Non-Citizenship (Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar)


About the Project

Non-citizenship is a collaborative effort of the CLRCInstitute for Humanities ResearchDivision of Social SciencesDivision of Graduate StudiesOffice of Research, and Latin American and Latino Studies Department.

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Sawyer Seminar 2016-17 on Non-citizenship

The Chicano Latino Research Center (CLRC) and Institute for Humanities Research are honored and excited to be part of Non-citizenship, UC Santa Cruz’s 2016-17 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation John E. Sawyer Seminar on the Comparative Study of Culture.

Linking citizenship, migration, border, labor, and carceral studies, and juxtaposing spatial and social (im)mobility, this year-long series of events explores what it means to be a citizen and non-citizen in a world made by migrants, refugees, guest workers, permanent residents, asylum seekers, prisoners, detainees, the stateless, and denizens (residents who do not hold the same rights as citizens).  Our seminar sheds light on the tiered membership—what we call the spectrum of belonging—structuring societies in various places and periods and sharpens our understanding of the ways in which the mobility and regulation of non-citizens affect and transform notions of participation, belonging, and the social contract.

By bringing together scholars and cultural workers from a variety of disciplines and fields, Non-citizenship strives to overcome the insularity of academia, to achieve greater analytical rigor and clarity, and to imagine fresh ways of thinking about the growing global issue of non-citizenship. The discussions it engenders will extend our understanding of modern citizenship into and for a twenty-first-century world in motion.

Click here to read the project summary and rationale for Non-citizenship.

Non-citizenship Events and Themes
  • “Forced Migration” (fall 2016)
  • “Labor Mobility and Precarity” (winter 2017)
  • “Fluidity of Status:  Migrants, Citizens, Denizens” (spring 2017)

To learn more about our events, please visit our Upcoming Events page.


Our Sawyer Seminar brings together an eclectic community of scholars working on and in various regions of the world and supports the work of Dr. Emily Mitchell-Eaton, our Postdoctoral Scholar, and Claudia Lopez and Tsering Wangmo, PhD candidates in Sociology and Literature respectively at UC Santa Cruz.  To learn more about the superb scholars associated with Non-citizenship, please visit our Participants page.

Principal Investigators

Catherine Ramírez, Latin American and Latino Studies
Juan Poblete, Literature
Felicity Amaya Schaeffer, Feminist Studies
Sylvanna Falcón, Latin American and Latino Studies
Steve McKay, Sociology

Photo by Lewis Watts © Lewis Watts, 2015
Setting up inside a newly constructed geodesic dome. Refugee Camp, Calais, France, September, 2015.