This paper will explore the nature of an alter-politics emerging around borders and border walls. Much of the debate on borders – both academically and politically – has revolved around a dichotomy: whether they should be open, or closed. The open borders argument is about free and unfettered movement for all; and the closed borders argument suggests people should be able to create and maintain an inside and an outside. I will argue for an emerging speculative politics that imagines borders beyond this dichotomy, using different terms — such permeable, temporary, multi-layered; and different forms – such as welcome lounges, or flyways. I trace various political movements that are re-articulating the meaning of borders in theory and in practice, including the new sanctuary movement, while pushing anthropological methods into the speculative: how might we imagine, design and amplify some of these possible alternate political forms?
About the speaker
Miriam Ticktin is Associate Professor of Anthropology at The New School for Social Research. Her research has focused in the broadest sense on what it means to make political claims in the name of a universal humanity. She is the author of Casualties of Care: Immigration and the Politics of Humanitarianism in France (University of California Press, 2011) and In the Name of Humanity: The Government of Threat and Care (co-edited with Ilana Feldman, Duke University Press, 2010), along with many other articles and book chapters. She is a founding editor of the journal Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism and Development. Ticktin is currently at work on two related book projects: 1) a short book on innocence as a political concept, and how it produces an unending search for purity; 2) a book on practices of containment at the border, from border walls to spaces of quarantine.