Event—Scholarly Seminars

Kris Klein Hernández, University of Michigan, and Susila Gurusami & Rahim Kurwa, University of Illinois at Chicago


A Birth of Militarization at the U.S.-Mexico Divide: Race and the U.S. Military in the Making of the 19th Century Borderlands, Kris Klein Hernández

In the 21st century, the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands is a militarized zone. Although this appears to be a recent occurrence, the region has a long history of military presence dating back to the 1846-48 U.S. War with Mexico. This paper examines the rise of 19th century United States imperialism abroad, beginning with the creation of military’s Aztec Club in 1847 Mexico City. Through an examination of the club, it will theorize and historicize the rise of militarized spaces under occupation over 70 years, and its impacts on identity formation for ethnic Mexicans, African Americans, and Native peoples at the national divide.

Carceral Migration as Theory and Method, Susila Gurusami, and Rahim Kurwa

This paper offers a theory of carceral migration to explain the state’s use of legal punishment to force, restrict, or prevent movement, occurring within, at, and beyond the nation’s formal border. Examples include forced movement tied to the domestic prison regime, the use of punishment to respond to migration at the border, and the extra-territorial movement of subjects punished through the war on terror. Carceral migration is not just a theory of state action, but also a method of analysis that facilitates better understanding of cases of punishment with movement implications and cases of movement with punishment implications.

Respondent: Patrisia Macías-Rojas, UIC