Migrations, Borders, and Global Crisis

This group examines the global refugee crisis by assessing the social implications of precarity and disposability. It inquires into how the many ways of thinking, analyzing, and visualizing migration interact with politics, policy, and cultures of social justice

Contacts: Pablo Dominguez (Princeton, Department of Spanish & Portuguese), Elí Melgar (Princeton, Department of Spanish & Portuguese), and Veronica Brownstone (UPenn, Department of Spanish & Portuguese)

Time: Thursdays 4:30-6:30pm
Location: Princeton University TBA

Suggested readings*

* Subject to change in accordance with group’s interests.

Fall Semester

Session 1, Sept. 13: Introduction (introductions, structure, short reading handout/discussion)

Session 2, Sept. 27: Theory of the Border

  • Thomas Nail, Theory of the Border (2016) (selection)
  • Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson, Border as Method, Or the Multiplication of Labor (2013)  (selection)

Related materials:

  • Wendy Brown, Walled States, Waning Sovereignties (2010)
  • El Anatsui, Gli (Wall) (2010)
  • Gloria Anzaldúa, “Border Arte” and “Geographies of Selves: Reimagining Identity” in Light in the Dark/Luz en lo Obscuro (2015)
  • Etienne Balibar, “What is a border?” and “The Borders of Europe” in Politics and the Other Scene  (2002)

Session 3, Oct. 18: Philosophy of the Stranger

  • Jacques  Derrida, Of Hospitality (2000)
  • Slavoj Zizek, Refugees, Terror and Other Troubles with Neighbors (2016)

Related materials:

  • Jean-Luc Nancy, L’Intrus (2002)
  • Zygmunt Bauman, Strangers at our Doors (2016)
  • Thomas Nail, The Figure of the Migrant (2015)
  • Donatella di Cesare, Stranieri Residenti: Una Filosofia della Migrazione (2017)

Session 4, Nov. 8: Visual Encounters of Migration (possible guest)

  • Daniel Castro García, Foreigner (photography) (2017)
  • Guillermo Galindo and Richard Misrach, Border Cantos (art & photography)(2016)
  • Ecologies of Migrant Care (digital website) (2017)

Related materials:

  • Narciso Contreras, Libya: A Human Marketplace (2016)
  • Mauricio Palos, My Perro Rano (2010)

Session 5, Nov. 30: Narrating the Migrant Passage

  • Óscar  Martínez, The Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail (2013)
  • Reece  Jones, Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move (2016) (selection)

Related materials:

  • Sonia Nazario, Enrique’s Journey (2006)
  • Luis Alberto Urrea, Devil’s Highway: A True Story (2004) (selection)
  • Noelle Bridgen, The Migrant Passage. Clandestine Journeys from Central America (2018)

Session 6, Dec. 13: Poetics of Migration (possible guest)

  • Balam Rodrigo, El libro centroamericano de los muertos (2018)
  • Mónica Teresa Ortíz, Muted Blood (2018)

Related materials:

  • Valeria Luiselli, Lost Children Archive (2019)
  • Edouard Glissant, Poetics of Relation (1990)
  • Dionne Brand, No Language is Neutral (1990)
  • Edward Kamau Brathwaite, Rights of Passage (1967)
  • Warscape website refugee poems selection

Spring Semester

Session 7, Feb. 15: Statelessness, Rights, and Refuge (possible guest)

  • Hannah Arendt, “Decline of the Nation State and the End of The Rights of Man” (1951)
  • Giorgio Agamben, “Beyond Human Rights” (1984?)
  • Ayten Gundogdu, Rightlessness in the Age of Human Rights (2015)  (selection)

Related materials:

  • Ai Weiwei, Law of the Journey (2017), Human Flow (2017)
  • Behrouz Boochani, No Friend But The Mountains. Writing from Manus Prison (2018)
  • Alexander Betts and Paul Collier, Refuge. Rethinking Refugee Policy in a Changing  World (2017) (selection)

Session 8, Mar. 01: Transnational Violence (possible guest)

  • Óscar Martínez, El niño de Hollywood. Cómo Estados Unidos y El Salvador moldearon a un sicario de la mara salvatrucha 13 (2018

Related materials:

  • Óscar Martínez: A History of Violence (2015)
  • Sebastian Huhn and Hannes Warnecke-Berger, Politics and History of Violence and Crime in Central America (2016)
  • Dawn Paley, Drug-War Capitalism (2014)

Session 9, Mar. 13: Names Without Bodies, Bodies Without Names

  • Jasón de León, The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail (2016) (selection)
  • Nicholas de Genova, The Borders of “Europe”. Autonomy of Migration, Tactics of Bordering (2017) (selection)

Related materials:

  • Frank Doering White, “Death and disappearance along the Central American Migrant Trail" (2017)
  • Social Research: An International Quarterly, Volume 82, Number 2, Summer 2016  Special Issue, Borders and the Politics of Mourning.
  • Nicholas de Genova, “Spectacles of Migrant ‘Illegality’: The Scene of Exclusion, the Obscene of Inclusion” (2013)
  • Adam Rosenblatt, Digging for the Disappeared: Forensic Science After Atrocity (2015)
  • Doris Salcedo, Palimpsesto (2017)

Session 10, Mar. 29: Controlling Migrant Labor

  • Saskia Sassen, Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy (2014) (selection)
  • Natasha Iskander, “Bondage and Skill Erasure: Migrant Workers in Qatar’s Construction Industry" (2017)
  • Kim Moody, “Harvest of Empire: Immigrant Workers’ Struggle in the USA” (2008)

Related materials:

  • Saskia Sassen, The Mobility of Labor and Capital: A Study of International Investment and Labor Flow (1988) (selection)
  • Carolina Bank Muñoz, Transnational Tortillas: Race, Gender and Shop Floor Politics in the United States and Mexico (2008)
  • Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, Doméstica: Immigrant Workers Cleaning and Caring in the Shadows of Affluence (2001) (selection)
  • Rhacel Salazar-Parreñas, Servants of Globalization: Migration and Domestic Work (2001)
  • Leah Vosko, Managing the Margins: Gender, Citizenship, and the International Regulation of Precarious Employment (2009)

Session 11, Apr. 12: A Horizon for Cosmopolitanism?

  • Seyla Benhabib, Another Cosmopolitanism (2006) (selection)
  • Jacques Derrida, On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness (2001) (selection)
  • Etiénne Balibar, “Borderland Europe and the Challenge of Migration” (2015)

Related materials:

  • Shahram Khosravi, “The free movement of people around the world would be Utopian” (2016)
  • Alexandra Délano, From Here and There: Diaspora Policies, Integration, and Social Rights Beyond Borders (2018)

Session 12, Apr. 26: New Sanctuary: A Call for Reflection and Action (guests)

* Group discussion with invited local activists on how to create bridges between academia and public intervention.

  •  Susan Coutin, The Culture of Protest: Religious Activism and the US Sanctuary Movement (1993) (selection)
  • Jennifer Bagelman, Sanctuary City: A Suspended State (2016) (selection)

Related materials:

  • Nicole Waligora-Davis, Sanctuary: African Americans and Empire (2011)
  • Andrea J Ritchie and Monique W. Morris, Centering Black Women, Girls, Gender  Nonconforming People and Fem(me) in Campaigns for Expanded Sanctuary and Freedom Cities (2017)
  • Alexandra Délano, “Sanctuary Campus:Resistance and Protection Within and Beyond the University" (2017)