Unsettled Citizens | Citizenship on the Move || Radcliffe Institute

Unsettled Citizens | Citizenship on the Move || Radcliffe Institute


– Welcome back from
the break, everybody. We’re going to proceed
with our final panel now, a panel on
citizenship on the move. And may I ask the panel
members to come up to the stage and take their seats while I
have the honor of introducing Professor Jacqueline Bhabha. Professor Jacqueline
Bhabha is the director of research at the Harvard FXB
Center for Health and Human Rights, a professor of
the practice of health and human rights at the
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and
also an adjunct lecturer in public policy at the
Harvard Kennedy School. Before coming to Harvard,
she directed the Human Rights Program at the
University of Chicago and was a practicing human
rights lawyer in London at the European Court of
Human Rights in Strasbourg. She’s published extensively on
issues of transnational child migration, refugee
protection, children’s rights, and citizenship. Most recently, she is the author
of Can We Solve the Migration Crisis? and Child Migration and
Human Rights in a Global Age. She will be
moderating this panel. Professor Bhabha,
thank you very much. – Thank you. [APPLAUSE] So thank you all so much
for still being here. You must pity us. A rather daunting task, first
of all, to be the last panel. And secondly, to be the last
panel after the keynote speech we’ve just had. So please bear with us. We’ll do our very best to
be stimulating and engaging. So I’m going to make a couple
of introductory remarks before I briefly introduce
our three panelists. This conference, I
think– our panel is entitled “Citizenship
on the Move.” And I think this
conference has already demonstrated very clearly how
citizenship is on the move, if you like. Moving between assimilating
native peoples on the one hand, peoples who want to
preserve their nationhood, and excluding
Puerto Ricans– who are citizens– on the other. Choking out citizens’
labor rights, imposing reductive physical
tests of belonging on tribes. So all these different types
of movement that citizenship is engaged in. So we’ve come a long way
from the early discussions of citizenship
that T.H. Marshall, the famous British
sociologist who wrote first, very
comprehensively, about citizenship from
the issues he addressed. He said that citizenship really
consisted of three elements– civil, political, and
social citizenship. And he said civil and political
citizenship were really one in the 18th and 19th centuries. And they were a
product, if you like, of the Euro-American
political transformations in state governance. And that social
citizenship was a product of the post-war period
of kind of welfarism. And so he saw these three
elements of citizenship as kind of capturing
some of what we think of now as
fundamental human rights. So political citizenship
is about, for example, the right to vote– a right that Puerto Ricans,
as we’ve just heard, don’t really have. Civil citizenship
is about issues such as freedom of speech. And then social citizenship
is about social rights such as the right to education
or to social insurance. Now, two of Marshall’s
constitutive elements of citizenship are
actually no longer confined to citizens at all. They aren’t constitutive
of citizenship. So if you think of the
right to free speech, it actually is a human right
that belongs to everyone. Whether you’re a
citizen or noncitizen, whether you’re documented
or undocumented, it’s a fundamental human right. And similarly, in many
countries, including this one, the right to education
and other social rights also belong to non-citizens. Some, like the
right to education– to primary education– belong to any child who is in
the jurisdiction, irrespective of their legal status. Some, like social
insurance, belong to people who have legal residence. So a green card or some
form of permanent residence. So citizenship, what we
think of as the core element of citizenship, has also
moved in that sense– that non-citizens,
residents, for example, have many of the core
rights of citizenship. And so I think this is a
very positive transformation. I think the fact that
these constitutive elements of citizenship have become
more broadly accessible is a very positive move. And it’s now really
only political rights– the right to vote– that are jealously
guarded by citizens. And even here, there
are some exceptions. Now, as others
have said actually in the course of this
wonderful conference, this transformation
in citizenship– in the landscape
of citizenship– didn’t happen as Marshall
suggested, somehow cumulatively and progressively as a
kind of a force of nature. It’s a product of
contestation, of course. Contestation on the streets,
contestation in parliament, contestation in the courts. Contestation about what
it means to be human and about what the import
of these key human rights principles– such as non-discrimination–
should be, in terms of access to these measures. And so it’s a happy thing
that citizenship has generally been on the move. But today, we see the
concept of citizenship, I think, being on the move in a
much less inspiring direction. Consider– and I’m
going to just give you a couple of
international examples. Today, much of our discussion
has been focused on the US. But consider the mobilization
of citizenship in India, to privilege Hindu
beliefs and customs, and this dreadful development
now around cow slaughter that you may have
been following. Consider the distortion of
the notion of citizenship in Hungary to elevate
Christian beliefs and mores over any other form
of European belonging, even casting mosques as
somehow non-European. And of course, closer
to home, consider the current US administration’s
willful obliteration of the complex and multifaceted
history of the construction of American citizenship
in his comments about who are the
Americans that are supposed to be becoming great again. So citizenship discussions
have become, now, a site for militant
exclusionary processes, which they hadn’t been, I
think, for some decades. So we have a marvelous array of
panelists in this final session to address these
unrelated issues. And I’m going to
just give very brief thumbnail biographical
sketches, because we all have the booklet. So our first speaker is Theresa
McCarthy, Onondaga Beaver Clan of Six Nations of the Grand
River territory in Ontario and an associate professor
of Native American studies at the University of Buffalo. She, I think, is going to
be a perfect person for us to hear from in relation
to North American citizenship and its moving
landscape and histories and legacies. Our second speaker
is Alexandra Stern, who is a historian and an expert
on genetics in the Americas– interesting and
unusual combination. She is a professor
of American culture and women’s studies at
the University of Michigan and an expert on the history
of eugenic sterilization. She’s actually
engaged in efforts to address compulsory
sterilization, a very live issue in many parts of
the world, not only in the US. And I think, given
the discussion we’ve been having about blood
proportions and blood count, it’s very interesting,
I think, to pick up some of those conversations
about body and control of body perhaps with this light. And finally, last but of course
not least, Lyndsey Stonebridge, who takes us across the
Atlantic to the EU and beyond. She is a professor
of the humanities and human rights at
University of Birmingham and has worked on the
history of and responses to violence, right
from Nuremberg through to contemporary
refugee-related crises. So she has a very
wide and very original way of thinking about some of
the most egregious violations in human history. So please join me in welcoming
these three great panelists. [APPLAUSE] – [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] Theresa
McCarthy [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] So I just said, hello. My indigenous name is [? Aida ?]
[? Ahta ?] and it means she dries the clay. I’m Theresa McCarthy. I’m Onondaga Nation Beaver Clan. And I’m grateful to be here with
you all today to share ideas and to learn from
each other here on the territory of the
Wampanoag and Massachusett people. Now, my comments today emphasize
how indigenous citizenship further unsettles notions of
citizenship in settler nation states. I am interested in
talking about expressions of indigenous citizenship that
transcend the nation state borders imposed on
our homelands and that exceed the current boundaries
over reservation territories. My research foregrounds
Haudenosaunee women’s assertions of
citizenship through the political
theorizing and action. This is seen through the
work that our people, and particularly
our women, engage in to defy the extinguishment
of our territorial rights, our political subjugation, the
eradication of our cultures and languages, and our
compulsory enfranchisement into the nation states
of the US and Canada. Given my training as
an anthropologist, another related
interest of mine is on how historic academic work,
particularly 20th-century scholarship on my
people, has served to reinforce the
extinguishment of our rights. Legions of
non-indigenous experts who made long careers
of studying us referred to us as the Iroquois. And we remain the most
anthropologized indigenous people in North America. But we call ourselves
Haudenosaunee, which means “they
build the house,” in reference to our nations
coming together as one. The Haudenosaunee are comprised
of six nations, the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga,
Seneca, and Tuscarora. We came together to become
a confederacy of nations, the Haudenosaunee
Confederacy, in accordance with the central teaching
of our cultural history, the Gayanashagowa, or
the Great Law of Peace. And it’s from the
Gayanashagowa that we derive our structure
of political leadership and governance. Our Confederacy remains
in operation today as the oldest continuing
living participatory democracy in the world. The fact that, as
Haudenosaunee, we remain a separate and distinct
political entity from Canada and the United States, that
we have never surrendered or relinquished our sovereignty,
that our historical presence, and that our Confederacy
governance structure long predates other nation state
formations on our territories, are just some of the ways that
we unsettle normative thinking about citizenship. Our people remain adamant
that being enfolded into US and Canadian citizenship
jeopardizes our sovereignty and undermines our treaties. It advances colonialism and,
in turn, our disappearance. Since border crossing is
a theme of this panel, I want to push our thinking
about borders further today. The Haudenosaunee are a
border-crossed people. The Canada and US
international border bisects our homelands, meaning
that our peoples rights to declare who we
are and move freely on our ancestral territories
are constantly challenged by foreign governments. These borders are not supposed
to exist for the Haudenosaunee. They have no basis
in our cosmologies, and they were never meant to
inhibit our freedom of movement according to historic treaties. But these provisions
are rarely upheld, because they aren’t
widely understood. It’s rare to find border
guards, customs agents, or even immigration lawyers, who
know anything about them. This ignorance
results in a myriad of consequences for our people. Delay, detainment,
denial of entry, deportation, and historically,
even incarceration. Our additional laws
and legislation in Canada and the US further
strangulate these rights, so that something that is
not supposed to exist– this settler-colonial construct,
this figment of the colonial imagination– has very real political
and legal consequences for our people. Now, to briefly
illustrate, here is a map. It’s not perfectly
to scale, but it outlines our
traditional territories and locates our
contemporary settlements, and shows the Canada-US border
cutting through our homelands. In the Northeastern region, it
runs through Akwesasne Mohawk territory, meaning that border
crossing is a daily experience for them, as is grappling with
the distinct jurisdictions of Ontario and New
York State, which also bisects their territory. And although this
complexity is concentrated in just one place
in a particular way, this reality is something
which all Haudenosaunee as border-crossed
people must contend. When I look at this map, I see
a legal and political minefield of an enormous magnitude
that has literally ripped our people apart. Thinking just in terms of
the implications arising from Canadian and US
Indian policy alone– this endless
enormous bureaucracy of legal imposition. The Bureau of Indian
Affairs, the Department of Indian Affairs, the Indian
Act, colonial band councils, IRA governments, all of it. Right? And the depth of
this impact that it’s had for over a century
on our people– close to two centuries–
constantly undermining who we are, our connections to
each other, and our homelands. It’s just astounding. And this is why, in my work,
I expend a lot of energy taking non-indigenous
scholars to task who studied our
people for the ways that they discredit our
contemporary political assertions, by
scrutinizing the complexity of our colonial entanglements
as evidence of our disarray and decline. In particular, I look at
the pathologizing narrative of Iroquois
factionalism– this idea that we’re constantly in
conflict and infighting that’s meant to maintain colonial
hierarchies while remaining unaccountable to land theft
or to institutional structures intended to eliminate
indigenous people. For the Haudenosaunee,
settler nation state borders, like the northern Canada-US
international borders, are ongoing sites of
colonialism, imperialism, and empire, where our histories,
our distinct political identities, and our
relationships to our homelands are erased and invisible. But these are not
the only borders through indigenous
territories where this occurs. As folks who do critical
border studies tell us, borders are multiple
and movable sites existing beyond the established
physical structures and spaces where the edges of
nation states meet. With this in mind, it’s
important to think about nation state border-making
practices involving development and
corporate resource extraction on indigenous lands. So that this is a border. This is a slide on
[INAUDIBLE] territory militarized law enforcement
protecting hydro fracking operations by a
Texas-based oil company in New Brunswick in 2013. And this is a border. This is Cannonball,
North Dakota, against the Dakota
Access Pipeline. This is a border site. This is the same place,
Cannonball, North Dakota against Dakota Access Pipeline. Again, militarized police
protecting Energy Transfer Partners. And this is a border. This is the RCMP invasion of
unceded Wet’suwet’en territory in northern BC. Again, coming in to
protect the interests of putting oil pipeline through
those unceded territories. And this is a border. This is a little
bit harder to see. But this is militarized
law enforcement at the height of tensions
involving the 2006 reclamation of Six Nations lands
at [INAUDIBLE],, meaning “the protected
place,” which is involving my community. And this is another. You can see just in the
background that militarized law enforcement there. So these depictions of
recent settler state border-making practices,
which are advancing the rights of corporate
and settler state citizens on our land, expand
but replicate historic patterns of colonial violence. They elicit massive responses
from indigenous peoples, united to stand against this
violence and exploitation. We can also look
at the indigenous front lines that form to
confront and challenge these exploitations
as borderlands, where we see our people
asserting their citizenship and practicing their
sovereignty in the service not only of ourselves but of
everyone’s continued existence. Because what’s happening
at these border sites with hydro-fracking, oil
pipelines, mega development, cannot be contained. Ecological destruction, climate
change, water contamination, pollution, they render
all borders meaningless. So assertions of indigenous
sovereignty and citizenship at these sites are invaluable. I want to turn to
briefly provide a frame of reference
for what citizenship means to Haudenosaunee people. One of the ways I like to
look at Haudenosaunee women’s political theorizing is by
shining a light on our people’s artistic brilliance. It is important to highlight
and center this knowledge and to know that there
is an invaluable archive of information on Haudenosaunee
women’s political theory out there. Not all of it is written down. A lot of it is,
but not all of it. But there are other
places to look. So this is Mohawk artist Shelley
Niro’s multimedia piece Time Travels Through Us. And just a little bit from
the image description, in case it’s a little
bit hard to see, and just to give you a little bit
of background– in it, Niro presents her mother
and two daughters, the trio representing
the social, cultural, and personal values that have
been transmitted from one generation to the next. The turtle, which is Niro’s
clan animal, and it’s a pendant on her necklace and the central
animal of the Haudenosaunee creation story, also
figures in the piece. Now, this piece provides
a beautiful visual that encourages
generative thinking about the centrality of
women and our understandings of Haudenosaunee citizenship
and political structure. As a matrilineal people,
we inherit our clans and our nations through
our mothers line. And women play an
invaluable leadership role in our government structure– selecting, directing, and when
necessary, deposing our Chiefs. Caretaking of the land is
also invested with the women. Our clans our extended
kinship structures that are the building
blocks of our governance. They orient our structure of
relationality, responsibility, and accountability to each
other and to creation. And this is an active
process reinforced in the verbal structures
of our language, which denote the action of being
in relation as something that is always ongoing. And lastly, I just love how
Niro invokes time in this piece. The importance of
this relationality, of honoring life, and of how
these responsibilities move through us across
time through past, present, and onward
to future generations. OK. This is another important
model for understanding the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. This is Mohawk artist
Elizabeth Doxtater’s [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH],,
which means “it encircles everything.” This is Doxtater’s
visual narrative of the Great Law of Peace
from which our Confederacy governance arises. Most of our people who
think about the great law and of our political system
and how it came to be sort of think about it as
an oral narrative, because it’s mainly communicated
as an oral narrative. And we don’t often encounter
a woman’s rendering of this teaching. Doxtater’s piece gives us
a three-dimensional sense of the magnitude
of representation that our people have within
our Confederacy system. And just a lot of people can’t
visualize what it looks like. Her decision to bring
women to the forefront reminds us that the Confederacy
is not just a chief’s council but, rather, a collective
union of clan families that represents all the people. Doxtater also anchors the
Gayanashagowa in the land through her use of the
corn husk in this piece. Because it’s all made
out of corn husk dolls. And she explains that
working with the corn husk is quote, “like reaching
back to the time of her ancient ancestors. Corn is still grown
and harvested, the husks still
braided, it is still ceremonially celebrated
the same as it has been for thousands of years.” End quote. So these two amazing
artistic works can also help illuminate how
the use of these status terms and concepts like citizen,
nation, and sovereignty, when informed by additional
understandings, bear little resemblance to
Western legal interpretations. And as with lots of words
in the English language, indigenous people make them
their own, extending them so that they are
infected with meaning derived from our languages
and intellectual traditions. So one example, for
example, the translation of the Mohawk word
for nationality literally means
“bodies in the land.” OK. So the Haudenosaunee
have a long history of asserting and
practicing sovereignty in ways that also help others. And an example that began in
the early 20th century involving a Confederacy chief, Deskaheh,
whose name was Levi General– his travels from Six
Nations at Grand River to the League of Nations
in Geneva, Switzerland to petition for recognition
of Haudenosaunee sovereignty just as Canada’s termination
efforts were really bearing down on our community. His petition did not achieve
its desired outcome at the time, and he was punished
for his actions. When he returned from overseas,
the federal government would not allow him
to return to Canada, forcing him to remain
in the United States, where he died
shortly thereafter. But his efforts
became a catalyst for future generations
of Haudenosaunee people who have worked
tirelessly to enable what he was trying to accomplish
and to honor his sacrifices. We can see this today through
Haudenosaunee contributions to creating, expanding,
and sustaining a global regime of human rights
that centers indigenous people. Closer to home, Deskaheh’s
work inspired the formation of the Indian Defense League of
America, which since 1926 has worked to uphold Haudenosaunee
people’s rights to freely cross the borders on our homelands. Back to indigenous women. OK. Indigenous women’s leadership
is exerted in formidable ways at the front lines of our
contemporary struggles to protect the lands and waters. At these most recent
instantiations of nation state borders
on our territories, we always see women
at the forefront as those who are most
compelled to push back against the colonial
power that relentlessly tries to shape their lives. The architects of our 2006
land reclamation movement at Six Nations– Dawn Smith, who is Onondaga
Eel clan, and Jamie Jamieson, who is Mohawk Turtle clan– were two young
struggling single mothers who had already endured
hardships and tragedies that would break anyone when
they decided to take action. Neither of them
would have ever said that they were ever the perfect
embodiment of Haudenosaunee values, but both of them
saw the consequences of further encroachment on Six
Nations’ land as unbearable. And with, initially, only
a handful of others– this is just the
group the first day– resolved to put their
bodies on the line. And as a result, this
was the first time in 200 years of Haudenosaunee
history at Grand River that our people actually managed
to regain rather than lose our lands. So what is often
mischaracterized as resistance or activism is
really just the doing part of Haudenosaunee citizenship– declaring our citizenship as
sovereign indigenous nations through our action
at these new border sites emerging on our lands. Understanding that the
purpose of these movements– to defend land,
to protect water– resides in promoting a
future-oriented consciousness grounded in doing this
ongoing work to sustain life. These are the ways that our
people transcend and exceed the settler-state borders
imposed on our territories, as we always have. Just to leave with
some parting thoughts– we encounter a lot of
pessimism, fatalism, cynicism about our assertions
and movements. And it’s important to
address the pitfalls of narrow definitions
of success or failure in settler-colonial contexts. If the successes of
indigenous efforts are narrowly defined by
the outcome of dismantling entire settler-colonial
structures, then it is unlikely that
successes could ever be countered. It’s better to think about
how these movements succeed despite these structures. It’s better to think about how
settler-colonial structures are continually undermined by
the way in which our people maintain commitments
to who we are and to our relational
responsibilities. And it is better to think
about how these understandings continue to thrive, to guide
the politics of the present, and to inspire greater
numbers of people to see themselves in this light. These are the victories that
are important to hang on to, because these are the
victories that are going to continue to move us forward. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] – I think as a sort of antidote,
sort of way through some of it, I just want to
start by going back to Teresa’s last
slide, which had a sign on it that
read, “refugees welcome on native land.” And I think it’s a mark
of the thoughtfulness of this conference that a
conference on citizenship decided to end with refugees,
i.e. the category of people that many people think of as
being outside of citizenship. And it’s a deep and
unusual thoughtfulness and I congratulate
the organizers for how you’ve curated it. It’s kind of thoughtfulness
that we don’t see very much of at the moment. And I think what
I’ve learned today, and why I want to put those
two things together a bit, is if you really want
to understand something about the value of citizenship,
and what it means today, we need to listen
to people who live in the shadows of citizenship. Because they know more– they are the experts
on citizenship. And that also provokes
another question, which is what kind
of solidarities can there be between
the people who live in the shadows of citizenship? And that’s something, as
I’ve been listening today, has come up again and again. And that question of
solidarity, it seems to me, is vitally important
for exactly the reasons that Alexandra has just
explained to us, that it’s getting very, very dire. In terms of refugees and
the question of citizenship, what we have in my part of the
world in Europe and the country I currently live in, the
UK, is a renewed appetite for racialized de-citizenship–
de-citizenizing people which we haven’t seen in
Europe since the 20th century. And the other reason
I think I want to stick with that question of
solidarity or come back to it towards the end is
that, again, we’ve heard a question about what
kind of global citizenship might we imagine today. And what kind of global activism
might we try and re-imagine today? So my starting
point for my remarks today are a quotation from
the historian Michael Barnett. And this is from his study
of the United Nations’ High Commission for
Refugees, which was established after the
war in the last century. And he says, “Only a world
of sovereign states that had categories of people called
‘citizens’ and were intent on regulating population flows
could produce a legal category of ‘refugees.'” So only the idea of a nation
state that has citizens produces a category of refugees. We have to think
the two together. The one is the
other of the other. Two case studies– I’m
drawing on two case studies. One is a project I finished last
year called “placeless people,” which was just a literary and
intellectual history of how the category of refugees
and statelessness emerged in the last century, in
the middle of the 20th century. And a key figure in my
thinking there and for today was Hannah Arendt. And what you have
here on your left is Arendt’s document
in lieu of a passport. We’ve had loads of
citizenship documents today. I want to gather
them all together and put them in one place. This is a document that
doesn’t give citizenship. It is a document that
testifies to statelessness. And that’s Arendt. And you can see, that took
quite a lot of explaining. If you think of our
digital coding of passports and identity today. This is quite [INAUDIBLE]. The other project is recent. It’s a project called
“refugee hosts.” And it’s a project on
South-South Humanitarianism. And refugee-refugee solidarity
in the global south, particularly in the context
of hosting of Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. And as you all know I’m
sure, the most refugees in the world today are being
hosted in other global south countries. You know, the idea of everyone
coming up to the global north from across is a very minor
part of the global story. And the second
slide I have here, I found in the women’s
bathroom of St. Joseph’s University in Beirut’s
politics department. This is the women’s bathroom. Jackie said I have an
unusual way through things, like collecting
bathroom graffiti. And in the women’s
bathroom, that sign up there says– it’s a classic–
you know, leave the bathroom in the state
you’d like to find it. And one of the woman
scholars has written, no, leave the state in the
toilet where you found it. And another scholar has
come along and said, no, leave the nation state in
the toilet where you found it. I’ll come back to that point. And I think my
argument is going to be that the placeless
condition that Arendt and others diagnosed and
lived in the last century was disavowed in the
years that followed. And it was disavowed
by a kind of emergence of a global humanitarianism
that has failed. And it continues to fail. But that failure is
producing new articulations of global citizenship
and humanitarianism elsewhere in the world. OK. So citizenship is the
universal mark of belonging. We’ve seen that today. But it is also, as
Arendt rant argued, a mask that we put on
in order to be legally, politically, culturally,
and socially visible. Now, as many
[INAUDIBLE] generation of European Jewish refugees
discovered in the last century, to cross the border, to
be pushed across a border, was to experience the
mask of citizenship fall from your face. Quote, “On the day I lost
my Austrian passport,” wrote Stefan Zweig,
“I discovered that when you lose
your native land, you are losing more than
a patch of territory within set borders.” Zweig’s desolation was absolute. The mask fell, the man stumbled,
reached out to retrieve it, and found his hand
clutching into air. Now, Arendt was impatient
was Zweig’s objection. She thought he was
naive to expect that the world would be pleased
to see the man behind the mask. Quote, “Everywhere
the word ‘exile’ which once had an
undertone of sacred awe,” she wrote, stateless
herself in 1944, “now provokes the idea of
something simultaneously suspicious and unfortunate.” So now provokes the
idea of something suspicious and unfortunate. Exile, in other words, had
ceased to become awesome once identity became associated
with the modern nation state and the movement
of peoples administered, regulated, and controlled. Hence Barnett’s point
about citizens and refugees being two sides
of the same coin. Now, Arendt’s analysis
of what de-citizenship meant for her generation of
refugees is now well known. The world found nothing
sacred, she said, in the abstract
nakedness of being human. 18th-century ideals of
universal citizenship, which we’ve already heard were
already problematic, finally bit the dust when, engulfed
by nationalism and racism, the European state began
to decide who was a citizen and who was not, leaving
hundreds of thousands to the sovereign and arbitrary
decisions of other nations. Awesome exile had been
replaced by a more piteous and suspicious
placeless condition. But the placeless
condition did not only belong to refugees
and the stateless. Existentially,
politically, legally, placelessness also affected
and affected the supposedly securely domiciled. In quote, “their
complete dependence on the compassion of others.” You don’t have anything
else to rely on. Not a politic, not a civic
society, not a social, not a culture. You are completely dependent
on the compassion of others. Arendt wrote again in
’44, “the placeless create an uncanny impression
of something utterly inhuman.” This is quite interesting. Note that what she’s saying
is that the dependence on compassion alone produces the
idea of uncanniness or threat. So Arendt is putting a
question mark on the idea that simply more compassion
towards refugees, a call we often hear
today, is what’s required. Importantly, what she was
also doing is anticipating the moral and
political mess we get in when compassion
becomes all that we offer the world’s refugees. Now placeless people appear
as uncanny and threatening because they remind
the securely citizened of their own vulnerability. The catch of panic when
you put your passport in the wrong pocket. The stiffening of
your body when you’re moved into an unexpected
immigration queue. These feelings find a
tangible correlative in the figure of the
placeless person. So that I think what we
call a refugee crisis are much better
thought of as being crisis in the most intimate
feelings and meanings of citizenship. The two go together. The placeless remind everyone
that we’re only wearing a mask. And I think, going
back to Alex’s paper, this is why the mirror to
the pathos as the merely human face of the refugee
is the armored mask of ideological hate. When he wanted an image of
the inhumanity of totalitarian nationalism in
1984, George Orwell chose to describe a
boat of refugees being bombed in the Mediterranean. This is ’44 or ’47. Winston Smith
records in his diary how the audience
was much amused. Now, naked
ideological aggression as Alex has just shown
us and as we all know, is now back in vogue. And this weaponizing
of suspicion, however, is not only an
anomaly in the history that Jacqui mentioned of a
benign liberal humanitarianism. I think it’s kind
of its evil twin. Postwar, the global
vulnerability signaled by refugees
and the placeless was displaced onto
the vulnerability of the placeless themselves. The fantasy of
citizenship, to go back to Michael Barnett’s quote,
fortified and protected itself, and with it the idea of
national sovereignty, by projecting that
vulnerability onto those who continue to be
forced on the move, particularly, and mostly
in the global south. Everyone may be vulnerable. But henceforth, the
category of the refugee will carry that vulnerability
with her as, so to speak, extra baggage. Now as the issue
of placelessness moved through a developing
global human rights regime, those uncanny feelings Arendt
noted became institutionalized. As she among others, including
the very controversial refugee advocate and American
journalist Dorothy Thompson– as they all predicted,
the more the world became globalized, the more
the major states cooperated to keep their power and
wealth, the more people will be thrown into an
existence where they only had their humanity to bargain with. It didn’t, of course,
start out that way. Human rights, in [INAUDIBLE]
memorable, beautifully ambitious formulation,
should have, could have, transformed what he called
objects of compassion into subjects of
international rights. That was [INAUDIBLE]
ambition, is to turn– no more objects of compassion. Everyone needs to be a subject
of international right. [INAUDIBLE] was dismayed–
in fact, he was furious– when the drafters
of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
weakened asylum rights in article 14. Now the Refugee
Convention, which followed in 1951, and
still operative today– it’s important to remember– was
designed not to give refugees rights but to keep citizens
of sovereign states secure by establishing a
system of burden-sharing across the world. [? Elfin ?] Rhys,
a Welsh theologian involved with the
Palestinian refugee aid effort at the time
of the convention described early drafts of
the convention being like– and I love this quote–
he said it’s like, “a menu at an expensive
restaurant with every course crossed out except the soup,
and a footnote to the effect that the soup
might not be served in certain circumstances.” Refugees, in other words,
spun further from rights-based agency– a kind of global citizenship–
and further into compassionate uncanniness. Now, back in 1939,
Dorothy Thompson had argued that there
can be no solution, she said, to the refugee problem
as long as the world is divided into absolutely
sovereign states, anticipating
Barnett’s observation about the tenacity of the
opposition between citizens and refugees. Now since then, of course,
forms of global sovereignty have changed– changed a great deal. But significantly,
the categories of the citizen and
the refugee have remained stubbornly intact. If anything of late, in Europe,
Australia, and here in the US, have become more tenaciously–
we might even say maniacally– attached to that opposition. Now the solution to the
so-called refugee crisis today cannot, I think, be only more
horrified humanitarianism. Only because the first
solution to the refugee problem was already to
humanitarianize it, to take away rights and push
a humanitarian argument. This is not about help. It’s another phrase from today
that’s ringing in my head. In the process, the
placeless condition, and its real challenges to
thinking about what citizenship means, were neutralized. And the opportunity,
which I think was seen clearly by Arendt’s
generation along with any may others, to think about the
kinds of citizenship that might be available beyond
national sovereignty was squandered, was lost. Which leads me by
way of conclusion to the kinds of conversations
about citizenship and refugees that are happening today. Not in the global vernacular
of humanitarianism, human rights aid,
crisis, with what I think is rather dodgy moral
grammar of uncanny compassion and its talk of
solutions to problems that it has caused,
often, indeed, by its compassionate
humanitarian solution; but in the women’s bathroom of
the politics department of St. Joseph’s in Beirut
today, where I like to think Hannah Arendt
is kind of hanging out as a friendly ghost as
those women scholars discuss the future of citizenship. Now, Lebanon as you all know,
along with Jordan and Turkey, is one of the major
hosts of Syrian refugees. And has long been a
nation whose politics have been defined by refugee
history, particularly Palestinian refugee history. Now back in 2010, there
were several different ways in which it was possible for
Syrians to come to Lebanon after the war broke out. You could register as a refugee
with the United Nations High Commission for
Refugees, but then you’d have to agree not to work. So that’s more passive
humanitarianism. You’d have to agree
to give up that right. Well, not that you
actually had that right. You’d have to agree not
to try and claim it. If you were rich enough, you
could buy a residency permit which would allow you to
work, but you could only do that with the sponsorship
of a Lebanese citizen. So a kind of
adjunct citizenship. Or you could decide
that your best bet was to lose your
passport at the border and pass like a ghost into
one of the legal and political twilight communities
of the displaced and their hosts that are
now a permanent feature not only in Lebanon and
across the Middle East but across the world. Now one such place is
Beddawi in northern Lebanon, a Palestinian refugee camp
established by UNRWA in 1955 and home now to at
least three generations of Palestinian refugees. Since 2010, Beddawi has
also been host to thousands fleeing the war in Syria. And the camp can’t move
out because it’s only given so much land, so it’s moved up. It is very, very crowded. In Beddawi, as in
similar communities, the opposition between
citizens and refugees is not operative– not
out of any utopianism, but out of history
and sheer necessity. Survival depends on a mutual
and precarious and, importantly, constantly-negotiated
compassion between different nationalities,
histories, traumas, needs, desires, and political hopes. We often talk about
humanitarian crises. But in Beddawi, as in elsewhere,
it makes much more sense I think to talk about emergency
or crisis citizenship. The citizenship
at issue may well not depend on the state or,
indeed, the nation state to define it or keep it safe. So it might as well be left
in the bathroom for now. But if we want to get beyond
peer pity and suspicion, compassion and hate,
I think we would do well just now to learn
from those who have no choice but to try out new
modes of being together. With this in mind,
I’d like to end by quoting from my
refugee hosts collaborator the Beddawi-born poet
Yousif Mohammed Qasmiyeh and his beautiful acknowledgment
of what it means to share the placeless condition. He writes, “Refugees
ask refugees, who are we to come to you and
who are you to come to us? Nobody answers. Palestinians, Syrians,
Iraqis, Kurds share the camp. The same-different camp,
the camp of a camp. They have all come to
re-originate the beginning with their own hands and feet.” Thank you. [APPLAUSE] – So thank you all very much. So these are really
very rich and thought provoking contributions
with interesting overlaps and interesting divergences. And I really wonder
whether each of you might like to ask
each other questions, because there seems
so much conversation sort of between these papers. But maybe I’ll just
start off by saying that what I found so
fascinating is that each of you really problematize and give a
new lens on something that we see as familiar and
transparent, and actually make us look at it in
a very different light. So Theresa I found
your presentation about the US-Canada border
absolutely extraordinary. I never thought about
this in all my years of working on borders and on
militarisation of borders. And we always talk
about the militarization of the southern border. But what you showed was
really so starkly shocking. And I don’t know if I’m
the only one in this room to be so shocked, but it is– I think you really performed an
extraordinarily useful service to us by just demonstrating the
kind of violence of the attack on these actually peace loving
native communities who’ve been there forever, and the
imposition of as you rightly said this colonial division. So really, my
question to you is, what remedies might be
the most productive, given that the law is
certainly not going to deliver? Because the law actually
instantiates and reifies part of the problem by
generating this border and by sort of discrediting
the sense of openness. So what remedies might
be most productive do you think in challenging this
sort of blatant use of state violence against
these communities? So maybe I’ll just maybe
pose a few questions. And then you can
address them or not. Just like other
chairs said, you know. Alex’s presentation, sort
of in a different way, of course, also extremely
and equally disturbing. And I just wondered
something very practical. Like you didn’t give us
a sense of scale here. You know, are we
talking about tens, hundreds, thousands, millions
of people who think this way? You know, occasionally
an event erupts. You know, what happened
just now in New Zealand, where you see the
sort of underbelly of this sort of
white supremacism or ethno-nationalism. But one is normally not
really following it, unless you’re part
of those sites. So it would be very
useful, I think, to get a sense from you
of the scale of this. I mean, is this a
kind of phantasma? Is this just a kind of
deluded kind of paranoid dream these people have of
deporting everybody who doesn’t fit the kind
of white nationalist mode, or is this actually a serious
political threat that we should be really addressing
maybe more than we do? Or is that a false dichotomy,
are elements of this threat seeping in different ways? But I just wondered. And Lyndsey, I absolutely
loved your paper. And I think that what
you say about the kind of symbiotic relationship
between refugees and citizens is actually really
thought provoking and I haven’t thought
about that enough myself. But I wondered
about what you were saying at the end about
this kind of question of new modes of being together. It sounds so utopian
at a moment where we are riven by new modes
of not being together and the impossibility
of being together. And even in the
context of camps, we know that– and I’ve
seen this certainly at some of the camps
I’ve been to– we see tremendous rivalries
between Syrians and Iraqis and Afghans,
born out of dire scarcity and the kind of
tensions that arise. But is this a
serious proposition you think, politically,
that one might think of new ways of building
on the common exclusion from first-class citizenship,
and that this might really provide a new way
of being together and of organizing and creating
a kind of political solidarity? Or is this more a
kind of reflection on the kind of humanistic
spirit that still manages to survive despite all else? So these are just some of my
rather disparate reflections. But if you’d like to
address them, please do. And if you wouldn’t like
to, then please don’t. – Well, do you want
to start, since– – OK. It is not at all utopian. It’s, you know, to be
very British about it, it’s bloody awful. And it’s made even more awful
at the moment because of– going back to some of the themes
of these invisible borders, the Trump decision to cut
funding for UNRWA, now means– and UNRWA is very important
in Palestinian camps because– – Does everybody in the
audience know what UNRWA is? [INTERPOSING VOICES] – Sorry. – Maybe just explain. – So it’s– the United
Nations set up an organization specifically for Palestinians
to look after them in 1948. OK? So that’s a humanitarian
aid organization. And it’s been
important insofar it offers limited humanitarian
support for people in the camps and has done since ’48. So some health care,
a lot of the schools. And a lot of people who
work for UNWRA are refugees. Their Palestinians. So it’s not a kind of, you
know, particularly, only paternalistic mode. But it’s also very important
because UNRWA’s existence says that the world recognizes
the Palestinians are dispossessed because
they’re in need of aid. So it’s political as well. So the Trump
administration last year decided to withdraw
funding from UNRWA. The catastrophic effects
of that are already being felt in the camp. So in Beddawi, there’s no
antibiotics left already, and it’s only three months in. And then schools are closing. And it was a kind of
political move in terms of aid as well, because it’s
like saying, actually, the world doesn’t
recognize that you have this thing done to you now. Because we’re dismantling UNRWA. So to go back to Jacqui’s point,
it’s not a utopianism at all. But I think it goes back
to earlier points that have been made, that out
of situations of emergency and survival, there are new
ways of coming in together. And I also do think
that in Europe, and I’m sure this is
happening in the US as well, because
things are so dreadful, there are new solidarities
that happening particularly with younger activists,
legal activists, people who are working in
the Greek islands who don’t have to be there
but they’ve gone out and they’ve helped. And they’re forging
different definitions of international
solidarity that are outside of the postwar consensus. And we don’t know
what those are yet. I mean, in some ways we’re
just glad they’re there, because they are actually
stopping some people getting drowned and they are
feeding some people and they are providing
minimal conditions. But that generation of people
are also creating new networks. So, you know, across
from Palestinians to Greeks to people
from Sub-Saharan Africa, to other refugees. Across the solidarities between
Central American and South America, and that kind of global
something, that’s all growing. So that could be, not
utopian, but it’s happening. And new definitions of
citizenship are being born. We don’t know what
they’re going to be yet, but I’m dang glad
they’re giving it a go. – Thank you. [INAUDIBLE] helpful. Yeah, Alex. – Yeah, well, the issue of
scale is very important. And there’s very little
research on this, in terms of understanding
beliefs of the alt-right because of its
fairly new emergence and also because
of the difficulty of studying something
that exists for the most part in social media, in a
landscape that is ephemeral, where there’s not
much accountability, and where we’re seeing
a lot of movement around de-platforming and
suspension of various sites, which is a good thing that
these are being recognized and regulated. One of the few studies
that was done used– let me just make sure
I get this right– the American national
election survey data in 2016 to look at what percentage
of the white population concurs with beliefs that are
in sync with white nationalism. And the researcher
that did this study looked at three core beliefs– a strong sense of
white identity, a belief in white
solidarity, and a feeling of white victimization– and determined that
based on this sample that approximately 6% of
the white population or 11 million white people
agree with those three. However, if you take them
separately, about 30% to 40% of white people agree with
at least one of those. And that number of
30% to 40% is actually one that’s good to keep in
mind because other studies that have looked at the rise
of authoritarianism in Europe and the
propensity to support authoritarian
leadership seems to find a steady rate of around 35%,
particularly of young people. And this is something
to be aware of– what we call the millennial or
the zoomers generation who, you know, would respond
to questions that would support authoritarianism. And this is also
happening in a context where we have the rise
of national populism, ethno-nationalism, and a lot
of cross traffic of these ideas that are moving from the
alternative– you know, alternative for Germany,
to what’s happened recently with the elections
in the Netherlands, to what happened in New Zealand. So it’s really important to put
it in a transnational context. My idea is to not– I don’t want to
sensationalize this. But we also don’t
want to trivialize it. So in my own work, I’m always
seeking to find that balance. – Thank you. Theresa? – I just have some thoughts– in terms of what I’m talking
about– just the extent to which settler
colonialism itself remains so unaddressed in
social justice movements and organizing. That people don’t sort of
examine that core, that it just keeps going on in ways. People do things in ways
that continue to reify that, even though they’re
sort of seeking justice, more inclusion,
better ways of living. And just that the kinds of
intersections and alliances that could be built
from interrogating that more thoroughly. – It is so interesting, because
in that cross-border context, you think about third
country nationals, and whether or not people
could be sent back from Canada to the US. Is US a safe country? I mean, that’s the
domain in which I work. But that’s not at all
talking about native peoples. It completely is talking
about refugees or undocumented or migrants. – Mm-hmm. Yeah, and I just think, for
people to even really start to ask, like, why is our
political difference so threatening? I mean, it’s important to
us because we have treaties with the United States
and with Canada. That also should be important
to Canadians and Americans, because that’s also how
they get their rights. And, you know, those
relationships– those nation to nation
relationships– are vital. And they should remain intact. And there’s lots
of, actually, ways that people could
think about those and build in the
way in which they can move to help
other movements, help other causes and issues. I mean, I have rarely seen the
environmental movement sort of talk about how
indigenous treaties and indigenous sovereignty could
be helpful to those movements. It doesn’t necessarily
occur to people when it can be
incredibly helpful. And I think with
these more recent– what I showed as my
sort of border actions– I think people are actually
starting to catch on to that and to think about how these
are actual legal political relationships that
can be traced. And they’re not enforced
because there really isn’t a critical mass now
pushing for that enforcement. And so there is so much
potential there, I think. Like I said, I want
to talk about how indigenous citizenship and
sovereignty can actually help other people in
other movements as well. – Thank you. Well, thank you for
those very rich comments. So we have a few minutes left. So if we have any questions,
could people please line up and ask those questions? Thank you. Yeah. Please go ahead. – Hi. My name is Becky Thompson. I want to appreciate the
panel and this entire day. I wanted to share a little
bit about refugee solidarity and then pose a
question as well. So for those of us who’ve
been in Greece since 2015, and also in Beirut, what
we have been witnessing is a tremendous amount
of refugee activism. And that comes, in part,
because of the need for people to be saving each other’s lives. So I think, for
example, of people waiting in Izmir
in Turkey, wanting to come across on the rafts. And the smugglers are
not saying, excuse me, the only people on the
rafts can be Syrian. Right? So what that means
is that people are coming across and
fearing for their lives, creating solidarity with
each other in that moment. So Afghans and Kurds and
Palestinians and Syrians together. And then walking up the
mountain pass in Lesbos all the way to Mytelini. And what I was witnessing
over and over again is, any time an elder
needed to sit on a backpack, it didn’t matter what
country that elder was from, especially if she was a woman,
she would get that backpack. And then you see now in
[INAUDIBLE] and in [INAUDIBLE] and in [INAUDIBLE]
organizing happening across so many ethnicities
and religion as well. So I want to lift that up
as, you know, coming back each time I’m thinking, if we
had here the kind of solidarity that we are seeing
there, we would be in a whole other
place in terms of transnational solidarity. – So your question, please. – So my question, then, is
to you about what examples you have seen in your
own work of the activism and the crossing of boundaries
that wouldn’t have otherwise been crossed. Thank you. – Thank you. Lyndsey. – Yeah. Well, I think you gave
really good examples, and I’d be tempted
to say the same. But going back to
Jacqui’s point, I think those things happen,
as you’ve pointed out, out of situations of survival. And what is very interesting
is they’re usually not being administered. In any resource-deprived
situation, you’re going to get fighting. I mean, some people
will scrapped because of this resource. And what you have what
you had in Lebanon, and slightly
differently in Jordan, is Syrian refugees could come
on to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and
have a certain streaming and slightly more aid–
because there was Syrian– than Palestinians. And it was the administrative
nature of humanitarianism that was feeding
divisions, whereas what’s happening in some of the
situations you were describing and also in other
parts of the world, including Jordan, is a
different type of solidarity. And a Sheikh said
to me in a workshop we were running in Jordan– we were running
workshops with people who were hosting refugees
and refugees themselves. Quite often, people
who are hosting refugees in Jordan and Lebanon
come from refugee families themselves. Largely Palestinian or another
kind of tradition or going way back. So there is a kind of
identification there. And the Sheikh said to me, we
don’t have the word refugee here. That’s yours. That’s Western. We have guests and strangers. And technically, he’s right. I mean, that’s what
Michael Barnett was saying in the history
of humanitarianism. We invented this
category of refugee in order to administer those
people who were not citizens. They’re actually
people who are moving for all sorts of reasons. And so one of the
things we need to do is invent a different
language for talking about hosting, guesting,
staying, staying too long maybe. Being an awkward
guest, whatever. It’s never easy, we know. Many people [INAUDIBLE]. But we desperately need
to find another language. And I think you’re right. I think some of that
is happening out of sheer necessity,
not out of utopianism. No one is being an
idealist at the moment. It’s too grim. – Thank you. I’m going to just exercise
my prerogative as the chair and ask each of the four
people standing there to ask their question,
and ask the three of you to make notes as necessary. And then we’ll answer everybody. And we’ll then have time to hand
over for the final comments. Yeah. Sir. – Thank you. Again, I’m David Alan. I want to take
seriously this idea of leaving behind the
notion of the nation state. If not in the toilet,
at least behind. And it occurs that– actually, a
startling observation from the very first presentation
might offer us a framework for thinking forward. Again, in practical terms. That observation
was that this event is taking place on Wampanoag
land, where we stand today. And why is that suggestive? Because if we would try to do
something serious about that, we’d have to dismantle all the
forms of property ownership, such as Harvard’s
ownership of this land. At least there’d have
to be resolutions. Just as if we were going to
move beyond the nation state, we would have to
not only dismantle the building block for all
the world’s organization, and certainly a
lot of democracies, and move to some other form. So I invite– yes,
it’s a bit startling, the notion of turning
back over to the Wampanoag where we’re standing, but it
might jolt us out of ourselves to think of this problem
in very practical terms. How might we move beyond the
building block of the nation state? Thank you. – Thank you. – My name is [? Winn ?]
[? Quayle. ?] Thank you for your panel. There were several
references to the concept of race during this panel and
of course other panels earlier today. And we heard a lot of
discussion about the concept of blood purity. I’m not a scientist. But my question relates
to the relationship between a biological
conception of race and a social conception,
and whether– since now everyone can have
their genes sequenced– is it possible that white
nationalists might find out that they’re related
to African-Americans and whether any
of that might have some consequences for these
political discussions? – Hannah. – Hello. My name is Hannah. I’m from the graduate school
of design here at Harvard. I only yesterday heard about
this term polypolitanism, which the professor used
instead of cosmopolitanism. It’s an idea that we can
belong to many instead of either nation state or
international, so it to me was very hopeful. And it sounded very
realizable that we don’t have to sort of
dismantle everything that we have in order to
go for another future. But we can actually have
more than one identity, and I resonate with that. And I think a lot of people
resonate with wanting to navigate as multiple
sort of people. So yeah. So I was wondering if
you had any thoughts on this idea of
polypolitanism and if you have any critiques of that. I’m just curious what
you thought of that. Thank you. – Thank you very much, indeed. So who’d like to start? Alex, why don’t you start? – I can start. The question of ancestry
testing and white nationalism is a very interesting one. And what researchers
have found– and, you know, you
can learn about if you actually go into
some of these message boards where white nationalists or
focusing on ancestry testing is they like the
results of the test when they tell them
what they want to hear. But they actually don’t rely– they like the idea of the tests. And that’s in fact why the
American Society for Human Genetics recently made
a very strong statement against white supremacy
and the misuse of these tests, the
scientific distortion of them by white supremacists. They specifically
used that term. However, one of
the aspects that’s very interesting about
white nationalists is, because they
don’t they frequently don’t get the results
they want, they engage in a romanticized
notion of community. They often ignore genetic tests. They partake of the
metaphors of blood and soil. But for example, if they
don’t get a result they want, they’d say, well, I’m
white in spirit and soul. Or I feel a connection to the
medieval past or the Crusades. And there’s a lot of
these fantasy invocations. So this is happening on
multiple discursive levels. But the ancestry testing
does kind of cross that, and that will continue to
play a role in certain aspects of at least claiming identity. – Thank you. Theresa, do you want to comment
on Harvard handing over– [LAUGHTER] – OK, good. I think– where to start? One of the things we
talk about, there’s a lot of debate about
doing land acknowledgments. And part of it is because
people don’t want it just become like a rote one off thing. They want people to
sort of think like– it’s not invisible anymore. It’s not erased anymore. But to think about
this idea of, OK, what is the relationship that
comes with that acknowledgment? Because you’re asking
this big question. How do we dismantle? You know, what is this
anti-colonial vision? It starts with
having relationships. And moving out of possession
to relationship, I think, is where it has to start. So acknowledging that. And then, OK,
where do we go now? What do we do to build
those relationships and to keep them
going and to have that be an ongoing process? In our earliest
treaties that we have between Haudenosaunee
people and the newcomers, they were treaties of
peace and friendship. And they were
treaties about ways to coexist and to have
independent political systems, but to exist in a
non-colonial relationship where there wasn’t
imposition or interference. And so those visions
are out there. And they’re principled on
these ideas of having relations in a different way that aren’t
about necessarily possession, and can we think about
sort of structuring things more along those lines. – Yeah. No, but back to
the nation state. Because there’s not one
type of nation state. It’s always changing
and can change. I really was touched
by your translation of what nationality means. Bodies in the land. And I just thought that’s really
powerful and that could work. And then it all kind of
looked back to this morning. And actually what we
have at the moment is a version of a nation
state which isn’t actually about sharing and
solidarity, or just sharing, learning how to share. As the panel pointed out,
it’s about power and money and a version of a fantasy
nation state, which is actually about keeping power and money
for certain types of people. So I wouldn’t want to trash
the idea of the nation state because I don’t think there’s
just one idea of the nation state. They’re always competing,
arguing about the best way to be together. But I do think– and that’s why
I love the bodies in the land– it’s time to have more of an
upfront struggle about defining new definitions of
what it might mean to be in the nation or
different nations in one state. I mean bi-nationality,
tri-nationality, poly-nationality
within one state were options in the ’40s that
people we’re talking about and just got closed down. I think it’s time to have
those conversations again. – Terrific. Well, thank you so much. I think a measure of a good
panel and a good conference is where people are really
listening to each other, picking up each other’s phrases,
incorporating them, learning from them. And I think by that
criterion, this has been a fabulous conference. So I think I can
speak for all of us when I say a big thank you to
Radcliffe for organizing this. [APPLAUSE] – I wanted to give a couple
of concluding remarks today, thanking first off all
of you who came and shared your time and in many cases
your questions and remarks, or your concerns. I want to begin just a couple
of quick notes of gratitude to our dean Tomiko Brown-Nagin
for her leadership, to the academic ventures
group at Radcliffe that puts on events like these and
its fearless leader Rebecca Wasserman, and to
the event staff, Jessica [? Vicland ?] and others
who do just such an amazing job bringing these
kinds of complex– highly complex–
events to fruition. Let me also once again
thank the committee that I was privileged to
join, the planning committee, and my colleagues on the
planning committee, which include Professor Phil Deloria. I see you. Professor Jiyun Kim. And Professor
Gabriela Soto Laveaga. They did just such
an amazing job. I mean, the diversity of
perspectives, geographies, spaces, voices that
you heard, that’s them. And I really can’t
emphasize that enough. Becky Wasserman, too. But it’s really just a
remarkable accomplishment. So what did we do today? What did we do to citizenship? I’d like to think we kind
of unsettled it a bit. Right? Busted it apart. Is there anything
left to it anymore? We learned from Sabeel Rahman
that it’s not one off, one on. It’s not binary. It’s not like a light switch. It’s more smooth. It’s functional,
continuous, convex. It gets undone by
economic power, to the extent that economic
relations can render it fictive, almost, as we
learned from Zephyr Teachout whose talk was really scary. But really persuasive. It has been used, as our
indigenous friends have reminded us, as a cudgel
to forcibly assimilate the indigenous peoples of
North America and elsewhere. We learned that
from Rosita Worl. We learned that
from Jill Doerfler. Citizenship has been
used to reassemble a fictional white majority,
a fictional white community as Professor Minna
Stern just noted. And as Lyndsey [INAUDIBLE]
just reminded us, citizenship’s
residual categories define those outside
of them as people, as agents, of somehow
having less value, less permanence, less
belonging than those within. And finally, perhaps
more most poignantly, [INAUDIBLE] reminded us
that sometimes citizenship isn’t enough. You can have all the
formal citizenship, but it doesn’t deliver
the antibiotics, the food, the water that
needs to be there. I’m not ready to throw in
the towel on citizenship yet, though. And while I don’t
have any answers, let me just point
a couple of paths forward, really not so much for
progress in the global sense, but in ways that we can think
about it that are really just inspired by if not just
pure repetitions of what you heard earlier today. We need more than
citizenship, obviously. But maybe we also need a
transformed citizenship. Maybe unsettling
citizenship, making it unruly, unruled
in that respect, is exactly what we
need to save it. And once saved or once
appropriately transformed, maybe we need what it provides,
namely rights and governments in the best sense. Maybe we need the
kind of citizenship that respects the
sovereignty and treaties of indigenous
communities and citizens. Maybe we need governmental
resources properly laid out to protect human rights
and those most vulnerable, whether they’re the
poor, whether they’re the refugee, whether they’re
indigenous citizens, what have you. Maybe we need a more
encompassing vision of citizenship that
rejects racist thinking and imagined Edens or that
refashions the museum much as Pap Ndiaye is doing
right now in Paris. And maybe we need a form of
citizenship that calls us to the kind of commitment and
vitality that Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto
called us to today. And on that note, I really
can’t do any better. And none of us could do
any better than the way that she marshaled
our aspirations at that wonderful
keynote address. I hope that and
all of this remain with you, the questions, the
aspirations, the inspiration. Go on and be good citizens. And have a great weekend. [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC PLAYING]

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