"The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez: a Border Story"

School of Geography and Development Colloquium

The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez: A Border Story

Dr. Aaron Bobrow-Strain 
Professor of Practice
Whitman College

Abstract: When Aida Hernandez was born in 1987 in Agua Prieta, Mexico, the nearby U.S. border was little more than a worn-down fence. Eight years later, Aida’s mother took her and her siblings to live in Douglas, Arizona, just across the line. By then, the border was on its way to becoming one of the most heavily policed sites in the United States. The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez follows Aida through her optimistic, tough childhood; family separation; immigration detention; deportation; and into the tangles of a vast border security industrial complex. Aida fights for her life and risks everything to get from a place of imposed “social death” to a place where she is not just surviving the world we have created on the border, she is thriving, truly alive. This book talk weaves together history and political economy of U.S. border policies with explorations of the boundaries between academic writing, activism, and narrative nonfiction. It examines how the border came to be the way it is today, how it could be different, and what it means to write about the border today.

Biography: Aaron Bobrow-Strain is a professor of politics at Whitman College, where he teaches courses on food, immigration, and the U.S.-Mexico border. In the 1990s, he worked on the U.S.-Mexico border as an activist and educator. He is a founding member of the Walla Walla Immigrant Rights Coalition in Washington State.

ENR2 Building, Room S107
Friday, September 13th at 3:30pm
Refreshments starting at 3:00pm


3:30 p.m. Sept. 13, 2019


ENR2 Building, Room S107