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Call for Roundtable Participants: Celebrating Harsha Walia's Contributions at AAA 2023

Published onMar 07, 2023
Call for Roundtable Participants: Celebrating Harsha Walia's Contributions at AAA 2023

Scholar, activist, and organizer Harsha Walia is the winner of the 2022 Conrad M. Arensberg Award, given by the Society for the Anthropology of Work for outstanding contributions to the anthropology of work from inside the discipline and beyond. She is author of Border and Rule: Global Migration, Capitalism, and the Rise of Racist Nationalism (Haymarket 2021), Undoing Border Imperialism (AK Press 2013), as well as numerous journal articles.

Walia's analysis and her organizing show why the abolition of borders and prisons have everything to do with work. She demonstrates why refugee and migrant crises are the outcomes of conquest, capitalist globalization, and climate change. In such conditions, multicultural liberalism plants the seeds of racist nationalism. Her work critically illuminates the connections between state formation, the intensification and externalization of borders, and the economic exploitation of migrant workers past and present.

Walia's writing also challenges ethnographic projects that take the form of "anthropological consumption" of migrant lives and stories, urging us to turn our gaze from groups and subjectivities to the state regulation of difference. SAW sees the promise of dialogue between Walia's focus on structural processes of "state-regulated relations of governance and difference" and anthropologists' diverse engagements with migration and borders. Given anthropology's interest in power, work, and migration, Walia's contributions stand to push us further on questions of unfree labor, criminalization, and the very work of research.

SAW seeks participants from across subfields, communities, and career stages for a roundtable that will engage appreciatively with Walia's contributions to anthropology at the 2023 AAA/CASCA annual meeting in Toronto. Please send a 250-word summary of themes you would plan to discuss as part of the roundtable to [email protected] by March 20. Invitations to participate will be confirmed no later than March 27.

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