This research challenge explores how state borders create and manage sexual, racial, cultural, age, ability and class differences. It examines the effects of bordering on human relationships, on rights and on justice.
International mobility – often labelled as ‘migration’ – tends to come with weakened rights and vulnerability to injustice, ranging from oppressive inclusion to violent exclusion. State borders create, reflect and reinforce many other forms of bordering within state territories manifesting, for example, in ‘hostile environment’ policies and their consequences.
The ‘bodies, borders, justice’ research challenge studies how the making of borders intersects with and contributes to the construction of sexual, racial, cultural, age, ability and class differences. Borders and differences are both shaped by and structure personal relationships, and this research challenge foregrounds the role of emotions in facilitating or undermining interpersonal bonds in contexts such as schools, workplaces, civil society and family homes.
From a critical perspective, we unpack the past and present (re)production of embodied and territorialised cultures, including languages, religions and artistic practices, through legal and social institutions in the global North and South. Our overarching aim is to develop, in dialogue with other academics, professionals and activists, strategies to expand the possibilities of justice in a mobile world.
Key concerns include:
- How do state bordering practices and nationalised imaginaries contribute to creating other social categories, particularly ‘race’?
- How are identities mediated by the representation of mobility in written, oral and visual discourses?
- What common processes lie behind the subordination of various mobile populations?
- What conceptions of justice legitimise attempts to immobilise people for certain periods in specific locations, from the state to the prison?
- How can empirical research trouble the prevailing spatial and temporal assumptions about human mobility?
Selected research projects:
Who is worthy of ‘our’ support? An exploration of the causes, impact and possible alternatives to the relative entitlements associated with disability and forced migration in UK.
Borders and Borderlands: A research network on historical representations of border territories and communities (A UoB research network run by Professor Helen Fulton)
Becoming Vulnerable: developing artistic practices of renaturalisation in contested wetland ecologies (AHRC SWW DTP Doctoral Research Project – Sage Brice)
Research Challenge Co-ordinator:
Dr Pier-Luc Dupont, Research Associate, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
13th May 2019, 5-7 pm
Arts Against Racism and Borders
As Brexit debates and the Hostile Environment have shown, the impulse to erect borders against racialised populations is a powerful force in contemporary politics. To counter its devastating effects and communicate with a wide range of audiences, researchers and activists cannot appeal exclusively to causal arguments. This workshop discussed artistic engagements with those subject to racial injustice and consider how their creativity can be mobilised to advance the theory of free movement. This will be the first workshop of the Bodies, Borders, Justice research challenge.
- Zita Holbourne (Black Activists Rising Against Cuts, Artists Union England)
- Agata Vitale (Bath Spa University)
- Judy Ryde (Trauma Foundation South West)