Please join us for the Spring 2021 CLLAS Research Series Graduate Student Colloquium!

This is a remote event and will take place over Zoom. To join the CLLAS email list and receive Zoom login information, please email us at cllas@uoregon.edu or subscribe here.

Photo by Polet Campos-Melchor

Polet Campos-Melchor (Anthropology), “El Noa Noa: Strategies of Love and Care at the U.S.- México border”

In this talk, I textualize my ethnographic research conducted in Ciudad Juárez during the summer of 2019 and the 10 follow up virtual interviews I conducted in 2020. The questions that informed my research are: How do trans asylum seekers re-conceptualize love as a survival strategy in the context of migration? What strategies do trans asylum seekers utilize while navigating the U.S.-México border? How do trans asylum seekers narrate their experiences of love in the face of trans bigotry and at the intersections of trans phobia, homophobia and xenophobia?  By focusing on trans asylum seekers’ experiences, I propose that trans asylum seekers’ strategies of love at the U.S.- México border challenge existing heteronormative migration narratives and stories of LGBT+ subjectivities.

Photo by Lola Loustaunau

Lola Loustaunau (Sociology), “From disposability to collective care: experiences of migrant essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic”

For migrant workers in food processing “becoming essential” during the past year meant the exacerbation of their disposability. This research explores these workers’ experiences as the pandemic unfolded, how they struggled for their and their families’ survival, and as they did so, built new and expansive communities of care. I argue that unpacking the affective dimension of their working conditions and their collective organizing allows seeing how these workers turned coraje into courage and defied the structural oppression that had rendered them disposable.

Polet Campos-Melchor and Lola Loustaunau were both awarded the 2020 CLLAS Summer Research Grant.

Polet Campos-Melchor is a PhD student in Anthropology and Graduate Certificate student in WGSS at the University of Oregon. Her research explores how trans and lesbian migrants and scholars articulate and narrate strategies of love and care, expanding beyond only the imaginary into tangible strategies of survival. Polet is also a University of Oregon Promising Scholar. Her research has been funded by the Tinker Foundation, the University of Oregon’s Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies, and the Center for the Study of Women in Society.

Lola Loustaunau is a Ph.D. candidate in the Sociology Department. Her research focuses on precarity, low-wage migrant workers, emotions, and collective organizing. She has received several awards for her dissertation work and will be a Wayne Morse Graduate Fellow for the AY 2021-2022. She has recently co-authored: ‘No choice but to be essential: expanding dimensions of precarity during the COVID-19’ (Sociological perspectives, 2021) and ‘Impossible choices: how workers manage unpredictable scheduling practices’ (Labor Studies Journal 2019).