HIA BOOK TALKS: ‘La Gente’ and ‘Listening to Sicarios’


The Hemispheric Institute on the Americas 2022-23 Book Talk Series will begin with programs the next two Fridays, Oct. 21 and 28:

Lorena V. Marquez headshot, UC Davis faculty; and "La Gente" book cover
  • La Gente: Struggles for Empowerment and Community Self-Determination in Sacramento (The University of Arizona Press, October 2020)
  • WITH: The author, Lorena V. Márquez, associate professor, Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies
  • WHEN: noon-2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, in person (lunch offered for participants)
  • WHERE: 3201 Hart Hall (Risling Room)

The publisher’s description states, in part: La Gente traces the rise of the Chicana/o Movement in Sacramento and the role of everyday people in galvanizing a collective to seek lasting and transformative change during the 1960s and 1970s. Marquez provides a look at one of the first cases of outright resistance by ethnic Mexicans to desegregation efforts and shows that the movement was not solely limited to a handful of organizations or charismatic leaders. Rather, it encouraged those who were the most marginalized — the working poor, immigrants and/or the undocumented and the undereducated — to fight for their rights on the premise that they too were contributing and deserving members of society.

Robert McKee Irwin, UC Davis faculty, headshot; and book cover, "Listening to Sicarios"
  • Listening to Sicarios: Narcoviolence in Cuidad Juárez, 2008-2012 (Palgrave Macmillan, March 1, 2022)
  • WITH: One of the two co-authors, Robert McKee Irwin, professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and deputy director, UC Davis Global Migration Center
  • WHEN: noon-2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, in person (lunch offered for participants)
  • WHERE: 3201 Hart Hall (Risling Room)

Irwin and Arturo Chacón Castañón present direct testimonial evidence on the experiences of paid assassins (“sicarios”) of Mexico’s drug cartels. Says the publisher: “Based on an extraordinary series of ethnographic interviews carried out in the wake of the record levels of narcoviolence experienced in Ciudad Juárez between 2008 and 2012, this study analyzes the ways in which these young men interpret their actions across four key thematic axes: border infrastructures, youth and responsibility, masculinity and sentiment, and ethics: good vs. evil.”

Listening to Sicarios” is an illuminating work that incorporates the voices of young sicarios, a must-read to understand the banality of evil, the structural violences, and treacherous death and impunity that run through our cities.— José Manuel Valenzuela Arce, El Colegio de la Frontera Norte

Check the HIA events webpage for future book talks.

The UC Davis Books Blog, a project of News and Media Relations, announces newly published books by faculty and staff authors, and awards and events related to books by faculty and staff authors. Contact the books blog by email.

Media Resources

Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556, dateline@ucdavis.edu; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932, kitaura@ucdavis.edu.

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