“Mobility, Law & Citizenship” Workshop, by Véronique Fortin, UC Irvine.
On November 21st 2013, a small group of scholars gathered at lunchtime as six graduate students and one faculty member (Gillian G. Tan, Deakin University, Australia) discussed the challenges of working on migration and mobility. The call for participation for this workshop had invited abstracts of research projects seeking to “widen anthropology’s lens on the range of relationships between legal regimes, citizenship, and human mobility.” The diversity of submissions made for an enriching conversation on topics including “brain drain” and the politics of mobility in Serbia; Congolese refugees in Tanzania and mobile international humanitarian organizations; Mexican H-2B-visa holders planting trees on roadways in the US; the encounter between the members of the Los Angeles Mongolian Association (LAMA), and Los Angeles municipal officials; the traffic in women, plants, and gold through different sites along the Interoceanic Road in Brazil, Peru. and Bolivia; and the contrast between the mobility of the demonstrators and the perceived immobility of homeless people, two criminalized populations in urban public spaces in Montreal. The collegial conversation continued beyond the workshop indicating the success of the workshops in creating new networks of dynamic political and legal anthropology scholars.