Lorena Muñoz

Lorena Muñoz

Lorena Muñoz

Randy Hanson: I am trained in American Environmental Studies with a broad interest in sustainability, regional food and agricultural systems, global ecology and its regional manifestations, and institutional change/stability in relation to the global climate and ecological crisis.

I teach in the Department of Geography, Urban, Environmental and Sustainability Studies at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.  I am a Fellow at the Institute on the Environment; I am also the 2017-2018 Senior Fellow, Endowed Chair in Agricultural Systems (both at the University of Minnesota, TC).  I founded and direct the UMD Land Lab and SAP Farm, a thirty acre landscape scale farm/lab devoted to distributed food, water, energy and biodiversity action research (www.umdlandlab.org).

Currently my research follows two interrelated strands. First, I am examining theoretical and practical aspirations related to building regionally integrated foodsheds in the Western Lake Superior bioregion.  Much of this work is reflected in the UMD Land Lab, whose broad goal is to leverage the social, cultural and scientific resources of UMD to reclaim agriculture as a key driver of regional sustainability, as a response to global ecological change, and as a synergistic way to address key regional social and ecological challenges of our time.

Secondly, I am interested in ways that global social ecological changes, often encapsulated in the concept of the Anthropocene, are manifesting in conflicts and conversations at various scales related to natural resources, sustainability, and emerging social and political movements.  Responses to the Anthropocene on the part of diverse constituencies oscillate between a proverbial ‘race for what’s left’ (of a carbon fueled industrial praxis) and a ‘race for what’s next’ (decentralized post carbon futures).

Earlier in my career I focused on the politics of nuclear waste as shifting political economies of a post Cold War framework confronted the interminable waste of the American Century.


PhD: Geography, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 2008.



  • Food, Health and Labor: (Im)migrant Agency in the Production of Informal Economic Systems in Colombia, Mexico and the United States: University of Minnesota- Global Spotlight Faculty International Research Major Grant, 2012 – 2014
  • Queer, Gendered and Brown: (Re)Producing Latina/o Immigrant Informal Work in Los Angeles: University of Minnesota:IDEA-Multicultural Research Proposal, 2012 – 2013
  • Grant in Aid: Recovering Public Space: Violence, Migration and Informal Vending in Bogota, Colombia., 2015 – 2016
  • IMAGINE grant: Recetas de Familia: Food, ‘Place’ and Race in a U.S. Female Federal Prison., 2016 – 2017


  • Munoz, L. (2016). Entangled Sidewalks: Queer Street Vendors in Los Angeles. Professional Geographer, 68(2), 302-308. DOI: 10.1080/00330124.2015.1069126
  • Munoz, L. (2016). Agency, Choice and Restrictions in Producing Latina/o Street Vending Landscapes in Los Angeles. Area. DOI: 12266
  • Munoz, L. (2016). Bar Tasco: Latina Immigrant Vendor’s Mestiza Consciousness. Chicana/Latina Studies: The Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social, 16(1).
  • Munoz, L. (2015). Selling Memory and Nostalgia in the Barrio: Mexican and Central American Women (Re)Create Street Vending Spaces in Los Angeles. In Street Vending in the Neoliberal City: A Global Perspective on the Practices and Policies of a Marginalized Economy . (pp. 101-117). Berghahn Books.
  • Muñoz, L. (2013). From street child care to drive-throughs: Latinas reconfigure and negotiate street vending spaces in Los Angeles. In Immigrant Women Workers in the Neoliberal Age. (pp. 133-143). University of Illinois Press.
  • Munoz, Lorena (2012) “Latina Immigrants Street Vendors: Photo-documenting Sidewalks from Back “˜Home’.“ SRO Journal 17 (2) 21.
  • Munoz, Lorena (2010) “Brown, Queer and Gendered: Queering the Latina/o ‘Street-Scapes’ in Los Angeles“ in Queer Methods and Methodologies Edited by Kath Browne and Catherine J. Nash. Ashgate Press, UK.