Cover

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Half Title, Series info, Title page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

This book is an interdisciplinary study of the material and symbolic significance of technology in conflicts between agribusiness corporations and workers of color in California from the 1940s to the 1990s and beyond. An important practical and symbolic means of exploiting and disciplining labor, agribusiness technology also became the medium and object of struggle over the future of California agriculture and the larger cultural and political contexts supporting it. ...

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Introduction: Farm Workers in the Machine

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pp. 1-42

Set in Mexico, Alex Rivera’s film Sleep Dealer (2008) speculates about the political economy of computer technologies through the eyes of migrant workers. As the director explains, he ...

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1. “To the Disinherited Belongs the Future”: Farm Worker Futurism in the 1940s

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pp. 43-78

The corporate power historically faced by farm worker unions has been partly defined by a constellation of ideas about agriculture, technology, and white heterosexual masculinity. That constellation is revealingly represented and influentially elaborated in the work of science fiction writer Robert Heinlein, whose popularity and influence would be hard to overestimate.1 ...

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2. From Third Cinema to National Video: Visual Technologies and UFW World Building

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pp. 79-118

Philip K. Dick’s novel A Scanner Darkly (1977) was written in the wake of the highly visible UFW strikes and boycotts, while the author was living in Southern California’s racially segregated Orange County. As Dick described his suburban Fullerton condominium complex in “Strange Memories of Death,” his late 1970s autobiographical story, “This is Orange County. ...

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3. Farm Worker Futurisms in Speculative Culture: George Lucas and Ester Hernandez

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pp. 119-154

The technological visions of California agriculture represented in speculative visual culture reveal the historical connections between agribusiness and influential forms of white male agrarian populism that supported the Cold War militarism of the 1980s. Made by George Lucas, a native of the California agricultural community of Modesto, Star Wars provides a revealing speculative rendering of a dominant ideology in the recent history of California and national politics: ...

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Afterword: Farm Worker Futurism Now

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pp. 155-182

Like other critics of the UFW, journalist and activist Randy Shaw partly narrates the history of the union in terms of decline, but as the title of his book suggests—Beyond the Fields: Cesar Chavez, the UFW, and the Struggle for Justice in the 21st Century—the story he ultimately tells is more complicated. ...

Notes

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pp. 183-206

Index

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pp. 207-210

About the Author

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Image plates

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