Within & beyond citizenship: Lived experiences of contemporary membership

International symposium jointly organised by the University of Oxford and University of Chicago held in Oxford, 11-12 April 2013 on the relationship between legal status, rights and belonging in contemporary diverse societies.


  1. Pre-conference

  2. Read the Conference programme here.
  3. Day 1, Within & beyond citizenship.

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  5. Plenary Session 1.

    Speakers: Nicholas De Genova & Roberto G. Gonzales, Discussant: Bridget Anderson
  6. Nicholas De Genova: Citizenship’s Shadow: Obscene Inclusion, Abject Belonging, or, the Regularities of Migrant ‘Irregularity’

     This paper introduces the proposition that citizenship and alienage (or migrant status) may be best understood as two key figures of a spectrum of bordered identities - categorical distinctions among different sorts of people configured in relation to territorially defined states by the differences in space produced by borders. Thinking with the concept of bordered identities, it becomes possible to better appreciate how bordered exclusions do an inclusionary work that is inseparable from the systemic processes of migrant illegalization and the subordination of migrant labour. By juxtaposing the scene of exclusion to what may be called the obscene of inclusion, we likewise complicate conventional notions of ‘belonging’ and various sorts of abject belonging or membership come better into view.  Hence, we begin to see not only the necropolitical extremities of regulatory regimes of border policing but also the biopolitical regularities that they produce - above all, the ‘irregularity’ of ‘irregular’ migration.  In the shadows of a bordered world, then, migrant ‘illegality’ emerges as the shadow of citizenship itself.