Juan De Lara

Associate Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity
Email jdelara@usc.edu Office KAP 462 Office Phone (213) 740-1767

Research & Practice Areas

Social justice and social movements, urban political economy, race and ethnicity, Latinx geographies, labor, science and technology studies, Los Angeles, and the U.S./Mexico border.

Center, Institute & Lab Affiliations

  • Equity Research Institute, Faculty Affiliate
  • Latinx and Latin American Studies Center, Director


  • Ph.D. Geography, UC Berkeley, 12/2009
  • M.A. Urban Planning, UCLA, 5/2000
  • B.A. Sociology and Labor Studies, Pitzer College, 5/1996
    • Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, University of Southern California, 01/2010-08/2011
  • Tenure Track Appointments

    • Assistant Professor, University of Southern California, 2011-2012

    Research, Teaching, Practice, and Clinical Appointments

    • Program Director, Ontario Community Studies Program, Pitzer College, 1999-08-2001-07
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    I am a human geographer who studies race, space, and power.

    My research focuses on three broad themes. First, I’m interested the relationship between regions, capitalism, and race. For example, I have written about how changes in global capitalism during the 1990s created new spaces of ecological and economic vulnerability for Southern California’s Latina/o and immigrant communities. Second, I study how data, science, and technological innovations are transforming the social relations that shape racial difference, human migration, and labor. I am particularly focused on private and public investment in digital infrastructures that seek to manage and control racialized workers and migrants. Third, I work on public-facing research that supports community-based efforts to increase social equity.

    My first book, Inland Shift: Race, Space, and Capital in Inland Southern California is now available from UC Press. The book uses global supply chains and logistics to examine how the scientific management of bodies, space, and time produced new racialized labor regimes inside modern warehouses.

  • Conference Presentations

    • “Critical Data Studies” , Artificial Publics, Just Infrastructures, Ethical Learning ConferenceRoundtable/Panel, Invited, Simon Fraser University, Canada, Spring 2019
    • “Contesting Contingency: Immigrant Worker Organizing in the Logistics Sector” , American Sociological Association ConferenceRoundtable/Panel, Fall 2018
    • “Latinx Geographies III: Envisioning Alternatives” , Association of American Geographers Annual MeetingRoundtable/Panel, Invited, Spring 2018
    • “Logistics, Racial Capitalism, and the Politics of Space” , Association of American Geographers Annual MeetingRoundtable/Panel, Spring 2016
    • “Has Geography Abandoned US? Counting the Bodies, Naming Names and Revisiting Race in the Discipline.” , Association of American GeographersRoundtable/Panel, Invited, New York, Spring 2012
    • “Measuring Movement Building: Defining Metrics that Matter” , From the Ashes: The 1992 Civil Unrest and the Rise of Social Movement OrganizingRoundtable/Panel, Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, Invited, University of Southern California, Spring 2012
    • “Subprime Spaces: Southern California’s New Geography of Race and Class” , The Invisible Crisis, Foreclosures in CaliforniaTalk/Oral Presentation, University of California, Riverside, Invited, Riverside, CA, Spring 2012
    • “City of Quartz at 20: The View from Past Futures.” , Association of American GeographersRoundtable/Panel, Spring 2011
    • “Commodity Flows and the Production of Metropolitan Inequality: The Case of Southern California.” , Association of American GeographersPaper Presentation, Seattle, Spring 2011
    • “Moving the Goods: The Inland Empire Logistics Industry.” , Getting the Goods Conference, University of California RiversideTalk/Oral Presentation, Invited, Fall 2008
    • “Spaces of Circulation: Finance Capital, Housing, and the Goods Movement Industry in LA’s Urban Fringe.” , Association of American GeographersTalk/Oral Presentation, Spring 2008
    • “A Life of Leisure: Mapping Development in the Palm Springs Valley.” , American Association of GeographersTalk/Oral Presentation, Spring 2007

    Other Presentations

    • “California’s Inland Empire: A Land of Contradictions”, Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation Fellows Meeting, Corona, CA, 2011-2012
    • “Hidden Landscapes of Circulation: Labor and Environmental Justice in the Inland Empire.”, Faculty Colloquia, , 2008-2009
  • Book

    • De Lara, J. D. (2018). Inland Shift: Race, Space, and Capital in Inland Southern California. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. UC Press

    Book Chapter

    • De Lara, J. D. (2016). The Last Suburb: Immigrant Integration in the Inland Empire. Unsettled Americans: Metropolitan Context and Civi pp. 136-162. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
    • Pastor, M., De Lara, J. D., Rosner, R. (2016). Movements Matter: Immigrant Integration in Los Angeles. Unsettled Americans: Metropolitan Context and Civi Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
    • De Lara, J. D. (2012). Goods Movement and Metropolitan Inequality. Cities, Regions and Flows pp. 75-91. London and New York: Routledge.

    Journal Article

    • De Lara, J. D. (2022). Race, Algorithms, and the Work of Border Enforcement. Information & Culture. Vol. 52 (2)
    • Pulido, L., De Lara, J. D. (2018). Reimagining ‘justice’ in environmental justice: Radical ecologies, decolonial thought, and the Black Radical Tradition. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space. Vol. 1 (1), pp. 23. PubMed Web Address
    • De Lara, J. D. (2017). “This port is killing people”: Sustainability Without Justice in the Neo-Keynesian Green City. Annals of the American Association of Geographers.
    • De Lara, J. D., Reese, E. R., Struna, J. Organizing Temporary, Subcontracted, and Immigrant Workers. Labor Studies Journalno. 4(2016): 309-332.
    • De Lara, J. D. (2012). Post City of Quartz Los Angeles. Human Geography. Vol. 5 (3)
    • Fellow, Institute for the Study of Social Change, UC Berkeley, 2005/09-2007/05
    • Rhodes Scholar, 1995-1996
    • McNair Scholar, U.S. Department of Education, 1994-1995
    • American Sociological Association, MOST Fellow, 1993-1994