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Salvador Vidal-Ortiz Associate Professor Department of Sociology

Send email to Salvador Vidal-Ortiz
(202) 885-2443 (Office)
CAS - Sociology
Watkins - 103
Wed 1:30 PM - 5:30 PM
PhD, The Graduate Center, City University of New York MA, California State University--Humboldt BA, Universidad de Puerto Rico--Recinto de Río Piedras

Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Favorite Spot on Campus

the small garden on the way to the Amphitheater
Book Currently Reading
Sovereign Acts Contesting Colonialism Across Indigenous Nations and Latinx America
Dr. Vidal-Ortiz's scholarship cuts across racialization, sexuality, gender, migration and religion, and is interdisciplinary. He coedited two award winning books: The Sexuality of Migration, and Queer Brown Voices, co-authored a book with two former students, Brandon Andrew Robinson and Cristina Khan, titled Race and Sexuality, and is completing a book manuscript about race, gender and sexuality in Santería (an Afro-Cuban religion). An engaged American Sociological Association (ASA) member, he has served as convener (and first non-elected Chair) of a section called Sociology of the Body and Embodiment, is Past Chair of the Sexualities Section, and editorial board member for Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. He was a tri-chair for ASA's Sexualities Section 2018 Pre-conference: Sexualities, Race, and Empire: Resistance in an Uncertain Time. Outside the discipline, he has collaborated with AU's Center on Latin American and Latino Studies, and as an editorial board member for TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly. In the past, he has supported DC community-based groups such as Different Avenues (see related essay on Public Sociology) and the Latino GLBT History Project. He continues Fulbright-based research on displacement and LGBT people in Bogotá, Colombia. With Juliana Martínez, he is engaged in "Transgendering Human Rights," a newest research project with the Americas as its focus. The first result out of such collaboration is entitled "Travar el saber: Educación de Personas Trans y Travestis en la Argentina,” (loosely translated as Trans-ing knowledge: trans* people’s education in Argentina) published by the Editorial Universidad de La Plata.
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Partnerships & Affiliations

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications

  • 2017. [Review essay]. "Caribglobal: Colonial desire, transgression, exclusion, and belonging in the Caribbean." WSQ: Women's Studies Quarterly 45, 1-2: 310-315.  
  • 2016. Vidal-Ortiz, Salvador. “Sofía Vergara: on media representations of Latinidad.” Pp. 85-99 in Race and Contention in Twenty-first Century U.S. Media, Jason Smith and Bhoomi K. Thakore, (eds). Routledge Transformations in Race and Media Series. Routledge.       
  • 2015. Serrano, José Fernando & Salvador Vidal-Ortiz. “Masculinities, “Profeminism,” and Feminism in Latin America.” Pp. 321-340 in The Oxford Handbook of Transnational Feminist Movements, Wendy Harcourt and Rawwida Baksh (eds). Oxford University Press of America.       
  • 2014. Bianchi, Fernanda T., Carol A. Reisen, Maria Cecilia Zea, Salvador Vidal-Ortiz, Felisa A. Gonzales, Fabián Betancourt, Marcela Aguilar, & Paul J. Poppen. “Sex Work Among Men Who Have Sex With Men and Transgender Women in Bogotá.” Archives of Sexual Behavior 43: 1637-1650. 

  • 2014. Vidal-Ortiz, Salvador. 2014. “Foreword.” Pp. ix-xvii in Desbordes: Translating Racial, Ethnic, Sexual, and Gender Identities across the Americas, by María Amelia Viteri. New York: State University of New York Press.  

  • 2013. "Displacing the Dominant Down Low Discourse: Deviance, Same-sex Desire, and" [with Brandon Robinson, first author] Deviant Behavior 34, 3: 224-241.     
  • 2011. Presentación del Dossier: :"¿Cómo se piensa lo queer en América Latina?" ("How is 'queer' thought of in Latin America?") Iconos 39: Revista de Ciencias Sociales 15, 1: 47-60. (edited special issue with María Amelia Viteri and José Fernando Serrano).   
  • 2011. "Autoethnography: the sociological through the personal" (with Natalia Ruiz-Junco, first author), Pp. 193-211 in New Directions in Sociology: Essays on Theory and Methodology in the 21st Century, edited by Ieva Zake and Michael DeCesare. McFarland Publishers.   
  • 2010. “Revisiting Activos and Pasivos: Towards New Cartographies of Latino/Latin American Male Same-Sex Desire.” (with Tomás Almaguer, Héctor Carrillo, and Carlos U. Decena) Pp. 253-273 in Latina/o Sexualities: Probing Powers, Passions, Practices, and Policies. Marysol Asencio (ed). Rutgers University Press.    
  • 2009. “The figure of the trans-woman of color through the lens of ‘Doing Gender.’” Gender & Society, 23, 1: 99-103.  
  • 2008. “The Puerto Rican way is more tolerant: Constructions and uses of ‘homophobia’ among Santería practitioners across ethno-racial and national identification.” Sexualities 11, 4: 476-495.  
  • 2008. “Transgender and Transsexual Studies: Sociology’s Influence and Future Steps.” Sociology Compass, 2, 2: 433-450.  
  • 2004. “On Being a White Person of Color: Using Autoethnography to Understand Puerto Ricans’ Racialization.” Qualitative Sociology, 27, 2:179-203.   
  • 2004. “Puerto Ricans and the Politics of Speaking Spanish.” Latino Studies Journal, Section on Reflexiones Pedagógicas, 2, 2:254-8. 

Research Interests

Primary: Race/Ethnic Studies, Puerto Rican and Latino Studies, Racialized Sexualities, Sexuality Studies, Transgender/transsexual Studies, Queer Theory, Migration, Qualitative Methods, Autoethnography.

Secondary: HIV/AIDS, Body/Embodiment, Social Policy, Applied Research/Public Sociology, Global/Transnational Sociology, Religion.

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • 2016 - American Anthropological Association (AAA) Association for Queer Anthropologists, Winner, Ruth Benedict Book Prize, Outstanding Edited Volume, for Queer Brown Voices: Personal Narratives of Latina/o LGBT Activism (University of Texas Press, 2015)  
  • 2011 - Ford Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Alternate  
  • 2010 - The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship, Council for International Exchange of Scholars, A Division of the Institute of International Education. Location: POntificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia.  
  • 2010 - American Sociological Association (ASA) Sociology of Sexualities Section, Winner, Best Book Award, for The Sexuality of Migration. (New York University Press, 2009)  
  • 2010 - Honorable mention, Latin American Studies Association (LASA), Latino Studies Section, for The Sexuality of Migration. (New York University Press, 2009)  
  • 2010 - LASA, Sexualities Studies Section, Winner, Carlos Monsiváis Best Social Science Academic Essay, for “Revisiting Activos and Pasivos: Towards New Cartographies of Latino/Latin American Male Same-Sex Desire.” in Latina/o Sexualities. (Rutgers University Press, 2010)  
  • 2009 - Faculty Award. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Ally Resource Center, AU  
  • 2008 - Distinguished Faculty (single faculty award, University wide), Multicultural Affairs/International Student and Scholar Services, American University  
  • 2006 - Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) of the City University of New York. Paul Monette-Roger Horowitz Dissertation Award.  
  • 2005 - Eastern Sociological Society (ESS) Rose Laub Coser Dissertation Proposal Award.  
  • 2004-5 - Society for the Study of Social Problems Racial/Ethnic Minority Graduate Scholarship
  • 2004-5 - American Sociological Association (ASA), Sociology of Sexualities Section,Martin P. Levine Memorial Dissertation Fellowship  
  • 2003-4 - Social Science Research Council, Sexuality Research Fellowship Program, Dissertation Research Fellow   
  • 2004 - ASA Race & Ethnic Minorities Section, James E. Blackwell student paper, honorary mention: “On being a white person of color: using autoethnography to understand Puerto Ricans’ racialization” (published in the journal Qualitative Sociology)  
  • 2002 - ASA Sociology of Sexualities Section, student paper, winner: Sexuality, gender, and race: LGBTs at the crossroads of Santería religious practices and beliefs  
  • 2002 - Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality Student Research Grants 

Media Appearances

Contributor (in both English and Spanish) to blogs including Feminist Reflections, Inside Higher Ed, and 80 grados:

Dismantling Whiteness in Academe - November 2017  

Rage about "Diversity" - September 2017

Trans-feminisms, sociology, and the coalitional social justice work (that never ends) - March 2017

On Being Latino in Academe - September 2016 

Diana de Santa Fé - July 2016  

Queer-Orlando-América - June 2016