Now available from Lexington Books:

Fields of Fire identifies emancipatory networks as loose, discrete, and differentiated actors to explain how activists surmount overwhelming odds. Featuring unique ethnographic material of a sugarcane worker strike in Valle del Cauca and human rights activists in Bogota, as well as over a dozen photographs, Fields of Fire paints a vivid image of Colombian activism amidst violence.


Louis Edgar Esparza is Professor of Sociology at California State University-Los Angeles. He is author of Fields of Fire: Emancipation & Resistance in Colombia (Lexington 2023), co-editor of Human Rights Of, By, and For the People (Routledge 2017), and co-author of Human Rights: A Primer (Routledge 2016). His research has appeared in Global Labor Journal, Contemporary Justice Review, Society & Natural Resources, Partecipazione e Conflitto, and elsewhere. Louis was Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in Democracy, Human Rights and Violence Prevention at the University of Brasília in 2022. 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.

Curriculum Vitae

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


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

Recent Publications


Esparza, Louis Edgar. “Escape from Academic Freedom.” Journal of Academic Freedom 14.

Esparza, Louis Edgar. 2023. “Making Spaces for Dialogue.” Footnotes: Celebrating 50 Years of the Minority Fellowship Program 51(4): 34.

Esparza, Louis Edgar. Fields of Fire: Emancipation and Resistance in Colombia. Lanham: Lexington Books.

Esparza, Louis Edgar. Occupy Los Angeles: Democracy, Space & Loss at City Hall Park.” Interface 14(1): 101-121.

Esparza, Louis Edgar. “Social Justice & Sociological Theory: Césaire, Mills, & de Beauvoir.” Journal of Social Encounters 7(1): 186-207.

Esparza, Louis Edgar. “Social Democratic Capitalism.” Contemporary Sociology 52(2): 154-56.

Esparza, Louis Edgar. “‘Global, Heartless and Without National Identity’: Oligarchy in Today’s World.” Fulbright Chronicles 1(4): 59-61.


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

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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