. Sociological Forum. Vol. 25 (1)
    • Gómez-Barris, M. (2009). Transnational Meanings of La Virgin de Guadelupe: Space, Religiousity and Culture at Plaza Mexico. Culture and Religion. Vol. 10 (3)
    • Gomez Barris, M. (2007). Torture Sees and Speaks: Guillermo Núñez’s Art of Torture in Chile’s Democratic Transition. ContraCorriente: A Journal of Social History and Literature. Vol. 5 (1), pp. pp. 186-213.
    • Gomez Barris, M., Irazabal, C. (2007). Bounded Tourism: Immigrant Politics, Consumption and Traditions at Plaza Mexico. Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change. Vol. 5 (3), pp. pp. 186-213.
    • Gómez-Barris, M., Irazábal, C. (2007). Transnational Apparitions of La Virgen de Guadelupe: Space, Religiosity and Culture at Plaza Mexico. Space and Culture.
    • Gómez-Barris, M., Irazabal, C. (2007). Religion Moves to the Mall: Plaza Mexico and the Mobilization of Hispanic Religiosity in California. Proceedings of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE), "Hyper-Traditions," /Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review. pp. 39-40.
    • Gomez Barris, M., Gray, H. (2006). Michael Jackson and Post-Op Disasters: Straddling Race, Sexuality and the Nuclear Family. Television and New Media. Vol. NA
    • Gomez Barris, M. (2005). Two 9/11s in a Lifetime: Chilean Displacement, Art and Terror. Latino Studies/palgraves. pp. p.97-112.

    Honors and Awards

    • USC Mellon Graduate Student Mentorship Award, 2009-2010   
    • USC Raubenheimer Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, 2008-2009   
    • Center for Religion and Civic Culture Fellow, 2005-2006  
    • Urban Initiative Grant Fellow, 2005  

    Service to the Profession

    Administrative Appointments
    • Chair American Studies & Ethnicity, 2011-2012   

    Other Service to the Profession
    • Editorial Board, American Quarterly, 2007-2008   

  • Department of American Studies & Ethnicity
  • University of Southern California
  • 3620 South Vermont Avenue
  • Kaprielian Hall 462
  • Los Angeles, California 90089-2534