2014-15

The Zolberg Institute supports working groups/labs around areas of common interest related to the assembled topics of global migration and (im)mobilities amongst faculty and students. The Institute is funding a number of collaborative platforms such as research clusters that invest in work with the goal of producing new research on a common theme. Such groups include The Multiple Mobilities Research Cluster, an interdisciplinary group of faculty who are rethinking migration and mobility through material cultures, technology studies, post-­humanism, ecological studies and anthrozoology and the Memory, Migration and Materiality cluster which investigates the ways migrants shape and re-shape imaginaries that contest, or re-found the collective memories of national contexts. The Ethnography of Movement ­& Mobility cluster is questioning how ethnography can be conducted in motion, or account for the ever emerging possibilities of life outside of the boundaries of place-specific locales. This research cluster is probing the possibility for sustained alternative methodological frameworks that can help elucidate the realities of ‘being in movement’.

Pedagogically oriented projects are also being conducted that are looking to advance the intellectual development of an idea or theme related to the Zolberg Institute’s mission. Intellectual development projects involve a set of participants (including faculty and students) engaged in reading texts and having a sustained, interdisciplinary conversation towards the creation of syllabi, extended bibliographies and working papers. In the aim to advance knowledge in the area of border studies and bordering logics in the age of global mobility and globalization, the Borders Research Network has crafted a reading list that interacts with the recent debates in border studies concerning conceptions of sovereignty and territoriality, the materiality and visuality of the border and the dislocation of border practices of surveillance and policing. The group on Sovereignty and its Subjects: The People, Citizens, Migrants and Foreigners is interrogating the nexus between exceptional and extralegal spaces/events with neoliberal practices of marketization and marginalization and their effects on the figure of the migrant’s subject formation. This group will be organizing a number of discussions and presentations that investigate the topics of dispossession, second class citizen formation, the effects of constitutional formations and changes in immigration policies.

The Zolberg Institute is also sponsoring creative collaborations that seek to put into conversation issues amongst diverse fields of inquiry and representation. These collaborations follow an open format and bring together faculty, students, artists, designers and/or activists to explore some common project, method, approach or theme.  The Humanities Action Lab Global Dialogues, is one collaborative group that is investigating, amongst other issues, practices of incarceration within the United States and around the world. The Humanities Action Lab (HAL) is organizing a number of forums and consortiums at universities around the country with the purpose of building a common critical language concerning incarceration.

Expanding the scope of our modes of expression and mediums of exchange allows academics and non-academics to begin to see and think about the world in manifold ways. In this vein, the Zolberg Institute supports works that provoke thought through the use of multi-media and film. The film and multi-media series involves curated films and experimental works that convey the topics of migration, mobility and immobility, borders, refugees, sovereignty, belonging, etc. Feet in 2 Worlds (Fi2W) is a project part of the Zolberg Institute, and conducted by the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School, that interprets the popular images and portrayals of immigrants in video and film. The group will be organizing film screenings and round-table discussions to deconstruct the depictions of immigrants in a number of films from multiple historical periods. In addition, a competition inviting student film and video-makers to submit short videos on the theme of immigrant identity. Winning videos will be included in an upcoming issue of the Fi2W online magazine, and will be shared with media partners including WNYC, Voices of New York, and New America Media.