Inmaculada García-Sánchez (Temple)
My recent book, Language and Muslim Immigrant Childhoods: The Politics of Belonging (2014), underscores the importance of studying immigrant children’s everyday lives and discursive practices to trace how the countervailing forces at play in transnational, diasporic settings impact these children’s sense of belonging and emerging processes of identification in the most immediate contexts of their daily existence. Moroccan immigrant children, in particular, walk a tight rope between difference and belonging as they simultaneously participate in their own immigrant community and a “host” society deeply ambivalent toward the multicultural politics of belonging provoked by recent migratory trends. In contemporary Spain, this ambivalence resonates forcefully in the current geopolitical climate of suspicion surrounding Muslim and North African immigrants as actualizations of the Moor invaders of centuries past.
In light of this ideologically and historically-saturated problematization of Moroccan immigrants, I explore children’s daily social engagements and face-to-face interactions in dialectic relation with broader cultural logics and socio-political discourses implicated in conceptualizations of inclusion/exclusion. At school, for instance, I examine how racialized exclusion is a product of everyday practice and of interpersonal relations. Through regimes of linguistically mediated surveillance, Spanish children mark the behavior of their Moroccan immigrant peers as deviant and establish the boundaries of unmarked ideological fields of naturalized social norms and behaviors. In this analysis, I highlight the role of everyday talk and face-to-face interactions in how processes of racialization establish inclusion/exclusion boundaries and reinforce social inequalities. This attention to everyday face-to-face talk-in-interaction is important both theoretically and analytically to complement the rich body of scholarship on language and racialized exclusion that has so far focused more intently on the institutional, political, and everyday discursive construction of social difference and racialized categories by members of dominant majorities.
How do we best see, and say today– in the wake of anthropology’s much storied crisis of representation; attempted corrections following movements of ‘Third World’ peoples, women, and queer folks; the recent disavowal of 1980s and 1990s reflexivity and experimentation; and what Marcus has recently termed a contemporary “crisis of reception.” What sort of moment is this to raise the question of Black/queer desire, in the context of here and there? If, as Tsing contends, transnational “friction… is the grip of a worldly encounter” what happens when we finally encounter the world through a multiply constituted lens of race, gender, nation and sexuality? Black/Queer Here & There presents “a moving picture of a world that doesn’t stand still, that reveals itself (and likewise, individuals who reveal themselves, and change themselves) en route” (Clifford) — showing how a cross-section of Black (and) queer, travelers, artists, intellectuals, political activists, and regular folks imagine and practice ‘here’ and ‘there’ in the Americas. Here we trace and highlight the operations of desire in translocal Black LGBTQ politics and culture — providing new perspectives, which require a re-focusing of social theory, and a re-signification of social/cultural anthropology’s ways of seeing and saying.
Seth Holmes (UC Berkeley)
11/06/2013 *in Rm. 345
Based on five years of research in the field (including berry-picking and traveling with migrants back and forth from Oaxaca up the West Coast), this paper explores how market forces, anti-immigrant sentiment, and racism undermine health and health care. This work analyzes the ways in which socially structured suffering comes to be perceived as normal and natural in society and in health care, especially through imputations of ethnic body difference.
João Costa Vargas (UT)
10/23/2013 * in Rm. 345
What gives coherence to police pacifying operations preceding the 2013 Confederations Cup, the 2014 World Cup, and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro? How do narratives of security and development gain added meaning when explored through their linkages to narratives of modernization and blackness? Drawing on long-term ethnography and collaborative work with Black organizations in Brazil and the United States, this talk engages these questions by providing an analysis of the contested geographies in Rio.