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Meet the Team

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Iván Chaar López

Principal Investigator

Iván Chaar López is an Assistant Professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the Principal Investigator of the Border Tech Lab, and his work appears in American Quarterly, Social Studies of Science, Critical Ethnic Studies, The Guardian, and Interactions (ACM). He is also the author of The Cybernetic Border: Drones, Technology, and Intrusion (Duke University Press, 2024). As a member of Precarity Lab, Chaar López co-wrote Technoprecarious (Goldsmiths, 2020).

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Odalis Garcia Gorra

Graduate Researcher

Odalis Garcia Gorra is a doctoral student in American Studies at UT Austin. She has a BA from The New School in Journalism with a concentration in Religious Studies, and an MA in theological studies from Harvard Divinity School. Her research explores diasporic Latinx and Caribbean identities. She's specifically interested in how Latinx digital communities become pathways for innovative cultural expression, identity formation, and how Latinidad is commodified.

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Anahí Ponce

Graduate Researcher

Anahí Ponce is an El Paso native, writer, and scholar. She holds a BA in English and American Literature from the Univ. of Texas at El Paso, an MA in Mexican American and Latina/o Studies (MALS) from the Univ. of Texas at Austin, and is a current doctoral candidate in MALS. Her research focuses on digital technologies as methods of contemporary borderlands activism. Anahí is interested in how queer, and women of color borderlands residents work with and against the grain of the digital to do political organizing and construe notions of identity, belonging, and solidarity.


Claire Fitch

Graduate Researcher


BTL Alumni

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Emma Li

Undergraduate Researcher

Emma Li graduated the University of Texas at Austin with a major in Race, Indigeneity, and Migration, and Marketing. She will be joining the Boston Consulting Group as an Associate. Emma's interests include diaspora experiences, social movements, and Chinese society and politics. In her free time, she loves exploring coffee shops around Austin, becoming an amateur ceramicist, and bouldering!

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Carolina Vela

Undergraduate Researcher

Carolina Vela graduated the University of Texas at Austin, earning their B.A. in History. Their research interests include border histories/narratives, critical urban studies, and artistic methods of collective resistance. Outside of academia, Carolina enjoys spending time working through their long (much-ignored) list of films and walking around the neighborhoods of Austin.


Victoria Sánchez

Visiting Researcher

Victoria joined the lab in spring 2021 until spring 2023. She received her BA from Carleton College and her MA from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research interests include feminist STS, the racial politics of care, game studies, and Latinx Studies. You can find her furthering diversity and inclusion efforts at Riot Games.

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