Citizens-in-Waiting: Migration and the Aesthetics of Border-Thinking featuring Imane Terhmina


Location: Department of Romance Languages and Literatures Common Area (View on map )

Imane Terhmina

Join us for Citizens-in-Waiting: Migration and the Aesthetics of Border-Thinking featuring Imane Terhmina, Assistant Professor of Francone Studies, Cornell University.  In this talk, Terhmina will explore the figure of the migrant in Francophone literature and film, questioning the paradoxes that underlie the logic of the border.

At the turn of the 21st century, the migrant figure has become increasingly ubiquitous in contemporary Francophone studies as the site of competing political claims. Specifically, an ever-growing number of cultural and artistic representations have started to emerge, which deal with bureaucracies at the border (airports, checkpoints, etc.), redeploying bureaucratic tropes in order to articulate the experiences of immigration in a trans-national context. By harnessing literary and filmic representations, current cultural debates, as well as theoretical considerations, Terhmina seeks to illuminate the paradoxes that underlie both the migrant figure and our current conception of the border. How does the experience of waiting at the border disrupt our traditional understanding of the function that a border fulfills? How do European debates around the “morality” of migrants structure their right to refuge? And how do we understand the border, philosophically, as a relational concept, one that ultimately subverts the liberal democratic ideal of political community that still operates as our utopian political norm?


Henkels Lecture Fund
Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts
Initiative on Race and Resilience
Department of Romance Languages and Literatures