Rafael Martinez Orozco

7271 E. Sonoran Arroyo Mall
Mail Code 2780
POLY Campus
Asst Professor
POLY Campus


Rafael Martínez is an assistant professor of Southwest Borderlands in the College of Interdisciplinary Humanities and Communication. Rafael’s work focuses on immigration, migration, the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, and the American Southwest. At ASU, he teaches courses on the American Southwest, the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, and Popular Culture Issues. Rafael is also a Program Faculty for the MA Narrative Studies program in CISA. 

As an advocate of community-based-history projects, Rafael is engaged in public projects that seek to connect academic work with community development. As such, he is a current recipient of Knowledge Exchange for Resilience Fellowship where he is co-creating community based research on undocumented populations in the Phoenix Valley. Rafael is part of the inaugural Interdisciplinary Solutions for Social Impact Graduate Faculty program.

Additionally, Rafael is the co-founder of the statewide oral history project, Humans of New Mexico, and also UndocuTalks, a podcast on immigrant rights through an undocumented perspective.


  • Ph.D. University of New Mexico (2020), American Studies
  • M.A. University of New Mexico (2014), American Studies
  • B.B. California State University, Dominguez Hills (2012), History and Chicana and Chicano Studies

Research Interests

Rafael Martinez's research interests include: immigration and migration, undocumented youth social movements and identities around illegalization and DACAmented status.

He approaches these research themes and topics through research medthods such as: oral histories, testimonials, storytelling, digital humanities and digital archives, and media productions. 


Martinez, Rafael A., “Transformative Borders in Cinema: Evolving Concepts of Migrant Crossings,” Americana Journal of American Studies. Szeged, Hungary, 2016. 

Martinez, Rafael A., Schreiber, Rebecca, “Sovereignty and Sanctuary: A Roundtable,”Chiricú Journal: Latina/o Literatures, Arts, and Cultures. Indiana University, 2018.


Fall 2021
Course Number Course Title
HST 343 American Southwest
COM 510 Transmedia Narratives
Spring 2021
Course Number Course Title
HST 448 Mexican/U.S. Border
TSS 593 Applied Project
GRD 593 Applied Project
TWC 593 Applied Project
EPA 598 Special Topics
Fall 2020
Course Number Course Title
ENG 245 Popular Culture Issues
HST 343 American Southwest

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