Elvia R. Arriola

Title: Professor Emerita
Office Location: Swen Parson (Office TBA)
Office Phone: TBA
Email: TBA
Education: B.A., California State University, Los Angeles
J.D., University of California, Berkeley
M.A., New York University


Elvia R. Arriola is a graduate of UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law and has a post grad Master’s from New York University in American history with a concentration on the history of women and racial minorities. She began her legal career as an ACLU attorney. She was an assistant attorney general in the New York State Civil Rights Bureau. Her scholarship was inspired by work as a litigator on federal sex discrimination cases and by volunteer public education on how the public’s fear of AIDS resulted in discrimination against GLBTs and people of color. Her first writings explored queer legal theory and intersectional feminist critical studies. Arriola’s law professor career began at UT Austin, and she joined NIU COL in 2001. She is professor emerita since 2016. Twenty years ago, Arriola co-founded Women on the Border (https://www.womenontheborder.org) which is committed to social justice education about working women in the global economy and since 2017 with human rights concerns surrounding the federal government’s anti-immigrant/asylum seeker policies and practices.

Areas of Expertise:

Feminist Legal Theory, LGBT Studies, Latina Critical Legal Theory, Women and Globalization

| SSRN Author Page | HeinOnline Author Profile |


Books and Chapters

  • Immigration Policy and Border Control Post 9-11 (book chapter) in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in Contemporary Politics, Law, and Social Movements, Suzanne Oboler and Deena J. González, eds. (2015).
  • “No Hay Mal Que Por Bien No Venga”: A Journey to Healing by a Latina Law Professor, in Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, Yolanda Flores Niemann, Carmen G. González, and Angela P. Harris, eds., PRESUMED INCOMPETENT: INTERSECTIONS OF RACE AND CLASS FOR WOMEN IN ACADEMIA, (Utah Univ. Press, 2012).
  • Gendered Inequality: Lesbians, Gays and Feminist Legal Theory (1994), in Delgado and Stefancic, Eds., CRITICAL RACE THEORY, 3d. Ed (2012).
  • Of Woman Born: Courage and Strength to Survive in the Maquiladoras of Reynosa and Rio Bravo (2000), Tamaulipas, in Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, CRITICAL RACE THEORY, 3d. Ed (2012).
  • Accountability for Murder in the Maquiladoras, in MAKING A KILLING; FEMICIDE, FREE TRADE AND LA FRONTERA, Alicia Gaspar de Alba (Univ. of Texas Press, 2010).
  • La Responsibilidad Por Los Asesinatos en las Maquiladoras in C. Gonzalez, D. Bonilla-Maldonado, C. Crawford, ed., EL LIBERALISMO NEOCLASICO, EL LIBRE COMERCIO Y SUS CRITICOS (2010).
  • Law and the Gendered Politics of Identity: Who Owns the Label "Lesbian"?, reprinted in Katherine Bartlett & Angela Harris, Gender and Law: Theory, Doctrine, Commentary (2010).
  • LatCrit Theory, Int'l Human Rights, Popular Culture and the Faces of Despair in INS Raids, reprinted in The Latino Condition: A Critical Reader (Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic eds., 1998) and in A Reader on Race, Civil Rights and American Law: A Multiracial Approach (Timothy Davis, Kevin R. Johnson & George A. Martinez eds., 2001).
  • Gendered Inequality: Lesbians, Gays, and Feminist Legal Theory, reprinted in Critical Race Theory: The Cutting Edge (Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic eds., 2000) and in The Latino Condition: A Critical Reader (Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic eds., 1998).
  • "What's the Big Deal?": Women in the New York City Construction Industry and Sexual Harassment Law, reprinted in Applications of Feminist Legal Theory to Women's Lives: Sex, Work and Reproduction (D. Kelly Weisberg ed., 1996) and in Law and Violence Against Women: Cases and Materials on Systems of Oppression (Mary Louise Fellows & Beverly Balos eds. 1994).
  • Feminism and Free Expression: Silence and Voice, Freeing the First Amendment: Critical Perspectives on Freedom of Expression 195-223 (with Robert Jensen) (Robert Jensen & David Allen eds., 1995).
  • "Sexual Identity and the Constitution, Homosexual Persons as a Discrete and Insular Minority, reprinted in Special Issue: The Best of the Women's Rights Law Reporter Rutgers Women's Rights Law Review (1992) and in 13 Studies in Homosexuality (Wayne R. Dynes ed. 1991).


  • Amor y Esperanza, A Latina Lesbian Becomes a Law Professor, 66 J. Legal Educ. 484 (2017).
  • Migrants Resist Systemic Discrimination and Dehumanization in Private, For-Profit Detention Centers, 15 Santa Clara J. Int'l L. 1 (2017) (with Virginia M. Raymond).
  • Queer, Undocumented and Sitting in an Immigration Detention Center:  A  Post-Obergefell Reflection, 84 UMKC L. Rev. 617 (2016). 
  • It’s Not Over: Empowering the Different Voice in Legal Academia,  29 Berkeley J. Gender L. & Just. 320 (2014).
  • Healing the “Isms” in our Bodies, Our Selves, Our Communities, in Social Justice Today, Vol. I, Issue 1 (Spring 2012).
  • Shaking Out the Welcome Mat for Enduring Lat/Crit Social Movement, Comments on Cluster of Essays for 14th Annual Lat/Crit Conference, 18 A.U.J. of Gender, Social Policy and L. 711 (2011).
  • Crazy Mexican Border Politics Post 9-11, Women on the Border (2011), http://womenontheborder.org/?s=crazy+mexican+border+politics 
  • Justice Interrupted: The Ciudad Juarez Femicides and Global Social Responsibility, LA VOZ (Esperanza Center) (March 2010).
  • Gender, Globalization and Women's Issues in Panama City: A Comparative Inquiry, 41 U. of Miami Inter-American L. Rev. 19 (2010).
  • Sociocultural Consequences of Free Trade: Accountability for Murder in the Maquiladoras: Linking Corporate Indifference to Gender Violence at the U.S.-Mexico Border,Seattle J. Soc. Just. 603 (Spring/Summer 2007).
  • Encuentro En El Ambiente De La Teoria: Latina Lesbians and Ruthann Robson's Lesbian Legal Theory, 8 N.Y. City L. Rev. 519 (2005).
  • Democracy and Dissent: Challenging the Solomon Amendment as a Cultural Threat to Academic Freedom and Civil Rights, 24 St. Louis U. Pub. L. Rev. 149 (2005).
  • Coffeehouse Musings on Post-Grutter Ironies: Promoting Diversity to Ensure Globalization, 7 Scholar: St. Mary's L. Rev. on Minority Issues 3 (2004).
  • Tenure Politics and the Feminist Scholar, 12 Colum. J. Gender & L. 532 (2003).
  • Staying Empowered by Recognizing our Common Grounds: A Reply to Subordination and Symbiosis: Mechanisms of Mutual Support Between Subordinating Systems by Professor Nancy Ehrenreich, 71 U.M.K.C. L. Rev. 447 (2002).
  • Maquila Zoned Out in Reports from the Field, 1 Latino Studies 188 (2003) (Poem).
  • Queering the Painted Ladies:  Gender, Race, Class and Sexual Identity at the Mexico Border in the Case of the Two Paulas, 1 Seattle J. Soc. Just. 679 (2003).
  • Introductory Remarks:  Comparative and Co-Constituent Construction of Identities, 55 Fla. L. Rev. 413 (2003) (6th Annual Latino/a Critical Legal Theory Conference).
  • Talking About Power and Pedagogy, Introduction for Cluster: "LatCrit Theory in New Contexts," 78 Denv. U. L. Rev. 507 (2001) (5th Annual Latina/o Critical Legal Theory Conference).
  • Of Woman Born: Courage and Strength to Survive in the Maquiladoras of Reynosa and Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas, Frontera-Norte-Sur (April 2001), https://womenontheborder.org/2011/06/courage-and-strength-to-survive/.
  • Looking Out from a Cardboard Box: Workers and Their Families in the Maquiladora Industry of Ciudad Acuña. Coahuila. Frontera-Norte-Sur (December 2000), https://womenontheborder.org/2000/12/looking-out-from-a-cardboard-box/, reprinted in National Lawyer's Guild Practicioner (2001).
  • Becoming Leaders: The Women in the Maquiladoras of Piedras Negras, Coahuila: Frontera-Norte-Sur (October 2000), https://www.nmsu.edu/~frontera/oct00/feat5.html
  • Voices from the Barbed Wires of Despair: Women in the Maquiladoras, Latina Critical Legal Theory and Gender at the U.S.-Mexico Border, 49 DePaul L. Rev. 729 (2000).
  • Introduction: The Value of Our Work, 53 U. Miami L. Rev. 1037 (1999).
  • Wildly Different: Anti-gay Peer Harassment in Public Schools,Geo. J. Gender & L.  5 (1999).
  • Coming Home to a Latina Lesbian Self: Race and Sexual Orientation in Legal Scholarship (1998), https://www.ibiblio.org/gaylaw/issue6/Arriola.htm.
  • The Penalties for Puppy Love: Institutionalized Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Youth, 2 J. Gender Race & Just. 430 (1998).
  • Foreword: March! - Second Annual Symposium on Latina/o Critical Legal Theory, 19 Chicano-Latino L. Rev. 1 (1998).
  • Getting Possessive About the Term "Lesbian," Proceedings of the Fifth Annual International Conference on Transgender Law & Employment Policy (1998).
  • Law and the Gendered Politics of Identity: Who Owns the Label "Lesbian"?,Hastings Women's L.J. 1 (1997).
  • LatCrit Theory, Int'l Human Rights, Popular Culture and the Faces of Despair in INS Raids, 28 U. Miami Inter-Am. L. Rev. 245 (1997).
  • Welcoming the Outsider to an Outsider Conference: Law and the Multiplicities of Self,Harv. Latino L. Rev. 397 (1997).
  • Law and the Family of Choice and Need, 35 U. Louisville J. Fam. L. 691 (1997).
  • Faeries, Marimachas, Queens and Lezzies: The Construction of Homosexuality Before the 1969 Stonewall Riots, 5 Colum. J. Gender & L. 33 (1995).
  • Gendered Inequality: Lesbians, Gays, and Feminist Legal Theory, 9 Berkeley Women's L.J. 103 (1994).
  • Coming Out and Coming to Terms with Sexual Identity, 68 Tul. L. Rev. 283 (1993) (book reviews).
  • "What's the Big Deal?" Women in the New York City Construction Industry and Sexual Harassment Law, 1970-1985, 22 Colum. Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 21 (1990).
  • Sexual Identity and the Constitution: Homosexual Persons as a Discrete and Insular Minority, 14 Women's Rts. L. Rep. 263 (1988).