Our collaboration grows out of our work in our respective research sites, Italy and Palestine/Israel. Both are sites marked by rigidly fortified and surveilled borders, the paradox of expansive mobility for some and foreclosed mobility for others, and sustained racist state violence. Like the United States, where we live and work, Italy and Israel systematically disavow the multiple forms of local and global violence they have engendered through practices of bordering. Yet Italy and Israel are also sites, ostensibly, of invitation: they are both places where citizenship is a selectively extended invitation of membership, and they are travel destinations where the tourist industry shapes a substantive percentage of the economy.1 As such, they are spaces broadly imagined as tourist destinations, where travelers are invited to lounge beachside, eat, shop, be pilgrims, be tourists, study abroad, find their “roots.” Despite these gestures of invitation, however, Italy continues to disavow its colonial history, intensify border policing against African migrants and refugees, and deny citizenship to the Italian-born children of immigrants. Similarly, Israel—as a settler colony built atop Palestinian land with deeply racialized border policing that positions Palestinians as a demographic threat—restricts the movement of Palestinians and denies their right of return. In both of these sites, the structural foreclosure of mobility for some reveals this “invitation” to in fact be an extension predicated on racially coded matrices of desirability.
While the research sites and the geopolitical contexts in which we work are markedly disparate, our work coalesces around similar types of questions: What forms do organizing against racialized border policing take? In the case of Italy, why and how have Black Italian activists (specifically, the Italian-born children of African immigrants) taken up national citizenship as a privileged terrain of struggle over race and membership in Italy? What forms of diasporic politics emerge at the limits of citizenship—ones that can activate new forms of transnational solidarity that subvert, rather than work within, the discursive and material boundaries of national citizenship? In the case of Palestine, how does Israel enact not only the theft of land but also the theft of narrative, severing Palestinians from the landscape and the curricula, disavowing its colonial present at the same time that it denies its colonial past?2 And how do Palestinian organizers, under the constraints of settler-colonial military occupation, and in a context in which they do not control their borders, wrest both the capacity to invite and, in Edward Said’s words, “the permission to narrate” from Israeli control?3
We believe that engaging with the specificities of racialization and racial formation in Italy and Palestine can help us achieve a better grasp of the ways global processes of race- and border-making take shape in different historical and geographical contexts. The struggles of African refugees in southern Europe against anti-Black borderland regimes, for example, might inspire deeper connections—based not only on analogy but also on strategy—between the US-based movements to abolish police/prisons and movements to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Attention to the connections among legacies of struggle is not simply a matter of increasing geographical breadth in a project of liberal-multicultural “inclusion.” Instead, as Angela Y. Davis recently remarked, “This is a moment when it’s becoming absolutely clear that the nation-state as we know it is no longer possible. And so, a broad international perspective [on anti-Black violence] helps us not only to imagine solidarity but to think about what kind of future we want.”4 In our collaboration on this special issue, we have worked to curate a series of pieces, varied in form and argument, that answer this call.
As two California-based scholars, we are interested in situating the spectacularization of the US-Mexico border within a broader set of historical-geographical frameworks that link border technologies, and resistance to them, across the globe. We crafted this special issue to focus on not only why and how borderland regimes around the world are connected but what it would then mean to denaturalize those borders. We wanted to facilitate a conversation that revealed the theoretical and political tools required for engaging with the global proliferation of deadly borderland regimes, as well as showcase the varied transnational practices of resistance to borders and their attendant violences. Our intention was to provide the space for a conversation on how borders are actively manufactured in order to imagine a world without them. We sought to show what political community and solidarity look like in a world characterized neither by methodological nationalism (i.e., the naturalization of the nation-state as the de facto unit of all social processes5) nor by a neoliberal fever-dream of frictionless transnational capital circulation.
Our collective and collaborative study in struggle has led us to understand borderland regimes in relation to three distinct but correlated dynamics: movement and movement building; the transnationalism of both bordering and resistance; and borders as simultaneously material and discursive. This analytical orientation has shaped our organization of this special issue and is in turn taken up in different ways and across various sites ways by our contributors:
- First, we are interested in the theorization of movement—who can and cannot move, and why—and movement building—how we can collectively work toward a world without borders and the violences they sanction. We want to build toward a conversation on borderland regimes and resistance that pivots on questions of movement—from the (im)possibilities of migration to the (im)possibilities of mobilizing.
- Second, we understand borderland policing as a transnational process that (re)produces the relational space of the border and that is shaped by the international circulation of repressive technologies of control and surveillance, expertise, and ideologies among racial capitalist states. But at the same time, grassroots anticolonial resistance to borders is also transnational, articulating solidaristic connections across those same borders. As such, we are interested in the ways that shared and circulating histories, discourses, political practices, and technologies can open new avenues for historically informed, transnational social movements.
- Third, we approach borders as simultaneously material and discursive. A comparative analysis of borderland regimes could easily be structured with each contribution analyzing the shared technologies between colonial states: analyses of, for example, Israel’s Elbit Systems’ role in constructing the wall that hems in Palestinian communities and the wall at the US-Mexico border.6 This work is critically necessary, and we see our work here as contributing to this conversation in broader terms. But rather than looking at the site of the border per se, we are also interested in the broader question of what it means to study a border. What happens when the border is not only spatial but also a dynamic that exists between refugees and NGO workers? When borders crop up in intimate partnerships? When borders are reenacted between researcher and subject? When histories of crossing borders are erased because one does not fit in neatly in the bounded categories of immigrant, migrant, refugee, and asylum-seeker? At the same time, we are careful not to empty “the border” of its material anchor, positioning the multiple borders we analyze here as functioning in concert with nation-state borders and settler checkpoints that foreclose movement and hasten premature death of Indigenous populations.7
In this way, our approach in this special issue is marked by an intentional and distinct approach to transnationalism. We ask, What does it mean to understand critical ethnic studies as inherently within and beyond US borders—even when the field itself is rarely understood as such? We are writing toward a model of ethnic studies that looks at how differently racialized communities within the United States negotiate racist state violence at the same time that it looks at how differently racialized groups in the United States—and beyond—became refugees, negotiated forced migration, and organized in the wake of exile and displacement. Correspondingly, we work to not write US-centric frameworks onto distinct geographic contexts, instead making the case for analytic care and specificity across the sites we engage. This commitment allows us to work across transnational American studies, critical refugee studies, and Black geographies in order to think in a comparative frame that foregrounds study and struggle, asking how the scholarship we produce works in excess of analogy in order to think about strategy, movement building, and how we archive our mobilizing.
While we have long shared a commitment to this sort of analytical approach, its urgency once again became apparent to both of us in the context of the global Black liberation uprisings of 2020. Media coverage, for example, frequently describes Black Europeans, inspired by the mobilizations of Black Americans against racist state violence, as newly “discovering” their Blackness, coming to full racial consciousness, and beginning to mobilize against anti-Black racism in their own countries. One headline, for instance, declared that “Black Women in Italy weren’t being heard. Then Black Lives Matter protests began in the United States.”8 Such diffusionist understandings of the Black diaspora (in which political and cultural “innovations” emerge from the United States and then emanate outward) are, unfortunately, all too common in both scholarship and folk narratives about global Blackness; they are also freighted with unspoken legacies of American imperialism. After all, while the global spread of Black Lives Matter protests can undoubtedly be understood as a form of international solidarity, approaching Black Italian antiracism protests as mere “offshoots” of their American counterparts only invisibilizes the multiple sites and generations of Black women’s resistance in Italy and the broader Mediterranean—from Black women’s everyday resistance to Italian colonialism in the Horn of Africa as early as the late nineteenth century to the prominent role of Black women in contemporary struggles for citizenship for the Italian-born children of immigrants during the last decade and a half.9
At the same time, narratives of diffusion can function to absolve the United States of its own long history of racist violence. As Black liberation uprisings across the United States continued, changed shape, and grew during the summer of 2020, numerous social media posts and articles emerged that indicted the very real alliance between the Israeli military and US police forces. However, they did so in a way that insinuated that the United States was learning how to “do” racist state violence from Israel. US police forces did not need to learn racist state violence from Israel; US police forces were born in racist violence. In the South, US police forces began as slave patrols; in the North and Midwest, US police functioned as a way to control migrant industrial workers; and in the West, US police functioned to coerce Native labor and enforce immigration controls.10 In US colonies and across Indigenous land, police forces have aided land expropriation and worked to quell anticolonial rebellion.11 As Palestinian scholar-activist Nada Elia immediately noted upon the emergence of articles like these, alongside a proliferation of side-by-side imaging of George Floyd and Palestinians with IDF soldiers kneeling on their necks, the Israeli military and police training US police forces only began after 9/11/2001, while US police forces have been exacting racist state violence against Black, Brown, Indigenous, migrant, and refugee communities for centuries, far before Israel even existed.12 The positioning of Israel as having taught the United States how to enact racialized violence is a genealogical claim that absolves the United States of its own colonial history. Instead, what if we were to ask, When considering the ways in which borderland regimes rely on, validate, and learn from one another, how can we be precise in our genealogies? How can this help us understand how different settler regimes, at different moments, have used racialized state and vigilante violence to police their manufactured borders? And how has this policing functioned to both aid and absolve colonial and capitalist projects, aiding through land expropriation and settler accumulation and absolving through constructing the policed as criminal and deserving of state violence?
Understanding the genealogies of racist state violence—anchored in the geographical context in which it emerges—relates to a second concern: namely, the politics of “comparison” in comparative border studies. How can we think across different borderlands without flattening the differences between them? To answer this question, we draw upon a long tradition of transnational feminist scholarship and activism. One instructive model, particularly for theorizing and historicizing the moment in which you are writing, can be found in the 2001 statement “Transnational Feminist Practices against War.”13 Written on the eve of the global “war on terror” and the US invasion of Afghanistan, Paola Bacchetta, Tina Campt, Inderpal Grewal, Caren Kaplan, Minoo Moallem, and Jennifer Terry enumerate the various ways that global hierarchies of race, gender, and empire differentially situate specific communities (e.g., immigrants in the United States and women in Afghanistan) in relation to the project of Euro-American empire. At the same time, they argue that it is precisely this transnationalization of capitalism and empire that so urgently requires reinvigorated forms of transnational feminist solidarity.
In a similar way, Palestinian feminist scholars have shown how Palestinian historians have long theorized settler colonialism in Palestine, even when it did not engage Wolfe and Veracini’s theorizations that traveled by that name. Read together, Omar Jabary Salamanca, Mezna Qato, Kareem Rabie, and Sobhi Samour’s special issue introduction, “Past Is Present: Settler Colonialism in Palestine,”14 and Brenna Bhandar and Rafeef Ziadah’s think piece, “Acts and Omissions: Framing Settler Colonialism in Palestine Studies,”15 disrupt analogical thinking that positions Palestine’s “present” as the United States’ “past.” They show how this analogy not only misunderstands the long history of Palestinian displacement but also works to disappear contemporary Indigenous struggles against land theft across Turtle Island, or what is known as the United States and Canada, calling instead for a comparative and relational analysis of the formations that subtend settler-colonial projects.16
The question of how to think comparatively and transnationally without papering over the ways in which racial-capitalist-colonial formations “settle” in different places has direct and urgent consequences for the politics of solidarity. As decades of Black, Indigenous, and feminist scholarship have shown, politics of solidarity that do not meaningful question their own logics17 have a tendency to either flatten geographical and historical differences (e.g., if Italians were once regarded racially inferior, then they can inherently empathize with the struggles of contemporary African refugees in Italy) or establish hierarchies of rescue in which one group extends its paternal beneficence to another (e.g., Western NGOs bringing liberal feminism to “oppressed” Muslim women). Ida Danewid, for instance, notes that European-led migrant solidarity efforts often result in “a colonial and patronising fantasy of the white man’s burden—based on the desire to protect and offer political resistance for endangered others—which ultimately does little to challenge established interpretations that see Europe as the bastion of democracy, liberty, and universal rights.”18
Yet taking seriously these critiques does not mean that we must then necessarily retreat into bounded, hypostatized categories. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor reminds us, when she writes about the potentialities of Black and Muslim solidarity around issues of policing and surveillance, that “in the contest to demonstrate how oppressions differ from one group to the next, we miss how we are connected through oppression—and how those connections should form the basis of solidarity, not a celebration of our lives on the margins.”19 As Taylor has argued through her engagements with the Combahee River Collective, “identity politics” as it was initially understood by the Black, lesbian, Socialist feminists who coined the term was also intended to serve as a jumping-off point for the articulation of coalitional struggle (and indeed, rich and varied works of Black feminist thought precisely about the politics of coalition have long been in the historical record).20
In this spirit, many of the articles in this special issue provide grounded engagements with the challenges and promises of solidarity, coalition building, co-conspiracy, and accompliceship.21 The contributors move from refugee organizing across, outside, and in excess of national lines in refugee camps in Greece, to the role of the international NGO complex and independent filmmakers in gendered struggles in and beyond Burma, to the role of scholars in migrant activism, to faculty-graduate student collaborations that trouble academic hierarchies and the political economy of university labor. These contributions show that a careful attention to sedimented and interconnected histories of imperialism, racial capitalism, and state violence (rather than the abstract, liberal categories of humanitarianism) can open new pathways for transnational struggle.
A Note on What This Special Issue Is and Isn’t
This special issue is, of course, not an empirically or geographically exhaustive analysis of borderland regimes across the world—a task that would be impossible given the space constraints of a special issue but also a task that could inadvertently structure each “site” as representative of a larger whole, a synecdoche for a country or phenomenon writ large. Instead, we offer fragments of phenomena across different spaces in order to theorize continuities, disjunctures, and strategies for movement building. With that in mind, here we share some reflections on how and why we chose to delimit the scope of this special issue.
This special issue is not interdisciplinary in the sense that each contributor is trained in a different discipline; instead, it is interdisciplinary in the sense that each of our contributors has offered a piece that is itself interdisciplinary. Trained in literature, ethnic studies, American studies, feminist studies, geography, and anthropology, our contributors offer pieces that bring together ethnographic method and archival analysis, literary criticism and visual studies, film criticism and participant observation, art and activism. The reviewers we chose also helped our contributors broaden their citational scope and deepen their reflection on their own methods. The curating of this special issue, then, has given us an opportunity to reflect on method, the politics of representation, and the ethics of storytelling. It has also been an opportunity to underscore our commitment to interdisciplinarity and the value it brings to our objects of study and our sites of organizing—at a moment when interdisciplinarity continues to be devalued as somehow antithetical to rigor, though in fact it is rigor that requires our interdisciplinary approach. It is also a moment when interdisciplinary departments—particularly women’s studies and ethnic studies—are the first to be defunded in moments (like now) of economic crisis and political upheavals—when it is then/now when we need them most.
We are not looking to either criticize borderland studies or intervene in the extant study of borders. Instead, we aspire, through this issue, to craft a reading practice—for ourselves, our colleagues, our collaborators, and our students—that takes a capacious approach to the study of borderland regimes and resistance to them, one not determined by geography and a space’s legibility as border, but one characterized by shared and differentiated questions of displacement, exile, migration, mobility, and refusal.
For this reason, our process for curating this special issue links together our theoretical, political, and pedagogical commitments. Following bell hooks, we understand theory (and knowledge production, broadly) as a “necessary practice within a holistic framework of liberatory action.”22 And following Rachel Herzing’s contention that political education is “education for the specific purpose of making our politics more powerful” and that political education “is front line work,”23 we refuse the retrenchment of the binary between “scholar” and “activist.” We understand scholarship and activism as equally valid and powerful sites of knowledge production, also eschewing facile binaries between “theory” and “action.” We affirm that while scholarship can of course be devoid of care for the communities they research, scholarship can also make movement work possible. At the same time, movement work can and does clarify the political commitments of scholarship. Many of our contributors are both organizers and scholars, working with and through a historically informed citational practice that honors the work that preceded their own—work, that is, inside and outside academia—and via reflexivity about their own research methods and their own politics of representation.
Our collaboration emerged out of precisely these sorts of conversations. We met in the fall of 2018, as junior faculty on a new campus with shared intellectual and political commitments and shared misgivings about where our work—from the Black Mediterranean to Palestine—was understood to belong. We found ourselves at a social mixer where we were meant to small talk with other faculty and expand our mentorship networks, but where we instead shared stories about how connected our work and research sites could be if the analytic frames that contained them were more capacious. What if, we wondered, when we spoke of borderland regimes globally, we studied not analogy between sites but the co-constitutive historical processes that engendered them, not similar modes of resistance but connected struggles? What if we understood strategies of anticolonial defiance against borders to include literature, film, mobilizing, reading, writing, and teaching—bringing geographically disparate communities affected by similar policies of border fortification into the same room and into the same analytic frame? What if junior scholars, on and off the tenure track in this nightmarish job market we have inherited, were understood to contribute as much to the field as the senior scholars whose work inspired our own? We brainstormed, we shared resources and Google Docs, and we followed up on each other’s reading recommendations—in other words, we did the work of collaboration that political education requires. What you find in the pages of this special issue is the beginning, and not the end, of this collaboration; here, we have curated a conversation on racialized technologies of displacement, globally considered, that takes seriously borderland regimes and the tenacity and creativity of those who name, navigate, and resist their violence. We imagine ourselves as joining a conversation and bringing into its fold critical work encompassing disparate sites across the Global South and the Global North that are not always understood as borderland regimes—but should be.
All our contributors are also junior scholars, on and off the tenure track, independent scholars, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students—or they were when we began our collaboration and have since shifted into different “ranks” and positions—and organizers outside the academy. We explicitly chose to prioritize the work of untenured scholars and graduate students, with the goal of generating publication opportunities for those who need them most given the dire condition of the current academic job market and with the affirmation that these scholars have so much to teach. This is also in keeping with the ethos of Critical Ethnic Studies since the journal’s first generation of editors. Too often we see the work of junior scholars go unrecognized, in terms of both job opportunities and publications. Too often we see our brilliant peers forced to leave an academic world they fought so hard to hold accountable and make better. For these reasons, throughout our collaboration, we also worked to remain cognizant of the way hierarchies of rank and institutional legitimacy have shaped the conditions of intellectual labor across all these various collaborations.
We were additionally very deliberate about our selection of manuscript reviewers. In the spirit of rigorous transnational and interdisciplinary inquiry, we sought out readers who could help our contributors expand their citational scope by bringing in interventions from disciplines and geographical contexts with which they might be less familiar. We deliberately paired work in US-based ethnic studies or transnational American studies with readers in European/Mediterranean studies or work in critical refugee studies in Southeast Asia with readers who study exile, displacement, and war in the Middle East. In this, we have sought to not mirror, in our own methods of coeditorial collaboration, the geographical fragmentation and spatial siloing we critique. Instead, we have aimed to create space for knowledge production that, in its own making, works across borders. We are infinitely grateful for the hard work our contributors have done in their research and revisions and are equally grateful for the many generous, careful reviewers who contributed their time and labor to make our special issue unfold in the way that it has.
The pieces in this special issue track the three intersecting dynamics we have outlined—movement and movement building, transnational bordering and transnational resistance to it, and borders as both material and discursive—across sites that range from the US-Mexico borderlands, to the Mediterranean, to Palestine/Israel. This sort of relational framework accounts for the scale and scope of border technologies while simultaneously providing crucial insights about how to resist their reach. By bridging conversations that are typically kept in separate academic silos—for example, Asian American studies, Black studies, Native American and Indigenous studies, Middle East studies, and European critical migration studies—our contributors have produced theoretically rigorous and empirically grounded investigations of borderland regimes, exile and forced migration, and resistance as transnational phenomena not contained to the spaces typically conceptually associated with borderlands. Their pieces draw on the capacious analytical frameworks offered by fields such as critical refugee studies and postcolonial studies, in order to think across geographically disparate sites and across disciplines that are not typically placed into direct conversation with one another. This approach affirms that the conceptual and political work of critical ethnic studies is strengthened by a more geographically capacious genealogy of race, racial capitalism, and bordering.
The writing collected here is as capacious as it is varied; the contributors show how the urgent challenges of our current moment as they relate to borders, migration, and displacement require creative approaches that actively trouble disciplinary boundaries. We also have organized this special issue in a way that bookends research articles with other genres of text—an interview, a political education document, a syllabus, and a book forum. We begin with an interview with organizers connecting questions of immigration to Black freedom struggles and end with a book forum about empire, the control of mobility, and resistance to borderland regimes. There is a deliberate provocation in the positioning of an interview, political education document, and syllabus first, followed by scholarly essays and a book forum: a reflection that the collective and collaborative work you see here is both indebted to and fortified by struggle and study. Our purpose in doing so is to foreground multiple modes of knowledge-production about borders and resistance to them; in other words, we reject the impulse to separate and draw hierarchies between theory and practice, scholarship and activism, or teaching and research.
In this spirit, our special issue begins with an interview we conducted with Nunu Kidane and Gerald Lenoir of Priority Africa Network about their long histories of organizing, the simultaneity of hope and despair in the contemporary moment, and strategies they have to offer scholars, organizers, and activists working to connect struggles across disparate geographies. In the interview, we traversed Kidane’s and Lenoir’s priorities as activists and organizers in a moment defined by the coronavirus pandemic and its deadly racial disparities on the one hand, and global Black liberation uprisings against racist state violence on the other. We spoke about the repetitive violence of white supremacy, policing, Black immigrant and refugee organizing experiences, the struggles and joys of coalition building, and futurity. Our discussion conjured a world without borders, a world without prisons, and a world without the carceral logics that detain and deport. Indeed, Kidane and Lenoir explained that the abolitionist imperative to eradicate borders—which is fundamentally distinct from imperialist, neoliberal, and liberal humanitarian demands for borderlessness—is one that brings the prison industrial complex, immigrant detention, and border fortification into the same analytical frame. This conversation sets the tone for our special issue in that it first foregrounds the work of organizers and movement workers from and with whom we are lucky enough to learn. Second, it prioritizes the political significance of refugee routes, even and especially when they are not recognized as such. Third, it gestures toward the tools that are necessary for building global coalitions grounded in solidarity rather than rescue, collaboration rather than professionalization, and struggle rather than comfort that so many of our contributors theorize in the pages that follow.
Our next piece in the special issue, “Scenes from the Wildcat Strike: A Documentary History,” is a political education document authored by Gabe Evans, Nick Mitchell, and Taylor Wondergem that similarly directs our attention to the ways border struggles are interconnected with other mobilizations for justice—in this case, the right to labor and learn with dignity. At UC Santa Cruz, PhD students are expected to be grateful for the opportunity to live off of a monthly salary that is equivalent to the cost of a one-bedroom apartment in the coastal beach town on the unceded land of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band where we teach and learn.24 In response to these unlivable “living” conditions, graduate students at UCSC went on strike in the fall 2019 quarter for a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA); they not only were denied a COLA but also met with militarized policing, firings, and imminent de facto deportation for international students.25 Written in an epistolary form, Evans, Mitchell, and Wondergem’s political education document archives emails, notes, and texts between striking graduate students and their professor, who too was once a graduate student at UCSC. In doing so, they trace the organizing, demands, and struggle of the COLA movement and the administration’s violent repression and racialized policing in response. Their political education document shows that the university, while imagined solely as a site of privilege, is in fact a site of struggle, of warfare, of policing, of colonial occupation. It is also a site of knowledge production, cultural production, and, if we insist on it, abolition.26 This collaboration shows us how working on and against borderland regimes, from an approach that brings together critical refugee studies, critical race and ethnic studies, and feminist studies, allows us to think transnationally but also deeply locally about borders, policing, and surveillance.
Our special issue then turns to Ilaria Giglioli’s course, A World of Walls? Unmaking Borders through Comparative Pedagogies. The syllabus draws together many of the themes that run through the special issue: movement and movement building, colonialism and imperialism, mobility and immobility, the politics of comparison, global human rights discourse, the infrastructure of walls and borders, and the global interconnectedness of borderland regimes as well as resistance to them. Designed as a twelve-week, interdisciplinary social sciences course for advanced undergraduates, Giglioli’s syllabus features three units—“What Are Borders?” “How Do Borders Work?” and “Questioning Borders”—that can also be easily adapted for early undergraduates as well as for graduate-level study. The examples in the syllabus are drawn from the US-Mexico border, Palestine/Israel, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and Australia. As Giglioli explains, when students are encouraged to think comparatively in this way, they begin to denaturalize the borders that they have come to take as a natural “fact” of the world. We appreciate how Giglioli’s pedagogical approach is also shaped by her experiences with activism and political education—indeed, she explains that “thinking comparatively across borders also allows [students] to theorize the global nature of border fortification in a way that empowers them to take action for migrant justice.” This syllabus provides one way to think about the praxis of critical comparative border studies—about the relationship between politics and pedagogy. As such, it is not a “final word” on this question but rather an invitation to continue this collective, intergenerational, and transnational work.
In the first article in our special issue, “‘The Weight of the World’: Migrant Work, Subjectivity, and Globality,” Josen Masangkay Diaz uses literary analysis to explore the lived experience of borders. Diaz weaves an engagement with Mia Alvar’s 2015 short story, “Esmeralda,” with a reading of Filipina reproductive labor, US and Philippine governance, and the shared logics of the global “war on terror.” Diaz skillfully shows how Esmeralda, as an undocumented migrant negotiating various forms of legality and as an overseas worker heralded as a national hero, highlights the overlapping conditions of recognition and precarity that structured Filipino migrancy in the post-9/11/2001 period. Traversing themes of intimacy and power, migration and translation, and displacement and exile, Diaz gifts us a way to think about gendered labor in the contexts of the borders—spatial and temporal—that the global “war on terror” has sought to sediment. Diaz’s illustration of the relational geopolitics of the US and Philippine war(s) on terror, as well as Esmeralda’s efforts to craft alternative lifeways beyond attendant forms of racialized and gendered surveillance, also provides a powerful example of the ways that both borders and resistance are transnational phenomena.
Diaz’s situating of Esmeralda within the context of the global “war on terror” also suggests that national borders are constantly made and remade in relation to racialized constructions of “security.” Indeed, the US border as an assemblage of biometric and algorithmic surveillance technologies (and, more broadly, the automation of immigration control) is typically understood as a response to the “exceptional” moment of 9/11/2001. In “Alien Data: Immigration and Regimes of Connectivity in the United States,” however, Iván Chaar-López shows that the current “border technopolitical regime” is in fact the product of a much longer history. In his article, Chaar-López traces the origins and implementation of alien files and identity documents such as INS Forms I-151 (green card) and I-186 (Mexican border crossing card), as well as media infrastructures such as the Alien Documentation, Information and Telecommunication (ADIT) system. These systems, he argues, emerged out of mid-twentieth-century concerns surrounding the (in)visibility or (il)legibility of immigrants. As these new documentation technologies were designed, tested, and implemented, Mexican and Mexican Americans specifically were implicated in the construction of racialized and classed boundaries between loyalty/disloyalty and friend/enemy. By thinking across American studies and science and technology studies, Chaar-López’s work shows that the policing of borderlands cannot be understood separately from the politics of data, technology, and communications. His research also shows how the materiality of the border (i.e., infrastructure, surveillance technologies, identity documents) is inseparable from the ideological and discursive systems of power that borders reproduce (i.e., racialized constructions of criminality, security, illegality).
Our next contribution turns to questions about detention, incarceration, and refugee routes. Loubna Qutami’s article, “‘The Camp Is My Nationality’: Palestinian-Situated Knowledge in the Global Refugee Crisis,” chronicles the maritime routes of Palestinian refugees doubly displaced as a result of the war in Syria as they make perilous crossings through the Aegean Sea to Greece. Through interviews with her subjects and meticulous research on displacement across multiple sites, Qutami details the displacement of Palestinian refugees fleeing the war in Syria, chronic material conditions of the camps in Lebanon, and the annihilation of land and life in the Gaza Strip. She looks at the conditions of the journey itself, and the experience of refugees navigating the complex web of systems upon their arrival to the Greek Islands, the primary reception site for refugees arriving on European Union shores. She makes the case that Palestinian refugees bring with them generational histories of protracted statelessness, along with a learned and inherited skepticism of state and NGO actors, both of which shape how they remake understandings of community in Greece as they build solidarity with other refugees. In doing so, Qutami’s research emphasizes the connection between movement and movement building—her article shows that the lived experiences of dispossession and exile generate unique insights about the construction of political solidarity across borders and beyond the boundaries of the nation-state.
Jennifer Mogannam and Leslie Quintanilla, our next contributors in the special issue, share a similar investment in their article “Borders Are Obsolete: Part II; Reflections on Central American Caravans and Mediterranean Crossings.” They analyze not only the material violence of borders but also the epistemic violence that both research and rescue can reenact. Their piece draws from their research and organizing in San Diego, a city at the US-Mexico border steeped in militarism and occupying Kumeyaay land. Emerging from their work with migrant and refugee communities, the authors examine the routes of Central American and Syrian and Palestinian-Syrian refugees fleeing their homes and detail their experience with border- and prison-industrial complexes upon their arrival in San Diego. Their reflection critiques the coalescence of multiple forms of violence in sites like these: the white savior complex, predatory academic extraction, the prison-industrial complex, and the carceral logics of borders. It also points to models for scholar-activist engagement that are accountable to the communities they serve by foregrounding refugee autonomy and refugee theorization of their own conditions, their own dignity, and their own desires. Mogannam and Quintanilla draw our attention to the relationship between barriers to transnational mobility and barriers to coalition building and, like Qutami, emphasize the political and ethical significance of centering the knowledge and experiences of migrants and refugees when organizing against borderland regimes.
The next article in our special issue marks a continuity with the critical questions Mogannam and Quintanilla raise. While Mogannam and Quintanilla detail the space of refugee resettlement and bureaucracy at the border, a central piece of their analysis is a reflection on the violence of the “gift” of resettlement, building, as much of our special issue does, from Mimi Thi Nguyen’s work in The Gift of Freedom: War, Debt, and Other Refugee Passages.27 The violence of the “gift”—specifically, the gift of freedom—is central to the theorization of refugee subjectivity in the field of critical refugee studies. Emily Hue explicitly takes this up in her article, “Afterlives of Rescue: Refusing Refuge in Contemporary Feminist Films on Burma.” Hue contrasts liberal depictions of Burmese femininity and human rights struggles in films such as The Lady (about Aung San Suu Kyi) with the work of the decolonial, transnational feminist ethnographic film collective Ethnocine. Situating The Lady within the global circuits of human rights NGOs and foundations, Hue shows that liberal humanitarianism relies upon linear narratives of rescue in which women in the postauthoritarian states of Southeast Asia must be “rescued” through Western intervention or, alternatively, physical resettlement in the West. Ethnocine’s films, on the other hand—which have taken on topics such as Karen refugee resettlement in New York and Burmese feminist performance art in Yangon—unsettle linear narratives of refugee resettlement, refuse the institutional enforcement of refugee “gratitude,”28 and center narratives of postcolonial feminist imagination. In her article, Hue also demonstrates the importance of film and visual media not simply as “text” but also as powerful sites of struggle over power, agency, mobility, borders, and the contradictions of liberalism. Ultimately, Hue asks how our understanding of “refugee resettlement” shifts when we refuse to view the United States as the endpoint in a linear trajectory toward rescue and freedom, but instead, as Eric Tang reminds us, an unsettled site where various forms of racial and gendered violence are continually reenacted upon refugees.29 Hue’s focus on NGOs and popular media provides another example of the mechanisms by which borderland regimes circulate globally, just as the example of Ethnocine shows the transgressive potential of transnational feminist collaborations to unsettle them.
Global moral economies of international aid and humanitarianism shape everyday life not only for refugees from postauthoritarian states but also for those navigating the material aftermath of warfare. Davorn Sisavath’s article, “Metallic Violence in the Aftermath of the US Secret War in Laos (1964–73),” explores the ways metal casings from the millions of US-made cluster munitions dropped by the US military on Laos have taken on many different afterlives. They serve as quotidian archives of a “secret war” and its consequences; they perform “secondary war-work” as an ongoing source of toxicity and violence; they are the raw materials from which people extract meager livelihoods; they even circulate back to the United States, transformed into decorative objects for socially conscious consumers. By carefully tracing these the multiple transformations of war’s detritus, Sisavath builds toward a theorization of “metallic violence” as the everyday materiality of ongoing imperialism as well as the ways new forms of life materialize in the aftermath of war. Sisavath’s article returns us to sites of US empire, state violence, and the afterlives of war—conversant with questions Josen Masangkay Diaz’s article raised at the start of this special issue. Sisavath also shows how warfare weaponizes both material and discursive borders while it refigures them as porous; borders between nation-states, public and private, life and death, and waste and value are rendered malleable in the service of state violence.
Our special issue concludes with a book forum that picks up on a central theme of our collaboration—namely, how to conceptualize both the making and remaking of borders and the travel of borderland regimes across time and space. Stephanie Malia Hom’s book Empire’s Mobius Strip: Historical Echoes in Italy’s Crisis of Migration and Detention30 shows that the contemporary Mediterranean refugee “crisis” has its roots in Italian practices of regulating the mobility of subjugated and racialized populations inside the Italian peninsula, on islands in the Mediterranean, and in the African colonies. In doing so, Hom both challenges Italian colonial amnesia and provides readers with new tools for understanding the relationship between imperialism and borderland regimes. As Hom argues, “the control of mobility is the fulcrum of empire.”31 We invited three graduate students—Xafsa Ciise, Ampson Hagan, and Torin Jones—to respond to Empire’s Mobius Strip in relation to their own dissertation projects, which address topics ranging from the legacies of Italian colonialism in Somalia to the regulation of sub-Saharan African migration corridors through Niger, to the experiences of African youth in Italian refugee reception centers. In their thoughtful responses, they raise powerful questions about spatial metaphor, the politics of representation, refugee political subjectivity and resistance, and the continuities and disjunctures among various imperial formations across time and space. In her concluding remarks to the forum, Stephanie Malia Hom offers generative reflections on future avenues for research in comparative border studies. In curating this conversation, inviting this collaboration, and providing this introduction to the work of junior scholars across broadly conceived comparative border studies, we hope to have ended our special issue by offering some theoretical and political tools for engaging with questions of movement—and movement building—in a time marked by the global proliferation of borderland regimes.
Camilla Hawthorne is an assistant professor of sociology at UC Santa Cruz. She is a principal faculty member in the UCSC Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Program and a faculty affiliate of the UCSC Science and Justice Research Center and Legal Studies Program. Camilla serves as chair of the Black Geographies Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers and is a project manager and faculty member of the Black Europe Summer School in Amsterdam. Her current project explores the politics of Blackness and citizenship in Italy.
Jennifer Lynn Kelly is an assistant professor of feminist studies and critical race and ethnic studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research broadly engages questions of settler colonialism, US empire, and the fraught politics of both tourism and solidarity. She is currently completing the manuscript for her first book, Invited to Witness: Solidarity Tourism across Occupied Palestine, a multisited interdisciplinary ethnographic study of solidarity tourism in Palestine. In the book, she analyzes how solidarity tourism has emerged in Palestine as an organizing strategy that is both embedded in and working against histories of sustained displacement.
In Israel’s case, the invitation also extends to the 1950 Law of Return, which gives Jews the right to move to Israel and obtain citizenship—an invitation of course not extended to Palestinians exiled with the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 or with subsequent occupations of Palestinian land, who are denied the right of return though it was recognized in UN’s General Assembly Resolution 194 in 1948.
In thinking about the colonial present, we are guided by Derek Gregory’s comparative work in The Colonial Present: Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2004).
Edward Said, “Permission to Narrate,” Journal of Palestine Studies 13, no. 3 (Spring 1984): 27–48.
“Race at Boiling Point: The Fire This Time,” UC Humanities Research Institute, June 5, 2020, https://uchri.org/events/race-at-boiling-point-event-series/.
Andreas Wimmer and Nina Glick Schiller, “Methodological Nationalism and the Study of Migration,” European Journal of Sociology / Archives Européennes de Sociologie / Europäisches Archiv Für Soziologie 43, no. 2 (2002): 217–40.
For a recent collaboration of the Israeli weapons company Elbit Systems and the network of fifty-three surveillance towers (each up to 160 feet tall, employing a 7.5-mile camera range and 13-mile radius of ground-sweeping radar) it has installed in southern Arizona, see “Watched: Israel’s Elbit Systems on the U.S. Southern Border,” Visualizing Palestine and Arizona Palestine Solidarity Alliance, July 2020, https://visualizingpalestine.org/visuals/watched. As they write, “These instruments of human control expand a layered system of U.S. border militarization made up of physical barriers, high-tech security, and armored patrols. This system violates the rights of indigenous Hia Ced O’odham and Tohono O’odham citizens, kills migrants, and represses freedom of expression.”
In this way, we see our work in conversation with scholarship on the peril of metaphors when they function as an alibi for anticolonial repatriation, from Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Young’s “Decolonization Is Not a Metaphor,” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education, and Society 1, no. 1 (2012): 1–40, to works in in critical geography on the problem of spatial metaphor as it obscures various of colonial-racial spatial violence, such as Neil Smith and Cindi Katz, “Grounding Metaphor: Towards a Spatialized Politics,” in Place and the Politics of Identity, ed. Michael Keith and Steve Pile (London: Routledge, 1993), 67–83; Matthew Sparke, In the Space of Theory: Postfoundational Geographies of the Nation-State, 1st ed. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005); and Katherine McKittrick, Demonic Grounds: Black Women and the Cartographies of Struggle (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006). For more on racist state violence and premature death, see Ruth Wilson Gilmore’s definition of racism as “the state-sanctioned or extralegal production and exploitation of group-differentiated vulnerability to premature death” (Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California [Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007], 28).
Stefania D’Ignoti, “Black Women in Italy Weren’t Being Heard. Then Black Lives Matter Protests Began in the United States,” The Lily, July 6, 2020, https://www.thelily.com/black-women-in-italy-werent-being-heard-then-black-lives-matter-protests-began-in-the-united-states/.
Annalisa Frisina and Camilla Hawthorne, “Italians with Veils and Afros: Gender, Beauty, and the Everyday Anti-Racism of the Daughters of Immigrants in Italy,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 44, no. 5 (2018): 718–35, https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2017.1359510. Other examples of Black Italian women’s antiracist resistance include the Eritrean Italian journalist and feminist Elvira Banotti’s denunciation of colonial racial-sexual violence in the 1960s (see Wolfgang Achtner, “Montanelli, with His ‘Rented Child Bride,’ Does Not Deserve a Statue in His Honor,” La Voce di New York [blog], March 14, 2019, http://www.lavocedinewyork.com/en/news/2019/03/14/indro-montanelli-with-his-rented-child-bride-does-not-deserve-a-statue-in-his-honor/); the mobilizations of African immigrant women in the 1980s and 1990s against exploitative, gendered working conditions (see Jacqueline Andall, Gender, Migration and Domestic Service: The Politics of Black Women in Italy [Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000]; and Heather Merrill, An Alliance of Women: Immigration and the Politics of Race [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006]); and the recent publication of widely circulated Black Italian feminist open letters (see “Lettera aperta di un gruppo di donne nere Italiane al Sindaco Beppe Sala,” Cara Italia, April 27, 2019, https://caraitalia.org/lettera-aperta-di-un-gruppo-di-donne-nere-italiane-al-sindaco-beppe-sala/) and anthologies (see Igiaba Scego, ed., Future: Il domani narrato dalle voci di oggi [Florence: Effequ, 2019]).
For more on the origins of policing, regionally understood, see Sidney L. Harring, Policing a Class Society: The Experience of American Cities 1865–1915 (1983; repr., Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2017). For more on the carceral state, see Ruth Wilson Gilmore, “Abolition Geography and the Problem of Innocence,” in Futures of Black Radicalism, ed. Gaye Theresa Johnson and Alex Lubin (London: Verso Books, 2017); Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007); Angela Y. Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete? (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2011); Simone Browne, Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015); Mae M. Ngai, Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004); Harsha Walia, Undoing Border Imperialism (Chico, CA: AK Press, 2014); Robert T. Chase, Caging Borders and Carceral States: Incarcerations, Immigration Detentions, and Resistance (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2019); Dylan Rodríguez, Forced Passages: Imprisoned Radical Intellectuals and the U.S. Prison Regime (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006); and Kelly Lytle Hernandez, Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010).
For work that studies policing as it intersects with colonial and imperial state violence, see Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark, “Criminal Empire: The Making of the Savage in a Lawless Land,” Theory & Event 19, no. 4 (2016), https://muse.jhu.edu/article/633282; Stuart Schrader, Badges without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2019); Luana Ross, Inventing the Savage: The Social Construction of Native American Criminality (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998); Shannon Speed, Incarcerated Stories: Indigenous Women Migrants and Violence in the Settler-Capitalist State (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2019); Nick Estes, Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance (London: Verso Books, 2019); Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States (Boston: Beacon, 2014); Kelly Lytle Hernández, City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, 1771–1965 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017); and Marisol LeBrón, Policing Life and Death: Race, Violence, and Resistance in Puerto Rico (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2019).
Nada Elia, “Solidarity Means Fighting for Black Lives,” Mondoweiss (blog), June 4, 2020, https://mondoweiss.net/2020/06/solidarity-means-fighting-for-black-lives/. In this way, while the United States and Israel share settler solidarities that function through shared technologies of violence (the Israeli military—not only its police force—trains US police departments), shared weaponry (the United States provides Israel with the weapons—from ammunition to tear gas—it uses against Palestinians), and shared settler logics (from the theft of Indigenous land to the logic of the chosen to sanctify that theft), it is critical to deliberately retain historical context and specificity as we launch our critiques and fortify our organizing. For more on these training programs and shared technologies of violence, see “Deadly Exchange: The Dangerous Consequences of US-Israel Law Enforcement Exchanges,” Deadly Exchange, September 2018, https://deadlyexchange.org/deadly-exchange-research-report/. For more on settler colonialism in Palestine, see Maxime Rodinson, Is Israel a Colonial-Settler State? (Atlanta: Pathfinder, 1973); Nahla Abdo and Nira Yuval-Davis, “Palestine, Israel and the Zionist Settler Project,” in Unsettling Settler Societies: Articulations of Gender, Race, Ethnicity and Class, ed. Daiva Stasiulis and Nira Yuval-Davis (London: SAGE, 1995); John Collins, Global Palestine (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012); Salah D. Hassan, “Displaced Nations: Israeli Settlers and Palestinian Refugees,” in Studies in Settler Colonialism: Politics, Identity and Culture, London, ed. Fiona Bateman and Lionel Pilkington (Houndmills, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 186–203; Saree Makdisi, “Zionism Then and Now,” in Studies in Settler Colonialism: Politics, Identity and Culture, ed. Fiona Bateman and Lionel Pilkington (Houndmills, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 237–56; and Joseph Massad, The Persistence of the Palestinian Question: Essays on Zionism and the Palestinians (New York: Routledge, 2006), among many others. For more on sites of settler colonialism and the justificatory logic of the chosen, including in Palestine, see Donald Harman Akenson, God’s Peoples: Covenant and Land in Southern Africa, Israel, and Ulster (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1992). For a comprehensive analysis of the place of Palestine within settler-colonial studies, see Omar Jabary Salamanca et al., “Past Is Present: Settler Colonialism in Palestine,” Settler Colonial Studies 2, no. 1 (2012): 1–8, and the special issue the essay introduces. See also Brenna Bhandar and Rafeef Ziadah, “Acts and Omissions: Framing Settler Colonialism in Palestine Studies,” Jadaliyya (blog), January 14, 2016, https://www.jadaliyya.com/Details/32857.
Paola Bacchetta et al., “Transnational Feminist Practices against War,” Meridians 2, no. 2 (2002): 302–8.
Salamanca et al., “Past Is Present.”
Bhandar and Ziadah, “Acts and Omissions.” In Bhandar and Ziadeh’s words, “A ‘comparative’ approach must attend to the political-economic and juridical formations that subtend colonization as a process and benefit from the nuanced scholarship on the realities of settler colonialism in Canada, the United States, Australia, and for that matter, Palestine by Indigenous scholar-activists.”
Bhandar and Ziadah.
See, for instance, M., “A Critique of Ally Politics,” in Taking Sides: Revolutionary Solidarity and the Poverty of Liberalism, ed. Cindy Milstein (Chico, CA: AK Press, 2015), 64–84.
Ida Danewid, “White Innocence in the Black Mediterranean: Hospitality and the Erasure of History,” Third World Quarterly 38, no. 7 (2017): 2, https://doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2017.1331123.
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2016), 187.
See Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2017); Combahee River Collective, The Combahee River Collective Statement: Black Feminist Organizing in the Seventies and Eighties, Freedom Organizing Series (1977; repr., Lanham, MD: Kitchen Table / Women of Color Press, 1986); and Bernice Johnson Reagon, “Coalition Politics: Turning the Century,” in Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology, ed. Barbara Smith (New York: Kitchen Table / Women of Color Press, 1983), 356–68.
For an Indigenous-centered analysis of the difference between accomplices and allies, see “Accomplices Not Allies: Abolishing the Ally Industrial Complex,” Indigenous Action Media (blog), May 4, 2014, http://www.indigenousaction.org/accomplices-not-allies-abolishing-the-ally-industrial-complex/.
bell hooks, “Theory as Liberatory Practice,” Yale Journal of Law and Feminism 4, no. 1 (1991): 8.
Rachel Herzing, “Political Education in a Time of Rebellion,” Center for Political Education (blog), accessed August 10, 2020, https://politicaleducation.org/political-education-in-a-time-of-rebellion/.
The University of California, Santa Cruz occupies the unceded territory of the Awaswas-speaking Uypi Tribe. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band are the descendants of Indigenous peoples taken to missions Santa Cruz and San Juan Bautista during Spanish colonization of the Central Coast. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band continues to struggle to restore traditional stewardship practices on lands UCSC occupies. For more on the vision, experience, and labor of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, see https://www.amahmutsunlandtrust.org/the-tribal-band.
See Lauren Kaori Gurley, “California Police Used Military Surveillance Tech at Grad Student Strike,” VICE, May 15, 2020, https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/7kppna/california-police-used-military-surveillance-tech-at-grad-student-strike; Nicole Karlis, “‘Not Surprising, but Yet Unbelievable’: UC Santa Cruz Students Fired over Wildcat Strike,” Salon, March 5, 2020, https://www.salon.com/2020/03/04/not-surprising-but-yet-unbelievable-uc-santa-cruz-students-fired-over-wildcat-strike/; and Chris Brooks, “University of California Intimidating International Students to Defeat Wildcat Strike,” Labor Notes, February 10, 2020, https://www.labornotes.org/blogs/2020/02/university-california-intimidating-international-students-defeat-wildcat-strike.
See Abigail Boggs et al., “Abolitionist University Studies: An Invitation,” Abolition University, August 2019, https://abolition.university/invitation/, for an extended meditation on the potential of the abolition university as a “relation, network, and ethos” that has the potentiality to transform what the university is and who it is for.
Mimi Thi Nguyen, The Gift of Freedom: War, Debt, and Other Refugee Passages (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012).
For a meditation on the expectation of gratitude on the part of Iranian refugees, see Dina Nayeri, “The Ungrateful Refugee: ‘We Have No Debt to Repay,’” Guardian, April 4, 2017, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/04/dina-nayeri-ungrateful-refugee.
Eric Tang, Unsettled: Cambodian Refugees in the New York City Hyperghetto (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2015).
Stephanie Malia Hom, Empire’s Mobius Strip: Historical Echoes in Italy’s Crisis of Migration and Detention (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2019).