Alfonso Morales

Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor

(608) 263.4848

104 Music Hall

Photo of Alfonso Morales

Ford Foundation Post Doctoral Fellow, American Bar Foundation Dissertation Fellow, PhD, Northwestern, MS University of Chicago, MS University of Texas at Dallas, BS/BA Economics/Sociology New Mexico State University

Campus Affiliations
UW-Extension State Specialist, SMPH, Sociology, CIAS

Research Interests
urban social theory, law, food systems, economic development


Alfonso Morales is originally from New Mexico and his family has farmed and ranched in West Texas for more than 100 years. He is interested in applying science to support society and to help produce social goods. He studies food systems, public marketplaces, and street vendors, supports non-profit organizations, writes these topics as well as about entrepreneurship, law, and regulation, and he does a variety of outreach activities.

See for instance his support of farmers market managers through

He has been part of more than $10m of research grant activity with units around campus including the School of Medicine, the College of Ag and Life Sciences, the School of Human Ecology, the Nelson Institute and the College of Letters and Science.

He writes for a variety of audiences, has published in the top journals of six disciplinary associations, and his work is discussed in numerous national and international media outlets.

For instance, in February of 2018 he was invited to deliver the Coss lecture to the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, in March of 2018 he did an hour long “University of the Air” interview for Wisconsin Public Radio, and in April 2018 traveled to Valencia Spain to deliver a Keynote address to a conference of academics and government on the place of markets and urban agriculture in large city food systems.

A few other audio or video recordings:

Guest Appearances for Alfonso Morales on Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR)

He presented on October 7th, 2011 at the Power Conference at University of Michigan’s Tubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.

Professor Morales was featured in the movie Cheat You Fair, which was about Chicago’s Maxwell Street Market.

Professor Morales initiated the Kaufman Lab for the Study and Design of Food Systems and Marketplaces in 2014.


The best way to see my publications is to ask me for what you’d like to read – I am HAPPY to share my work with you.


You can read more about the Kaufman Lab, but the best thing to do is give me a call, send me an email or drop by to visit!


I teach a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses, Research Design, Central City Planning, Food Systems and Marketplaces, Strategies for Effective Planning, etc.