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Anthony W. Fontes

Assistant Professor

School of International Service

American University

Washington, D.C.


I earned a PhD in Human Geography from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015, and spent two years at the University of Wisconsin as a Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Center for Humanities. In August of 2017 I joined  the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C. as an Assistant Professor. My scholarship and teaching focus on theories of violence, illicit economies, Latin America, carceral continuums, and human rights. For the last 7 years, my work in Central America’s Northern Triangle has mapped the blurred boundaries between the underworld, the state, law-abiding society, legacies of civil war, and violence in all its forms. This research has been supported by grants from the OSF/SSRC Drugs, Security, and Democracy Program, the International Center for Global Conflict and Cooperation, the Woodrow Wilson Center, and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation. I am currently conducting research for a new book on the politics of undocumented immigration, gangs, and security in the United States.

Before all of this, I was a free-lance journalist in Egypt and Guatemala, an actor in South America, an environmental justice advocate in India and Thailand, and an immigration legal advisor in California. Today, I continue to work as an expert witness in Central American asylum cases.




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