Ariana Valle is an Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology from the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) as well as a B.A. in Economics from the University of California-San Diego (UCSD). Her research and teaching focus on race/ethnicity, migration, ethnoracial politics, citizenship, colonialism, and Latina/os in the U.S.
Her current book project, I Am Not Your Immigrant: Puerto Ricans, Liminal Citizenship, and Politics in Florida, examines the intersection of colonialism, race/ethnicity, and migration in the U.S. This research capitalizes on the rise of Florida as Puerto Ricans’ new and primary destination of migration; in fact, Florida’s Puerto Rican population has surpassed New York’s historic Puerto Rican community. She draws on 112 in-depth interviews and 12 months of ethnographic observation conducted in Orlando, Florida to analyze contemporary Puerto Rican migration and incorporation, intra-Puerto Rican and inter-Latino relations, and the institution of U.S. citizenship. I Am Not Your Immigrant advances the concept of colonial racialized citizenship to explain the contemporary Puerto Rican experience in Florida—this framework accounts for Puerto Ricans’ unequal and racialized political relationship with the state and group level relations that are racial. This research appears in Sociology of Race and Ethnicity and it has been recognized by the American Sociological Association, receiving both the Latina/o Sociology Section’s Cristina Maria Riegos Distinguished Student Paper Award and the International Migration Section’s Aristide Zolberg Distinguished Student Scholar Award.
Her second book project examines inequalities along political, racial, and cultural lines manifested during and in the aftermath of Hurricane María, a category four storm that devastated Puerto Rico in September of 2017. This research is supported by a grant from the Natural Hazards Center (University of Colorado-Boulder) and preliminary findings are published in the report “¡Puerto Rico Se Levanta!: Hurricane María and Narratives of Struggle, Resilience, and Migration.” This research elucidates how populations that occupy an unequal political status experience a natural disaster and relief efforts, develop individual and collective survival strategies, and engage in migration as a form of disaster relief.
As part of her broader interest in race and migration in the Americas, she has also investigated Central American migration to the United States. In an article published in Identities: Global Studies in Power and Culture, she analyzes the formation of an ethnoracial identity among 1.5- and second-generation Central Americans in Los Angeles. And in an article published in Oxford Bibliographies, she provides an authoritative examination of and guide to research on Salvadoran migration and settlement throughout the United States.