Lizbeth De La Cruz Santana


Position Title
Graduate Student in Spanish
Associate Instructor in Chicana/o Studies

Sproul Hall 422
Office Hours
Monday and Wednesday 4:00 - 5:00 PM and by appointment
Office Hours sign up:


Dr. Robert Irwin, Ph.D.


Lizbeth De La Cruz Santana is a doctoral candidate at the Spanish and Portuguese department at the University of California Davis. Her emphasis is on Latin American Literatures and Cultures with a designated emphasis on Human Rights. Her area of research focuses on 20th and 21st Century Mexican, Mexican-American Literature and Culture, and Chicano/a Literary, Visual and Media Culture.

She is a current fellow in the Penn-Birmingham Transatlantic Fellowship program (2021-current) and was a Cornell School of Criticism and Theory fellow (summer 2022).

De La Cruz’s first book manuscript centers on US childhood arrivals and intends to draw attention to a range of ethical-oriented concerns regarding the legal treatment of this group. Specifically, she focuses on the illegalization and criminalization of a generation of immigrants raised in the country vulnerable to deportation and who have faced deportation. In her contribution, she coins the Childhood Arrivals Critical Theory (CACrit) framework, the Childhood Arrivals Diaspora, and introduces a more general definition of this group.

Her academic path and research projects have been motivated by her ongoing participation as a researcher in the Humanizing Deportation project. This digital humanities and community participatory project documents the human consequences of mass deportation through digital storytelling.  

Her public scholarship includes the Playas de Tijuana Mural Project, an interactive mural on the Mexican side of the westernmost point of the US-Mexico border, which documents the stories and portraits of (deported) US childhood arrivals. Other digital humanities projects include the Leave No One Behind Mural project and DACAmented: DREAMs Without Borders digital storytelling project.  

Her research is supported by the University of California Pre-Professoriate Fellowship, the UC Davis Mellon Public Scholars Program, Imagining America, and the University of California Humanities Research Institute. 

De La Cruz has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Spanish Latin American Literatures and Cultures from Fresno State. 

For more, visit: 


CHI 130: United States-Mexican Border Relations
FALL 2022

SPA 169: Topics Chicanx/Latinx 

Literatura y representaciones culturales de la diáspora de lxs llegadxs en la infancia a EEUU

FALL 2021

​SPA 31: Spanish for Native Speakers I

Fall 2018, Winter 2019

SPA 3: Elementary Spanish

Spring 2018, Summer Session II 2018

SPA 2: Elementary Spanish

Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018

SPA 1:Elementary Spanish

Fall 2016, Summer Session II 2021 (online)


Teaching Assistant  

Fall 2021, Spring 2022

SPA 174: Chicano Culture

Fall 2019

SPA 177: California y Américal Latina

Spring 2019, Spring 2022

SPA 177: California y Américal Latina

Spring 2020


Book Chapter(s) 


Web Publications: 


  • University of California Humanities Research Institute, Graduate Student Dissertation Support Grant, 2022-2023 
  • School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University, Summer 2022 Fellowship Award
  • Penn Migration Initiative Fellows Program, 2021-2022
  • Dissertation Writing Quarter Off Fellowship, Winter 2022
  • National Humanities Center Podcasting in the Humanities Fellowship, 2020-2021
  • UC President's Pre-Professoriate Fellowship (PPPF), 2020-2021 
  • UCLA Law Fellows Program Central Valley (LFP-CV​), 2020 
  • Imagining America's Leading and Learning Initiative (LLI) Fellow for the Mellon Public Scholars Program, 2020
  • Imagining America PAGE (Publicly Active Graduate Education) Fellow, 2019-2020
  • Mellon Public Scholars Fellowship, 2019
  • Mellon Comparative Border Studies Scholarship, 2019
  • Educational Opportunity Equity (EOP) Recognition, 2018, 2019
  • Curso - Taller de Proyecto Humanizado la deportación, Universidad de California en Davis y la Cátedra de Jorge Durand de Estudios Migratorios, Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico,
  • Hemispheric Institute on the Americas Summer Research Award, 2018
  • Digital Humanities Institution Reading and Writing Group Award, 2017-2018
  • Digital Humanities Institute HArCS Dean’s Summer Fellowship, 2017
  • Mellon Summer Research Fellowship​, 2017, 2018
  • Asociación Internacional de Literatura y Cultura Femenina Hispánica (AILCFH) Graduate Student Scholarship, October, 2017
  • Graduate Student of Color Research Award​​, Summer 2017, Summer 2018, Summer 2019
  • Narrativa Digital como Método de Investigación: Colaboración Comunitaria, Voz Vernácula – On behalf of the Masters and Doctoral program of Cultural Studies in El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, November 2016
Education and Degree(s)
  • Ph.D. Candidate (Current) in Spanish (Latin American Literatures and Cultures) with a Designated Emphasis in Human Rights, University of California Davis
  • M.A. in Spanish, GPA: 3.8, May 2016, California State University Fresno
  • B.A. in Spanish, GPA: 3.6, May 2013, California State University Fresno
Research Interests & Expertise
  • 20th and 21st Century Mexican, Mexican-American Literature and Culture
  • Chicano/a Literary, Visual and Media Culture
  • Border, Migration and Citizenship Studies
  • Literature, Culture, and Politics of the Southern Cone
  • Carceral Studies
  • Chicanafuturism 
  • Film Studies, particularly Documentary Film
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Diaspora Studies
  • Testimonial Literature
  • Memory Studies
  • Digital Humanities 
  • Engaged Public Scholarship
  • Affect and Emotions