Sujey Vega is an Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies and a faculty member in the School of Transborder Studies and Religious Studies at Arizona State University. Her research explores the everyday experiences of Latinas and Latinos in the U.S. She’s particularly interested in curating “moments of belonging;” ways that new members of a community—who begin as outsiders—create their own notion of home.
Sujey Vega uses a combination of oral histories, archives, and ethnographic research to learn more about so-called “new” or “non-traditional” locations where Latinas and Latinos have settled. Her current work explores the experiences of Latino members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the politically-charged atmosphere of the Arizona borderlands.
But she’s also an expert on another location where immigrants are striving to belong: Indiana. Her book, Latino Heartland: Of Borders and Belonging in the Midwest, chronicles a sort of dialogue between Mexican non-Mexican Hoosiers as they both come to terms with living in the same communal space.
Recently, Sujey Vega was on the IU campus to give a talk about Latino Hoosiers as part of the Mexico Remixed Festival. While she was here, she came to the WFIU studios for a conversation with Sylvia Martinez, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, and Latino Studies at IU Bloomington.