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Information Session on the Undocumented Migration Project with Prof. de León

Thursday, January 26, 2012
5:00 AM
221 West Hall

Interested in Latino migration issues, anthropology, or archaeology? Come to an information session with Prof. de León!

The Undocumented Migration Project is a long-term anthropological study of clandestine migration between Northern Mexico and Southern Arizona. This project was conceived in an effort to better understand various elements of border crossing, deportation, and the human smuggling industry in Latin America, as well as to demonstrate the effectiveness of using an archaeological approach to understand an ongoing and clandestine social process. Since the mid-1990’s, hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants from Mexico and beyond have been entering the United States on foot through Arizona. Migrants will often walk for several days across the harsh Sonora Desert to reach places such as Tucson. People typically carry backpacks loaded with food, clothing, and other provisions and along the way they rest (and often discard these goods) at temporary campsites known as “migrant stations”. Hundreds of migrant stations have been identified in southern Arizona. Using traditional archaeological field methods and ethnography, this project examines migrant material culture to understand many aspects of this clandestine cultural phenomenon. As part of this research, Jason De León (Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology) will direct a anthropological field school in southern Arizona this summer from June 17th through July 22nd. Students will earn 8 college credits and be trained in archaeological and ethnographic field methods. Students will live and work in the Southern Arizona desert for five weeks while simultaneously being exposed to the many complex social, political, and economic issues surrounding undocumented migration. In addition to conducting field work and independent research, students will go on a variety of field trips including visits to federal deportation court and migrant shelters in Northern Mexico. Additional online information can be found at 7pm, 221 West Hall.