Robert Vargas was named a Neubauer Family Assistant Professor in 2017. His research in the Department of Sociology examines how laws, politics, and bureaucracies shape the conditions of cities, with a particular focus on violence and health care.
Vargas’s award-winning book Wounded City: Violent Turf Wars in a Chicago Barrio examines the impact ward redistricting has on urban violence. His research has been published in numerous journals, including the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, and Criminology. He has also contributed editorials to CNN, the Sociological Forum, and Public Radio International on the subject of ending gun violence in Chicago’s neighborhoods.
Vargas is the recipient of a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award. He serves on the editorial board of the American Sociological Review and has lectured across the country on issues of access to health care among the urban poor, police spending patterns, and violence and community involvement in the Latino community.
Prior to joining the University of Chicago faculty, Vargas was an assistant professor at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has a bachelor’s degree in public policy studies from DePaul University and a PhD in sociology from Northwestern University.