Professor Yesika Ordaz
Assistant Professor
Chicanx / Latinx Studies

Office Location: Ketchum 146

Pronouns: she / her / hers



Ph.D., University of California, Davis - American History, 2017
M.A., University of California, Davis - American History, 2014
M.A., California State University, Fullerton - American Studies, 2011 
B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara - History, Women's Studies, Global Studies, 2008

Research Interests

Latinx history/studies, US/Mexico border studies, social movements, immigration history, state violence, the detention and deportation regime, the carceral state

Jessica (Yesika) Ordaz is Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. She received her doctorate from the University of California Davis in American History, with a minor field in Latin American History. During the 2017-2018 academic year, Ordaz was the Andrew W. Mellon Sawyer Seminar postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington, which focused on comparative racial capitalism. Professor Ordaz is currently completing a book manuscript entitled, The Functions of Immigration Detention: Forced Labor, Transnational Migrant Politics and Punishment in California’s Imperial Valley, 1939-2014. The Functions of Immigration Detention examines the history of the El Centro Immigration Detention Center, an immigration facility located in California’s Imperial Valley, to explore the roots of and activism against immigration detention in the United States.

Selected Publications

Refereed Articles

Ordaz, Jessica, “Protesting Conditions Inside El Corralon: Immigration Detention, State Repression, and Transnational Migrant Politics in El Centro, California.” Journal of American Ethnic History. Special Issue: “Immigration Control and Resistance: Historicizing the Present Moment.” Forthcoming.