Originally from Mar del Plata, Roberta Villalón was born during the last military regime in Argentina. With a genuine interest in the politics of social inequalities, Roberta has been committed to actively work for justice within and across geographical and social borders. Her background in political science and international relations, together with her expertise in Latin America and Latin American immigrants, has shaped her transnational sociological perspective distinctively.
Her first authored book, Violence Against Latina Immigrants: Citizenship, Inequality and Community (2010, NYU Press), and the three-part special issue on The Resurgence of Collective Memory, Truth and Justice Mobilizations in Latin American Perspectives, with its related book, Memory, Truth and Justice in Contemporary Latin America (2017, Rowman & Littlefield), illustrate her global feminist politics. Journal articles like “Violence against Immigrants in a Context of Crisis: A Critical Migration Feminist of Color Analysis," in the Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless, and "Neoliberalism, Corruption and Legacies of Contention: Argentina's Social Movements, 1993-2006,” in Latin American Perspectives (2007, 34:2) also reflect how she has blended critical theory with transnational praxis. Similarly, book chapters such as "Latina Battered Immigrants, Citizenship, and Inequalities: Reflections on Activist Research" in Taking Risks: Feminist Activist Research in the Americas edited by Julie Shayne (2013, SUNY), and “Framing Extreme Violence: Collective Memory-Making of Argentina’s Dirty War” in Inequality and the Politics of Representation: A Global Landscape edited by Celine Pascale (2012, Pine Forge/Sage) are examples of not only the breadth and depth of her work, but also her commitment to put sociology in action. This dedication is evident as well in the recent edition of Academic Activism in the Americas of the XXI Century in Revista CS (2019).
A Fulbright Scholar, and Professor of the Sociology and Anthropology Department at St. John's University, New York City, Roberta is also affiliated with the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), the Women's, Gender and Sexualities, and the Global Development and Social Justice Programs at the university. Over the years, she has been an active member and has served in various capacities in the Latin American Studies Association (LASA), the International Sociological Association (ISA); and Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS). Roberta is Past President of SWS.
Roberta's last completed work is a transnational, interdisciplinary, and applied research project on Health Inequalities and Migration focusing on the Ecuadorean case. For this, Roberta was awarded a Fulbright Foreign Scholar Grant (2016-2017) and a Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Global Faculty Grant (2017-2018) to develop fieldwork in Ecuador and Spain. She published “Una aproximación sociológica crítica activista al estudio de salud y migración: El caso ecuatoriano” (A Critical Sociological Activist Approach to the study of Health and Migration: The Ecuadorean Case) in Revista CS (2019), co-authored with her research assistant, Sarah Kraft, "Migratory Stress, Health and Gender: An Intersectional Analysis of the Ecuadorean Case,” in Health and Health Care Inequities, Infectious Diseases and Social Factors (Research in the Sociology of Health Care, Vol. 39, Emerald Publishing Limited) edited by Kronenfeld, J.J. , and wrote Migration, Health and Inequalities: Critical Activist Research across Ecuadorean Borders (Bristol University Press, 2022).
Currently, in collaboration with Nancy López, Verónica Montes, and Erika Busse, Roberta created the Latin+ Feminist Sociology Collective; a space to share, validate, reflect, and coproduce knowledge about being a critically conscious Latin+ Feminist Scholar in the Global North. Besides holding monthly open meetings, the Collective runs a podcast, a blog and a website with resources relevant to this community. The Collective is also preparing a proposal for a collection regarding the development of Latin+ feminist sociologies and the challenges and opportunities that these sociologists have while being situated in the Global North and maintaining an active their engagement with the Global South.
Last, but not least, based on her tenure as president at Sociologists for Women in Society, she is co-editing is with Erika Marquez a bilingual, open-access series (tentatively titled, "Imbricaciones Decoloniales Feministas," with Editorial Universidad ICESI) that to start, will include a volume devoted to a transnational exploration of the needed transformations and decolonization of feminist sociologies in the era of global pandemics, and a reader focused on the ground-breaking work of Ochy Curiel.