(W)rap on: Immigration

“(W)Rap on: Immigration” is the second episode of the (W)Rap On series at AnthroPod, which brings anthropologists into conversation with artists, activists, and scholars from other disciplines and perspectives. The series is loosely inspired by James Baldwin and Margaret Mead’s 1970 conversation Rap on Race, and was conceived by Hilary Leathem in collaboration with AnthroPod.

Our format attempts to identify and confront some of the problems that Mead and Baldwin’s conversation embodied, such as white fragility, complicity with power structures, and the struggle to create space for different groups to speak openly. We provide a platform for thoughtful and incisive discussions that highlight solidarities and shared commitments. We also highlight frictions and tensions between anthropological and other approaches.

In this episode, anthropologist Jason De León discusses migration, writing, and teaching with journalist Maria Hinojosa. Julio Ricardo Varela moderates the conversation.

Recommended Resources

Abbruzzese, Teresa, et al. 2018. “Five Things You Should Know about the ‘Migrant Caravan’.” American Anthropological Association blog, November 5.

Buff, Rachel Ida. 2008. “The Deportation Terror.” American Quarterly 60, no. 3: 523–51.

De León, Jason. 2015. The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail. Oakland: University of California Press.

Doering-White, John. 2018. “Evidencing Violence and Care along the Central American Migrant Trail through Mexico.” Social Service Review 92, no. 3: 432–69.

Frank-Vitale, Amelia. 2018. “From Caravan to Exodus, from Migration to Movement.” NACLA website, November 20.

Olivares, José. 2018. Citizen Illegal. Chicago: Haymarket Books.


This episode of AnthroPod was produced and edited by Arielle Milkman. Our executive producer is Beth Derderian. Thanks to our guests, Jason De León and Maria Hinojosa, and to our moderator, Julio Ricardo Varela.

AnthroPod features interviews with anthropologists about their work, experiences in the field, and current events. To pitch your own episode ideas or to offer feedback, email us at anthropod@culanth.org.

You can find AnthroPod on SoundCloud, subscribe to it on iTunes, or use our RSS feed. If you have any thoughts on this episode or on AnthroPod more broadly, please leave us a comment to the right or get in touch via Facebook and Twitter.

Music: All the Colors of the World, by Podington Bear.