Kathleen Griesbach

Kathleen Griesbach


Off the Clock: Uncertain Schedules and Contingent Worker Experiences in Urban and Rural Contexts

Dissertation Review Committee


I am a PhD student in Sociology, a Nell P. Eurich and Maurice Lazarus Fellow, and a Paul F. Lazarsfeld Fellow at Columbia University. Broadly interested in labor, borders defined broadly, and the intersectionality of inequality, I think a lot about how workers’ experiences are structured in and through time and space. My dissertation focuses on how contingent workers navigate unstable schedules and uncertain earnings in NYC and Texas, drawing on over 100 interviews with agricultural, oil & gas, academic and platform workers along with other data.

 I hold a B.A. in English and Latin American Studies from New York University and an M.A. in Latin American Studies and International Migration from UC San Diego, where I conducted research in the U.S. and Mexico and co-authored a publication with the Mexican Migration Field Research Program. For my M.A. thesis I conducted ethnographic research on immigration enforcement and detention in North Carolina and southern California, including 32 qualitative interviews and work with nonprofits in both regions, and published some of my findings in the academic journal Norteamérica. 

I lived and worked in Madrid, Spain as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant from 2011-2012. Prior to coming to Columbia, I worked as a paralegal and outreach advocate for a legal aid organization in the Rio Grande Valley border region of Texas. My research interests on labor, immigration, precarious work, and geographies of inequality are deeply informed by the people I met and worked with in south Texas. 


  • MA, MPhil, Columbia University (Sociology)
  • MA, UC San Diego (Latin American Studies)
  • BA, New York University (Latin American Studies and English)


  • Caron, Cathleen, Kathleen Griesbach, Ursula Roldan & Roxanne Sandoval. “Guatemala’s Implementation of the ICRMW: Emerging Effects” (Book Chapter). 2018. In Shining New Light on the UN Migrant Worker Convention. Pretoria, South Africa: Pretoria University Law Press.
  • Griesbach, Kathleen. “Local-Federal Immigration Enforcement in North Carolina: Mapping the Criminal-Immigration Overlap” (Article). 2011. Norteamérica: Revista Académica del CISAN-UNAM 6
  • Griesbach, Kathleen. “Southern States” (Encyclopedia Entry). 2014. In Undocumented Immigrants in the United States Today: An Encyclopedia of Their Experiences. Ed. Anna Ochoa O’Leary. Westbrook: ABC-CLIO-Greenwood.
  • García, Angela, Kathleen Griesbach, Jessica Andrade, Cristina González, and Guillermo Yrizar Barbosa. 2011. “Pressure from the Inside: The Effects of State-Level Immigration Policies for Tlacuitapenses in Oklahoma and California” (Book Chapter). In Recession without Borders: Mexican Migrants Confront the Economic Downturn edited by David FitzGerald, Rafael Alarcon, and Leah Muse-Orlinoff. La Jolla, CA and Boulder, CO: CCIS and Lynne Rienner Publishers.
  • Griesbach, Kathleen. September 9, 2010. “A Program at Odds with Federal Immigration Powers” (Op-Ed). The Raleigh News & Observer.



  • “The Social World” (Undergraduate). 2017 Summer.

Teaching Assistant.

  • “Sociology of Work and Gender” (Undergraduate). 2018 Spring. Professor Teresa Sharpe.
  • “Designs of Social Research” (PhD). 2017 Fall. Professor Joshua Whitford.