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Title: More than a line : borders as embodied sites
Author: Whitley, Leila Marie
ISNI:       0000 0004 5360 8212
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis examines what borders do and how and where they are experienced. In particular, I am interested in how bodies come to be mobilized as sites of borders and border policing. The goal of this thesis is to contribute to a theory of the border that accounts for the ways bodies are regulated by borders, not only at the sites nominally recognized as "border," but throughout and beyond national space. How do borders become a means of regulating bodies and of structuring social relationships? The thesis departs from the US-Mexico border, beginning with a historically grounded consideration of how this border has situated migrants moving from Mexico into the United States and how it has racialised and legislated belonging. To do this, I draw on materials within border studies that address this particular border, as well as chicano studies materials and analysis of racialisation in the US context. This moves into a broader discussion of the functions of borders, engaging with debates taking place within critical border studies and drawing on critical theory, race and postcolonial theory to articulate a theoretical treatment of the border that challenges the idea that a border can be limited to a single, specific geographic space. Two case studies further extend this argument. The first analyses a US racial profiling law, Arizona’s SB1070, through a reading of the text of this document, responses to it, and the history of US immigration policy. The second examines human rights reports, one representing the US-Mexico border and the other the Mediterranean border space of Europe. Through analysis of the documents I look at the particular construction of the figure of the migrant. I argue that instead of being site-limited, borders are enacted in relation to embodiment. This means borders have to be thought of both in relation to their enactment and to the bodies they police and control. The project challenges universalising accounts of borders and attends to the ways that borders differentially address different bodies, so that some bodies move freely both within and beyond national space, while the movement of others is restricted.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral