What she studies

Victoria Reyes is a feminist sociologist who studies culture, borders, and empires. Most specifically, her interdisciplinary work revolves around questions of territoriality, borders, and legal plurality with keen attention to empire and subjectivities.

To answer these questions, she draws on the fields of culture, global and transnational sociology, historical/comparative sociology, economic sociology, law and society, race/ethnicity, gender, and urban affairs. She also writes extensively on qualitative methods and pedagogy.

Her work

She is author of two award-winning books: Academic Outsider: Stories of Exclusion and Hope (Stanford Briefs, an imprint of Stanford University Press, 2022) and Global Borderlands: Fantasy, Violence, and Empire (Stanford University Press, 2019). Her award-winning work has also been published in Social Forces, Ethnography, Theory and SocietyCity & Community, Sociology Compass, Poetics, and International Journal of Comparative Sociology, among other outlets.

Awards and recognitions

She’s received fellowships, awards and/or grants from the Institute for Citizens & Scholars (formerly Woodrow Wilson Foundation), American Association of University Women, National Science Foundation, American Sociological Association, Institute of International Education, Law and Society Association, National Women’s Studies Association, and National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan, among others. She is also a member of the Scholars Strategy Network and SheSource, and has written for The Conversation, the Monkey Cage at the Washington Post, Inside Higher Ed and Los Angeles Times

My research focuses on the questions about territoriality, borders and legal plurality: what are they? How are they created, transformed, and undone? How are they experienced on-the-ground and in everyday lifeI’m particularly interested in how these processes are racialized, gendered, and spatialized within a global and historical framework.

Overall, my work centers social theory in and of the Global South and by scholars of color.  


Victoria is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in her research, teaching, and service and received the 2020 Mellon Emerging Faculty Leaders Award, given by the Institute for Citizens & Scholars in recognition and support of her DEI work. She believes in both mentoring underrepresented students and advocating for structural change at the level of the department, university and profession.

For example, she mentors and incorporates a diverse team of undergraduates in her research and writes advice columns to reveal the “hidden curriculum” of academia for underrepresented, first generation and other graduate and undergraduate students from marginalized and/or disadvantaged backgrounds. She received UCR Department of Sociology’s 2019 Outstanding Faculty Mentor of Graduate Students Award, for which she was nominated by graduate students.

In her service work, she served on UCR’s Academic Senate’s Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and help spearhead two new awards in the ASA’s Community & Urban Sociology Section: one on publicly-engaged research and one for exceptional teaching, both of which recognize the diverse ways faculty contribute to the profession, and helped institutionalize the Culture section’s Graduate Student Travel Awards, among other activities.


Victoria is currently an elected Council Member of the American Sociological Association. She has also been elected and appointed to leadership positions in various ASA sections, including: Economic Sociology, Racial and Ethnic Minorities, Sociology of Culture, Global and Transnational Sociology, Community & Urban Sociology, Theory, Sociology of Development, Asia and Asian America, Consumers and Consumption, and Political Economy of the World System sections. She is also involved with the Sociologists for Women in Society, where she is currently an elected member and co-chair of the Publications committee. Previously she served as an elected member of the Awards committee, chairing the Feminist Activism Award committee. She also previously served as a Culture Network Representative for the Social Science History Association.