Abstract

A couple of years ago, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) swept through several southern states to round up and deport undocumented workers. The sweep was called Operation SouthPAW, PAW standing for "Protecting America's Workers." The roundup occurred in two phases, which curiously took place mostly before and after the harvest. The operation was celebrated by the INS and mainstream media as hugely successful in protecting America's workers (and thus America) from encroachment by "unauthorized" workers. But who gains ideologically and materially from such policing actions? Who loses? These questions of material profit and ideological benefit lie at the heart of this Symposium. The papers in this Symposium investigate the aporetic relations among the nation-state, liberal understandings of citizenship, and problematic constructions of race and ethnicity as they are applied to immigrants. By centering the immigrant in a discussion of citizenship, we aim to highlight the links between the international and intranational spheres. Focusing on the "Inter/national" demonstrates that the traditional enlightenment-based liberal vision of a world composed of bounded and sovereign nation- states conceals as much as it purports to reveal about the movements of people, citizens and otherwise, across the nation-states' bounded peripheries. The Symposium participants address three overlapping clusters of issues and ideas: (1) the interaction of citizenship, immigration, and race from a U.S. vantage point; (2) a refraining of race, slavery, and the colonial encounter both inside and outside of the U.S. context; and (3) the interrelationship of transnational flows of capital and information and the increasing flow of persons across national boundaries. At the close of the twentieth century, increasing migrations of persons are straining traditional concepts of the imagined community of the nation-state as well as the imagined community among nation-states. Each piece in this Symposium attempts to center the immigrant by examining individual and group agency within these changing communities.

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(Symposium: Citizenship and Its Discontents)