Jason De Leon/The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail

deleon-bio-pic.jpgJason De Leon is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Faculty Associate, Latina/o Studies Program at the University of Michigan.  His research interests include violence, materiality, undocumented migration and deportation, archaeology of the contemporary, forensic science, and photoethnography. 

The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail focuses on the Arizona-Mexico border in the Sonora Desert.  The book documents how US policy utilized the lethal landscape of the desert to deter migrants from crossing.  The author uses careful observation and brings a combination of anthropological methods including ethnographic, forensic, and archaeological approaches to make visible the realities of life, death, and imposed suffering that migrant crossers face. 

The Land of Open Graves has received exceptional reviews in anthropology and in other venues including National Geographic. Noted scholar Philippe Bourgois describes the author as “creatively critical” and the book as “aesthetically and emotionally powerful.”  Noted scholar Randall H. McGuire reaffirms the sentiment and labels the book “an exceptional work of anthropology.”