caroline eaton tracey
writer

caroline.e.tracey at gmail dot com

“Katherine Esau, the Immigrant Beet Biologist who Transformed Plant Science”
Lady Science
18 February 2021

“During the 19th and 20th centuries, the temperate world tried to turn beets' sugar content into a cash crop that could compete with tropical sugarcane. The industry made the rural, semi-arid American West and Midwest into fields dominated by corporate capitalism and brought German-Russian, Mexican, Chicano, Japanese, Chinese, and Native workers to work them. In the 79,000 acres planted in sugar beets in Colorado in 1909, for instance, 5,870 workers were German-Russian, 2,160 were Japanese, and 1,002 were Hispanic southern Coloradans and northern New Mexicans.

Esau was part of these flows of beet geopolitics, but in an unusual and privileged way. Esau’s life took her from refugee to ranch foreman, industry scientist to National Medal of Science winner. Yet by leaving the beet industry to become a research scientist, she enacted a politics of refusal, resisting the global, capitalist industry that defined her own mobility, seeking to understand plants rather than control them.“







Caroline Eaton Tracey writes about the US Southwest, Mexico, and the borderlands between the two. She speaks and works in English, Spanish, and Russian.

Caroline’s reporting appears in n+1, the Nation, the Guardian, and elsewhere. In Spanish she covers the US-Mexico borderlands for Mexico’s Revista Nexos. Her reportage about migrant death in South Texas won the 2019 Scoundrel Time/Summer Literary Seminars nonfiction contest. 

Her personal essays appear in the Kenyon Review Online, Full Stop, New South, and elsewhere. “A River Passes By Here” was runner-up in the 2020 Financial Times/Bodley Head essay contest; “The Ephemeral Forever” won Ruminate Magazine’s 2021 VanderMey Nonfiction Contest.

Her art writing has appeared in Nexos, Variable West, SFMOMA’s Open Space, and Burlington Contemporary.

She is currently seeking representation for SALT LAKES, her manuscript of essays, as well as preparing a book proposal about the effects of US border and migration policy in Mexico. 

Ask her about sugar beets.
Caroline Eaton Tracey escribe sobre la geografía de México, el Suroeste de Estados Unidos y la frontera entre ellos. Habla ingles, español y ruso.

Sus artículos aparecen en n+1, The Nation y The Guardian, entre otros lugares. En español cubre la frontera norte para la Revista Nexos. En 2019, un artículo suyo sobre el fallecimiento de migrantes en el desierto del sur de Texas ganó el premio de no ficción de Scoundrel Time/Summer Literary Seminars. 

Sus ensayos aparecen en Kenyon Review Online, Full Stop y New South, entre otros lugares. “Aquí Pasa Un Río” ganó segundo lugar en el premio de ensayo Financial Times/Bodley Head de 2020; en 2021 “Lo Efímero, Para Siempre” ganó el concurso de no-ficción VanderMey de Ruminate Magazine. 

Sus reseñas y ensayos sobre el arte han aparecido en Nexos, Variable West, Open Space (plataforma del Museo de Arte Moderno de San Francisco) y Burlington Contemporary.

Actualmente está preparando un manuscrito de ensayos y una propuesta para un libro sobre los efectos de la política migratoria/fronteriza de Estados Unidos en México. 

Pregúntale sobre betabeles.