People / Graduate Students

Graduate Students

Alan Pelaez Lopez

Narrativity, Black and Indigenous Studies, Settler Colonial Studies, Citizenship and Illegality, Trans* Studies

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Bio & Research Interests

Alan Pelaez Lopez is a narrative scholar, multimedia artist, and poet who earned a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley.

Dissertation Abstract:

Fugitive Authorships: Social Contracts and the UndocuBlack Everyday is an interdisciplinary project that engages discourse analysis, auto-ethnography, memoir-writing, poetry, affect theory, and Black performance theory, alongside textual analysis to critically examine literary and visual culture produced by undocumented Black immigrants (“undocuBlack”) living and producing work in the United States between 2005-2020. The research asks: what are the social contracts that undocuBlack migrants must abide by in the United States despite their lack of political representation and legal protection? Through this question, I examine what I term the undocuBlack everyday, and read for moments of undocuBlack nonperformance, described as acts that dislocate and unsettle the nonconsensual performance contracts of meritocracy, innocence, patriotism, “good moral character,” compulsory heterosexuality, monogamy, and binary gender roles that undocuBlack migrants are measured against. This dissertation often takes the form of the cultural artifacts analyzed. Fugitive Authorships: Social Contracts and the UndocuBlack Everyday contributes to the fields of undocumented studies, Black and Indigenous cultural studies, settler-colonial studies, and transnational transgender studies.

In their poetic, visual, and performance practice,  Alan’s work considers the written word as an unreliable category of communication. Informed by artists from the Global South, Alan’s art practices remaps Black and Indigenous gestures and articulations as ephemeral languages that the written text fails to capture :: master :: possess. They address issues of language through collage, jewelry, installations, and concrete poetry.

Alan Pelaez Lopez is the author of the art and poetry collection, Intergalactic Travels: poems from a fugitive alien (The Operating System, 2020), a finalist for the International Latino Book Award, and the chapbook, to love and mourn in the age of displacement (Nomadic Press).

Performances and Lectures (Selected): 

  • Harvard University
  • Stanford University
  • Yale University
  • New York University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar
  • Tulane University
  • University of Chicago
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • The Andy Warhol Museum
  • The Contemporary Jewish Museum
  • Museum of Latin American Art
  • Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
  • Galeria de la Raza


  • Museum of the African Diaspora
  • Submittable
  • Brown University
  • VONA / Voices
  • CultureStrike



Leigh Raiford

Juana María Rodríguez

Beth Piatote

Courses Taught or Assisted

Courses Taught at University of California, Berkeley:

Spring 2022. Native American Studies R1B: Indigenous Storytelling, Resistance & Futurity.

Fall 2020. Ethnic Studies 103: Theorizing Poetic Embodiment.

Fall 2019. Native American Studies R1A: Indigenous Storytelling, Resistance & Futurity.

Spring 2019. Chicano Studies R1B: People of Color Thought.

Fall 2018. Chicano Studies R1A: Contemporary Race, Gender and Migration.

Spring 2018. Chicano Studies R1B: Unearthing Latinx and Caribbean Literature.

Fall 2017. Chicano Studies R1A: (Im)Migration, Blackness & Latinidad.

Summer 2017. Native American Studies R1B: Indigenous (Un)Belonging. 

Courses Assisted: 

Summer 2016. Graduate Student Instructor. Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Spain: ETH STD N180: Interculturality, International Migration and the Dialogue between Civilizations Before and After 9/11.


Select publications


Pelaez Lopez, Alan.  Intergalactic Travels: poems from a fugitive alien. The Operating System, 2020.

  • Finalist: International Latino Book Award

Pelaez Lopez, Alan. to love and mourn in the age of displacement. Nomadic Press, 2020.


Pelaez Lopez, Alan. “Foreword.” We Are Owed. by Ariana Brown. Grieveland Press, 2021. Print.

Pelaez Lopez, Alan. “America (n): A Creation Myth.” Fantasy America: Exhibition Catalogue. The Andy Warhol Museum, 2021. Print.

Pelaez Lopez, Alan. “The ‘X’ in Latinx is a Wound Not a Trend.’” Colorbloq (2018). Online.


Pelaez Lopez, Alan. “A Future, Elsewhere.Somewhere We Are Human: Authentic Voices on Migration, Survival, and New Beginnings. HarperCollins Publishers (2022). Print.

Pelaez Lopez, Alan. “Questions To Ask After Your FFS Consultation. The Rumpus (2022). Online.

Pelaez Lopez, Alan. “When Dreaming of a Future Means Letting Go. Teen Vogue (2021). Online.

Pelaez Lopez, Alan. “Untitled.Hunger Mountain Review. Vermont College of Fine Arts (2020: Issue #24). Print.

Pelaez Lopez, Alan. “sick in america.” Best American Experimental Writing. Wesleyan University Press (2020). Print.

Pelaez Lopez, Alan. “Libélulas,” “On Why I No Longer Care for T-Blockers,” and “A Rupture in the Crust.”  The Georgia Review. Georgia University Press (Spring 2020). Print.

Pelaez Lopez, Alan. “On the occasion that i die before i’m thirty.Catapult (2020). Online.

Pelaez Lopez, Alan. “A Daily Prayer.” Poetry Magazine (January 2020). Print.

Pelaez Lopez, Alan. “The Spine of Gorée Island.” Best New Poets 2019. University of Virginia Press (2019). Print

Pelaez Lopez, Alan. “Orange: an Elegy b/c I do not Remember the Funeral,” and “Examining the Only Existing Portrait of an { }.”  Puerto Del Sol (V. 54, Spring 2019). Print.

Pelaez Lopez, Alan. “Zapotec Crossers.” Poetry Magazine (October 2018). Print.

Pelaez Lopez, Alan. “Illegal Intimacy.” En Mi Piel. La Liga Zine (September 2018). Print.

Pelaez Lopez, Alan. “Entrada De Diario, 2014.” Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review (Summer 2018). Print.

Pelaez Lopez, Alan. “–Yil Shwe’, Shwe’ –Yil,” and “Black Indian Crosses Border at 5-years-old (Zapotec, Spanish and English translations).” Red Ink: An International Journal of Indigenous Literature, Arts, & Humanities (Summer 2018). Print

Pelaez Lopez, Alan. “An Encounter with my Heart.” Origins Journal (Winter 2018). Online.

Pelaez Lopez, Alan. “NDN Travel” and “Guide to Border-Crossing Self.” Pittsburgh Poetry Review (Winter 2018). Online.

Pelaez Lopez, Alan. “Discovering Blackness.’” Vinyl Poetry and Prose (Fall 2017). Online.

Pelaez Lopez, Alan. “3 Things I Regret Not Asking From Allies and My Community as an (Un)Documented and Queer Activist.” The Solidarity Struggle: How People of Color Succeed and Fail at Showing Up for Each Other in the Fight for Freedom. Ed. Mia McKenzie. Oakland: BGD (2016). Print.

Pelaez Lopez, Alan. “Las Estages of Blackness.” Bozalta: Arts, Activism, Scholarship. Afro Latinidad V. 2 (2016). UCLA, 06 July 2016. Online.