Till startsida
Sitemap
To content Read more about how we use cookies on gu.se

Lunch seminar with Ruben Andersson: The 'Infected Border'

Research profile seminar

The 'infected border': Comparative notes across the North Atlantic

During this lunch seminar, we will be moving between the Libya-Italy and US-Mexico frontiers, and consider how the defended borderline works almost magically on Western politics: it is deployed at once as a catalyst for the stirring of fear and for the promise of protection.

The notion of an 'infected border', the talk suggests, offers a lens for investigating the politics and policing of migration. In both Europe and the United States, we see an infectious politics of fear at work in conjuring threats at the border; and we may also discern a shared 'epidemiological' model of pre-emptive containment in border policing, focused on controlling 'outbreaks' across an extensive borderland.

Lunch sandwiches will be served from 11:45. Register before September 14, 12:00. NOTE! The seminar is fully booked!

The paper presented considers the rampant rebordering of the rich world from an anthropological perspective, with a focus on the interaction between its political-symbolic and practical dimensions.

We already have studies aplenty of violent borders and humanitarian borders, of biopolitical borders and of the border as business. Here I suggest a complementary lens - the infected border.

Moving between the Libya-Italy and US-Mexico frontiers, and drawing on classical anthropological takes on liminality and danger, I will consider how the defended borderline works almost magically on Western politics: it is deployed at once as a catalyst for the stirring of fear and for the promise of protection.

The notion of an infected border lets us glimpse this two-faced modality through which the border emerges as an almost limitless emotional resource for certain political voices, often drawing on idioms of contagion and disease.

Besides this political-symbolic sense of an infected border, the notion also offers a lens for investigating the logics of intervention beyond the borderline. In 'risk-based' border security, deployed both in Europe and the United States, we see an 'epidemiological' model of pre-emptive containment at work, focused on controlling 'transmission channels' and 'outbreaks' across an extensive borderland.

The infected border, in sum, joins up politics with praxis, and symbolism with the realities of policing - carrying disturbing echoes, I will suggest, back to colonial encounters between the historical West and its Others.

Ruben Andersson is an anthropologist working on migration, borders and security with a focus on the West African Sahel and southern Europe.

His book 'Illegality, Inc.: Clandestine migration and the business of bordering Europe' (University of California Press 2014), an ethnographic account of Europe's efforts to halt irregular migration, accompanies border agencies, aid organisations and migrants along the Spanish-African borders.
The book argues that the 'fight against irregular migration', rather than curtailing movement, has led to more distress and drama at the borders, which in turns has fuelled a self-reinforcing industry of controls.

His forthcoming book with University of California Press, 'No Go World: How fear is redrawing our maps and infecting our politics', will be published in 2019. The book considers the wider politics of intervention in global crisis zones and borderlands, of which migration controls increasingly form an integral part, and explores the relationship by remote control that is emerging between powerful interveners and conflict-hit countries on the 'margins' of the world map.





Lecturer: Ruben Andersson, Associate Professor of Migration and Development, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Date: 9/17/2018

Time: 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Categories: Diversity, Etnologi, Socialt arbete, Sustainable development, Interdisciplinary, Latin American Studies, International

Organizer: Centre on Global Migration

Location: Annedalseminariet, Seminariegatan 1 A
Room 419

Last day of registration: 9/12/2018 at. 4:01 PM.

Contact person: Centrum för Global Migration

Number of seats: 45 (Of which 51 are booked)

Registration is closed for this event

Page Manager: Helena Svensson|Last update: 4/11/2014
Share:

The University of Gothenburg uses cookies to provide you with the best possible user experience. By continuing on this website, you approve of our use of cookies.  What are cookies?