Nationalism. Borders. Personhood.

This year's symposium examines the conjunctures of nationalism, borders, and personhood through interdisciplinary lenses on dissent, social movement, ideological restriction or contestation, and state violence. Our focus arises from the urgencies of the contemporary moment while remaining informed by history. The right-wing populisms coalescing today at home and abroad are reinforcing exclusive conceptualizations of national identity, mocking globalization’s promises of world harmony. Discourses of securitization have justified figurative and literal fences, walls, and cages, extended unemployment, compromised housing and food, immiserated the precariat and devastated the planet. The talks featured at this year's symposium explore these conjunctures through a critical ethnic studies framework and a scholar-activist ethos.

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  • Reception and Opening Keynote: Itza Amanda Varela-Huerta

    “Politics in the Feminine: Participation and Representation among AfroMexican Women, a Contemporary Agenda”

    Wednesday, February 6

    6:00 PM–8:00 PM

    State Room East in the Indiana Memorial Union | IMU Map

  • Research Talks

    Thursday, February 7

    9:30 AM–4:00 PM

    Persimmon Room in the Indiana Memorial Union | IMU Map

    Research talks from Indiana University scholars:

    • 9:45-10:45 - Gabriel Peoples - "On Being African...American"
    • 10:45-11:45 - Kevin Brown - "What Are the Benefits of Comparing the African American Struggle in the U.S. to the Dalit Struggle in India?"
    • 1:45-2:45 - Deborah Cohen & Lessie Jo Frazier - "The Border Vanishes: Banditry, Frontier, and Nation in 1940s U.S. and Mexican Zorro Films"
    • 2:45-3:45 - Sonia Song-Ha Lee - "We Cannot Separate Our Pain from Our Resistance: Trauma and Political Activism in the Black and Brown Freedom Movements"
  • Second Keynote: Anita Huizar Hernandez

    “Forging Borders and Bodies: Counterfeiting Narratives of National Belonging”

    Thursday, February 7

    12:00 PM–1:30 PM

    Persimmon Room in the Indiana Memorial Union | IMU Map

  • Lightning Talks

    Friday, February 8

    8:30 AM–12:20 PM

    Sassafras Room in the Indiana Memorial Union | IMU Map

    Lightning talks by advanced graduate students:

    • Jennifer Watkins - "Immigration and the Restaurant Industry: Taste, Practice, and Agency"
    • Mihee Kim-Kort - "'Free and Undisturbed': A Politics of Reverence in the Contestation of Borders and Land Use at Devils Tower"
    • Ting-Han Chang - "Examining Experiences of International Students of Color and Racist Nativism, Racism, and White Supremacy in U.S. Higher Education"
    • Giselle Cunanan - "Student Activism and Ethnic Studies: Racial Labor in a Multicultural Moment"
    • Daniela Gutiérrez López - "'A Day without Immigrants' and the Resident ID Smartcard Project"
    • Denisa Jashari - "The Apartheid of the Poor: The Politics of Space and the Chilean Road to Neoliberalism"
    • Daniel Runnels - "Political Speech and Diglossia in Paraguay: Reading Rafael Barrett with Aristotle"
    • Alex Chambers - "Enclosure and Climate Migration in Myung Mi Kim's Commons"
    • Lydia Lahey Zakel - "Refugee Camps in West Bank as Tools of Colonization"
    • Sharif Wahab - "Understanding the Experience of Stateless Refugees in a Country without Laws for Refugees"
    • Hannah R. Osborn - "'Thronin' at the Met': Hip Hop and the Collecting Industry"

  • Special Lunch Lecture: Rob Swift

    “The Mechanization of Turntable Art”

    Friday, February 8

    12:30 PM–1:30 PM

    Coronation Room within the Tudor Room of the Indiana Memorial Union | IMU Map

  • Closing Keynote: Daniel Nemser

    “The Road to Racial Capitalism: Logistics and Fugitivity in Colonial Mexico”

    Friday, February 8

    1:45 PM–3:00 PM

    Sassafras Room in the Indiana Memorial Union | IMU Map

We look forward to seeing you at the symposium!