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Humanities Institute

Violent Borders, Carceral Seas

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Violent Borders, Carceral Seas
April 10, 2017 12:00 pm
April 10, 2017 2:00 pm
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Time: 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Location: Voorhies 126


Reece Jones

“Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move”

Over 7500 people died attempting to cross a border in 2016. This presentation argues that the violent restrictions on the movement of the poor today are not new or unique, but rather are part of long history of protecting privilege through legal restrictions on the movement of the poor backed up by violence.
Reece Jones is an Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. His research on border security and violence has been featured in dozens of media outlets around the world including the New York Times, Time Magazine, and the Guardian. He is the author of two books, Border Walls: Security and the War on Terror in the United States, India and Israel (2012, Zed Books), which won the 2013 Julian Minghi Distinguished Book Award from the Association of American Geographers, and the Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move (2016, Verso). He also edited Placing the Border in Everyday Life with Corey Johnson (2014, Routledge Border Regions Series), which won the 2016 Past Presidents’ Gold Award from the Association of Borderlands Studies. He is the Forum and Review Editor at the journal Geopolitics and also sits on the editorial board of Political Geography.


Laleh Khalili

“Carceral Seas”

In this presentation, I consider the militarisation of the seas and carceral practices at sea. Though brigs have long been a feature of state carceral practices, I will focus on two other modes of carcerality at sea whose relationship to states and entrepreneurs of violence are more indeterminate: these are ghost ships –unseaworthy ships–transporting migrants across the Mediterranean, and ships and seafarers captured by pirates in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. These modalities of carcerality reveal the grey zone of parastatal operations, and the fractures and fissures in international laws regulating, and heavy securitisation of, migration and trade.

Laleh Khalili is a professor of Middle East Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She is the author of Heroes and Martyrs of Palestine: The Politics of National Commemoration (Cambridge 2007) and Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies (Stanford 2013) and the co-editor (with Jillian Schwedler) of Policing and Prisons in the Middle East: Formations of Coercion (Oxford University Press/Hurst 2010). She is currently working on a large research project on ports and maritime transport infrastructures in the Arabian Peninsula.


Terry Park

“Please Believe Us With All Your Heart”: The Nonpatriated Asian Prisoner of the Korean War, the Korean Demilitarized Zone, and US Liberal Empire, 1947-1953″

My talk focuses on the production and representation of the nonpatriated Asian POW through his “voluntary” emancipation in the “neutral” space of the Korean DMZ. I examine the US’s adoption of “inspired defection” as Cold War policy and the emergence of a new legal, cultural, and political figure—the “escapee”— a predecessor of the Korean War figure of the nonpatriated Asian POW. The sentimentalizing construction of this figure triggered a shift in the US imagination that branded the Cold War as a humanitarian, cosmopolitan project, which involved partnerships with non-aligned nations like India. I interrogate the camouflaging labor performed by the words “neutral” and “demilitarization” and the ways in which US Cold War empire neutralized and realigned perceived threats through pedagogical campaigns and non-aligned entities. This grammar of the Korean DMZ, which cohered around the incarcerated figure of the nonpatriated Asian POW, helped engineer the emergence of US liberal empire from the barbed-wire, dissected belly of Cold War Asia.

Terry K Park is currently a lecturer in History & Literature at Harvard University. His research interests focus on how the Korean War, popularly known as the US’s “forgotten war,” shaped, and continues to shape, US liberal empire and Transpacific cultural practices. He has authored journal articles, policy reports, and book reviews on the legacies of the Korean War in US and Asian American culture, including the lead essay in MELUS’s special issue on Asian American performance art. Park is also an award-winning teacher who has taught at UC Davis, Hunter College, San Quentin State Prison, Miami University, Wellesley College, and Harvard. Included on the list, “Inspiring Activists: Trailblazers and leaders in the community and in the struggle for social justice” by San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim, Dr. Park’s scholarship and teaching shapes, and is shaped by, his participation in several community-based Asian American organizations, including a stint as Executive Director of Hyphen magazine. He received his PhD in Cultural Studies, with a designated emphasis in Studies of Performance and Practice, from UC Davis.

This event is sponsored by Davis Humanities Institute

For more information please contact: ucdborderstudies@gmail.com and see www.borderstudies.ucdavis.edu

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