MSU to host presentation by California anthropologist Jason De León

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

A man stares at the camera while standing in a desert with mountains in the distance.
Jason De León (Submitted photo)     

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State’s Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures is sponsoring an Oct. 1 presentation by California anthropologist and educator Jason De León.

Free and open to the public, De León’s lecture takes place at 6:30 p.m. in Old Main Academic Center’s Turner A. Wingo Auditorium. His Friday evening talk is titled “The Land of Open Graves: Understanding the Current Politics of Migrant Life and Death Along the U.S.-Mexico Border.”

A 2017 MacArthur Foundation Fellow, De León is a professor of anthropology and Chicana/o studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, from which he earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology. Also holding a Ph.D. in anthropology from Penn State, De León is executive director of the Undocumented Migration Project. For his long-term anthropological study of migration from Latin America to the U.S., he uses a combination of ethnographic, visual, archaeological and forensic approaches to bring to light the lives and deaths of clandestine migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border into the Sonoran Desert of Arizona.

De León has published numerous academic articles, and his work with the UMP has been featured in a variety of popular media outlets. He is the author of the award-winning book “The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail.”

For more on De León’s presentation, contact David Hoffman, MSU associate professor in the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures, at 662-325-2013 or

Learn more about MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures at and

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Monday, September 27, 2021 - 8:57 am