Blurring the Border

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Call for Papers


University of California at Merced will host a Spring 2015 conference, Blurring the Border: Deporting Denizens in the 21st Century, April 17 and 18, 2015. The conference aims to bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars engaged in cutting-edge research on deportation and citizenship.

We welcome papers on the themes of mass deportation and citizenship and the blurring of the US border as enforcement moves towards the interior. How do we understand the current moment of mass deportation? What has intensified removal of denizens meant for the conceptualization of the United States as a “nation of immigrants?” How do 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?

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), Mary Romero (ASU), Zulema Valdez (UCM) and Marjorie Zatz (UCM).

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.

Paper topics of interest may include mass deportation and its consequences for migrants and their families in the U.S. and abroad, including mixed-status families; how families and communities cope with deportation or deportation threat in the public and private spheres; the historical foundations of immigrant repatriation; how mass deportation is experienced at the global, regional, or local level. Papers in the social sciences, humanities, and those with an interdisciplinary focus are encouraged.

To Apply:

Individual Papers

  • Contact Information and Abstract of no more than 200 words is due January 1, 2015
  • Travel Grants: Limited travel grants may be available. If you wish to be considered for a travel award, please provide a brief statement of need with your application.
  • Your complete paper is due March 15, 2015. The paper should not exceed 30 pages, including the title, abstract (of no more than 200 words), 3-4 keywords. Include a title page with your contact information, home institution, and affiliated department(s), and co-authors (if applicable).


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