In his research, Argenis examines migration, gender, race, family, social movements, and media through an anthropological lens, with a particular interest in the maternal dynamics of undocumented immigrants.The Department of Anthropology caught up with Argenis to learn more about his research and how this fellowship will translate to and benefit his work.
"My research is a love letter to undocumented people and the communities whose stories often get overshadowed by popularized narratives of "model" immigrants. In the past I have been interested in the mother-child dynamic of undocumented families, where I paid close attention to how women raise model immigrant children. Working closely with activist organizations in Phoenix, Arizona, I have studied how immigrant justice groups mobilize storytelling and model immigrant experiences to gain political recognition and how these stories materialize within immigration policy. This collaborative community-engaged research and my undocumented experiences set the foundation for the questions on migration, kinship, and care, including the methods I hope to explore in the future.
Support from the Ford Foundation will allow me to further develop my professional career and scholarship. As an applied anthropologist working with my family and communities, I am committed to this research to have a life beyond its presentation. Part of this work is also to ask what anthropology is and celebrate what it can be."