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Immigration and Activism Panel

NYAS - Anthropology Lecture Series
November 17, 2014

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The third installment of the New York Academy of Sciences, Anthropology Section's lecture series at the Wenner-Gren Foundation for 2014/215 will be a panel discussion concerning Immigration and Activism, featuring Dr. Alyshia Gálvez from the Latin American & Puerto Rican Studies Program at Lehman College (City University of New York) and Dr. Daniel Goldstein from the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at Rutgers University.

A dinner reception (suggested donation $20 but free to graduate students) will precede the panel discussion at 6:00pm.  

The meeting is free to attend, but registration with NYAS is required. Please do not contact the Wenner-Gren Foundation with inquiries regarding registration.

Alyshia Gálvez: "Vampire Capitalism: New Guises of Colonialism in a Post-Labor and Post-Migration Age"

No longer are the poor limited to participating in the market as workers, but their very existence and taking up of space in the world can now be used to generate profits. This is made possible by the commodification of various specific acts of being, moving through space and subsistence. In essence, what we are seeing today is a kind of capitalism that is comparable to all prior variants of capitalism in its amoral quest for profit, but that is innovative in that it locates profit not in territorial expansion of markets, or minimization of labor and raw materials costs, but in the bodies of the poor. Just as vampires of legend seek blood through seduction, vampire capitalism voraciously suctions profit from the poor and extracts surplus value whether or not the poor work. It is most successful when its victims in fact move toward it, seek it out and willingly participate in it; but seduction is not necessary—it will hunt out its victims, if it must, where they live. This paper will explore three recent moments of vampire capitalism in a post-migration and post-labor Mexico.


Daniel Goldstein: "E-Terrify: Electronic Surveillance of the Immigrant Worker in Obama's America"

As efforts have intensified to police immigration in the name of creating "Secure Communities," the locus of securitization has focused on spaces within the international border, including states and local communities.  The workplace, too, has been transformed into a site of immigration enforcement through the use of an electronic program called E-Verify, which matches individual identities with federal databases to identify those eligible to work legally in the United States.  E-Verify, like other forms of invisibilized securitization, is terrifying to those whom it polices. Which, this paper contends, is precisely the point. Invisible policing of immigrants represents the frontline of enforcement of unjust immigration policies, generating terror intended to penetrate immigrant subjectivities and produce passive enforcement, or "self-deportation," of the undocumented.

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