Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS)

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CLACS Lecture Series. The Migrant Passage: Clandestine Journeys from Central America

Event Type
Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS)
101 International Studies Building, 910 S Fifth St, Champaign, IL 61820
Nov 11, 2019   3:00 pm  
Dr. Noelle Brigden, Political Science, Marquette University
Kasia Szremski

The Migrant Passage: Clandestine Journeys from Central America

At the crossroads between international relations and anthropology,The Migrant Passage(Cornell University Press 2018)analyzes how people from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala navigate the dangerous and uncertain clandestine journey across Mexico to the United States. However much advance planning they do, they survive the journey through improvisation. Central American migrants improvise upon social roles and physical objects, leveraging them for new purposes along the way. Over time, the accumulation of individual journeys has cut a path across the socioeconomic and political landscape of Mexico, generating a social and material infrastructure that guides future passages and complicates borders.Tracing the survival strategies of migrants during the journey to the North, The Migrant Passage shows how their mobility reshapes the social landscape of Mexico, and the book explores the implications for the future of sovereignty and the nation-state. To trace the continuous renewal of the transit corridor, Noelle Brigden draws upon over two years of in-depth, multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork along human smuggling routes from Central America across Mexico and into the United States. In so doing, she shows the value of disciplinary and methodological border crossing between international relations and anthropology, to understand the relationships between human security, international borders, and clandestine transnationalism.


Noelle Brigden, Ph.D. (Cornell 2013) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Marquette University, where she teaches courses on international relations, human security, international migration, and the politics of street gangs. She was a 2017-2018 Visiting Associate Research Fellow at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, and held a 2013-2014 postdoctoral fellowship at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. Her work on migration and ethnographic methods has been published in International Studies Quarterly, Mobilities, Antipode, Migration Studies, International Journal for Migration and Border Studies, and Geopolitics.



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