Tuesday 22 May 2018

British Scool of Athens

Speakers: Leticia Sabsay and Karma R. Chávez

Anti-migrant affects and narratives in times of crisis

As “right-wing populism,” neofascism, and other far right political formations gain recognition and political power across the Western world, questions regarding belonging, citizenship and borders come to the fore. Moments such as this also conjure concerns regarding the role of affect, emotion, and narrative in political discourse; questions about democracy as a form of governance; and the creation and practice of modes of resistance. Crisis moments create scapegoats, targets and abject populations; foremost among these groups are migrants. This conversation explores the kind of work that migration—as a signifier, discourse, and literal process of movement—is capable of doing politically in times of crisis.

Leticia Sabsay is Assistant Professor of Gender and Contemporary Culture in the Department of Gender Studies, at The London School of Economics and Political Science, UK. She has published extensively in English and Spanish on issues of sexual citizenship, sexual diversity and the politics of recognition, transnational processes of sexual democratisation, cultural translation and imaginaries of sexual justice, performativity and popular and visual culture, including essays in Citizenship Studies, Cultural Studies, and Open Democracy. She is author of The Sexual Imaginary of Freedom (Palgrave, 2016), and has co-edited with Judith Butler and Zeynep Gambetti, Vulnerability in Resistance  (Duke, 2016). In Spanish, she authored Las normas del deseo: Imaginario sexual y comunicación (Cátedra, 2009), and Fronteras Sexuales: Espacio Urbano, Cuerpos y Ciudadanía (Paidos, 2011) among other titles. Prior to joining LSE, Leticia worked as a researcher at the Freie Universitat (Berlin, Germany), The Open University (UK), and held a lecturer position at Birkbeck College, University of London (UK). In Argentina, she was a lecturer of Communications at the University of Buenos Aires, and continues collaborating with that University as a member of the Gino Germani Research Institute for Social Sciences.

Karma R. Chávez is an associate professor in the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies with affiliations in the Center for Mexican American Studies, the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, and the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Texas – Austin. She is co-editor of Text + Field: Innovations in Rhetorical Method (with Sara McKinnon, Robert Asen and Robert Glenn Howard, Penn State Press, 2016), Standing in the Intersection: Feminist Voices, Feminist Practices in Communication Studies (with Cindy L. Griffin, SUNY Press, 2012), and author of Queer Migration Politics: Activist Rhetoric and Coalitional Possibilities (University of Illinois Press, 2013). Karma is also a member of the radical queer collective Against Equality, a former organizer for LGBT Books to Prisoners, and for four years, was a host of the radio program, “A Public Affair” on Madison’s community radio station, 89.9 FM WORT. For years, Karma has worked closely with several community organizations on issues surrounding queer, racial, economic and immigrant justice.

© 2018 / Mobilities in/of Crises / Athens, Greece