Professor: Tobin Hansen
CRN 17818: Monday & Wednesday, 1615-1745 @ MCK 214
This course explores deportation from the United States in historical and contemporary social and political context. Our examination of the logics of and mechanisms for expelling “undesirable” populations will provide an entrée into three central inquiries: Who belongs? How is belonging regulated? And, what are the consequences of expulsion? These questions illuminate the course’s concern with the U.S. government’s increasingly robust deportation machinery and its effects on communities and individuals.
The question of who belongs allows a window on some people’s relative social devaluation and perceived non-membership that has underpinned historical exclusions and the U.S. government’s contemporary deportation regime. By considering how social identities such as race, gender, and class shape social and legal belonging, we will bring into focus the rationalization of population management through coercive technologies whereby people are identified, apprehended, and expelled and find themselves on the outside looking in. The course takes an anthropological approach to belonging and removal, but also engages ideas from philosophy, geography, history, and political science.
Course content comprises four modules. In the first module, we will trace membership in and exclusion from North American communities, from the English colonies through the mid-20th century United States, and take up understandings and practices of membership. The second engages the reconfigured relationship, from 1965 to today, between crime, race, and deportation. In the third module, we will explore the aftermath of deportation. The last module provides a philosophical framework that outlines notions of belonging in and banishment from social and political communities.