Search International Institute website.

New Sites of Government: Voices, Silences, Exits and Re-entries in Oaxacalifornia

Lars Ove Trans, PhD fellow at the Department for Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen

Monday, March 05, 2012
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Haines Hall 144

Taking indigenous migrant communities from the Mexican state of Oaxaca as the empirical focus, this talk explores how traditional notions of sovereignty and governance are being reconfigured because of migration. In order to detail these reconfigurations, the presenter examines the formation of various sites emerging as a consequence of this migration and the continued engagement of the migrants in their places of origin. Generally, these sites are each characterized by the involvement of a number of different actors (state and non-state) who variously seek to claim, impose or delimit certain rights and obligations and by concomitant processes of inclusion and exclusion.  This presentation centers on four (sometimes overlapping) sites, namely: the trans-local site where the rights and duties of migrants (e.g. paying HTA membership fees and performing civil service duties) in relation to their villages of origin have become objects of contention and renegotiation; the transnational site where the Mexican (and Oaxacan) state actively has sought to reincorporate its émigrés into the national sphere (to attract remittances), but where migrants at the same time have used this new space to make political demands; the site of the US-Mexican border, as the U.S. seeks to regulate cross-border flows and reclaim authority over its territorial space by producing migrant illegality, which in turn has repercussions within the wider transnational communities as unauthorized migrants become subject to deportations on the US side and targets of kidnappings on the Mexican side; and, finally, the site of the body of dead migrants and the politics and ideas of belonging surrounding the repatriation of the corpse to the village of origin.


Cost : Free and open to the public


Download file: Oaxacalifornia-5z-hbd.pdf

Sponsor(s): Latin American Institute, Center for Mexican Studies, Chicano Studies Research Center

Search International Institute website.