Who will speak for the migrant? Migrant struggle in the age of illegality

Lecture | October 17 | 5:30-8 p.m. | Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, Multicultural Community Center

 Center for Race and Gender

The Center for Race & Gender Fall 2017 Distinguished Guest Lecture

Who will speak for the migrant?
Migrant struggle in the age of illegality

Alicia Schmidt Camacho
Yale University

Tuesday, October 17, 2017
5:30pm - Reception
6pm - Lecture

This talk will examine how migrants insert their voices into debates over border governance, in order to theorize migrancy itself as a vital social practice in the Americas. Across the span of their travels through Central America, Mexico, and the United States, unauthorized migrants have engaged in marches, human rights caravans, hunger strikes, and political campaigns to defend the most fundamental elements of personhood and the democratic social contract. I discuss the ways that migrants assert their rights in terms that contest the primacy of citizenship as the anchor for social belonging by insisting on access to safety, livelihood, family integrity, and cultural autonomy. I ask how human mobility –the right to move across borders and within civil society – might be defended.


Alicia Schmidt Camacho is Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration at Yale University, and the Associate Head of Ezra Stiles College. Her scholarship concerns the feminicide in Ciudad Juárez, transnational migration, border governance, and social movements in the Americas. She is the author of Migrant Imaginaries: Latino Cultural Politics in the Mexico–U.S. Borderlands (NYU Press, 2008), and is currently at work on a second book project entitled, The Carceral Border. She contributes to regional and transnational projects for immigrant and human rights, including new initiatives focused on the intersections of criminal justice and immigration policing.

Generously co-sponsored by the Multicultural Community Center, the Institute of Governmental Studies, the Kadish Center for Morality, Law and Public Affairs, and the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative.