Lourdes Gutiérrez Nájera is a cultural anthropologist and ethnographer at heart. Born in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, she migrated with her family to Los Angeles, California as a child. Her experiences as a Mexican immigrant and a fronteriza, having lived on the U.S.-Mexico border, shaped her curiosity about cultural differences, race, and issues of identity.
As a professor of Anthropology at Drake University, her classes cover diverse topics such as globalization, borders and borderlands, transnational migration, oral history and Latinos in the United States. Her enthusiasm for public scholarship and community engagement are reflected in her student projects. In her borderlands students created wiki pages about critical issues related to the U.S.-Mexico border (http://usmexico-borderlands.wikia.com/wiki/U.S.-Mexico_Borderlands_Wiki). In her oral history class, students interviewed migrants living in the United States and produced oral history web pages that are part of an migrant oral history archive (https://migrantoralhistories.wordpress.drake.edu).
In her research she is vested in continued exploration of indigeneity, immigration, ethnicity, citizenship & belonging, and youth. She recently published a co-edited (with M. Bianet Castellanos and Arturo Aldama) collection of essays, entitled Comparative Indigeneities of the Américas: Toward a Hemispheric Approach, that examines indigenous experiences across the Américas (University of Arizona Press 2012).