Farm Worker Futurism: Speculative Technologies of Resistance

Farm Worker Futurism

Farm Worker Futurism: Speculative technologies of resistance” is a book of futuristic approach by Curtis Marez. Also the book reveals that the historical role of technology has had much to do with depicting the lives of farm laborer. It’s about the Mexican migrant’s particular in the United States.

This book explores the friction between agribusiness and farm workers through the lens of visual culture. Perhaps the greatest contribution of Farm Worker Futurism lies in its bold, creative, and apt attention to the intersections of labor and art as an inextricable dyad.

Indeed, Marez’s attention to art associated with farm worker labor invites similar attention to art. It discourse about a fuller range of labor-based cultural production. The book provides additional, much-needed fodder for what critical food scholars claim as the agrarian imaginary and its capacity to thwart policy aimed at increasing social and ecological justice.


In this focused visual-cultural history of farm work in California over the twentieth century, Curtis Marez introduces “speculative history”. This is due to his examination of “migrant labor techno-culture[s] of time-space compression.” 

Indeed, in various media and formats, the book about farm workers was at the view.  The activist movements that they have championed were looked upon by the critics. The people who shaped modern labor movements, from the vineyards of the San Fernando and San Joaquin Valleys and beyond were fore grounded.  The animating conflicts of this account, between agribusiness and farm laborers—have shaped broader expressions of “Americanism”.

Farm Worker Futurism

This is not science-fiction, but it is futurity. History that drives science-fiction into the present for activist, artists, and critics are different from this book. Curtis Marez has written a unique and highly accessible book that calls on us to perform the speculative seeding of the future as farm workers to make new worlds grow now.

The future, as imagined by labor movements throughout and beyond twentieth-century Californian agricultural work, is both critical and conservative at once. Marez analyses the specific artifacts and collections with corresponding interactions between people and events. This supports the broader periodic themes that Marez introduces in each chapter of the book. Farm workers’ imaginative futurity is amazing. This world of open possibilities of futurism is relevant in 21st century. Farm laborers organized more actively than they had before. They will definitely do more in future. This is basically the book talks about.

Neither future nor the appropriation of visual technologies remains the exclusive domain of business interests. Marez however introduces the world-building approach of the United Farm Workers. Media, strikes, and fasts, were tempered by Cold War.


The book includes the expression of a patriotic imagined future. This is a must read book for those who seek into the future. The struggles of workers against large corporate interests in the 20th century Californian agricultural economy is immense. The author traces this legacy through examples of speculative and science-fiction works. These are about labor, empire, movement, and natural resources.

In spite of this, Marez identifies common themes of individualism, ethics, and humanism. He set this against corporate homogeneity, instrumental rationality, and technocracies.  Above all the book’s prose remains clear and precise, and the reader never loses sight of the relevant concepts, artifacts, people, or events in question. 



Curtis Marez is the product of California public education. Marez stood first in the schools of the Central Valley. Afterwards he joined the University of California. He in fact taught at the University of Chicago, the University of California at Santa Cruz. His research is on queer of color critique; critical university studies; race in digital culture; farm workers in a global frame.

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