Op-Ed on #NoJusticeNoPride published by Rewire

My aim in writing this article was to contest the myths and fallacies behind claims that modern Pride events must be corporate-sponsored, apolitical, and pro-military / pro-police. I am proud to see that it has been well received (shared on Facebook over 1.6k times and one of the most-read across Rewire in the past month).

You can read the full article here.

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NB: Regular readers may note that, despite regarding the format wearily in the past, I’m now seemingly embracing the “listicle” format in my essays/ journalistic writing. I’m still undecided about it, but it does seem to render complex ideas accessible…

Call for Contributors: “Profit, Protest, and the Asylum Industry”

Edited volume. Proposal deadline: 31 July, 2017

[Click here for PDF]

Co-editors: Dr. Siobhán McGuirk, Georgetown University (sm3276@georgetown.edu) and Dr. Adrienne Pine, American University (pine@american.edu)

Overview: While the power to grant or deny asylum to people remains overwhelmingly within the purview of States,[1] we approach the actors and institutions forming around asylum systems internationally as “the asylum industry.” Our position engages analyses of commodification and industrialization in multiple, related spheres under neoliberal capitalism.

Call for Contributors: The proposed collection will unite international academics, activists, journalists, artists, and people directly impacted by the asylum industry to explore how current practices of asylum align with the neoliberal moment more broadly, and to present visions for alternative systems and processes. We are looking for contributions in a variety of forms, for example:

  • research papers (3,000-4,000 words)
  • journalistic articles (800-1,000 words)
  • photo-essays, data visualizations, political artwork, and other creative formats (e.g. diary entries; graphic novella; cartoons; poems, etc.).

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Commentary on limits of academic protest published in Savage Minds

Originally published at the anthropology blog, Savage Minds, responding to their call for short commentaries on “anthropology in the Trump era”.

Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 6.13.05 PMIn late January, President Trump signed three Executive Orders concerning immigration. The “Muslim Ban” galvanized attention, from protests and Op-Eds to legislative action. Given the patently unconstitutional practices sanctioned by that Order, the maneuvers promised by the other two—including increased agency powers to profile and criminalize immigrants, mass raids, detentions, and deportations—possibly appeared less immediately pressing.

Academics’ responses hint at a more worrying reality. An open letter to the President signed by 43,000+ scholars, including prominent anthropologists, concludes:

“The unethical and discriminatory treatment of law-abiding, hard-working, and well-integrated immigrants fundamentally contravenes the founding principles of the United States.”

The qualifiers here are alarming and counterproductive. Racialized groups of people have been systematically criminalized, exploited for their labor, and marginalized in the United States since its founding. Terms like “law-abiding,” “hard-working,” and “well-integrated,” are furthermore malleable to pernicious ends, and frequently deployed by right-wing voices.

As scholars, teachers, and activists, we must refute, not echo, the “good” vs. “bad” immigrant rhetoric of this (and earlier) administrations. As anthropologists, we must reflect critically on governmental categorizations of people, not take them for granted. We must expose the xenophobic constructions at the heart of each policy statement. As Trump makes good on his promises, we must advocate for all immigrants—regardless of taxes paid, skill sets, or ascribed work ethics; regardless of faith, language, or family ties; regardless of records, status, or papers. Lines drawn in the sand around state-approved “deserving” immigrants will only fortify the foundations of future border walls.

#AnthReadIn at Georgetown

read-in-imageFollowing the call published by the anthropology magazine Savage Minds, my colleagues and I in the Women and Gender Studies Program at Georgetown University will host an #AnthReadIn event on Friday 17 February, 12.30-2pm.

We’ll be reading Chapter Nine from Hannah Arendt’s On Totalitarianism (which you can find here), alongside Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (which is available here).

Join the conversation on social media under #AnthReadIn.