Sergio Lemus is anthropologist whose research interests include theories of race, materiality, the body, Mexican migration, border analysis, Latinx cancer, biopolitics, and class relations. He earned my Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2015); M.A. in Anthropology from the University of California at Riverside (2006), and B.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Illinois (2005). From the Fall 2017, Sergio was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Latino Studies Program at Indiana University at Bloomington where he taught courses on Latino Studies, Latino History, and American Borderlands.
His first ethnography is entitled, Class, Labor, and Color Hierarchies: An Ethnographic Study of Mexican Yarderos in South Chicago (2014), examines the extent class, labor, and color hierarchies from Mexico coexist with American ethnic and racial classifications. By focusing on Mexican gardeners in Chicago, Sergio ethnographically demonstrate that “Mexicaness” in the context of the United States is saturated with color meanings. Likewise, he documents the centrality of labor in driving cultural transformations in a new land as well as documenting the politico-historical transformation that give rise to a new working class formation—los yarderos. This research is slated to be published as a book at the University of Illinois Press under the series Latinos in Chicago and the Midwest under the title, “Los Yarderos: Mexican Yard Workers in Neoliberal Chicago” for late Spring 2019.
A recalibration of his sociocultural lens has allow him to work on other projects on Mexican immigration that look for example at the gender, color, and power processes that give rise to what he calls “transborder Mexico” in the United States. This work will appear in a book currently under contract with Michigan State University Press. Moreover, Sergio is focusing on the relations between health, migration, and class in a project that examines how Latin@ cancer patients experience this disease and the ways in which culture works to cope with it.
Sergio is a board member of the Association of Latinx/Latin@ Anthropologists, and previously served as chair of Program Committee as well. He is the ALLA Secretary with term ending in 2020.