Photo of Professor Amelia Frank-Vitale

Amelia Frank-Vitale

Term Assistant Professor


Human Rights


901 Milstein


PhD, Anthropology, University of Michigan, 2021
MA, Anthropology, University of Michigan, 2017
MA, Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs, American University, 2011
BA, Anthropology, Yale University, 2005

I am an anthropologist of migration and violence in Central America and Mexico. For years, I was focused on documenting the dangers facing people migrating across Mexico and the strategies they developed – including coming together in caravans – to manage those risks and defy restrictions on movement. For my doctoral work, I shifted focus to Honduras specifically, looking at how young people navigate life on the urban margins and what leads them to want to migrate. Drawing from this, my current book project examines how young Honduran men navigate life after deportation, illuminating the changing nature of deportation as a consequence of the externalization of borders and connecting regimes of mobility control - and the creative ways people challenge them - across scale and space.

My work has been published in Geopolitics, the Journal of Latin American and Caribbean StudiesEntreDiversidades, Public Anthropologist, and Trends in Organized Crime. My commentary has also appeared in The Washington Post, Fortune Magazine, NACLA Report on the Americas, In These Times, Contra Corriente, and The World Policy Journal.  I also co-founded and co-edit the Expert Paper Series for Columbia's Center for Mexico and Central America (CeMeCa), which seeks to make detailed knowledge from Central America openly accessible to journalists, policy makers, attorneys, and others interested in the region. 

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