Relations beyond Colonial Borders: Indigeneity, Racialization, Hospitality
April 21-22, 2023
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Co-convened by Natalia Brizuela and Samera Esmeir (ICCTP/UC Berkeley) with
Alyosha Goldstein and Rebecca Schreiber (American Studies, University of New Mexico)
The modern world is a world of borders and boundaries. These have not only divided the land, but the sea and the skies as well. The modern border regime stabilizes histories of colonial conquest, Indigenous dispossession, and nation state formation. It also aims to remove paths of movement, convergence, and inhabitation, which do not follow the grammar of division and fixity. Indeed, at its core, the modern border regime is a project of obliteration: of worlds and forms of life that are uncontainable, and in excess of, the world of nation states. And yet this regime has neither eliminated resistances and struggles against its force nor eradicated other worlds. How then are we to think movement and inhabitation without reproducing the political and the legal frameworks that the modern border regime solidifies? Could it be that these irrepressible struggles, resistances, and worlds, not only show the violence of borders, but also illuminate what remains in their excess? How do Indigenous practices unsettle or otherwise challenge colonial border regimes? How might the practices of migrants and refugees, who aspire to cross a border to elsewhere or to return to their homes, be reflective of something other than the desire to settle in a land? How does Indigeneity “travel” for those Indigenous peoples who have been displaced or who have chosen to live in places other than their historical homelands? And to what extent are Indigenous peoples, migrants, and refugees forced to respond to the world of enclosures and suffocation by deploying its vocabularies and grammars? Even when taking on such vocabularies and grammars, what forms of difference and refusal nevertheless persist, illuminating the multiple other relations and worlds that have never ceased to be and continue to trouble the modern border regime?
Marked by the violence of the US-Mexico border, so-called New Mexico—as a place shaped by multiple histories of colonization and Indigenous and racialized peoples contesting colonial occupation—offer us a trans-territorial historical perspective on the colonial present. By convening activists, artists, and scholars, the workshop offers a forum to think collectively through these questions.