Louis Edgar Esparza

Curriculum Vitae

Research / Areas of Interest: Political Sociology; Human Rights; Social Movements.


Louis Edgar Esparza is Professor of Sociology at California State University-Los Angeles. He was Fulbright Distinguished Scholar at the University of Brasília in 2022. His research has appeared in Global Labor Journal, Contemporary Justice Review, Society & Natural Resources, Partecipazione e Conflitto, and elsewhere. Louis is co-author of Human Rights: A Primer (Routledge 2016) and co-editor of Human Rights Of, By, and For the People (Routledge 2017). He served as Co-Chair of the Task Force on Contingent Faculty for the American Sociological Association and is a founding member of the Human Rights section.


  • PhD, Stony Brook University, 2010
  • BA, Tufts University, 2003.

Current Research

  • Human Rights & Civil Society: Funded by the Fulbright Interdisciplinary Network, this project explores civil society organizations in Brazil.
  • Declining State Support in Higher Education: This project investigates the social, cultural, and economic effects of declining state support in academia. RA: Darron Cunanan.
  • Human Rights Movements in Colombia: This project explores and theorizes high-risk activism in Bogota and Valle del Cauca.

Recent Publications & Presentations


Esparza, Louis Edgar. accepted.  “Occupy LA: Twelve Years On.” Interface.

Esparza, Louis Edgar. accepted. “Social Democratic Capitalism.” Contemporary Sociology.

Esparza, Louis Edgar. accepted. “‘Global, Heartless and Without National Identity’: Oligarchy in Today’s World.” Fulbright Chronicles.


Esparza, Louis Edgar. 2022. “Contemporary First Amendment Politics.” Contexts 21(3):22-27.

Esparza, Louis Edgar. “Fields of Fire: Emancipation & Resistance in Colombia.” World in Motion Symposium: Democracy, Human Rights and Violence Prevention. Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul. 21 September.

Esparza, Louis Edgar. “Heterogeneidade e Resiliência: Mobilização Local na Colômbia.” Department of Sociology. Universidade de Brasília. 14 September.

Esparza, Louis Edgar and Aditi Sapra. “Teaching the Sustainable Development Goals.” Alternative Futures & Popular Protest. University of Manchester. 14 June.

Esparza, Louis Edgar. “Task Force on Contingent Faculty Final Report.” California State University, San Bernardino. NSF: Contingent Latinx Faculty in STEM, 30 April.


Task Force on Contingent Faculty. “Contingent Faculty Employment in Sociology.” American Sociological Association. Washington, DC.

Esparza, Louis Edgar. “Human Rights: A Narrative Approach.” California State University, Los Angeles. Sociology Colloquium Series, November.


Atkins, Celeste; Louis Edgar Esparza, Ruth Milkman, and Catherine Moran. “Organizing the Academic Precariat in the United States.” Global Labour Journal 9(1): 76-81.

Esparza, Louis Edgar. “Starving for Justice: Hunger Strikes, Spectacular Speech, and the Struggle for Dignity.” Contemporary Sociology 47(3):292-4.

Courses @ Cal State LA

  • SOC 5030: Masters Capstone
  • SOC 5021: Contemporary Sociological Theory
  • SOC 5020: Classical Sociological Theory
  • SOC 4830: Sociology of Human Rights
  • SOC 4180: Crowd Behavior & Social Movements
  • SOC 4120: Sociological Theory
  • SOC 3910: Qualitative Research & Writing in Sociology

Recent Awards

  • 2022. Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award, Brazil.
  • 2020. American Communities Fellow, CSULA.



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