"Citizens-in-Waiting," Lecture by Imane Terhmina


Location: 3rd floor Decio Common Space


At the turn of the 21st century, the migrant figure has become increasingly ubiquitous in contemporary Francophone studies as the site of competing political claims. Specifically, an ever-growing number of cultural and artistic representations have started to emerge, which deal with bureaucracies at the border (airports, checkpoints, etc.), redeploying bureaucratic tropes in order to articulate the experiences of immigration in a trans-national context. By harnessing literary and filmic representations, current cultural debates, as well as theoretical considerations, Terhmina seeks to illuminate the paradoxes that underlie both the migrant figure and our current conception of the border. How does the experience of waiting at the border disrupt our traditional understanding of the function that a border fulfills? How do European debates around the “morality” of migrants structure their right to refuge? And how do we understand the border, philosophically, as a relational concept, one that ultimately subverts the liberal democratic ideal of political community that still operates as our utopian political norm?