Dr Monica Moreno Figueroa
Lecturer in Sociology

  • Email: monica.moreno-figueroa@ncl.ac.uk
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5816
  • Address: School of Geography, Politics and Sociology
    Newcastle University
    5th Floor, Claremont Bridge Building
    Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
    NE1 7RU


  • PhD in Sociology, Goldsmiths College, University of London. (2000-2006)
  • MA in Gender, Culture and Modernity, Goldsmiths College, University of London. (1999-2000)
  • MA studies in Sociology, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City. (1996-1998)
  • BA in Media and Communications, Universidad Iberoamericana, Leon, Gto., Mexico. (1991-1995)

I came to Newcastle University in January 2008 after lecturing at the University of Nottingham (2006-2007) and teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses at Goldsmiths and Birkbeck College, University of London (2004-6). Previously in Mexico, I was Head of the National Gender Programme in the Instituto Mexicano de la Juventud (Mexican Institue of Youth), Ministry of Public Education (1997-1999).

Roles and Responsibilities 

Sociology MA Degree Programmes Director (2012 -  )

Sociology Staff-Student Committee Liason (2011)

Degree Programme Director of the BA (Hons) Politics and Sociology (2009-2011)

Sociology Seminar Series convenor (2008-2011)

Alongside the series, I put together the Sociology Seminar Series Online from 2009-2011 which include some of the seminars above.

I am member of the Steering Committee of the Americas Research Group and the Gender Research Group


Latin American Studies Association, member since 2006
Feminist and Women's Studies Association, member since 2005
British Sociological Association, member since 2004
Society for Latin American Studies, member since 2004
International Visual Sociology Association, member since 2013 

Funding and Awards

2013, Institute for the Study of the Americas, Conference Grant: International Symposium on 'Race', Beauty and Feminist Theory in Latin America and the Caribbean to be held in September 2013. (£2,000) This was complemented with £1000 from Feminist Theory and £1590 from Newcastle University.

2013, Secured a Leverhulme Visiting Fellowship for Dr Julieta Vertabedian, University of Barcelona, for a 12-month Intra-European research bisit (£29,000)

2013, Small Bids Fund, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Regarding Beauty project (£1,000)

2011, Faculty Research Fund, for research project co-developed with Cathrine Degnen, “Regarding Beauty:
Transnational Understandings of Ageing Bodies, Beauty and Emotions”. (£3,815.98).

2011, Santander Exchange Bursaries Scheme (£1000).

2011, Secured a Newcastle University Visiting Fellowship for Professor Alicia Guerrero Castellanos, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana -Iztapalapa, Mexico (£3,662).

2010, Faculty REF Fund, HaSS, Newcastle University , “The Lived Experience of Class, Racism and Nationalism in Mexico” (£4,920)

2010, Secured a Santander Visiting Fellowship for Dr. Juan Carlos Martínez, CIESAS, Oaxaca, Mexico. (£3,847).

2010, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Engagement Office, Newcastle University, Interventions Project (£3,115).

2010, secured a RUC Visiting Fellowship for designer Joe Malia to develop the 'Designing for Public Engagement' programme and specifically the 'Interventions Project' (£4,000).

2010, Small Bids Fund, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Interventions Project (£1,000).

2010, Santander International Exchange Bursary (£850).

2010, British Academy Overseas Conference Award (£500).

2009, Small Bids Fund, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology (£500).

2005, ESRC Training Development Award Fund for Symposium ‘(Re) Creating: Methodologies, Practices, Concepts’, 1-3 Sept 2005

2002, Central Research Fund, University of London (£1,500 fieldwork grant)

2001-2004, Overseas Research Students Awards Scheme, UK (ORSAS)

1999-2005, National Council for Science and Technology (CONACyT), Ministry of Public Education, Mexico. Full Scholarship for MA in Gender Culture and Modernity and for MPhil/PhD in Sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London


English, Spanish (native speaker)

Informal Interests

In October 2009 I organised a sponsored walk to support the construction of a Communal House for a women’s cooperative in Teyahuala, Mexico (an indigenous ‘nahua’ village in the highlands of the state of Hidalgo, Mexico). We raised £1,707. More info about Teyahuala and the walk here: teyahuala.blogspot.com/

Research Interests

I am a sociologist working on issues of 'race', racism, emotions, body and beauty, drawing from feminist theory, visual methodologies and cultural studies perspectives, with a focus on Mexico and Latin America more broadly. I have been interested for the past few years in researching the 'qualities' of the lived experience of racism. This has taken me to the study of the everyday, the relevance of emotions and affect, as well as issues around visibility and embodiment, for example, on the one hand,  concerns with beauty, body and appearance, and on the other, the significance of the visible and the social uses of photography, particularly family albums. My research interests fall broadly under these wide themes:

  • Mestizaje, 'race', and practices of racism
  • Mexico, national identity, nationalism, Latin America
  • Sociology of emotions and studies on affect
  • Feminist theory, gender, body, beauty and femininity
  • Visual methodologies, visual culture, social uses of photography
  • Qualitative research methods and social innovation.
  • Interdisciplinary collaborations working with sociology, design, photography, film, and ethnography.

Current Work

In September 2013 I organised the International Symposium 'Race', Beauty and Feminist Theory in Latin America and the Caribbean to celebrate a special issue of the same name just published in August 2013 in Feminist Theory. More info on symposium here.

I am developing various research strands: a project on ageing and beauty with British Latin American migrants in the UK using innovative visual methodologies that include object design and negotiated portraiture with Dr Cathrine Degnen, entitled “Regarding Beauty: Ageing Bodies, Beauty and Emotions”; a project on the revitalisation of the politics of anger, particularly as a key emotion to be mobilised within anti-racist strategies in Latin America (and beyond); and some publication projects which include the book, Racist Moments: Mestizaje and the Everyday Life of Racism in Mexico, for Duke University Press and editing a special issue on anti-racist movements and strategies in Latin America.

In the summer of 2011, I co-founded the NGO COPERA (Colectivo para Eliminar el Racismo en Mexico) alongside Dr Emiko Saldivar (University of California-SB), Dr Alicia Castellanos (UAM-Iztapalapa) and Rocio Culebro (IMDHD). The Collective aims to develop a series of initiatives to make racism public in Mexico, visibilise racism in its multiple forms in the country and incorporate a 'race' perspective in public policy and human rights activism. We offered a first workshop in September 2011 entitled: ‘Metodologías  para  identificar y  generar  herramientas  para combatir el  racismo en México: experiencias y retos’ (Methodologies to identify and generate tools to combat racism in Mexico: experiences and challenges) in Mexico City.  COPERA is member of a wider network on antiracist research and activism, Red de Acción e Investigación Antiracista de las Americas. One exciting development from this has been the public campaign against racism developed by a group of young women that attend the workshop, leaded by Fabiola Fernández Guerra, of the advertising agency 11.11 Cambio Social. In collaboration with the National Council to Prevent Discrimination (CONAPRED) they launched the campaign in December 2011 entitled “Por una sociedad libre de racismo” (For a society  free of racism), which includes billboards, tv and radio spots. Here is one very interesting short film spot called Racismo en Mexico which reproduces the lighter/darker doll experiment with young children that has been recently been redone by young filmmaker Kiri Davis in 'A girl like me'  following the original Kenneth y Mammie Clark's experiment in the 1930's in the USA.

During Spring 2010 I developed an interdisciplinary collaboration with designer Joe Malia, the Interventions Project, with support of the HASS Faculty Futures Programme, the Pro-VC for Engagement Office, and Malia's RUC University Fellowship Award. In collaboration with Dr Cathrine Degnen and four other participants of the Interventions Project we are co-writing an article reflecting on the collaborative experience.

Since 2005 Joe Malia and I started developing the educational and communication tool, Colour Beads or 'Cuentas de Colores, that aims to encourage dialogue around experiences of racism locally in Mexico with the intention of stimulating a wider public discourse on the subject. More information here: www.cuentasdecolores.net/. I started using the tool with the students of my module 'Race', Racism and Society as a seminar activity to stimulate conversations and interventions around racism and explore with them its contemporary forms in the UK.

Esteem Indicators

Selection of conference and seminar papers presented


Undergraduate Teaching

SOC1030 The Sociological Imagination

SOC3069 'Race', Racism and Society

SOC2073 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Emotions in the Social World (2011)

SOC1028 Social Justice and Citizenship (2009-2011)

Postgraduate Teaching

For the MA in Interdisciplinary Latin American Studies I contribute to:

SOC8101 The Shaping of Latin America I: Social and Political Themes (ML)

LAS8103 The Shaping of Latin America II: Cultural and Historical Themes

SOC8102 Latin American Country Case Study: Interdisciplinary Approaches (ML 2010-2013)

SOC8100 Politics of Development and Social Struggle in Latina America (ML)

Previous Teaching

Princeton University - Spring 2012

LAS323 Body, Beauty and Race in Latin America

University of Nottingham, UK (2006-07)

School of Sociology and Social Policy (Undergraduate)
-    L32627 Researching Culture (2nd Year core qualitative research methods module) – Module Leader.
-    L32622 Critical Analysis in Social and Cultural Studies (2nd Year seminar based-module) – Module  Leader.
-    L31603 Introduction to Social and Cultural Studies (1st Year seminar-based module) – Module Leader.
-    L31612 Culture in Contemporary Society (1st Year core module) – Co-taught.

Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK (2004-06)

Department of Media and Communications (Undergraduate)
-    MC53037A - Methods II: Research Methods (3rd Year core qualitative research methods module).

Professional and Community Education (Undergraduate)
-    Research Methods (Youth and Community Work).
-    Race and Representation in Popular Culture – Level 3.

Birkbeck College, University of London, UK (2005)

Development Studies, Faculty of Continuing Education
Certificate and Diploma in Development Studies

-    FFDV015U / ACB – Introduction to Non-Governmental Organisations.