Critical Border Studies Research School 2022: Displacement and Expulsion

A radical historicization shows that there is a link between borders in the Global North and the unsettling of communities in the Global South. It also shows that the current border regime is part of a larger and older project of colonial accumulation by displacement and expulsion; stealing wealth, labour force and time. 

This Research School will focus on the historical and ongoing practices of displacement and expulsion, which not only take place across state borders but also include local practices targeting indigenous people, racialized citizens and the poor. In doing so, we engage with the following questions.

  • What continuities can we identify between past and present forms of expulsion and political and social abandonment?
  • What does the incorporation of the past and present colonial order have to offer to our analysis of different intersecting bordering practices? 
  • What mechanisms are behind the spatial and temporal stretching of expulsion that expels people from the sphere of rights?
  • How do bordering practices shape specific ways of knowing about displacement and expulsion?
  • How can we study borders and bordering practices without becoming complicit with the world that has produced them? 
  • What alternative ways are there to imagine the world beyond the territorial trap of the nation state? 

The five-day program of the RS will offer collective interventions into the debate on these and more related questions.  

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Film screening: A Mother’s Body

How is time experienced by working bodies? What does “home” mean for those who work to survive? Accelerator screens the documentary short film A mothers body.

The documentary is followed by a conversation between Shahram Khosravi, professor in Social Antrophology, and filmmaker Jonelle Twum.

The conversation will be held in English. Listen to it afterwards on Accelerator’s podcast.

A Mother’s Body is an intimate portrayal of two women hotel cleaners from a daughter’s perspective. While the women perform their daily work, the daughter reflects on how their profession affects their bodies and relationship to time. Meanwhile, the women navigate and negotiate the demands of the strenuous labour with experience, preciseness, and beauty.

Thursday 25 November 4 pm

Accelerator’s café is open for mingle and refreshments. The film is approx. 8 min. 


Jonelle Twum is a filmmaker, pedagogue, researcher and cultural producer who explores in her work conditions of visibility/invisibility, memory and history from a black feminist perspective. Twum is also the founder of Black Archives Sweden, a contemporary archive centered around the experiences and narratives of Afro-Swedes and Black people in Sweden.

Shahram Khosravi is a professor in Social Antrophology at Stockholm university. 

Book Talk

(Past event)

My honor to be in an online conversation with Alie Ataee, a writer known as “The writer of borders”. She is one of the most interesting contemporary writes in Iran. The conversation will be in Persian. She has a chapter in a forthcoming book I co-edit: ‘Seeing Like a Smuggler’ (Pluto Press)

Join Zoom Meeting…

Meeting ID: 673 6508 7756Passcode: 915385

Refugees Welcome? A Seminar with Prof. Leti Volpp

Date and Venue: November 21, 2019 10:00 – 12:00

Department of Sociology of Law – Lund University

Hus M, Room M 331

“Along the Southern portion of the I-5 freeway in California appears a yellow sign depicting the silhouette of a man, woman, and female child in flight, captioned with text in black stating “Caution.” In the United States, the sign’s clear reference is to “illegal migration,” and serves as a meme for longstanding debates about immigration to the United States.  But the sign has a different association in Europe, where the identical image of running man, woman and child has been popularly paired with the text “Welcome Refugees.”   The sign’s history, and its afterlife as a symbol of bodies moving across nation-state borders reveals unpredictable resignification, and starkly diverging understandings of human flight.”

Leti Volpp is Robert D. and Leslie Kay Raven Professor of Law in Access to Justice at Berkeley Law, University if California. She researches immigration and citizenship law with a particular focus on how law is shaped by ideas about culture and identity. Her latest book (co-edited with Marianne Constable and Bryan Wagner), is Looking for Law in all the Wrong Places, Justice Beyond and Between, Fordham University Press (2019). Continue reading Refugees Welcome? A Seminar with Prof. Leti Volpp

Conversation: Body as Evidence in Bordering Practices

Date: Monday 16 September 2019
Time: 5.00 pm
Place: Konstnärsnämnden, Iaspis Studio 6
Address: Maria skolgata 83, Stockholm
Language: English

Welcome to a conversation between artist and Iaspis grantholder Pedro Oliveira and anthropologist Shahram Khosravi on the culture of disbelief created in and by the asylum seeking process. In this process, bodies are turned into data to be read or into evidence to be used in evaluation of the deservingness of the asylum seeker. In an environment of scepticism, immigration authorities aim to discredit asylum claims rather than to establish their substance; this can take many forms, amongst them measuring and translation of body, matter, voice, and accent. Through performance and dialogue Pedro Oliveira and Shahram Khosravi will intervene on the different temporalities present in this process, transposing it back onto the domain of listening and speaking.

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