Michael Klajbor-Smith is a San Jose, California native, as well as an alumnus of University of Nevada, Reno and Biola University. His research is primarily focused on border enforcement on the U.S./Mexico borderlands and the interrogation of racism and xenophobia within U.S. immigration policy. In particular, he has focused on legal texts as sites of rhetorical citizenship-making, as well as studying activist resistance to enforcement activities.
In his spare time, Michael loves to spend time getting lost on a bike, repurposing old technology (as well as learning the limits of old power grids), and getting lost in tabletop RPG worlds.
Border Rhetorics; Critical Geographies; Immigration Policy; Critical Cultural Rhetoric
M.A. Thesis: “'Bad Hombres' - Racialized Rhetoric in Trump’s Immigration Policy"
This project interrogates several aspects of racialized rhetoric as it pertains to Trump’s immigration legal policy for Latinx migrants on the Southern U.S. border, as well as public comments made in support of it. Through usage of color-blind racial rhetoric, along with the usage of “alien” as a metaphor to describe Latinx migrants, Trump and his administration have de-legitimized Latinx bodies as worthy of "citizen", causing Latinx migrants and citizens alike to be subject to hatred and violence from xenophobia and reassured racial fears. In this project, I also discuss the role of Fox News opinion media in perpetuating and cycling such rhetoric in symbiosis with Trump, cementing such racial prejudices in the minds of the Trump voter base. This research captures the current racial sentiments towards Latinx individuals of Donald Trump, the current U.S. president, and his voter base.
M.A., Communication Studies, University of Nevada-Reno
B.A., Cultural Anthropology, Biola University
Awards and Honors
2020 Outstanding Fellow Award - Illinois Summer Pre-doctoral Institute
2020 Illinois Summer Pre-doctoral Institute Fellow
Graduate College Fellow
CMN 111/112: Oral and Written Communication I/II