Sawyer Seminar Series brings Christopher Loperena to Penn State

Sociocultural anthropologist to speak on 'The Racial Logics of Extraction' on March 21

Christopher Loperena, assistant professor of anthropology at The Graduate Center of City University of New York, will deliver a lecture titled “The Racial Logics of Extraction” as part of the Sawyer Seminar at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, in 160 Willard Building on the University Park campus of Penn State. The event is free and to the public.

Loperena is sociocultural anthropologist whose research focuses on indigenous and black struggles for territorial autonomy in Central America, ethicality and subject formation, racialization, and the socio-spatial politics of economic development. Before his appointment at The Graduate Center, he served tenures as the César Chávez Fellow at Dartmouth College and associate professor in international studies at the University of San Francisco. He was also a Mellon Scholar of the Humanities at Duke University, where he received his doctorate in Latin American history; and has received fellowships from the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies.

During his presentation, Loperena will interrogate the racial logics of the extractivist development agenda that cohered in the wake of the coup in Honduras in 2009. Loperena will demonstrate the ways in which the expansion of extractive capitalism is contingent on a settler colonial logic of elimination, which positions blackness outside the spatial boundaries of the state’s sovereign political territory in order to hasten processes of accumulation for the national elite.

Loperena’s lecture is the latest offering in the Racial Disposability and Cultures of Resistance Sawyer Seminar Series sponsored by the Penn State Department of African American Studies.  The seminar seeks to identify and examine ways that marginalized racial subjects in the Americas disrupt the logic of disposability creatively, politically, and intellectually using practices of organized resistance and an everyday politics of refusal. It is funded through a grant provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

To learn more, contact Cynthia Young, associate professor and head of the Department of African American Studies at


Christopher Loperena will deliver a free lecture titled “The Racial Logics of Extraction” at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 21 in 160 Willard Building. Credit: Christopher LoperenaAll Rights Reserved.

Last Updated April 01, 2019