Research Colloquium

Spring 2018
IAS Research Colloquium

Border Formations   

The talks this quarter each explore questions emerging from different contexts of mobility and movement within and across borders. How do the classifications, categorizations, and context shifts entailed in border encounters or crossings throw processes such as state-juridical, territorial, and racial formation into into relief? How might new subjectivities, relationalities, or solidarities take form in such situations, and with what possible implications for policy, critical thought, or anti-colonial struggle? IAS faculty José Fusté, Maryam Griffin, and Lee Ann Wang will each address different aspects of these questions. 

Entangled Crossings: Afro-Latino Migrations Between Race and Empire

José Fusté
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
UW1 Room 280 (the Rose Room)

This talk explores the role that U.S. imperialism played in cementing political wedges between Latin@s and Black Americans at the turn of the 20th century and beyond. Historically, dominant notions of racial normativity in the U.S. have pressured Latin@s—particularly those seen as Black—to disidentify with their Black American counterparts. In recent decades, activists have attempted to summon an “Afro-Latin@” body politic with the hopes of reversing that pattern and generating more unity between these two groups. I argue that Afro-Latinidad has historically floundered as a political rallying banner, in part because of how U.S. imperialism pressured Black Cubans and Puerto Ricans to choose between anti-imperialist nationalisms and Latin@ pan-ethnic solidarities that eschewed Black anti-racist critiques, and pan-Africanist solidarities that failed to account for relationships of colonial/imperial power within the Black diaspora. I trace the manifestation of these entanglements in and through the works of several Black-identified Cuban and Puerto Rican male activist intellectuals who lived and travelled between the Hispanic Caribbean and the U.S. between the 1890s and the 1930s. As individuals who could not escape being racialized as Black once they entered the U.S., these figures often acknowledged their commonalities with Black Americans and expressed interest in their Black Nationalist ideas and projects, yet they also avoided aligning themselves with Black American anti-racists that either ignored U.S. (neo)colonialism in the Caribbean, or failed to make anti-imperialism a central part of their politics. As they faced the challenge of reconciling their compound racial and imperial subalternities, these men wavered between competing masculinist imaginaries that disavowed the hierarchies of gender, class, and sexual power that cut across their entangled racial, ethnic, and national identities. Thus, this talk reframes Afro-Latinidad, not as a consciousness that is there waiting to be “realized,” but as a protean and precarious identity project that has always been difficult to activate because of how it attempts to group together individuals and communities with conflicting ways of being “othered” within and beyond the United States.

Discussant: Dr. Ileana Rodriguez-Silva, Associate Professor of History, UW Seattle

The Israeli Enclosures, Diffuse Bordering, and Palestinian Mobile Commoning

Maryam S. Griffin
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
UW1 Room 280 (the Rose Room)

Palestinian mobility via public transportation in the West Bank is a productive site of social struggle through which Israel deepens its settler colonialism and Palestinian communities refuse that project in implicit and explicit ways. In this talk, I focus on Israel’s development of the conditions of Palestinian im/mobility through the lens of enclosures, borders, and the commons. More specifically, I examine Israel’s ruling strategy in the West Bank as a border-enclosure program involving the mobilization of physical, legal, and cultural formations to create a web of border encounters that induce economic dependence, crush political resistance, annex territory, and destroy indigenous social relations. In turn, the notion of mobility as a Palestinian commons emerges, and the resilience of Palestinian public transportation appears as a quotidian yet remarkable practice of an alternative decolonial order. I will use this session as an opportunity to explore the utility of the border-enclosure paradigm to interpret the current form of Israeli settler colonialism and Palestinian commoning in the West Bank.

DiscussantDr. Adam Romero, Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, UW Bothell

Proper Victim as Proper Police: Woman, Violence, and Illusion in U.S. Immigration Law

Lee Ann S. Wang
Tuesday May 1, 2018
UW1 Room 280 (the Rose Room)

This talk examines legal protections that are designed to address gender and sexual violence by requiring immigrant women to cooperate and serve the purposes of police.  I discuss the law’s writing of immigrant woman that paradoxically produce anti-trafficking campaigns as security and protection against “modern day slavery.” Focusing on the T Visa and interpretations from legal advocates who work primarily with Asian immigrant communities, I argue that the schema requires immigrant women to be survivors not of state violence but of their own sexuality over and against racialized others - a "policing” subject that must deny its bind to a policed object.

Discussant: Dr. Chandan Reddy, Associate Professor of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies, UW Seattle

The IAS Research Colloquium provides a forum for graduate students, faculty, and external partners to learn about interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research practices, and to think critically and creatively about the implications of different forms of research design. 

All sessions are open to the campus-community and general public: No RSVP required. 

A two-credit course option (BCULST/BPOLST 598B) is available to graduate students: contact Christian Anderson ( to enroll.

The University of Washington is committed to providing equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To inquire about disability accommodations, please contact Rosa Lundborg at Disability Support Services at least ten days prior to the event at 425.352.5307, TDD 425.352.5303, FAX 425.352.5455, or email


Background readings are available via the campus e-reserve system under “IAS Research Colloquium.” If you would like access to these readings and do not have a UW NetID, please contact Bruce Burgett at

Past Colloquia

Learn about past colloquium presentations.

Subject areas included: education policy, sex trafficking, rethinking Marxism, environmental justice, arts-based research, qualitative geovisualization, religion and HIV risk, conserving biodiversity, human rights, and media activism.