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, Professor and Chairperson of the Sociology and Anthropology Department at St. John's University, New York City, Roberta is also affiliated with the Committee in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), the Women's, Gender and Sexualities Program, and the Global Development and Social Justice program 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 has recently been elected President of SWS, her tenure beginning in February 2021.
Currently, Roberta is finalizing 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 complete fieldwork in Ecuador and Spain. She will be publishing Inequalities, Migration and Health: Critical Activist Research across Ecuadorean Borders (Bristol University Press), wrote an article “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), and co-authored with her research assistant, Sarah Kraft, "Migration-Related Health Processes and Psycho-sociocultural Coping Mechanisms: A Gender Study of the Ecuadorean Case,” recently submitted to The International Journal of Migration and Mental Health. Moreover, Roberta is collaborating with Nancy López, Verónica Montes, and Erika Busse to develop a collective initiative on Latinx Antiracist Feminist Liberatory Praxis.