SOAS University of London

Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

Border Struggles in the Migrant Metropolis

Professor Nicholas De Genova (King's College London)

Date: 3 December 2014Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 3 December 2014Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G51

Type of Event: Seminar

Transnational migration is a central and constitutive dynamic in the social production (and transformation) of urban space. These transnational urban conjunctures are indisputably generated very much within the territorial boundaries and jurisdictions of nation-states, and in relation to the very palpable enforcement of nation-state space through immigration law and border policing.  However, they radically destabilize and contradict the spatial premises and conceits of nationalism, and require us to examine the proliferation of sites of border enforcement far removed from physical borders at the territorial margins of states.  The spatial practices of migrants and their struggles therefore provide crucial standpoints of critique from which to interrogate the methodological nationalism that has commonly plagued much social scientific research, generally, and also what we may call the “borderological” fetishism of much border and migration studies.  The migrant metropolis becomes the premier exemplar, simultaneously, of the extension of borders deep into the putative “interior” of nation-state space through immigration law enforcement that increasingly saturates the spaces of everyday life, and of the disruptive and incorrigible force of migrant struggles that dislocate borders and instigate a re-scaling of border struggles as urban struggles.  Thus, on a global scale, the differential spaces produced at the intersection of migrant subjectivities and historicities with specific cities challenge scholars in migration and border studies to fundamentally reconceptualize the emergent formations of social and political life.

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Professor Nicholas De Genova (King's College London) Border Struggles in the Migrant Metropolis


About the speaker

Nicholas De Genova is Reader in Urban Geography and Director of the Cities Research Group at King’s College London.  He has previously held academic appointments at Stanford, Columbia, and Goldsmiths, University of London, as well as research positions at the Universities of Chicago, Amsterdam, Bern, and Warwick.  He is the author of Working the Boundaries: Race, Space, and "Illegality" in Mexican Chicago (2005), co-author of Latino Crossings: Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and the Politics of Race and Citizenship (2003), editor of Racial Transformations: Latinos and Asians Remaking the United States (2006), and co-editor of The Deportation Regime: Sovereignty, Space, and the Freedom of Movement (2010).  He is currently writing a new book on The Migrant Metropolis, and editing a new book on The Borders of “Europe”.

Organiser: Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

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