Canceled: EN MEDIO | Closing event featuring Jason de León

Since the mid-1990s, the U.S. federal government has relied on a border enforcement strategy known as “Prevention Through Deterrence. ”Using various security infrastructure and techniques of surveillance, this strategy funnels undocumented migrants towards remote and rugged terrain such as the Sonoran Desert of Arizona with the hope that mountains ranges, extreme temperatures, and other “natural” obstacles will deter people from unauthorized entry. Hundreds of people perish annually while undertaking this dangerous activity. Since 2009, the Undocumented Migration Project has used a combination of forensic, archaeological, and ethnographic approaches to understand the various forms of violence that characterize the social process of clandestine migration. In this talk Jason de Leon focuses on what happens to the bodies of migrants who die in the desert. He argues that the way that bodies decompose in this environment is a form of hidden political violence that has deep ideological roots and demonstrate how the post-mortem destruction of migrant corpses creates devastating forms of long-lasting trauma.

Jason De Leon is Professor of Anthropology and Chicana, Chicano, and Central American Studies at UCLA. He is Executive Director of the Undocumented Migration Project, a research-arts-education collective that seeks to document and raise awareness about the experiences of clandestine migrants, and President of the Board of Directors for the Colibri Center for Human Rights, a non-profit that seeks to identify and repatriate the remains of people who have died while migrating through the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. De Leon is the author of the award-winning book “The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail” and is a 2017 MacArthur Fellow. He is currently working on a book project called “Soldiers and Kings,” an ethnography of the lives of Honduran smugglers crossing Mexico.

Date: Friday, January 21, 2022
Interactive Activity: 3-4 p.m. (Meet the creator of Hostile Terrain and fill out a toe tag)
Time: 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Location: The Lilley
Event link

Sponsors: American Council of Learned Societies, Department of Anthropology, Department of Gender, Race and Identity, Hilliard Endowment Fund, The Lilley, Ozmen Institute, Core Humanities, School of Social Research and Justice Studies

Friday, January 21 at 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Lilley 1664 N Virginia St MS 0224, Reno, NV 89557