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Mario Bruzzone

Graduate student (Ph.D.)

Photo of Mario Bruzzone

Past Education

M.Sc., Geography, University of Wisconsin–Madison (2012)
B.A., Oberlin College (2004)

Research Areas

Migration; labor geographies; feminist geographies; social movements and activism; violence


My Ph.D. dissertation research examines the economic integration of Central American migrants within Mexico, and especially those migrants in transit towards the United States. Central American transit migration dramatically increased in 2014, but this rise also constituted an expansion of prior trends. In Mexico, Central American migration over the past several years has augmented existing opportunities for exploitation and wealth accumulation by local landholders, state authorities, and capitalist firms, and given rise to new potentials. Sectoral regularities have begun to emerge in transit-migrant wage-work, just as route and survival strategy have stratified work spatially. A variety of non-wage economic relations have also become manifest, including share work, piece-work, forms of work-trade, begging, the commodification of migrants' bodies, and forced labor. By investigating the nascent regularities of Central American transit migration, my dissertation seeks the lines of coherence of the transit-migrant economy.

My Master's research concerned "Las Patronas," a group of activists in rural Veracruz, Mexico. In one aspect, this work looked to ways that the group tried was forced to both engage with and evade the clientelistic tendencies of the Mexican state. In its second aspect, my work took their action-they give food, water, and clothing to migrants who they will never meet, because the trains are moving-as exemplary of feminist care ethics. I have several manuscripts in progress based on this research and subsequent visits. A brief sketch of some of the Patronas' practices is available from the Favelas@LSE blog at the London School of Economics here (también en español, páginas 51-53.)

In 2013, subsequent to my time with them, Las Patronas were awarded the Premio Nacional de Derechos Humanos (National Human Rights Prize) by Mexico's Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (National Human Rights Commission) and are recently the subjects of the film Llévate Mis Amores (2015).


Bruzzone, Mario. Forthcoming (2016). "On Exterior and Interior Detention Regimes: Governing, Bordering, and Economy in Transit Migration across Mexico." In Intimate Economies of Immigrant Detention: Critical Perspectives, N. Hiemstra and D. Conlon, eds. London: Routledge.

Woodward, Keith and Mario Bruzzone. 2015. Touching Like a State. Antipode. Abstract

Bruzzone, Mario. 2013. In La Patrona. you are here: the journal of creative geography XVI: 29-33.

Bruzzone, Mario. 2012. "Putting the 'Critical' in Critical Mass: Patriarchy, Radical Feminism, and Radical Inclusiveness." In Carlsson, Chris, LisaRuth Elliott, and Adriana Camarena, eds., SHIFT HAPPENS! Critical Mass at 20, San Francisco: Full Enjoyment Press.

Bruzzone, M., Neely, A., Peterson, S. and Woodward, K. 2012. "The 2011 Wisconsin Protests." In Knox, P.L. and S.A. Marston, Human Geography: Places and Regions in Global Context, 6th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall

Awards and Honors

Whitbeck Graduate Dissertator Award, Fall 2016
Mellon-Wisconsin Fellowship, Summer 2016
University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate Student Research Award, Spring 2016
Trewartha/Odebolt Travel Grant, Spring 2016
Trewartha Graduate Research Award, Spring 2015
Association of Pacific Coast Geographers Student Travel Grant, Fall 2014
Trewartha Graduate Travel Grant, Spring 2014
Trewartha Graduate Travel Grant, Spring 2013
Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Spring 2013
Trewartha Graduate Travel Grant, Fall 2011
Trewartha Graduate Research Award, Spring 2011

Contact Information

Email: : bruzzone@wisc.edu

On Twitter: @Mario_Bruzzone