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Speaker: Dr Nivi Manchanda is Reader of International Politics at Queen Mary, University of London
This talk is based on a new book project, Thinking the Border Otherwise, that excavates the question of the border in the political thought of four anti-colonial thinkers: Gloria Anzaldua, Temsula Ao, Jean Genet and Huey Newton. These scholars grapple with an expansive conceptualisation of the border beyond its immediate material infrastructure, offering a new and generative account of the processes of bordering whilst decentering the physical border as a ‘line on the map’.
To do so, the talk zooms in on specific borderlands to show the histories of anti-colonial resistance that have shaped them. It provides an account of the myriad ways people across the world survive with, negotiate and resist the affective and material geographies of bordering and border-making. This talk traces the genealogy of the border through an examination of the US-Mexico border, the Indo-China border, the Israel-Palestine border, and the internal ‘colonial’ borders of the US ‘empire’. In so doing, it considers larger concerns of identity creation, marginality, trespass and transgression imputed to processes of bordering.
Collectively, each of the authors mentioned above and their associated archives help address the overarching themes of solidarity and survival by excavating the resonances and dissonances between the thinkers vis-à-vis questions of bordering and harnessing their insights to highlight the implication of history and memory in the multiple registers through which borders are experienced. Finally, by trailing the border through imperial time and space, Dr Nivi Manchanda will examine a broad spectrum of engagement with and against the border, including strategies of solidarity, resistance, refusal, and appropriation in order to think the border otherwise.
About the speaker
Dr Nivi Manchanda is Reader of International Politics at Queen Mary, University of London. Her work explores the connections between knowledge production and the ways knowledge shapes processes of invasion, war, and societal restructuring, particularly within borderlands. Her book, Imagining Afghanistan: the History and Politics of Imperial Knowledge was published in 2020 and looks at the ways in which Afghanistan has been represented and repeatedly intervened in from the 19th century until 2001.