Northwestern University

Mon 4:30 PM

Michael Rodríguez-Muñiz - "Figures of the Future: Race, Demographic Knowledge, and the Politics of Time"

When: Monday, May 6, 2019
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM  

Where: University Hall, Hagstrum 201, 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: FREE

Contact: Janet Hundrieser   847.491.3525

Group: Science in Human Culture Program - Klopsteg Lecture Series

Category: Lectures & Meetings

More Info



Michael Rodríguez-Muñiz


"Figures of the Future: Race, Demographic Knowledge, and the Politics of Time"


Over the past four decades, ethnoracial demographic change has emerged as a major object of U.S. public discourse and politics. From headlines to speeches, infographics to cartoons, talk about the so-called browning of America has become ubiquitous. While demographic projections have fostered widespread consensus that the country will look and feel dramatically different in 2050, they have also fueled anxieties (and anticipations) about what this future means and how it should be met. Despite this, scholars have devoted little attention to contemporary temporal politics about demographic change. Seeking to address this gap, Professor Rodriguez-Muniz's research offers an in-depth look into one political project: national Latino civil rights advocacy. In his talk, he will leverage this case to explore the following questions: How are ethnoracial demographic futures being imagined, constructed, and brought to bear upon on the present? How is the current political context—and its specific temporal regularities and contingencies—shaping and shaped by these efforts? And finally, what do struggles over demographic change tell us about the meaning of race and, more broadly, about the politics of time and time of politics


Michael Rodríguez-Muñiz was born and raised on the Northwest Side of Chicago. Prior to graduate school, he spent several years working as a community organizer in the Humboldt Park area. He received a PhD from Brown University, MA from the University of Illinois-Chicago, and a BA from Northeastern Illinois University. Michael joined Northwestern’s Department of Sociology and Latina/o Studies Program in 2016.

Michael has published on poverty knowledge, Latino identity formation, and the relationship between critical sociologies of race and science and technology studies. His dissertation received the 2016 American Sociological Association Dissertation Award. He is currently working on a book manuscript, based on his dissertation research, that investigates the production and use of imagined demographic futures to advance contemporary Latino civil rights agendas. This research provides a productive entry point into emergent political struggles over the so-called “Browning of America.” His next major research project will explore the history of Puerto Rican radicalism, memory, and state repression in Chicago.

He teaches courses on race and racial knowledge, qualitative/ethnographic methods, and Latino identity and politics, among others.

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