Knight Library,
Browsing Room

Mario Sifuentez
Mario Sifuentez

Speaker: Mario Sifuentez, Assistant Professor, University of California, Merced

Lecture title: “Of Forests and Fields: Mexican Labor in the Pacific Northwest”

Lecture date: Friday, October 28, 12-1:30 PM, Knight Browsing Room

Professor Mario Sifuentez, a UO alum, will be giving a public talk about his new book, Of Forests and Fields: Mexican Labor in the Pacific Northwest,on Friday October 28. The book includes several chapters on Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN), the Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United organization whose papers are housed in UO Libraries Special Collections and University Archives.

BIO: Mario Sifuentez is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of California Merced. Professor Sifuentez grew up in Eastern Oregon, the child of migrant farmworkers and attended the UO, graduating with a triple major in Political Science, History and Ethnic Studies in 2002. He received an MA in History at the UO in 2004, and went on to receive his PhD at Brown University in 2010.

Sifuentez is returning to campus on October 28 to talk about his groundbreaking first book, Of Forests and Fields: Mexican Labor in the Pacific Northwest, from Rutgers University Press. Employing an innovative approach that traces the intersections between Chicana/o labor and environmental history, Sifuentez shows how ethnic Mexican workers responded to white communities that only welcomed them when they were economically useful, then quickly shunned them. He vividly renders the feelings of isolation and desperation that led to the formation of ethnic Mexican labor organizations like the Pineros y Campesinos Unidos Noroeste (PCUN) farm workers union, which fought back against discrimination and exploitation. Of Forests and Fields not only extends the scope of Mexican labor history beyond the Southwest, it offers valuable historical precedents for understanding the struggles of immigrant and migrant laborers in our own era.

Sponsored by the Department of Ethnic Studies. Cosponsored by the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies.