Alonso Bejarano, Carolina

Job Placement: Teaching Instructor, Latino & Hispanic Caribbean Studies, Rutgers University
Committee: Decena, Carlos (chair); Goldstein, Daniel (co-chair); Martinez-San Miguel, Yolanda (internal member); Maldonado-Torres, Nelson (internal member); Fuentes, Marisa (internal member); Rodriguez, Robyn (outside member);
Dissertation: "Ningún ser humano es ilegal"


Born and raised in Bogotá, Carolina Alonso Bejarano is a professor in the Latino and Caribbean Studies Department at Rutgers University. She is also a DJ, feminist organizer, writer and translator.

Along with her fellow activists in New Jersey, in 2015 she wrote and produced the play “Undocumented Unafraid” about the rights that undocumented immigrants have as workers in the United States. Her comic “Pinan” (in collaboration with Peter Quach) was published by The Believer magazine in 2018, and her first co-authored book, Decolonizing Ethnography: Undocumented Immigrants and New Directions in Social Science was published by Duke University Press in 2019.

Carolina’s new research project, Undocuartivism in the Tri-State Area, in collaboration with Lazos América Unida, a grassroots community organization in New Jersey, explores how various undocumented activists in the area mobilize their art as a means for social transformation.

Carolina is also a collective member of Sangría Editora, a press based in New York City and Santiago de Chile, and in her spare time she mixes music and practices poi in hopes of one day becoming a great fire spinner.


“Ningún Ser Humano es Ilegal: Decolonial Feminisms & Immigrants’ Rights Grassroots Organizing in New Jersey” is a feminist decolonial study of the immigrants’ rights movement in Freehold Borough, NJ. As an interdisciplinary project, the dissertation draws on multiple methods –primarily archival research, oral history and four years of ethnographic fieldwork– and argues for the use of dehumanization rather than illegality as a framework for understanding the debate around undocumented immigration in the United States.