Nationalism Borders Personhood

This year's gathering explores the theme of “nationalism, borders, and personhood” through interdisciplinary lenses on dissent, social movement, ideological restriction or contestation, and state violence. Join us as we explore these conjunctures through a Critical Ethnic Studies framework and a scholar-activist ethos.



Itza Amanda Varela-Huerta - "Politics in the Feminine: Participation and Representation among AfroMexican Women, a Contemporary Agenda"

PhD in Social Sciences with mention in Communication and Politics (Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, UAM). Master in Latin American Studies (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico) and a degree in Social Communication (UAM).

My doctoral research focus in culture and the past as central resources in the construction of the political subjectivity of the black-Afro-descendant populations, women's struggles, human rights, postcolonial criticism and cultural studies. I also work in the newspaper La Jornada as an editor and in the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarex Human Rights Center as a communication strategist for human rights. Currently, I'm developing a research on the role of women in the process of ethnic construction of black-Afro-Mexicans as part of a postdoctoral position in the CIESAS Pacifico Sur.

Funding by: The Institute for Advanced Study, Departments of American Studies, Anthropology, English, Folklore and Ethnomusicology, Gender Studies, Geography, History, Cultural Studies Program, Latin American Studies Program, Religious Studies, and the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society.


Research Talks at the Indiana Memorial Union
State Room East, 900 E. 7th St, Bloomington, IN 47405

Gabriel Peoples
, Assistant Professor, Indiana University Gender Studies
"On Being African...American"
Respondent: Alisha Jones, Assistant Professor, Folklore and Ethnomusicology

Kevin Brown
, Richard S. Melvin Professor, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
"What Are The Benefits of Comparing the African-American Struggle in the United States to the Dalit Struggle in India"
Respondent: Ranu Samantrai, Associate Professor, English

Anita Huizar-Hernandez
"Forging Borders and Bodies: Counterfeit Narratives of National Belonging"
Assistant Professor of Border Studies in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Arizona. Her research investigates how narratives, both real and imagined, have shaped the political, economic, and cultural landscape of the Southwestern borderlands in general, and Arizona in particular. Drawing from a diverse array of nineteenth and twentieth century archival materials, her work recovers the underexplored history of race relations in the state and their continued impact on local, regional, and national politics.

Deborah Cohen
, Associate Professor, Department of History
Lessie Jo Frazier, Associate Professor, Indiana University Gender Studies and American Studies
"The Border Vanishes: Banditry, Frontier, and Nation in 1940s U.S. and Mexican Zorro Films"
Respondent: Rasul Mowatt, Associate Professor, American Studies & Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies

Sonia Song-Ha Lee
, Associate Professor, Indiana University American Studies and Latin American Studies
"We Cannot Separate Our Pain From Our Resistance: Trauma and Political Activism in the Black and Brown Freedom Movements"
Respondent: Alberto Varon, English and Latino Studies Program



Graduate Student Lightening Talks

Jennifer Watkins
"Immigration and the Restaurant Industry: Taste, Practice, and Agency"

Mihee Kim-Hort
"Free and Undistributed: A Politics of Reverence in the Contestation of Borders and Land Use at Devils Tower"

Ting-Han Chang
"Examining Experiences of International Students of Color and Racist Nativism, Racism, and White Supremacy in U.S. Higher Education"

Giselle Cuanan
"Student Activism and Ethnic Studies: Racial Labor in a Multicultural Moment"

Daniela Gutierrez Lopez
"A Day Without Immigrants and the Resident ID Smartcard Project"

Denisa Jashari
"The Apartheid of the Poor: The Politics of Space on the Chilean Road to Neoliberalism"

Daniela Runnels
"Political Speech and Diglossia in Paraguay: Reading Rafael Barrett with Aristotle"

Alex Chambers
"Enclosure and Climate Migration in Myung Mi Kim's Commons"

Lydia Lahey Zakel
"Refugee Camps in West Bank as Tools of Colonization"

Sharif Wahab
"Understanding the Experience of Stateless Refugees in a Country Without Laws for Refugees"

Hannah R. Osborn
"Thronin' at the Met: Hip Hop and the Collecting Industry"

Special Lunch Lecture
, Coronation Room (Tudor Room)
Daniel Nemser
"The Mechanization of Turntable Art"

Closing Keynote

Daniel Nemser
"The Road to Racial Capitalism: Logistics and Fugitivity in Colonial Mexico"
Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan. His current research focuses on colonial Latin American studies, critical race and ethnic studies, and the history of capitalism. He is the author of infrastructures of Race: Concentration and Biopolitics in Colonial Mexico (University of Texas Press, 2017), which won the Latin American Studies Association's Mexico Humanities Book Award in 2018.

Everyone Welcome - Free and Open to the Public

At the Indiana Memorial Union - Sassafras Room, 900 E. 7th St., Bloomington, IN 47405

Download the flyer for this event

Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society
Schuessler Institute for Social Research
1022 E. 3rd St., Room 209,
Bloomington, IN 47405
Office Hours: Monday - Friday: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm