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Eliel Francisco Sanchez Acevedo
S.J.D. Candidate

esanchez at


Racial Performance under Constitutional Law in Mexico

With this dissertation, I will map and interpret the strategic relations and bargains that different individuals and groups carry out under the legal construct of indigeneity, as conceptualized by Mexico’s constitutional law. Specifically, I will look into the subtle but controlling linkage between these actors and their racial memberships, to understand how such identity adscriptions can be modified and changed in order to engage in a specific bargain with the law. By determining who is benefiting from this bargaining and is capturing the profits of the entitlements granted by the constitution to those claiming indigeneity, I will be able to elucidate if constitutional change to grant rights to indigenous peoples can be a mean to bring about racial justice for them, or not.

To do so, I will use theoretical tools aligned with Critical Race Theory [CRT] and identity performance theory. Besides, I will rely on historical theory about race in Latin America. Finally, as a central part of this dissertation’s methodology, I will conduct legal ethnography research.

Fields of Research and Supervisors

  • Historical Racialization Process under and through the Law with Professor Kenneth W. Mack, Harvard Law School, Principal Faculty Supervisor
  • Constitutional Change and Minority Rights with Professor Martha Minow, Harvard Law School
  • Mexico’s Historical Construction of Racial Identities with Professor Alejandro de la Fuente, History Department, Harvard University
  • Comparative Law with Professor Duncan Kennedy, Harvard Law School

Additional Research Interests

  • Critical Legal Studies
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Social Movements in Latin Amarica
  • Actor-Network Theory and the Law
  • Social Constructivism
  • Queer Theory
  • Indigenous and Customary Law
  • Social Aspects of Technology
  • Witchcraft and Supernatural Regulatory Systems


  • Harvard Law School, S.J.D. Candidate, 2019 – Present
  • Harvard Law School, LL.M. Program 2018 – 2019 (requirements fulfilled, degree waived)
  • Ibero-American University Puebla, M.A. in Communication and Social Change, 2015 – 2018
  • Ibero-American University Puebla, J.D. 2010 – 2015

Representative Publications

Additional Information

  • Languages: English, Spanish

Last Updated: July 24, 2019