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Paul Apostolidis ©private

Paul Apostolidis: Different Kinds of Courage: Mexican and Greek Immigration Narratives (EAAS Keynote Address)

Friday, April 05, 2024, 5 p.m.

In a climate of burgeoning hostility toward immigrants in the United States, how can groups whose families arrived in earlier times avoid both overstating and underestimating the differences between their stories and those of today’s targeted populations? How can the general public learn to navigate critically the formulae of immigration coverage in the American media, which sensationalise outbreaks of nativist cruelty yet quickly segue into reporting that normalises border securitisation and the cultural racism that undergirds it, including the anti-migrant antipathies of previous immigrant cohorts?

This keynote models a way to meet these challenges by juxtaposing Mexican and Greek stories of migrating to the U.S. Oral histories that he has gathered from Mexican migrant workers in contemporary America’s most dangerous jobs – meatpacking and day labour – signal the extraordinary forms of courage required in the face of state, corporate, and vigilante violence that recapitulates historically precedent patterns of racial formation and biopolitical domination. Placed side-by-side with his own family’s narrative of fleeing nationalist war, migrating (illegally) from Greece, and finding new footholds in America a century ago, these stories generate a warming friction that can kindle political hope in bleak times. This talk thus explores the power of memory, in all its complexity and fragmentation, to cut against fatalism and spark flashes of understanding and solidarity among disparate migrant groups.

This public keynote presentation is part of the EAAS Conference 2024.

Photo: Paul Apostolidis ©private

Paul Apostolidis ©private

Prof. Paul Apostolidis teaches political theory in the Government Department at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research explores work and political action in the present era of precarity fostered by global capitalism, with an emphasis on Latino migrants in the United States and empirically informed methods of critical theory. He is currently writing a book about night-time labour and working-class politics, and he is the author of The Fight for Time: Migrant Day Laborers and the Politics of Precarity (Oxford University Press 2019) and Breaks in the Chain: What Immigrant Workers Can Teach America about Democracy (University of Minnesota Press, 2010), among other books and articles. As Visiting Expert Scholar in Residence in the Mellon-funded ‘Latinx Futures’ project based at the University of California Riverside, Prof Apostolidis is developing a regional popular-education initiative in response to environmentally and socially destructive effects of the logistics industry’s expansion. Before joining LSE’s faculty in 2019 he held the T. Paul Chair of Political Science at Whitman College (USA) and directed a nationally recognized undergraduate community-based research program in partnership with Pacific Northwest Latino organisations. He now serves as LSE’s Academic Lead for Student Civic Engagement.

Admission is free. Please register via the following registration form. Please click the button "Load external content" if the form is not displayed directly. Or follow the livestream.

Please note: If you are a registered EAAS Conference 2024 participant and have already registered for this keynote via ConfTool, you do not need to register via the form below.

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Amerikahaus München

Karolinenplatz 3, 80333, München

EAAS 2024 Organizing Team

Dr. Christoph Straub

Referent Bayerische Amerika-Akademie


089 55 25 37-42

Jasmin Falk

Assistentin Geschäftsstelle Bayerische Amerika-Akademie


089 55 25 37-41