Higher seminar: Shahram Khosravi

Date and time
February 27, 2019, at 09:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Type of event
Place and route

LM Ericssons väg 14, Stockholm (Look at a map)
Underground station: Telefonplan (Timetables at SL)

Elliniko airport in Athens

Shahram Khosravi: Unsettling, Walling, Stealing

We live in a time of wall fetishism. Never as today have human beings been so obsessed with building walls. Walls are, however, old. Empires built walls, from the Great Wall of China, to Hadrian’s Wall in Northern England and the Limes Tripolitanus of the Roman Empire in North Africa to keep “barbarians” out. And if we look closer we can see that there are still traces of the old imperial visions in the modern borders and border walls. In this lecture I will look at the connections of wars and walls; walls and empires. I will argue that there is a link between the installation of border walls (here) and the unsettling of communities (there). The current border regime is part of a larger and older project of colonial accumulation by dispossession and expulsion; stealing wealth, labor force, and time. I will also argue that border crossing discloses the cracks in the dominant narration of borders and that travelers without papers denaturalize what are otherwise naturalized borders, politicize what are otherwise depoliticized borders. I will illustrate this argument by following travelers without papers along the railways in the Balkans; tracing Afghan deportees in Kabul; and narrating the social life of the materialities used in the wall between Mexico and the US.

Shahram Khosravi is Professor of Social Anthropology at Stockholm University and the author of the books: Young and Defiant in Tehran, University of Pennsylvania Press (2008); The Illegal Traveler: an auto-ethnography of borders, Palgrave (2010); Precarious Lives: Waiting and Hope in Iran, University of Pennsylvania Press (2017) and After Deportation: Ethnographic Perspectives, Palgrave (2017, edited volume). He has been an active writer in the Swedish press and has also written fiction.

Hattam, Victoria (2015) Imperial designs: Remembering Vietnam at the US–Mexico border wall. Memory Studies. Volume: 9 issue: 1, page(s): 27-47

Khosravi, Shahram (2018) Stolen Time, Radical Philosophy: www.radicalphilosophy.com/article/stolen-time

Prem Kumar Rajaram (2018) Refugees as Surplus Population: Race, Migration and Capitalist Value Regimes, New Political Economy Vol. 23 , Issue 5. Pages 627-639

Articles available here: www.konstfack.se/Forskning/Seminarier/

Kasia Sobczak-Wróblewska Protected address


Updated: 15 January 2019

LM Ericssons väg 14
126 26 Stockholm
Tel: 08-450 41 00
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