Dr. Joe R. Tafoya

Assistant Professor of Political Science 

DePaul University, Chicago


Yo soy Joe R. Tafoya from East Los Angeles, California where I was raised by a community of immigrants. 

My involvement in the student movement for immigrant rights in 2006 led me to be the first in my family to go to college. I earned a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin where I specialized in American politics, public policy, and research methods. 

My research is organized around the dual outcomes of Latino population growth in the United States: Latino political empowerment and anti-immigrant/anti-Latino racism. Within growing Latino communities, opportunities for political engagement and representation in elected office are advancing community interests and improving quality of life. Simultaneously, Latino population growth is alarming conservatives who respond with opposition to immigrants and limiting the right to vote for people of color. My research unites these dual conditions to be able to say more about what it means to be American in an age of social transformation. How might Latinos challenge racist notions like the Great Replacement Theory? My research explores opportunities for Latino political engagement and attitudes towards immigrants by the American public.

My teaching is focused on the dignity of individuals, their relationship to complex institutional designs, and using evidence to identify opportunities for social progress. My course offerings organize my pedagogical approach into two streams:

Political Culture

LSP200: Race, Power, Resistance - foundational and contemporary perspectives shaping movements for racial justice.

PSC212: Latino Politics - identity formation and political mobilization of this country’s largest minority group.

PSC226: Latino Political Behavior - empirical evidence on whether Latinos affirm or redefine what it means to be American.

Research Methodology

PSC200: Political Inquiry - what is political science? and fundamentals of social science research.

PSC205: Statistics for the Social Sciences - students learn the fundamentals of quantitative research and statistical computing.

PSC327: Public Opinion - polling of the public, election returns, and students learn to conduct investigations. 

Curriculum Vitae

Contact: j.tafoya@depaul.edu; twitter; facebook