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James Daria

Ph.D. candidate in anthropology, University of Oregon

Residency: September 2018 – May 2019

Research Project: Jornalero: Indigenous Migrant Farmworkers in Global Agricultural Enclaves Along the US-Mexico Border

Research Interests: Migration, displacement and diaspora; immigration and farmworkers; land, territory and agrarian conflict; popular culture and music; activist research methods and epistemologies.


James Daria is a Ph.D. candidate in cultural anthropology at the University of Oregon. His dissertation research sheds light on the internal migration of indigenous peoples from the southern Mexican states of Oaxaca, Guerrero and Chiapas to the northern border where they labor as jornaleros (salaried agricultural workers) in global agricultural enclaves. Here these migrant farmworkers live and work in conditions of extreme precarity often labeled “modern slavery” while they harvest many of the fruits and vegetables found on supermarket shelves in more affluent northern countries like the United States and Canada. This research places particular emphasis on the intersections of class, race and gender in globalized agricultural production.

The research for Daria’s project is based on in-depth ethnographic fieldwork, living in migrant farmworker settlements and occasionally working as a jornalero. Through activist methodologies, Daria seeks to work collaboratively with jornalero and community leaders struggling to defend their labor, human and indigenous rights in zones of extreme exploitation, poverty and exclusion. Daria is also a photographer, videographer and musician and uses these tools in his fieldwork.