Reuniting the Pueblo: How Zapotec Immigrants Move Borders
Michelle Vasquez Ruiz, University of Southern California
The militarization of the US-Mexico border, accompanied by rigid anti-immigrant laws has nearly ended undocumented circular migration, challenging the lives of undocumented Indigenous communities, whose identities and cultural practices rely on the ability to move across borders. In this chapter, I explore how Zapotec families in Los Angeles through their indigenous identities and transnational networks navigate the structural limitations of being undocumented in the context of anti-immigrant laws passed between 1990 and 2015. I specifically consider how Zapotec immigrants have addressed family separation by reuniting undocumented immigrants with their elderly family members through a series of transborder programs.
Black and Brown Imaginaries and the Political Economy of Activism
Esmeralda Arrizón-Palomera, University of Illinois-Chicago
“Black and Brown Imaginaries and the Political Economy of Activism” examines an ongoing referencing process between Black American and U.S. Latinx/Chicanx communities that unfolds within, against, and through liberatory movements. In this article I define and theorize this process as a space of possibility that can give rise to a new political subjectivity and provide a place from which to (re)engage with the subject of Black-Brown relations in the United States. In locating and tracing this ongoing referencing process between Black and Brown communities, I show how this process affirms and contests foundational myths and state narratives that have framed these exchanges, and consider an alternative genealogy of resistance that emerges in the borderlands of Black and Brown communities.
Queer Border-Crossers: Rupturing the Temporal and Progressive Narratives of the Nation-State
Ruben Zecena, Texas State University
To what extent is crossing the border not just about space, but also about time? This paper argues that through the fantasy of the American Dream, the nation narrates itself as always moving forward, but the border-crossing narratives of queer migrants suggest otherwise. I analyze how queer migrants negotiate the temporal structures and regulations of the nation-state in the film, Te Llevo Conmigo directed by Heidi Ewing, and Guillermo Reyes’ memoir, Madre & I. I also dovetail into how the American Dream is experienced as an impasse: a slow-motion nightmare that takes years to wake up from, if at all.
The Case of Jane Doe: Reproductive Injustice and the Construction of Migrant Futurity in the US Border Industrial Complex
Cristina Pérez, Franklin & Marshall College
On October 13, 2017, the American Civil Liberties Union filed an emergency lawsuit in federal court claiming that its undocumented 17-year-old client, Jane Doe, was being denied access to an abortion while being detained by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. This paper considers the case of Jane Doe through the work of feminists of color to argue that the state and anti-migration activists have constructed migrants as disposable in order to justify a temporal violence that aims to reshape and foreclose migrant futurity.
Respondents: Chris Zepeda-Millan, UCLA & Jose A de la Garza Valenzuela, University of Illinois
This event is free, but all participants must register in advance and space is limited. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.Register and Request Papers
About the Borderlands and Latino/a Studies Seminar
The Newberry Borderlands and Latino/a Studies Seminar provides a forum for works-in-progress from scholars and graduate students that explore a variety of topics in the field. Seminars are conversational and free and open to faculty, graduate students, and members of the public, who register in advance to request papers.