This roundtable at Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse, in collaboration with the 77th annual Society for Applied Anthropology meeting, will bring three authors into dialogue about their recently published books. Deborah Boehm, Sarah Horton, and Angela Stuesse will discuss how the politics of citizenship shape the lives of migrants and Mexicanos in the United States, how these politics are racialized and gendered, and what their work suggests in terms of possibilities for social and/or political change.
Deborah Boehm’s Returned: Going and Coming in an Age of Deportation follows transnational Mexicans as they experience the alienation and unpredictability of deportation, tracing the particular ways that U.S. immigration policies and state removals affect families and telling the story of the chaos, and design, of deportation and its aftermath. The book includes accounts of displacement, struggle, suffering, and profound loss but also of resilience, flexibility, and imaginings of what may come.
Sarah Horton’s They Leave Their Kidneys in the Fields: Illness, Injury, and Illegality among U.S. Farmworkers takes readers on an ethnographic tour of the melon and corn harvesting fields of California’s Central Valley to understand why farmworkers suffer heatstroke and chronic illness at rates higher than workers in any other industry. Through captivating accounts of the daily lives of a core group of farmworkers over nearly a decade, Horton documents in startling detail how a tightly interwoven web of public policies and private interests creates exceptional and needless suffering.
Angela Stuesse’s Scratching Out a Living: Latinos, Race, and Work in the Deep South takes readers into Mississippi’s chicken processing plants and communities to examine how Latino immigration has transformed the South and complicated worker organizing in one of the lowest paid and most dangerous jobs in the country. Drawing upon six years at a local workers’ center, Stuesse illuminates connections between the area’s history of racial inequality and workers’ exclusion and political mobilization, calling for strategies that bring diverse working communities together in mutual construction of a more just future.