My name is Mo Torres (he/him). I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at Harvard, a Stone Fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and a doctoral fellow in the Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative.
My research and teaching interests are in political sociology, urban sociology, political economy, and the sociology of race and racism. My dissertation uses mixed and historical methods to explore the politics of post-industrial decline in Michigan from the 1970s to the present. Other ongoing projects include work on race-class stratification in financial institutions, police militarization, the sociology of W. E. B. Du Bois, and sociological theories of race and racism.
I am a former Democracy Doctoral Fellow (2020-2021) at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance, an Urban Dissertation Fellow (2017-2018) at the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, and in 2019 I was a Fulbright Scholar in Brazil, where I studied the politics of prison privatization as a Vising Scholar in Sociology at the Universidade de São Paulo.
At Harvard, my research has been funded by the Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Center for American Political Studies, the Division of Social Science, the Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, and the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy. Externally, I have received financial support from The Tobin Project and the University of Michigan's Bentley Historical Library.
I am a first-generation college graduate. I have a master's in Sociology from Harvard University (2018), a master's in Public Policy from the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan (2015), and a bachelor's in History (with honors) and Chicana/o Studies (with honors) from the University of California, Davis (2010). Before graduate school, I taught middle and high school Spanish in Detroit and worked in the K-12 education non-profit sector.
I am originally from Sacramento, CA, and I have a pre-teen turtle named Torta. When I am not dissertating, you can find me tucked away in a coffeeshop, hiking in the Sierra Nevada mountains (see photo), or consuming science fiction. My current sci fi goal is to read every Octavia Butler book before I graduate, and my favorite MCU character is Ant-Man.
I am a Resident Tutor at Currier House, where I am a member of the Diversity & Inclusion committee and coordinate programming on race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, and provide support for first generation/low-income students. I am also a Concentration Advisor (Currier, Eliot, and Kirkland Houses) in Sociology, and the current Departmental Writing Fellow at the Bok Center/Department of Sociology. If you are a Harvard College student, you can sign up for an advising meeting or writing consultation on Calendly.