Dr. Nielan Barnes, Professor and Department Chair


Dr. Nielan Barnes, Professor & Department Chair

Email: Nielan.Barnes@csulb.edu

Phone: (562) 985–4608

Office: PSY-141

Main Courses: 

  • Principles of Sociology 100
  • Sociology of Health and Medicine 462
  • Sociology of Sexualities 426


  • Ph.D. Sociology, University of California, San Diego, 2005
  • M.A. Sociology, University of California, San Diego, 2001
  • M.A. Latin American Studies, University of California, San Diego, 1998.
  • B.A. Women’s Studies, San Diego State University, 1994

Current Research, Community Affiliations and Activities:

Professor Barnes’ current research investigates the intersectional dimensions of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer; often referred to as ‘sexual minorities) immigration from Mexico to the US and Canada.  As part of the research, Prof. Barnes has testified as an expert witness and served as a pro bono consultant in over 50 Immigration Asylum cases involving networks of lawyers and immigration advocates throughout the US.  On March 6 2015 the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard arguments for three of these transgender asylum cases under appeal; the written decision filed on September, 3 2015 quotes parts of her testimony. This case – known as “Avendano vs. Lynch” – is groundbreaking in that it establishes legal precedence that 1) gender identity is a separate category from sexual identity and 2) country conditions in Mexico for transgender constitute a basis for a positive asylum claim. Here are two links to articles from the San Francisco Bay Area Reporter (and here) in which Dr. Barnes is quoted.

Selected Publications:

 Awards and Grants: