Robert Chao Romero

Robert Chao Romero

Associate Professor
Core Faculty

Office: 7353 Bunche Hall


Phone: (310) 206-2813


With a Mexican father from Chihuahua and a Chinese immigrant mother from Hubei in central China, Romero’s dual cultural heritage serves as the basis for his academic studies.

His research examines Asian immigration to Latin America, as well as the large population of “Asian-Latinos” in the United States. His first book, The Chinese in Mexico, 1882-1940 (2010), tells the forgotten history of the Chinese community in Mexico.   The Chinese in Mexico received the Latina/o Studies Section Book Award from the Latin American Studies Association.

Drawing upon his background as attorney, Romero’s second area of research examines the legal history of Chicano/Latino segregation as well as immigration  law and policy. His most recent research explores the role of spirituality in Chicana/o social activism.

Romero received his J. D. from UC Berkeley and his Ph.D. in Latin American history from UCLA.


  • PhD, Latin American History, UCLA (2003)
  • JD, UC Berkeley (1998)
  • BA, History, UCLA (1994)


  • History of Latina/o Christianity
  • Religion and Social Movements
  • Chinese in Mexico
  • Asian-Latinos

Selected Publications

  • The Brown Church: Five Centuries of Latina/o Social Justice, Theology, and Identity (forthcoming Spring 2020)
  • The Chinese in Mexico, 1882-1940 (2010)
  • “The Spiritual Praxis of César Chávez.” Perspectivas: Journal of the Hispanic Theological Initiative (Princeton Theological Seminary). Issue 14. Spring 2017
  • “Toward a Perspective of Brown Theology.” In, Evangelical Theologies of Liberation and Justice. Ed., Mae Elise Cannon and Andrea Smith. InterVarsity Press Academic (2019)
  • “Towards a Perspective of the Christian-Ethnic Studies Borderlands and Critical Race Theory in Christianity.” ChristianityNext Journal. Winter 2017: 45-65
  • “Migration as Grace.” International Journal of Urban Transformation. October 2016, Volume 1.
  • Mixed Race Student Politics: The “Third Wave” Movement at UCLA (2019)
  • “El Destierro de los Chinos”: Popular Perspectives of Chinese-Mexican Interracial Marriage in the Early Twentieth. Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies 32, no. 1 (Spring 2007)
  • “Transnational Chinese Immigrant Smuggling to the United States via Mexico and Cuba, 1882-1916.” Amerasia Journal 30, no. 3 (2004/2005): 1-16.


  • Chicana and Chicano Studies 150: Mestizaje: History of the Diverse Racial and Cultural Roots of Chicanas and Chicanos
  • Chicana and Chicano Studies 178: Latinas/os and the Law: Comparative and Historical Perspectives
  • Chicana and Chicano Studies 213: Asian-Latinos
  • Chicana and Chicano Studies 213: The Brown Church: Five Centuries of Latina/o Social Justice, Theology, and Identity
  • Chicana and Chicano Studies 282: Chicana/o Legal History