Hilary Parsons Dick

Associate Professor, Historical and Political Studies

Easton Hall, Room 337 1 (215) 572-4035 Contact me via email for office hours; they change each semester.

About Me

Hilary Parsons Dick completed her Ph.D. in cultural and linguistic anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. She investigates Mexico-U.S. migration from the perspectives of discourse analysis; the political economies of language; and gender, class, and ethno-racial relations. She joined Arcadia University in the fall of 2011 after tenures as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Haverford College and as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago's Center for Latin American Studies and Temple University's Center for the Humanities. In 2016 she was a Wenner-Gren Hunt Fellow; she was awarded the Hunt Fellowship to support the completion of her first book, Words of Passage: National Longing and the Imagined Lives of Mexican Migrants (May 2018, The University of Texas Press). The book examines how people use talk about migration to critique of the failures of economic development for working-class people who live between Mexico and the United States. Her new research project concerns the criminalization of Mexican migrants and racializing discourses of sovereignty in anti-immigrant ordinances in small Pennsylvania towns. Dr. Dick teaches courses on globalization, development, and human rights; transnational migration; Latin American cultures, histories, and economies; research methods and writing; crime and punishment; and on the relationship between language and politics. Her ethnographic research is located in Guanajuato, Mexico and Pennsylvania. 

Areas Of Focus

Migration, Latin America, Language Practices

English, Spanish

Professional History



Words of Passage: National Belonging and the Imagined Lives of Mexican Migrants

Book, Forthcoming May 2018, University of Texas Press

Author 2017

Una Gabacha Sinvergüenza/A Shameless White Trash Woman: Moral Mobility and Interdiscursivity in a Mexican Migrant Community

Article, American Anthropologist

Author 2013

Diaspora and Discourse: The Contrapuntal Lives of Mexican Nonmigrants

Contribution to book, WILEY Blackwell

Author 2012

Self-Deportation as Neoliberal Morality Tale

Article, Anthropology News

Author 2011

Making Immigrants Illegal in Small Town USA

Article, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology

Author 2010

Imagined Lives and Modernist Chronotopes in Mexican Non-Migrant Discourse

Article, American Ethnologist

Research Summary

Below is a full list of my research interests. For your reference, I have also include above a selection of my publications as part of my profile. For more of my publications, please go to my Academia.edu page: http://hilarydick.academia.edu/.

Research Interests--Globalization, transnationalism, and international migration (focus on Mexico-US migration); neoliberalism and political economy; Latin American and Latino/a Studies; discourse analysis; semiotics of social difference; language and power; modernity; development and human rights; the construction of gender, race, class and the production of social inequality; relationship between racialization and criminalization; concepts of personhood and agency; the impact of law on migration processes.