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Call for Papers

Citizenship Studies Special Issue: IMMIGRANT PROTEST
Guest co-editors: Katarzyna Marciniak (Ohio 
University, USA) and Imogen Tyler (Lancaster University, UK)
(slated for publication in 2011)

This proposed special issue on immigrant protest 
will explore forms of dissent, resistance and 
revolt amongst citizens and non-citizens. It will 
invite contributions addressing immigrant protest 
in everyday, local and wider national and global 
contexts.  It will particularly seek out 
interdisciplinary work by scholars, activists, 
and artists which offer accounts and analyses of 
protests and protest materials, an arena that is 
under-represented and under-explored in immigration and migration studies.

The rise in migration flows across the globe; the 
condition of refugees, asylum seekers, economic 
migrants, detainees with precarious status and 
the “problems” occasioned by their presence in 
various national contexts; policing measures 
across the world that aim to control the incoming 
strangers; and the increasing criminalization of 
migrants are phenomena that have generated much 
recent scholarship, especially in social 
sciences. As many have argued, migrants have 
become precarious symbols of globalization, 
figures of intrusive otherness as well as key 
characters in global struggles for freedom of 
movement, human rights, and claims to the rights 
of citizenship. Yet, not all migrants are equal. 
Ruben Andersson, for example, reminds us that 
“certain ‘migrants’ – the rich, the white, the 
western Europeans – get their ‘migranthood’ 
erased...and ‘the migrant’ starts looking like a 
brittle ideological construct in need of thorough 
interrogation” (2009). Through a focus on 
immigrant protest we hope to destablize the 
sometimes hegemonic theoretical and popular 
construction of `the migrant as other` and track 
some of the contradictory and complex experiences 
of migrancy, citizenship, belonging, and legality and illegality.

 From the massive immigrant marches in the United 
States in 2006 under the banner of A Day Without 
Immigrants to various recent protests in Great 
Britain, Australia, Canada, and Europe, immigrant 
protests have gained global visibility, 
underscoring the urgency of these 
counter-hegemonic acts of dissent and 
resistance.  These protests are sometimes 
inspirational but are as well politically and 
ethically complex in terms of the forms of 
solidarities and alliances that are possible (or 
not) between citizens and non-citizens. 
`Immigrant Protest’ will explore forms of social, 
political and aesthetic engagements migrants and 
immigrants who, in a variety of contexts and in a 
diverse range of mediums, communicate immigrant 
experience and in particular, but not 
exclusively, the threat of state violence, 
injustice, racialized and gendered oppression, 
and the logic of exclusion and othering. We are 
interested in essays which discuss political 
engagements by refugees and non-status migrants 
as well as less obvious instances of protest such 
as political art or pedagogical practices.

Some of the “protest materials” we hope to see 
discussed in this issue are: noborders networks 
and camps, immigrant marches, riots and fires in 
detention centers, solidarity “sleepouts” and 
protest camps, and demonstrations at detention 
facilities.  We welcome essays that analyze 
humanitarian campaigns, noborders protests and 
camps, anti-deportation movements, underground 
health and social services, charitable and legal 
aid, religious networks and church based 
resistance, immigrant journalism, guerrilla media 
and video, internet blogs and online asylum 
diaries, theater, cinema, performance, and 
broadly understood art activism. The central 
themes we hope this issue will raise and explore 
include the phenomenology and corporeality of 
immigrant protest, protest as a border-state, 
protest as a claim of citizenship beyond the 
State, questions of visibility and demands of 
recognition raised through protest (and the 
dangers of visibility in, for instance, 
anti-deportation campaigns), citizenship and 
political aesthetics, protesting identities and 
subjective agency, `hidden protests’ within 
immigration detention and other border zones, 
protest and ethics and the some of the 
psycho-social meanings and consequences of 
protest. Alongside more spectacular or 
`newsworthy` forms of protest, we hope to 
encourage contributions which will explore 
`everyday protest’, small and ordinary acts of 
resistance which express the desire for a liveable life.

Please sumbit a 500-word abstract and a short bio 
by August 15, 2009 to Katarzyna Marciniak 
([log in to unmask]) and Imogen Tyler ([log in to unmask]).

Katarzyna Marciniak
Associate Professor
Transnational Studies
Department of English
Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701

Imogen Tyler
Lecturer and Sociology UG Admissions Tutor
Sociology Department
Lancaster University
LA1 4YD
01524 594186  

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