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Department of

Ethnic Studies

Alberto López Pulido, PhD

Professor, Ethnic Studies

Alberto López Pulido is Professor and Chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of San Diego. He has held a leadership role as Chair of the President's Advisory Board on Inclusion and Diversity. He teaches both the introductory and advanced courses for the ethnic studies major in addition to specialized courses in Latina/o and Chicana/o Studies. His scholarly interests include the intersection of race and religion in relation to issues of social justice and as strategies for transforming communities. He has also written on the history of ethnic studies in higher education; issues of violence and deportation against immigrants; and is currently at work on a project that explores the power of music in relation to personal identity and biography.

Pulido has published a range of numerous essays in books and journals such as the Journal of Catholic Social Thought; Crosscurrents; Religion and Literature; Journal of Religion and Education; Studies in Twentieth Century Literature; CENTRO: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies; American Quarterly; Latino Studies Journal. He is the author of the book: Sacred World of the Penitentes and his most recent book is entitled: Moving Beyond Borders: Julian Samora and the Establishment of Latino Studies. Pulido was mentored by the first Mexican American sociologist in the nation, Julian Samora, PhD, who had a distinguished career at the University of Notre Dame.

Alberto is the son of Velia López Pulido and the late Alberto V. Pulido who he credits for instilling within him the value of educación. Such a foundation assisted him profoundly as a first-generation college graduate. He believes deeply that education is a tool that equips students with the wisdom (sabiduría) to transform their lives and the many lives they touch.


Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, Sociology (1989)

M.A., University of Notre Dame, Sociology (1984)

B.A., University of California, San Diego; Sociology (1981)

Scholarly and Creative Work

Pulido has published extensively in the areas of race, religion and community. Here is a partial list of his publications:

Pulido, Alberto López, Barbara Driscoll de Alvarado, Carmen Samora (eds.) Moving Beyond Borders: Julian Samora and the Establishment of Latino Studies. University of Illinois Press – fall – 2009.

Pulido, Alberto López, The Sacred World of the Penitentes. (Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2000).Pulido, Alberto López, “A Sociological Analysis of Latino Religions: The Formation of the Theoretical Binary and Beyond.”  American Sociology of Religion: Histories, Anthony Blasi (ed). Boston: Brill Academic Press, 2007.

Pulido, Alberto López and Vega, Santos C., “Religion and Political Leadership for Latino Roman Catholics: A Comparative Study of Latino Roman Catholics and African American Baptists in Phoenix, Arizona.” Latino Religions and Civic Activism inthe United States, Gastón Espinoza ,Virgil Elizondo, and Jesse Miranda, (eds.).  New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.


Teaching Interests

Pulido has taught the following courses:  

Introduction to Ethnic Studies (preceptorial and for the core)

Critical Perspectives in Ethnic Studies

Race, Religion and Social Justice

Chicano/Latino Studies