It's been a while since I've posted an update on this site, and I wanted to take a moment and share a new piece out this year and some older ones as well. The most recent is my article in Current Anthropology, "Racializing Aesthetics: 'Boat People,' Maritime Worlds, and the Metonymy of the Haitian Sloop." It's a full research article with wonderful commentaries that add a comparative maritime angle to the questions raised in the main piece, bringing in conversations related to the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean. I've learned a great deal from the comments and reply structure of Current Anthropology since my graduate school days, and it was an honor to participate as an author in this exchange. Going back a bit further to 2022, there's my piece in the Alabama Law Review, the fruit of a series of sustained conversations with a new generation of legal anthropologists that I'm delighted to have been a part of. I'm grateful to Deepa Das Acevedo for organizing the panels and conferences that led to this and another fascinating volume in Law and Social Inquiry. My own contribution to the ALR issue lays out some of what "newer" materialist approaches in anthropology can offer scholars within the legal academy who typically associate the discipline with a narrow band of empirical work on what anthropologist Michel-Rolph Trouillot referred to as the "Savage slot." My article in Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, "Border Dialectics and the Border Multiple," also came out in 2022. As the title suggests, it tackles questions related to the multiplicity (a term coined by Annemarie Mol) and dialectics (two concepts often deemed incompatible) of the maritime border spaces of the northern Caribbean. Finally, there's my chapter on "Ocean Gentrification" in a volume edited by Irus Braverman on the Laws of the Sea (it's open access!). The collection brought together scholars from law, geography, literature, and other disciplines to ponder a host of maritime legal themes with the support of the Research Council of Norway.
I have some public-facing pieces out as well: one in Boston Review on the often-forgotten legacy of detaining Haitians at Guantánamo (going back to the 1970s!); another in Slate on the parallels between the justification for Title 42 expulsions at the U.S. border and the exclusion and offshore detention of Haitians living with HIV in the 1990s; and a piece in Just Security on potential legal challenges under the Convention Against Torture to the Biden administration's commitment to continue deporting Haitian citizens amidst rampant gang violence and apparent state-sanctioned extortion in the national penitentiary. More news to come.
Very excited to participate in the Post-Imperial Oceanics conference organized by Sharad Chari (Geography, Berkeley), Charne Lavery (WiSER, University of the Witwatersrand), and Isabel Hofmeyr (WiSER, University of the Witwatersrand). Such a wonderful lineup of speakers!
Link for registration available here.
Very happy to learn that Islands of Sovereignty is the co-winner of the Book Award of the American Political Science Association Migration and Citizenship Section. Delighted to share this honor with Noora Lori, who also won for her amazing new book, Offshore Citizens: Permanent Temporary Status in the Gulf.
I'm delighted to share that Islands of Sovereignty was recognized with the Law and Society Association 2020 Herbert Jacob Book Prize and the Isis Duarte Prize of the Haiti/Dominican Republic Section of the Latin American Studies Association. Such an honor to be recognized by these organizations!
Reviews for Islands of Sovereignty in International Migration Review, American Ethnologist, and Theory & Event
I'll be giving a talk entitled "Our Hidden Borders: Guantánamo, Interdiction, and the Rise of Offshore Migration Policing," on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 4:30–6:00 pm, for the Myron Weiner Seminar Series on International Migration at MIT. Location: 70 Memorial Drive, E51–095.
For those of you in the Boston area, I'll be doing a book launch at Harvard's Weatherhead Center on Oct. 28th, 12–1:30 pm, 1730 Cambridge St, CGIS South (Porté Seminar Room, S250). Laleh Khalili (Queen Mary, University of London) and Sally Merry (NYU) will be offering commentary. Lunch will be provided. Further details in the poster below.
Leti Volpp (Berkeley Law) has written a beautiful, thoughtful, and generous review of Islands of Sovereignty for Lawfareblog (link here). The review stands on its own as an illuminating account of some of the Trump administration's efforts to remake asylum processing on the southern border. Worth a read!