Reflections from the United States on 'Illegality' and 'Incorrigibility'
View video recording of the lecture
IIRE, Amsterdam, 15th June 2010, 19.30 (see details below)
The most resounding expression of the unprecedented mobilizations of migrants throughout the United States in 2006 was a proclamation of collective defiance: ¡Aquí Estamos, y No Nos Vamos! [Here we are, and we're not leaving!].
This same slogan was accompanied by a still more forcefully incorrigible reply: ¡Y Si Nos Sacan, Nos Regresamos! [... and if they throw us out, we'll come right back!]. It is quite striking and not merely provocative but genuinely productive to note the affinity between the crucial articulation of this radically open-ended politics of migrant presence with the similarly abject and profoundly destabilizing politics of queer presence.
In a manner remarkably analogous to the slogan, "We're here, we're queer, get used to it!" the dynamic enunciation of these phrases in the context of the mass mobilizations of migrants asserted an irreducible spirit of irreverence and disaffection for state power. Both gestures unreservedly and unapologetically assert not only their irreversible presence but also uphold the intractable challenge of their own intrinsic incorrigibility.
Nicholas De Genova is a visiting research professor in the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Professor De Genova is the author or editor of numerous books and articles on the politics of race, labour, and migration, including The Deportation Regime: Sovereignty, Space, and the Freedom of Movement (2010).
The national scandal following his call for the defeat of the US invasion of Iraq culminated in a petition by more than 100 members of the US Congress demanding that his employment be terminated. This also earned his inclusion in a published list of the "101 Most Dangerous Professors in America". He was eventually fired from his position at Columbia University.
Nicholas De Genova is currently completing a memoir on free speech during wartime.
Nina Trige Andersen, the Danish historian, journalist and commentator will moderate the event, in which Paul Mepschen from the Amsterdam School for Social science Research will give feed back to de Genova's talk and will draw comparisons to the Dutch context.
Date: 15th June 2010.
Venue: IIRE, Lombokstraat 40, Amsterdam
Free entrance, donations welcome
The meeting will be in English