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Department of


Julia Miller Cantzler, PhD, JD

Assistant Professor, Sociology

Julia Miller Cantzler joined the Department of Sociology at the University of San Diego in the 2011 Fall Semester. She teaches primarily in the Crime, Justice, Law & Society concentration.  Professor Cantzler’s research examines the intersections of culture and politics, with a primary focus on international human rights, law, social movements, environmental justice and the rights of Indigenous peoples.


Professor Cantzler earned her B.A. in American Studies at the University of Colorado in 1996. She also holds a Juris Doctor and an M.A. in Sociology, both of which she earned from the University of Colorado in 2000 and 2005, respectively.  In 2011, she received her Ph.D. in Sociology from The Ohio State University.

Scholarly and Creative Work

Professor Cantzler is currently working on several articles from her dissertation, which examines the historical and contemporary processes through which Indigenous fishing rights have been negotiated in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, where three unique patterns have emerged and persist. The case comparison in the broader project reveals that cross-national variations in the legal and political opportunities confronting Indigenous actors impact the shape of Indigenous political action and it’s relative success in achieving meaningful transformations of enduring systems of colonial domination. She is also working on a co-authored piece with Vincent Roscigno and Salvatore Restifo titled, “Legitimation, Race/Ethnic Violence, and the Massacre at Wounded Knee.” This paper takes a mixed-methodological approach to analyze the discursive and cultural dynamics through which violence is justified and dominant political agendas are legitimated against a racially subordinated group.

Teaching Interests

Professor Cantzler teaches primarily in the department’s Crime, Justice, Law & Society concentration. Specific course offerings include Political Sociology, and Law and Society.