Salvador Zarate, Ph.D., Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Gender and Sexuality, UC Irvine The popular imagination of Southern California abounds with images of finely skirted palm trees, immaculately leveled St. Augustine grass, and perfectly trimmed hedges. You need to look no further than the exquisitely kept grounds of UCI. How often, however, do we think about the highly skilled labor or bodies of immigrant workers who tend to the aesthetics and needs of plant life? In this presentation, Salvador Zárate poetically draws on years of experience working and managing a gardening company in Orange County to explore how the global unfolds in the local sites of residential gardening, where Latino immigrant gardeners create social worlds through their life-creative maintenance work despite anti-immigrant social and spatial exclusion.

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