Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

LIFE ON EDGE: Central American Asylum Seekers and the Limits of U.S.Liberalism (María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo)

Monday, October 24, 2016 - 4:30pm

Silverstein Forum, Stiteler Hall First Floor (Accessibility) / Free and open to the public

Prof. Saldaña-Portillo will discuss two papers:
Critical Latin@ Indigeneities: A Paradigm Drift (PDF)
Life on Edge: Central American Asylum Seekers and the Limits of U.S.Liberalism (PDF)

Co-sponsored by the Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality & Women
and the Latin American and Latino Studies Program

Discussant: Tulia Falleti (Political Science)

WHILE DONALD TRUMP ACCUSES MEXICAN IMMIGRANTS OF BEING RAPISTS and drug dealers, the faces of the current immigration crisis are those of the single Central American mothers and children who are fleeing threats of rape, kidnapping and murder by drug cartels in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador for the U.S. border. This paper first examines the history of U.S. foreign, drug, and immigration policies that created the conditions for the violence these women now flee. In addition,  it provides a discursive analysis of these mother's testimonies and the conditions of their detention, in order to examine the liberal paradox at the heart of U.S. asylum laws.

MARÍA JOSEFINA SALDAÑA-PORTILLO is a Professor in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at NYU. She has published articles in the U.S. and Latin America on revolutionary subjectivity, trade liberalization and the drug economy, and on racial formation and indigeneity in the United States and Mexico. She is the author of The Revolutionary Imagination in the Americas and the Age of Development (2003)and Indian Given: Racial Geographies Across Mexico and the United States (2016).