I am a political and cultural geographer, and my interests include global migration, immigration enforcement practices, 'homeland security', processes of racialization, constructions of borders and sovereignty, Latin America, and feminist epistemology and methodologies.
My ethnographically-based research broadly examines ways in which state policies shape patterns and socio-cultural consequences of human mobility. While immigration today is often regarded as a homeland security issue, I approach it as an issue of human security. My current project identifies the embodied consequences of destination countries’ immigration enforcement policies in countries of migrant origin. It focuses on the reverberations of U.S. migrant detention and deportation practices in Ecuador. I argue that while detention and deportation are enacted to protect and defend Americans’ security at “home,” these practices paradoxically decrease daily human security for detained migrants’ families and deported migrants, precisely at the scale of the home. The research also illustrates that the structure and operation of the detention system works to reinforce Americans’ perception of immigrants as security threats. The findings and arguments developed through this work are forthcoming in Geopolitics, a co-authored chapter in A Companion to Border Studies, and a chapter in Geographies of Detention and Incarceration. This research is also the subject of an emerging book project.
Another area of research investigates ways in which shifts in immigrant destinations are transforming social and political landscapes in the United States. I draw on fieldwork in small-town Colorado to explore ways in which constructions of "illegality" shape immigrant and non-immigrant interactions. This work illustrates the theoretical utility of framing immigrant “illegality” as a local-scale technique of neoliberal governmentality. Publications from this project include articles in Antipode, Social and Cultural Geography, and a chapter in Immigrants Outside Megalopolis.
I am also interested in the qualitative research process itself, especially thinking through how theory influences method and vice versa. A co-authored article including reflections on and lessons from fieldwork is forthcoming in Gender, Place, and Culture. Additional projects consider the outward elasticity of borders through immigration enforcement, morphing ideas of sovereignty, and how destination countries’ immigration policies influence migrants’ decisions and migration paths.
Finally, my teaching emphasizes global interconnectedness between communities, regions, and nations while considering the unique histories, sociospatial relations, and political realities of individual places. I aim to create a dynamic classroom where students can connect what they are learning to personal experience.
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Brooke Belisle, a 2013 New Faculty Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies will join the department next year. "Click here for more info"
Vivien Hartog Award Recipients Announced
Robert Harvey gave a lecture entitled "Partage informe: Foucault's Transgression" at a philosophy & literature symposium at Brown University on April 5.
Sarah Paruolo, gave a paper at ACLA 2013 in Toronto titled "Shadows of Trujillo:Oscar Wao and the Haunting of a People."
Marcus Brock, was admitted into the 2013 Cornell School of Criticism and Theory, was invited to moderate the VIP screening and reception for the filmPortrait of Jason, and will give a talk at the Stony Brook LGBTA Spring Retreat.