Blurring the Border

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About the Conference

Blurring the Border: Deporting Denizens in the 21st Century

An Interdisciplinary Conference  on Immigration, Deportation, and Citizenship in the United States

University of California, Merced

April 17-18, 2015

University of California at Merced will host a Spring 2015 conference, Blurring the Border: Deporting Denizens in the 21st Century. The conference aims to bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars engaged in cutting-edge research on deportation and citizenship.

In 2012, over 400,000 people were deported from the United States — more in one year than during the entire decade of the 1980s. Deportations once primarily involved apprehending migrants along the U.S. border; increasingly, a neoteric focus on enforcement in the U.S. interior tears long-time residents from their families. Thus, the boundary of the border is blurring as it reaches into the interior.

How do we understand the current moment of mass deportation? What has the intensified removal of denizens meant for the conceptualization of this country as a “nation of immigrants?” How do subaltern communities cope with the threat of deportation? Has citizenship become reconfigured or reimagined – as only citizens are deemed as belonging, and thus safe from deportation?



The two-day conference will be held at UC Merced on April 17 and 18, 2015, and will include an afternoon session, an evening plenary address with dinner, followed by a full day of panel sessions.

Confirmed participants include keynote speaker, Roberto Lovato, a writer and visiting scholar at UC Berkeley, and featured speakers, Leisy Abrego (UCLA), Matthew Coleman (OSU), Tanya Golash-Boza (UCM), Alfonso Gonzales (UT-Austin), Nancy Plankey Videla (Texas A&M), Mary Romero (ASU), Zulema Valdez (UCM) and Marjorie Zatz (UCM).


To submit a paper for consideration, see the Call for Papers. The due date for submitting an abstract is  January 1, 2015.

Registration will begin January 15, 2015

Registration Fees

UC Merced students, staff, faculty and community: Free

Non-UC Merced Students: $15.00

Non-UC Merced Faculty: $25.00

The due date to register is February 15, 2015.

 Blurring the Borders: Deporting Denizens in the 21st Century is generously sponsored by the University of California, Merced Center for the Humanities and the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts

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