Angela Stuesse, “Making the Story of American Immigration Come Alive”

June 12, 2020

For the millions of undocumented immigrants living in the United States, the changing nature of American immigration law and policy is not merely an abstract concern. The rise in anti-immigrant sentiment has transformed the lives of young people, who must contend with the uncertainty of their own legal status even as they fear for the safety of their families.

In this podcast, Angela Stuesse, associate professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, discusses her latest collaborative project, which seeks to understand the reality of contemporary immigration in the United States through a personal lens. Animating discourses of ethnography, testimony, and social analysis, Stuesse uses one Mississippi family’s story to illuminate the space between the statistics on American immigration.

Angela Stuesse
Angela Stuesse, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Angela Stuesse is associate professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For twenty years she has been conducting activist ethnographic research on social inequality in the U.S. South. Her research and teaching interests include capitalism, migration, racism, labor, human rights, and methodologies of activist research. Her first book, Scratching Out a Living: Latinos, Race, and Work in the Deep South (University of California Press 2016), explores how new Latino migration into Mississippi’s poultry industry has impacted communities and prospects for worker organizing. Her more recent work investigates the intensification of immigrant policing, detention, and deportation and the experiences of undocumented young people in higher education. A founding collaborator of UndocuCarolina, Stuesse’s current book project explores, through the experiences of one young person and her family, how the lives of undocumented youth in the twenty-first century U.S. have been indelibly shaped by the country’s discourses and policies on immigration.