Briana Nichols


Briana Nichols is a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate School of Education and the Department of Anthropology.  Her work has been generously funded by a National Academy of Education/NAEd Spencer Foundation Fellowship.  Briana's research focuses broadly on how living in the wake of transnational migration informs new political, economic and social formations.  She has written on immigration, development, coloniality and community change in both Guatemalan and U.S. contexts, examining how human (im)mobility articulates with educational systems as well as gendered and racial epistemologies.


BA, Anthropology, University of Chicago, 2007 MA, Urban Education, University of Chicago, 2008

Research Interests

I am a joint PhD student in anthropology and education. My current research interests focus on the mobility, subjective positioning and management by both state and non-state actors of undocumented unaccompanied youth as they circulate between Latin American and the United States. I also hope to explore the discursive production of people as "social types" and the conceptualization of borders, statehood and sovereignty in transnational migration contexts.

Selected Publications

Nichols, Briana. 2021. "Nothing is easy: educational striving and migration deferral in Guatemala." Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

Graduation Year



Dissertation Title

Imagining Un Futuro Digno: Indigenous Youth Striving for Non-Migration in Guatemala

Graduate Status