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Jason De Leon

PhD in Anthropology
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Jason De Leon

Dr. Jason De León earned his PhD in Anthropology from Penn State in 2008. He joined the faculty in Anthropology at the University of Michigan in 2010 before moving to UCLA, where is currently Professor of Anthropology and Chicana/o Studies. His work investigates theories of violence, materiality, Latin American migration, photoethnography, and archaeology of the contemporary. He directs the Undocumented Migration Project, which sheds light on the organization, violence, material culture and technology of US-Mexico border crossings, and he serves on the board of the Colibrí Center for Human Rights. Jason’s 2015 book “The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail” won the 2016 Margaret Mead Award and the 2018 J.I. Staley Prize, and in 2017, he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. According to Jason,

"My graduate training at Penn State was fundamental to my development into an anthropologist who deeply appreciates holism and is firmly committed to conducting rigorous and thorough research. I know that in my career I would not have been able to make the types of forays in different sub-disciplines were it not for the firm grounding that the faculty and my fellow grad students helped me to develop at Penn State. My time at Penn State was one of the happiest, both academically and socially, in my life, and it was truly difficult for me to leave the nest.”

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