The American University of Paris

5 Boulevard de la Tour-Maubourg
75007 Paris

Seminar series
Dis-placing Politics


The second Dis-placing Politics event of this academic year, this evening offers a paper by Anne McNevin (The New School) and response from Peter Hägel (AUP) reflecting on questions of mobility, immobility, and membership. Looking beyond the current refugee crisis in Europe, this seminar seeks to dissemble the common assumptions behind contemporary debate on migration, displacement, asylum, and border control, considering how a more accurate description of the nexus of sovereignty, territory, borders and belonging in today's world might be articulated, and what possibilities this new terminology might open up for the future of international movement.

Please note that registration for this event closes at 9am, Wednesday 18th October.


16:00 - Reading Workshop (for more information and to receive the readings, click here)

18:30 - Lecture and discussion

19:30 - Drinks reception


The reading workshop and seminar will take place at the American University of Paris, in room PL-1, which is located in the passage Landrieu – 2 (bis Passage Landrieu).

All attendees will need to provide a piece of identification which corresponds to the name on their ticket to gain entry to the building.


Mobility, Immobility and Membership

Anne McNevin

A common set of assumptions shape contemporary debates about migration, displacement, asylum, and border control. Some of these assumptions are long-standing and indicative of deeply entrenched social and political norms. Others have emerged more recently but have become firmly lodged in governmental logics, policy settings, and popular imaginations. These assumptions provide the starting points for analysis and proposition, determining what needs to be established in debate and what can be left unsaid and taken as given. At stake, I suggest, are particular relations between mobility, immobility and membership that have come to seem so obvious, that they hardly seem worth mentioning. In this talk, I speak to those relations directly in order to show how they limit our ability to acknowledge alternatives that do exist and might do in the future. My aim is to open up a conceptual terrain in in order to more accurately diagnose the empirical complexity of sovereignty, territory, borders and belonging as they operate today; to better understand the ambiguous terrain across which people with ambiguous forms of membership move or are immobilized; and to expand the horizon of the possible.