Monica W. Varsanyi
Monica W.
Phone number
Room number

PhD     Geography, UCLA 
MA      Geography, University of Washington
BA       Geography-Environmental Studies and International Development Studies, UCLA


Monica Varsanyi is Interim Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at the CUNY Graduate Center.  Her academic appointments at CUNY include Professor of Geography in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Doctoral Program at the Graduate Center, faculty in the International Migration Studies Master's Program at the Graduate Center, and Professor of Political Science at John Jay College, CUNY.  She is a scholar of migration, membership, and the state, with a specific focus on unauthorized immigration and immigration federalism in the United States.  Her books include Taking Local Control: Immigration Policy Activism in U.S. Cities and States (Stanford University Press, 2010, edited volume) and Policing Immigrants: Local Law Enforcement on the Front Lines (with Doris Marie Provine, Scott Decker, and Paul Lewis; University of Chicago Press, 2016; winner of the “2018 Outstanding Book in Policing Award” by the American Society of Criminology).  Her current research project, with Marie Provine, traces the evolution of immigration policies and the tensions of immigration federalism as they have played out in New Mexico and Arizona from the Territorial Period to the present.  She is also working on a project that explores the nativist roots of voter disenfranchisement in the United States.  Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities.  

Professional Memberships

American Political Science Association (elected Secretary of the Migration and Citizenship Section)

Association of American Geographers

American Sociological Association

Social Science History Association

Law and Society Association



Scholarly Work

Selected Publications

  • Siener, Christian and Monica W. Varsanyi (eds.). 2022. “Editorial:  State of the Archives, Archives of the State:  Methodological Challenges of Archival Research in Geography,” Special issue of Professional Geographer.  
  • Varsanyi, Monica W. (2020) “Hispanic Racialization, Citizenship, and the Colorado Border Blockade of 1936,” Journal of American Ethnic History. 40(1):  5-39. 
  • Provine, Marie, Monica Varsanyi, Paul Lewis, and Scott Decker. (2016) Policing Immigrants: Local Law Enforcement on the Front Lines. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Winner of the “2018 Outstanding Book in Policing Award” of the American Society of Criminology.
  • Varsanyi, Monica; Paul Lewis; Marie Provine; and Scott Decker. (2012) “A multilayered jurisdictional patchwork: Immigration federalism in the United States.” Law & Policy. 34(2): 138-158.
  • Varsanyi, Monica W. (2011) “Neoliberalism and nativism: Local anti-immigrant policy activism and an emerging politics of scale” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 35(2): 295-311.
  • Varsanyi, Monica (ed.) (2010) Taking Local Control: Immigration Policy Activism in U.S. Cities and States. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.
  • Varsanyi, Monica W. (2008) “Rescaling the ‘alien’, rescaling personhood: Neoliberalism, immigration and the state,” Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 98(4):  877-896.
  • Varsanyi, Monica W. (2006) “Interrogating ‘urban citizenship’ vis-à-vis undocumented migration,” Citizenship Studies 10(2):  229-249.