Migration, Border Geographies, and Decolonial Movements


Instructor: Diana Negrín da Silva
Tu-Th 12:30-2:00
Class number #30924

Sharecropper (1952)
Elizabeth Catlett (Washington D.C. 1915-Cuernavaca, Mexico 2012)

This course examines how today’s Latinx geographies were shaped by racialized and regionalized discourse and practice, setting the foundation for contemporary struggles over political, economic and social borders and identities along and across the Latin American diaspora. Specifically, the course incorporates the study of the United States’ relationship with Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean in order to understand how these histories map onto the productions of borders, regimes of migration and citizenship, and movements that increasingly articulate a decolonial turn in intellectual thought and within political and social action. We begin by exploring Mesoamerica and the Caribbean as physical and human spaces that were profoundly reshaped by European colonization and the imposition of new, yet distinct forms of racial and ethnic identifications. We will then survey how land ownership, political and economic power, and social movements shaped these places and countries. These histories will be read alongside the U.S.’s rise as a regional imperial power in order to understand how the immigration of heterogeneous peoples from these countries to the U.S. reflects a troubled relationship manifested in today’s migration policies and binary identities. We conclude with an examination of the emergence of decolonial intellectual, political and social movements both south of the U.S. border as well as within Latinx communities in the United States, paying close attention to the ways blackness, indigeneity and Latinidad intersect and diverge through space, identity and place.