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Crises of Im/mobility: Borders and Displacement in Global Times

Semester and Year SP 2018
Course Number IDSEM-UG1962
Section 001
Instructor Maysam Taher
Days MW
Time 12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Units 4
Level U
Requirement   SOC



This interdisciplinary seminar will seek to loosen the borders between disciplines and fields in order to examine what the various instantiations of migrations and displacements reveal about the present political, economic, social, and cultural moment. Each object or concept is given a border, an outline that delimits it and that allows us to identify and recognize it as being what it is, rather than being something else. Borders and bordering enable the categorization and organization of the world, and are often maintained through disciplining and policing. What are we speaking of then, when we speak of “the border”? What operations does it perform, and where does one locate it beyond the various ports and edges of the nation-state? What kind of subjectivities and socialities emerge out of the work of bordering, and what happens to a body as it crosses a border? How can we critically apprehend contemporary phenomena of forced migration and displacement whereby people are continuously expelled from their homes while also facing the increasing restriction and regulation of their movement? How are borders differentially encountered on scales ranging from the global to the local and the urban? We will begin with theoretical approaches offered by Wendy Brown, Etienne Balibar, Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson, and Michel Foucault, among others, to then turn to questions of representation, labor, racialization, criminalization, surveillance and policing, globalization and global capital in order to historicize and interrogate the function of borders within the ordering of our contemporary world.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)