President Trump is in the process of proposing legislation for increasing border security and extending the already 700 mile long border wall on the U.S. Mexico border. This talk brings an ethnographic approach to understanding the construction of the U.S. Mexico border wall that not only centers on an ethnography of sovereignty but also the transformation of citizenship and culture on the border. We consider border walls both as responses to waning sovereignty and as aspects of the production of militarized borderland subjectivities. Ultimately, we argue that border walls and their attendant policing blur boundaries, intensify criminality and diminish the rights of citizens.
Miguel Díaz-Barriga is a professor of anthropology at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and recently served as the Carol L. Zicklin Endowed Chair for the Honors Academy at Brooklyn College. His research has focused on concepts relating to Mexican- American politics and identity, Latin American social movements, and border studies. He is currently completing a book project with Margaret Dorsey titled "Militarization on the Edge: Necro-citizenship and the U.S.-Mexican Border Fence." In 2016 he co-curated, with Margaret Dorsey, an exhibit on the U.S. Mexico border wall, "Fencing in Democracy," at apexart in New York City.
Margaret Dorsey is an associate professor of anthropology and founding curator of the Border Studies Archive at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She has won numerous grants (National Endowment of the Humanities, National Science Foundation) and is currently completing a book manuscript with Miguel Díaz-Barriga. Her other book-length projects include "Linda Escobar and Tejano Con-junto Music" (video, 2013) and "Pachangas: Borderlands Music, U.S. Politics, and Trans-national Marketing" (University of Texas Press, 2006).