Author, Historian to Deliver Thompson Lecture

An author and historian of religion in the Americas with training in Latinx history; American race, ethnicity and immigration; and the American West and Mexico borderlands will deliver the 2023 Thompson Lecture, sponsored by Kalamazoo College’s religion department, at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Olmsted Room. 

Lloyd Barba is assistant professor of religion and Latinx and Latin American Studies at Amherst College. His most recent and ongoing research on the Sanctuary Movement (1980s to present day) brings together questions from religious history and immigration studies to understand the context of social activism and politics. His teaching incorporates these research topics but more broadly asks questions about the many communities that comprise American religion. 

Barba’s lecture, titled The Sacred Amid Exploitation: How Mexican Farmworkers Forged a Religious Movement in California’s Big Business Ag (1916–1966), will draw from his new book, Sowing the Sacred, to demonstrate that Mexican Pentecostal farmworkers carved out a robust socio-religious existence despite harsh conditions while producing a vast record of cultural vibrancy. 

The Paul Lamont Thompson Lecture, named for the K president who served from 1938–1949, brings in speakers who enrich the ethical understanding of the College’s position in society. The lecture was established by a gift from Thompson’s sons and daughters-in-law to recognize the crucial role he played in guiding the College through the Depression and World War II. 

Thompson Lecture Speaker Lloyd Barba
Lloyd Barba, an assistant professor of religion at Amherst College, will speak Wednesday in the 2023 Thompson Lecture.