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Lectures on Marx, immigration and biopolitics scheduled at Linfield

Paul Apostolidis, political science professor at Whitman College, will present lectures on immigration workers and racial biopolitics, and the work of Karl Marx on Thursday, Dec. 6, at Linfield College.

Apostolidis will speak on “Why Karl Marx Still Matters” at 11:45 a.m. in 201 Riley Hall. Lunch will be served on a first-come, first-served basis.

That afternoon at 4:30, he will speak on “Immigrant Workers, Racial Biopolitics and the Meat People Eat” in 219 T.J. Day Hall, based on his book, “Breaks in the Chain: What Immigrant Workers can Teach America about Democracy.” The lecture explores the book’s experiences of Mexican immigrant workers who staged a powerful union uprising 10 years ago in one of the United States’ largest beef processing plants located in eastern Washington. These stories about the traumas of undocumented migration and labor in America’s most dangerous jobs evoke a newly critical understanding of political theory regarding “biopolitics” as a system of racial differentiation and domination. They show how the bodily health and security of the racially privileged depends on the physical and psychological misery of immigrant food-processing workers. Even so, the workers’ narratives suggest the abilities of immigrants to transform these power-relations through democratic action and alliances with food consumers.

Apostolidis is professor and holds the Judge and Mrs. Timothy A. Paul Chair of Political Science at Whitman College. His research and teaching areas include critical social and political theory, labor studies, immigration, cultural studies, feminist theory, critical race theory, Latino politics, religion and politics, and critical media studies. In addition to “Breaks in the Chain,” he is the author of “Stations of the Cross: Adorno and Christian Right Radio” and co-edited “Public Affairs: Politics in the Age of Sex Scandals.” He is currently writing a book on migrant day laborers, popular education, and the “politics of time” in the workers’ center movement in the context of neoliberal capitalism. Apostolidis received his Ph.D. and M.A. from Cornell University and his A.B. from Princeton University. He is the founder and director of Whitman’s nationally recognized community-based research program on “The State of the State for Washington Latinos” (www.walatinos.org).

The lectures are free and open to the public. They are sponsored by the Frederick Douglass Forum on Law, Rights, and Justice and the Elliot Alexander Fund. For more information, contact Nick Buccola, assistant professor of political science, 503-883-2246, nbuccol@linfield.edu.