Surveillant Spaces: Cities, Borders, States

June 25-27, 2019
4.30-6.30 pm




This course engages the question of surveillance as it shapes and transforms city space in relation to the borders and boundaries of the state. Cities are spaces of surveillance that reflect and enact state policies and practices of surveying, sorting, and targeting populations in much the same way that policing functions at territorial borders and ports of entry. Border security entails a range of practices, from policing, profiling, risk assessment, information gathering, detention, and deportation, shaping the contours of a nation around typologies of inclusion and exclusion, alien and familiar, interior and exterior, hospitality and defense. We explore surveillant spaces along the axes of criminality and terrorism as they come to bear on questions of race, sexuality, and gender.

Camilla Fojas is Professor of American Studies and Media Studies at the University of Virginia where she also co-directs the Global South Lab with Debjani Ganguly. Her research explores cultural productions of the Americas through the axes of empire, security, and race with a specific focus on the U.S.-Mexico border. Her most recent work is on surveillance and security at the U.S.-Mexico border. Her books include Cosmopolitanism in the Americas (Purdue UP, 2005), Border Bandits: Hollywood on the Southern Frontier (University of Texas Press, 2008), Islands of Empire: Pop Culture and U.S. Power (University of Texas Press, 2014), and Zombies, Migrants, and Queers: Race and Crisis Capitalism in Pop Culture (University of Illinois Press, 2017)She co-edited Mixed Race Hollywood (NYU Press, 2008) with Mary Beltrán and Transnational Crossroads: Remapping the Americas and the Pacific(University of Nebraska Press, 2012) with Rudy Guevarra, and an anthology on race and Hawai‘i with Rudy Guevarra and Nitasha Sharma (University of Hawai‘i Press, forthcoming). Her articles have appeared in Aztlán, Cinema Journal, Symplōke, Journal of Asian American Studies, Journal of Popular Film and Television, Comparative American Studies,among other journals and edited collections . She is currently working on a new project on surveillance and security in the Americas and American Pacific tentatively titled Cultures of Surveillance: U.S. Imperial Networks across the Americas and the Pacific. Camilla Fojas has degrees in Literature and Philosophy from the University of California at Santa Cruz and an M.A. and Ph.D. from New York University in Comparative Literature. She was Vincent de Paul Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at DePaul University before joining Media Studies and American Studies.