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McKelvey School of Engineering

'Understanding the Current Politics of Migrant Life and Death along the U.S.-Mexico Border'

Wednesday, December 4, 2019 | 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Women's Building Formal Lounge

Jason De León will present this Holocaust Memorial Lecture.

This year's event will feature a lecture by De León, professor of anthropology at UCLA, titled "The Land of Open Graves: Understanding the Current Politics of Migrant Life and Death along the US/Mexico Border." The lecture is co-sponsored by the Center for the Humanities and the Program in American Culture Studies.

The Holocaust Memorial Lecture is an annual event that is administered by the Washington University Center for the Humanities. It was inaugurated in 1989 by then-Chancellor William H. Danforth, who, at the request of both students and faculty, appointed a committee to establish a permanent lecture. Held on or near the anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogroms in Nazi Germany, the lecture aims not only to commemorate the Holocaust but also to address its broader implications for other instances of systematic persecution, mass murder and genocide. 

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations


Arts & Sciences


Humanities & Society



Assembly Series
American Culture Studies, Center for the Humanities
Event Contact

Barbara Liebmann | liebmann@wustl.edu

Speaker Information

Jason De León is an anthropologist at UCLA whose research interests include theories of violence, materiality, Latin American migration, photoethnography, forensic science and archaeology of the contemporary. He directs the Undocumented Migration Project (UMP), a long-term study of clandestine border crossing that uses a combination of ethnographic, archaeological, visual and forensic approaches to understand this phenomenon in a variety of geographic contexts including the Sonoran Desert of Southern Arizona, Northern Mexican border towns and the southern Mexico/Guatemala border. He is currently working on a book manuscript tentatively titled "Soldiers and Kings" that uses the lens of photoethnography to examine the daily lives of Honduran smugglers moving migrants across Mexico.

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Catherine Betz

Catherine Betz left a positive review 12/3/2019

Phenomenal talk, very important topic with need for greater visibility.