Border Regimes and Resistance in Global Perspective


About the Cluster
Our goal for the “Border Regimes and Resistance in Global Perspective” Humanities Institute Research Cluster is to conceptualize connections between border regimes around the world. Taking up sites that range from US/Mexico, to the Mediterranean, to Israel/Palestine, and beyond, we intend to move past superficial comparisons and think through the circulation of technologies, expertise, policing, and surveillance alongside the circulation of anti-colonial strategies via transnational social movements. We seek to situate the spectacularization of the US/Mexico border within a global relational framework will allow us to account for the scale and scope of border technologies and better articulate how to resist their reach. By bridging conversations that are typically kept in separate academic silos — for example, critical refugee studies, Asian American studies, Black studies, Native studies, Middle East studies, European critical migration studies, comparative colonial studies — we hope to produce theoretically rigorous and empirically grounded investigations of borders outside of what is typically understood as belonging to the field of border studies. This approach emerges from our understanding that the urgent challenges of our current moment as they relate to borders, migration, and displacement require creative approaches that actively trouble disciplinary boundaries.

We want to ask not only why and how border regimes around the world are connected, but what it would mean to denaturalize those borders. What kinds of radical political practices and speculative imaginings can help us to fashion a world wherein borders are no longer taken for granted? What do political community and solidarity look like in a world characterized neither by methodological nationalism nor by a neoliberal fever-dream of frictionless global capital circulation? And how does historical amnesia preclude the futures we are able to imagine? In this way, our Research Cluster aligns closely with the 2020-2021 THI theme, “Memory.” Understanding the connections between border regimes requires relational thinking across not just space, but time. In addition, an historical perspective on the transformations in practices of bordering is key to denaturalizing the configuration of borders in the present. Finally, memories of activism and resistance to borders from around the world are a valuable intellectual and political resource for imagining and bringing into being new, transnational solidarities that are aimed at challenging borders and border violence.

The long-term goal of this THI Research Cluster is to develop a campus-wide research center for comparative border studies at UC Santa Cruz, housed in the Humanities, which will gather scholars from across disciplinary boundaries who are thinking through border violence in its myriad forms.

Principal Investigators
Jennifer Kelly (Feminist Studies/Critical Race and Ethnic Studies)
Camilla Hawthorne (Sociology/Critical Race and Ethnic Studies)

Affiliated faculty
Lily Pearl Balloffet (Latin American and Latino Studies)
Jeffrey Erbig (Latin American and Latino Studies)
micha cárdenas (Games and Playable Media/CRES)
A.M. Darke (Games and Playable Media/CRES)
Katie Keliiaa (Feminist Studies)
Madhavi Murty (Feminist Studies)
Veda Popovici (Feminist Studies)
Sheeva Sabati (Feminist Studies)
Ceylan Cemali (Feminist Studies)
Muriam Haleh Davis (History)
Lindsey Dillon (Sociology)
Juan Pedroza (Sociology)
Cynthia Ling Lee (Theater Arts)
Nidhi Mahajan (Anthropology/CRES)
Savannah Shange (Anthropology/CRES)
Thomas Serres (Politics)

Affiliated PhD students
Christina Ayson (History of Art and Visual Culture)
Talib Jabbar (Literature)
Theresa Hice Johnson (Sociology/CRES)
Saugher Nojan (Sociology/Education/CRES)
Alberto Ganis (Politics/Sociology)
Xafsa Ciise (History of Consciousness/CRES)
Noya Kansky (Feminist Studies/CRES)
Ryan King (Feminist Studies/Latin American and Latino Studies)
Anne Napatalung (Feminist Studies/CRES)
Trung Nguyen (History of Consciousness/CRES)
Claire Urbansky (Feminist Studies)
Axelle Toussaint (HAVC)
Zoe Weldon-Yochim (HAVC)
Veronica Zablotsky (Feminist Studies)
Andrea Vasquez (Education)


May 7, 2021: Special Issue Launch: Borderland Regimes and Resistance in Global Perspective

May 14, 2021: Reflections on Movement and Movement-Building

May 21, 2021: PhD+ Publishing Workshop