Research in the dictionaryThe UCSC Sociology Department faculty research interests fall into one or more of these three areas:

  • Political Economies and Political Ecologies

  • New Studies of Inequality

  • Culture, Knowledge, and Power

Camilla Hawthorne
  • Title
    • Assistant Professor
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Sociology Department
    • Critical Race and Ethnic Studies
  • Affiliations Science & Justice Research Center, Legal Studies
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Rachel Carson College Academic Building, 204
  • Office Hours Tuesdays 2-5pm (please sign up online at
  • Mail Stop Rachel Carson College Faculty Services
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High St.
    • Santa Cruz California 95064
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise Sociology, African Diaspora, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, African American / Black Studies, Immigration, Activism, Discrimination and Inequality, Labor and Social Movements
  • Courses SOCY117E: Migrant Europe, SOCY105B: Contemporary Social Theory, SOCY170P: The Political Economy of Race

Summary of Expertise

I am a critical human geographer and interdisciplinary social scientist broadly interested in the racial politics of migration and citizenship, inequality, social movements, and Black geographies. My work sits at the intersection of critical public policy studies, diaspora theory, Black European studies, and postcolonial/feminist science and technology studies.


I current serve as Secretary-Treasurer of the Black Geographies Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers. I am an executive committe member of California Italian Studies, a member of the editorial boards of Environment and Planning D: Society & Space and Critical Ethnic Studies, and sit on the international advisory board for ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies. In addition, I am project manager and faculty member of the Black Europe Summer School, a two-week intensive course on citizenship, race, and ethnic relations held each summer in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Research Interests

My current research explores the politics of race and citizenship in Italy. In this project, I examine the ways in which the Italian-born children of African immigrants have mobilized for a reform of Italian citizenship law in the context of the Eurozone economic crisis and the southern European refugee emergency. I am currently preparing a book manuscript based on this research, entitled Citizenship and Diasporic Ethics: Youth Politics in the Black Mediterranean, which represents the first ever in-depth study of Black youth political mobilizations in Italy. 


This book is based on 16 months of interviews, participant observation, virtual ethnography, and archival and policy research conducted over five years with young Black social justice activists across Italy. I explore the limits of national citizenship as a means for addressing social inequality, as well as alternative political imaginaries and practices of community that extend far beyond the nation-state. I also examine the possibilities and limitations of the “Black Mediterranean” (which emphasizes the power-laden relations of cultural exchange and racial violence linking Europe and Africa) as an analytical framework for understanding the historical and contemporary forms of racial criminalization and racialized citizenship in Italy, and southern Europe broadly. How might this framework help to connect the seemingly unbridgeable chasm between Black liberation politics and refugee rights mobilizations?   

Biography, Education and Training

2018 // PhD, Geography, UC Berkeley (designated emphasis: Science and Technology Studies)


2010 // MPA, Brown University


2009 // AB, International Relations (with honors) and Africana Studies, Brown University

Honors, Awards and Grants

2014 // UC Berkeley Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society Fieldwork Grant

2014 // Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship 

2012 // Eugene Cota-Robles Graduate Fellowship

2010 // Presidential Management Fellowship

2009 // Liman Public Interest Law Fellowship 

Selected Publications

Book Manuscripts in Preparation

  • Citizenship and Diasporic Ethics: Youth Politics in the Black Mediterranean (monograph).
  • The Black Geographic: Praxis, Resistance, Futurity, eds. Jovan Scott Lewis and Camilla Hawthorne (Duke University Press). 
  • The Black Mediterranean: Bodies, Borders, and Citizenship in the Contemporary Migration Crisis, eds. Gabriele Proglio, Ida Danewid, Vivian Gerrand, Mackda Ghebremarian Tesfau, Giuseppe Grimaldi, Camilla Hawthorne, Angelica Pesarini, Timothy Raeymaekers, and Khalil Saucier (Palgrave Macmillan).

Journal Articles


Journal Special Issues Edited


Book Chapters 


Web-Based Publications