About Robin Reineke
Robin Reineke, PhD is Assistant Research Social Scientist at the University of Arizona’s Southwest Center and Assistant Professor at the School of Anthropology. She is a sociocultural anthropologist with specializations in transnational migration, science and technology studies, human rights, forensic anthropology, and the anthropology of death. Her research and fieldwork are focused on the US-Mexico border region, especially the Sonoran Desert. Dr. Reineke's research centers on questions relating to forensics, evidence, and care, including: What qualifies as "evidence" and who has the power to create forums where evidence is presented and discussed? How are forensic methodologies employed as a critical social practice outside of state practices of policing? What are the impacts of US border militarization on local communities?
Dr. Reineke's research has investigated the impact of border deaths and disappearances on immigrant communities, the ways in which families of missing migrants have changed the practice of forensic science in the US-Mexico borderlands, and the violence of border deaths and disappearances. From 2006 - 2020, she spent significant time working with the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner doing ethnographic research and collaborating in the development of various projects and initiatives to address the challenges of unidentified human remains and missing persons in the borderlands. These initiatives included development of the nonprofit, nongovernmental organization, the Colibrí Center for Human Rights, which Reineke co-founded and directed from 2013 - 2019.
Dr. Reineke is currently working on her first book, Grieving Strangers, which is an ethnography about local efforts to care for the dead and their families in the borderlands of Arizona. Together with her research colleague Dr. Natalia Mendoza Rockwell, Dr. Reineke is also currently working on a binational research project called Forensic Citizenship in the Borderlands. This visual, oral history, and ethnographic project is focused on understanding civilian forensic expertise and critical practice on both sides of the Arizona-Sonora border. The project is funded by the University of Arizona Libraries' Digital Borderlands Program and the ConfluenceCenter for Creative Inquiry's Fronteridades Faculty Fellowship.
Dr. Reineke is from Seattle, Washington. She received a BA in anthropology from Bryn Mawr College, and a Master’s and Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Arizona. Her work has been featured in the BBC, CNN, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Economist, The Nation, and the documentary film, Who Is Dayani Cristal? She was awarded the Institute for Policy Studies’ Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award and Echoing Green’s Global Fellowship in 2014.
Refereed Journal Articles
2022 Natural deaths in extraordinary times: Governing COVID dead in southern Arizona. Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal. 8 (1): 67–83. https://doi.org/10.7227/HRV.8.1.5. (Robin C. Reineke).
2022 Forensic Citizenship among Families of Missing Migrants along the U.S.-Mexico Border. Citizenship Studies 0 (0): 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1080/13621025.2021.2018675.
2021 Two Decades of Death and Disappearance along the U.S.-Mexico Border. Hot Spots, Fieldsights, October 19. https://culanth.org/fieldsights/two-decades-of-death-and-disappearance-a.... Reineke, Robin C.
2021 Skeletal evidence of structural violence among undocumented migrants from Mexico and Central America. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. August. 1-22. (Jared S. Beatrice, Angela Soler, Robin C. Reineke, Daniel E. Martínez).
2021 Ambiguous Loss and Embodied Grief Related to Mexican Migrant Disappearances. Medical Anthropology 0 (0): 1–14. (Rebecca M. Crocker, Robin C. Reineke, and María Elena Ramos Tovar).
2017 Hughes, Cris., Bridgett Algee-Hewitt, Robin Reineke, Elizabeth Clausing and Bruce Anderson, Temporal Patterns of Mexican Migrant Genetic Ancestry: Implications for Identification. American Anthropologist, 119: 193–208.
2014 Martinez, Daniel and Robin Reineke. “Structural Violence and Migrant Deaths in Southern Arizona: Data from the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, 1990-2013.” Journal of Migration and Human Security. JMHS Volume 2 Number 4 (2014): 257-286.
Chapters in Books and Monographs
2019 Reineke, Robin. “Necroviolence and Postmortem Care Along the U.S.-Mexico Border,” in The Border and Its Bodies, edited by Thomas Sheridan and Randall McGuire, University of Arizona Press, forthcoming Fall 2019
2018 Reineke, Robin. Foreword. In Sociopolitics of Migrant Death and Repatriation: Perspectives from Forensic Science, edited by Krista E. Latham and Alyson O’Daniel. Bioarchaeology and Social Theory Series, Springer International
2016 Reineke, Robin and Bruce E. Anderson. Missing in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. In Missing Persons: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on the Disappeared, edited by Derek Congram. Canadian Scholars’ Press.
2016 Reineke, Robin. Los Desaparecidos de la frontera: The missing of the border. In: R Rubio-Goldsmith, C Fernández, J Finch, and A Masterson-Algar (eds) Migrant Deaths in the Arizona Desert: La vida no vale nada (Life is Worthless). Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
2019 Reineke, Robin. “Artifact: Unnamed Fishing Vessel.” Borderlore Magazine, Southwest Folklife Alliance. June 2019.
2016 Reineke, Robin. Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains at the United States–Mexico Border. In Fatal Journeys 2: Identification and Tracing of Dead and Missing Migrants. International Organization for Migration (IOM).
2014 Reineke, Robin and Daniel Martinez. “Migrant deaths in the Americas.” In Fatal Journeys: Tracking Lives Lost During Migration edited by the International Organization for Migration.
2013 Reineke, Robin. “Lost in the System: Unidentified Bodies on the Border.” North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) Report on the Americas, Summer 2013. https://nacla.org/article/lost-system-unidentified-bodies-border
2013 Martinez, Daniel and Robin Reineke. “Undocumented Border Crosser Deaths in Southern Arizona.” Border Criminologies, June 22 2013. http://bordercriminologies.law.ox.ac.uk/tag/robin-reineke
2013 Martinez, Daniel and Robin Reineke. “New Report Shows that Migrant Deaths Remain High in Arizona.” North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) Border Wars Blog, June 5, 2013. http://nacla.org/blog/2013/6/4/new-report-shows-migrant-deaths-remain-high-arizona
2013 Martinez, Daniel, Robin Reineke, Raquel Rubio-Goldsmith, Bruce E. Anderson, Gregory L. Hess, Bruce O. Parks, A Continued Humanitarian Crisis at the Border: Undocumented Border Crosser Deaths Recorded by the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, 1990 – 2012. Report Published by the Binational Migration Institute, June. http://bmi.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/border_deaths_final_web.pdf
Selected Media and News Appearances
CNN, "'No Olvidado': These Americans find and bury missing migrants." https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2019/12/us/no-olvidado-missing-migrants-border/
New York Times, “They Died Near the Border. Art Students Hope to Bring Them Back.” https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/02/arts/design/new-york-academy-of-art-arizona-border.html. March 2, 2018.
CNN, United Shades of America with Kamau Bell, https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/27/opinions/united-shades-america-border-us-mexico-kamau-bell-opinion/index.html May 28, 2018
Washington Post, “Search for missing migrants: Families hope DNA will guide them to lost loved ones.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/immigration/search-for-the-missing-immigrants-hope-dna-will-guide-them-to-lost-loved-ones/2017/12/11/2b278f0a-d933-11e7-b859-fb0995360725_story.html. December 11 2017.
Reveal News, “The deadliest route to the American dream.” https://www.revealnews.org/article/the-deadliest-route-to-the-american-dream/. March 3, 2017
Los Angeles Times, “In Arizona, Border Patrol doesn’t include dozens of deaths in tally of migrants who perish.” http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-border-patrol-count-20161128-story.html. December 15, 2016.
NBC News, “Finding Missing Migrants, or Their Remains, is Grim Border Work” https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/missing-migrants-n405326. August 18, 2015.
The Independent, “Finding Names for America’s Shame.” https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/finding-the-names-for-america-s-shame-what-happens-to-the-immigrants-crossing-the-us-mexico-border-9629774.html. July 25, 2014.
BBC News, Missing Migrants: The Documentary. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01v5sq8. March 17, 2014.
Documentary Film, “Who is Dayani Cristal?” http://www.whoisdayanicristal.com/, Directed by Marc Silver, feature-length documentary film distributed by Kino Lorber, February 2014.
ABC News, Nightline, “Tracing the Human Cost of Immigration” January 3, 2014.
New York Times, “Bodies on the Border,” Op-Doc by Marc Silver, August 17, 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/18/opinion/bodies-on-the-border.html
Arizona Daily Star, Discoveries of crossers’ bodies now at lowest level in 10 years. Perla Treviso, February 21, 2013. http://azstarnet.com/news/local/border/discoveries-of-crossers-bodies-now-at-lowest-level-in-years/article_203b9754-ecde-5bd9-a98c-c63f61b0a8d1.html
Public Radio International’s The World, “Identifying the Migrants Who Die Crossing the US/Mexico Border” http://www.theworld.org/2013/01/identifying-migrants-mexico-border/ January 24, 2013
BBC World Service, Outlook Program, Naming the Dead on the Mexican Border, http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p011ylt4 December 24, 2012
Los Angeles Times, “Arizona county's grim lost and found” http://articles.latimes.com/2012/oct/17/nation/la-na-migrant-possessions-20121017, October 17, 2012
National Public Radio’s State of the Reunion, “Tucson: Borderlands,” http://stateofthereunion.com/home/season-3/tucson-azSeptember 17, 2012
Arizona Daily Star, Nearly 1,700 bodies, each one a mystery http://azstarnet.com/news/local/border/nearly-bodies-each-one-a-mystery/article_d8972316-b63a-5e4a-ad01-8518b0012730.html August 24, 2010